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Attachment parenting, what does it consist of?

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Attachment parenting postulates its basis in which this type of parenting allows the child to establish good relationships with others and learn to make decisions on their own, since the response of their parents to their needs, will translate into becoming in an adult with great power of autonomy.

We can say that in this parenting philosophy it is very important that from the beginning there must be a position of loving interaction of the parents, without any rules, since it is beneficial for the baby. It was believed that thanks to a combination of modern life, wrong experts and selfishness, we have distanced ourselves emotionally from our children, and parents consciously need to rebuild that attachment.

Many parents feel overwhelmed because in their environment everyone thinks about how to raise a baby, warning them not to carry the child when he cries that he gets used to the arms, or to indicate when it is time for him to sleep in his own room since otherwise, it can affect you negatively in your adult life.

Followers emphasize that parenting with attachment is not about rules, but about creating a special relationship, although it is a relationship that is built according to specific principles, including the use of carrying your baby in a sling or holding it as much as possible, breastfeeding long-term; sleep together (share parents bed with baby); Always respond to your baby’s cry, no matter how tired you are. He doesn’t have to follow all the rules, but Sears warns him that parents will have to work harder.

The roots of attachment parenting

Attachment theory is derived from studies by psychologist John Bowlby on maternal deprivation and research on animal behavior in the early 1950s.

Subsequently, parenting attachment was postulated in the 1970s focusing on the baby, urging mothers to rely on their instincts on the advice of professionals and to avoid developments such as sleep training (in which babies cry to encourage them to sleep longer) and, sometimes, vaccines. While parents were once encouraged to fit the baby in their schedule, a mother who raises her child with attachment is directed by her baby, responding to her demands immediately and “respectfully.” Somehow it is based on reminiscence of the distant past with vague anthropological references to the practices of ancient tribes.

Attachment theory says that a baby instinctively seeks closeness to a secure “attachment figure.” This closeness is necessary for the baby to feel emotionally safe, as well as for food and survival. Early animal studies found that baby primates preferred a warm, plush “mother” doll over a wire doll that distributed food but lacked heat.

Parenting attachment is based on the idea that babies learn to trust and prosper when a caregiver meets their needs constantly in early life. Children who never experience this secure attachment early in life, according to the proponents, do not learn to form healthy attachments later in life. They suffer from insecurity, lack of empathy and, in extreme cases, anger and attachment disorders.

 

Some of the attachment parenting principles:

– Prepare for pregnancy, childbirth, and fatherhood. Advocates of attachment paternity believe it is important to eliminate negative thoughts and feelings about pregnancy.

– Feed with love and respect. Breastfeeding, advocates say, is the ideal way to create a secure attachment. It also teaches babies that parents will listen to their signals and meet their needs.


– Respond sensitively. Parents consider all expressions of emotions, including repeated tantrums, as real communication efforts. These efforts must be taken seriously and understood instead of punished or dismissed.

– Parents who propose attachment advise maximum skin-to-skin contact. Ways to achieve this include joint baths and “baby use”: carrying babies during the day in a frontal sling.

– Participate in night breeding. Attached parenting experts advise making arrangements to “sleep together.” With the shared dream, a baby sleeps in the same room as the parents so they can feed him and calm him emotionally during the night. Some parents sleep in the same bed as their babies do. But always carrying out all safety measures and adapting the room and the same bed to this practice, since otherwise, it may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

– Practice positive discipline. Parents are advised to distract, redirect and guide even the smallest babies, and to model positive behavior. Attachment parenthood aims to understand what a child’s negative behavior is communicating. And parents are encouraged to find a solution together with a child, instead of punishing or simply imposing their will on children.

– Strive for balance in personal and family life. Parents are encouraged to create a support network, live a healthy lifestyle and avoid parental exhaustion.

 

Attachment parenting critics

No one could argue that a close emotional bond with a baby could be anything but positive, but there is a wave of critics of this parenting philosophy and these are some of the things critics say:

– Share bed and infant death. Critics are concerned about sharing the bed, which has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome if the parents do not follow the instructions to share the bed safely. That is why it is very important for parents to be aware of making safe co-sleeping.

– Multiple caregivers, times of change. Attachment theory emerged in the 1950s, before the advent of child care. Then, the psychologists discussed whether mothers should stay home to raise their children. Many children have since been exposed to multiple and relatively consistent caregivers as a result of child care. Critics want the investigation of attachment breeding to be updated to reflect this changing reality.

– Stressed parents, children too dependent. Critics of parenting with attachment claim that constant attention to each child’s mood and tantrum can lead to overly dependent children and very stressed parents. Or worse, children learn to control and intimidate their well-meaning parents.

But raising with attachment does not mean running as soon as the child opens his mouth and makes the first sound. The young child must be given the opportunity to learn that by crying his needs will be satisfied. But this we will not achieve if we live attached to his crib. We must not let him cry, but we must not deprive him of the first language he uses to communicate with us.

 

Seek balance in our home

Ignorance and a certain fear that the baby will de-structure the whole routine that the couple had built so far, can lead parents to apply, in the most critical daily moments, methodologies that put parenthood at risk from positive attachment. The safety or insecurity that is generated in the child through the responses of their caregivers can cause maladaptive learning in children. That is why if you decide to take this kind of philosophy in raising your children, you must organize yourself precisely with your closest environment so as not to fall into these bad practices that it is normal for them to arise at some time but which in no way should be installed in the home.

There are various ways to guide and help your baby in its development, and in all of them, there is attachment. It is that special relationship between the baby and the figure (s) around him that give him love and take care of his needs. Any child necessarily interacts with the people around them, generating this very special relationship that we call attachment and that each family makes in its own way. Each family and each child are different, maybe you find formulas that were great for your first child, but for the second one, they don’t fit.

It is positive to listen to advice, to inform yourself by valuing the different points of view, but without this marking you too much and limiting when raising your children. In the day to day parents and children learn from each other by creating this link that characterizes them.

 

All the information that we give you in this article is for orientation since each child and each family is different and unique.

Carolina González Ramos

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