A Word on Attachment Parenting

There has been a lot of fuss recently about the label 'Attachment Parenting', with people asking why labels are needed at all, isn't it just parenting etc etc.

No, it isn't. So, what exactly is Attachment Parenting?

Scary ideas to most modern, Western parents:
  • co-sleeping
  • babywearing
  • breastfeeding (especially beyond 6 months)
  • positive parenting
  • non-punitive, non-blaming gentle discipline
  • baby-led weaning
  • conscious conception
  • natural birth

Also known as Attachment Parenting.

To us, and many others, these practices are natural, intuitive, and normal!

To us it makes the most sense and we cannot understand why everyone else doesn't do it, but I can see from the outside how going against 200 years plus of male-directed baby rearing and all that entails could be uncomfortable.

We've come up against more than our fair share of resistance, misunderstanding and disapproval so far, and I'm sure there will be more to come.

In fact, we stumbled into the whole world of attachment or conscious parenting by accident really.

We had it all planned in the middle of my first pregnancy, where a cot would go in our bedroom, I'd try breastfeeding but if it didn't work formula was OK, what sort of routine the baby would have etc.

Incredibly we have dear old Amazon to thank for our 'journey', as that book flashed up in my recommendations after I'd ordered a few natural childbirth books, and the concept intrigued me so I duly added it to my order.

What a revelation it was!

And yet, how it followed on from the choices and decisions we had already made surrounding the upcoming birth of our daughter.

That's how we see it I guess: AP is a natural extension of joyful and conscious pregnancy, and of natural childbirth (achieved joyously and comfortably through Hypnobirthing).

The decision to co-sleep was the first biggie, followed quickly by largely abandonning the planned pram for a lovely little collection of slings and baby carriers, and then the decision to breastfeed to term, and so much more.

And we love it!

For us, the whole journey to Attachment Parenting kind of snowballed I suppose, but in a good way!  

Family and friends haven't always been as convinced about our 'funny ideas' and understandably some have felt challenged about their own parenting choices, but that's not where we're coming from.

All of these decisions suit us and our babies and our lifestyle.

I just wish Attachment Parenting were a bit more mainstream, and then the people I have met lately who covertly tell me that they do bits of it too, but didn't know it had a name, would feel more empowered by their choices, and more willing to say loud and proud that they reject cry it out, they will breastfeed their baby, they will hold them, they won't put their toddler on a naughty step, and they don't care what everyone else thinks.

Ironically, the recent quest to sensationalise and demonise Attachment Parenting practices, most famously with the ridiculous Time magazine cover, has brough it out into the open and made it more public.

As Oscar Wilde said, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Maybe one day we'll be the norm again, as we once were centuries ago, and still are in 'non-developed' societies.

Hmm, who are the undeveloped ones, when our Western children are the unhappiest on Earth?

I'll let you decide.

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