Attachment Parenting

Minnie - posted on 07/28/2011 ( 52 moms have responded )

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I find that in many debates people often have misconceptions of what attachment parenting is. We frequently debate individual parenting practices that are usually associated with attachment parenting but how about debating attachment parenting itself as a parenting philosophy?



The long-range vision of Attachment Parenting is to raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection. It eliminates violence as a means for raising children, and ultimately helps to prevent violence in society as a whole.



The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with kindness, respect and dignity, and to model in our interactions with them the way we'd like them to interact with others.




The mission of Attachment Parenting International (API) is to promote parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents. API believes that Attachment Parenting (AP) practices fulfill a child's need for trust, empathy, and affection and will provide a foundation for a lifetime of healthy relationships.



Rooted in attachment theory, Attachment Parenting has been studied extensively for over 60 years by psychology and child development researchers, and more recently, by researchers studying the brain. These studies revealed that infants are born "hardwired" with strong needs to be nurtured and to remain physically close to the primary caregiver, usually the mother, during the first few years of life. The child's emotional, physical, and neurological development is greatly enhanced when these basic needs are met consistently and appropriately. These needs can be summarized as proximity, protection, and predictability..



The baby's crying, clinging, and sucking are early techniques to keep her mother nearby. As the child grows and feels more secure in her relationship with her mother, she is better able to explore the world around her and to develop strong, healthy bonds with other important people in her life.




Attachment Parenting International's Eight Principles of Parenting:



-Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

-Feed with Love and Respect

-Respond with Sensitivity

-Use Nurturing Touch

-Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally

-Provide Consistent and Loving Care

-Practice Positive Discipline

-Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life



As you can see, these principles can be pretty widely defined. In these debates it often happens that AP parents are assumed to be those who only bedshare until the later years, breastfeed for many years, only have home births, etc. But the overwhelming philosophy of attachment parenting is showing respect for a child's body, mind and accepting his or her capabilities and showing compassion and empathy for fellow human beings.

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[deleted account]

"Personally, I can't imagine being a parent without breastfeeding, cosleeping and bedsharing, babywearing, and putting a secure attachment above everything else. Quite honestly, I wouldn't want to have a child if I couldn't do those things."

And if you couldn't breastfeed or your child hated being worn... you wouldn't want children?

Because I wanted to do both those things but they didn't work for me and my kids so I adjusted my preconceived notions of what was good for me to what was good for my kids ... isn't THAT what AP is about? I don't love my children less because I had to adapt.

[deleted account]

I'm sure I actually fall quite nicely into the AP bracket (hell I even fall into much of the NFL bracket if home-births and cloth diaper's are categories) but some of the extremists make me loathed to classify my parenting style as such.

I hate extremists from any side of the parenting spectrum. The whole "you must do this" or "you don't love your kids as much as I do".

You know the types... The ones who advocate breastfeeding as the only way to feed your child, starvation being better than a bottle.

The ones who advocate bed-sharing even though you only have a double bed, practicalities and safety be damned.

And the ones who call you lazy and selfish for letting your child whine themselves off to sleep for less than ten minutes as you should be rocking them, screaming and over stimulated, just so they don't feel abandoned...

Yep, I've heard all those things from self proclaimed attachment parents... those people give the AP princples a bad name to those who would otherwise consider their methodologies as fitting within the ideals of AP.

Tanya - posted on 07/29/2011

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See, I don't have any problem with labels. I don't know why labels get such a bad rap.


The fact that some people have inaccurate, pre-conceived notions about AP is not really a problem for me. I do try to dispell some of the myths about AP when and where I can, but I really don't give two hoots what other people think about how I parent.


Yes, I do think my parenting choices are the best. If I didn't, I wouldn't be doing them! However, true AP parents understand that every child is an individual, and you have to meet YOUR child's needs. There are some babies who can't get a good night's sleep in their parents' bed. So sleeping with them would NOT be a good parenting choice! There are also children who aren't happy being worn. Nobody wants you to FORCE your child to be worn!


The AP "tools" that people get so up in arms about are just that - tools! Only people who don't truly understand AP think that you HAVE to do all of them in order to call yourself AP. If you actually read Dr. Sears' books, you'll see that he and Martha say exactly that. AP is about connecting with YOUR child and adapting to their needs, not about forcing things upon them. That would be the OPPOSITE of AP.


Personally, I can't imagine being a parent without breastfeeding, cosleeping and bedsharing, babywearing, and putting a secure attachment above everything else. Quite honestly, I wouldn't want to have a child if I couldn't do those things. But, just because they are of utmost importance to ME, doesn't mean that everybody else should share my views. What a boring place it would be if we all thought exactly the same way!

Tanya - posted on 07/28/2011

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AP and natural family living/natural parenting get confused a LOT. I think it's because the majority of AP parents also practice at least some forms of NFL, and most NFL parents also practice AP. But, they are different.


Homebirthing, cloth diapering, not vaxing, and even some aspects of baby-led weaning are actually NFL, not AP. And AP practices like breastfeeding, babywearing and cosleeping go along well with the NFL lifestyle.


To me, one of the biggest misconceptions about AP is that it's a huge sacrifice, and it makes the parents' life harder. For me, it makes my life easier, and I can't imagine parenting any other way!

[deleted account]

You're right. I didn't really know what it was and just assumed that I didn't practice attachment parenting. Recently I was invited to join an attachment parenting group on my area, and I was totally dumbfounded. I said I would love to join, but I didn't practice attachment parenting. The ladies who invited me told me that I did and just didn't know it...lol. I think more people practice AP or parts of AP than realize it.

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Merry - posted on 08/08/2011

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I'd proudly label myself AP, I don't think there's anything negative about AP parenting. To me it's common sense, natural parenting but since it has aname, why not!

I always strive to do the best for my kids, not what's easy or convenient for me, not what's fun and exciting for me, but what's best for them.

It would be nice to do things my way, but that's not why I had kids.

-Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting .- I planned both babies, had regular prenatal care, and had a birth planned out. For Eric I planned a hospital birth, for Fia I planned a home birth.

-Feed with Love and Respect - pretty vague, but what I did was nurse on cue, night and day on cue, I waited til he lost tongue thrust to feed him solids which was 10 months old, but tried solids at 6 months and kept trying until he took to it at 10 months.

-Respond with Sensitivity - I always responded before he cried, I found he really never cried at all if I responded quick enough, essentially I believed that if I did my job right he never cried. Including night time, I prevented him crying at all. Fia threw me for a loop with her reflux she cried no matter what I did, but with meds I now can prevent her crying almost all the time.

-Use Nurturing Touch - meaning no spanking? Well I lost my temper and spanked him three times (separate occasions) but I apologized as we do not hit in our family. Also I use nurturing touch by massaging him, holding him when he wants to be held, etc

-Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally - with Eric I nursed him to sleep, set him down, and repeated when ever he woke. I held him through most naps when he was small. With Fia I do the same but I just let her sleep in my arms at night too. We all get more and better sleep this way.

-Provide Consistent and Loving Care - vague, but I guess it could mean not bouncing babies around to other caregivers all the time, my kids know I'm always here for them, and if I'm not actually with them, they are always with matt or their grandparents so it's always consistent and safe. No random babysitters or sketchy daycares

-Practice Positive Discipline - I try to prevent his bad actions, if I see him getting wound up I know he usually gets into throwing stuff when he's all crazy so I calm him down before it gets there. When he does misbehave I make sure I teach him, not just punish. He's 2 so most wrong doings aren't intentional, just impulse stuff.

-Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life - well I try but I'm always last to get my needs or wants met. I care for everyone else before myself. I even make time for myself to eat not because I'm hungry but because I have to keep up my milk production for my kids. Although bathroom breaks are simply for my benefit!

Jenni - posted on 08/08/2011

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I think most parents would be considered AP according to this definition. Or at least mostly. It's kind of a broad and highly subjective definition.

Amanda - posted on 08/08/2011

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13 years ago this wasnt called APing it was called being a good mother. I dont see how seeing to all the needs of your child has to have a label.

[deleted account]

I'm not saying they should wait until 6 months, just that they should at least be able to bring food to their mouth before we wean them. Were your kids not bringing stuff to their mouths at 4 months? (not just food anything).

I am not saying you were wrong for early weaning, I weaned Ethan at 4 months too, as he was really hungry, he was taking 8 9oz bottles a day because they just weren't satisfying him, when we introduced food he still had 6 9oz bottles a day but had fruit and veg as well - he could feed himself finger food (loved banana) but I often gave him mashed food so he was getting more variety (he hated puree). :-)

Sherri - posted on 08/07/2011

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Sometimes that isn't true Toni. My children absolutely were not getting enough from formula and needed food by 4mo's but in no way were they ready for finger foods. None of my kids could have fed themselves finger foods at 4mo's nor would I have EVER given them anything but pureed foods at that age. However, I did take there cues, I took my childrens needs into acct. They were starving and were intaking way too much formula a day virtually twice as much as they should for my first, my 2nd screamed virtually 24/7 and once I gave in at 4 1/2mo's with food he instantly stopped. He was screaming because he was starving to death and the formula was not filling him up. They positively could NEVER have waited till 6mo's and needed to have the food.

[deleted account]

Sherri I think you misunderstood what I meant by weaning, in the UK weaning just means starting on solids not stopping milk altogether.

At 4months Ethan was feeding himself finger foods by 6 months he was spoon feeding (as long as we gave him the food on it). If your child can't even put finger foods to their mouth their not ready to, which is why AP is about following cues.

[deleted account]

Sherri I think you misunderstood what I meant by weaning, in the UK weaning just means starting on solids not stopping milk altogether.

At 4months Ethan was feeding himself finger foods by 6 months he was spoon feeding (as long as we gave him the food on it). If your child can't even put finger foods to their mouth their not ready to, which is why AP is about following cues.

Becky - posted on 08/06/2011

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To me, kind of the bottom line on attachment parenting is knowing your child and parenting him/her as an individual based on his/her unique personality and needs. You would think this would be kind of intuitive for all parents, but it's not. A lot of parents don't parent their children as individuals based on the child's personality and needs. Some parent exactly the way they were parented. Others parent all of their children exactly the same. Others parent very much "by the book" or by a specific method, whether that method really suits their child or not. So although the things that have already been listed (breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping, etc) are commonly accepted AP practices and generally do help facilitate a secure attachment, you do not have to practice all or even any of them to be an attachment parent. If your child is getting sick from your breastmilk, doesn't sleep well while cosleeping and cries inconsolably while being worn, but you are doing all of those things anyways, you are not an attachment parent! If you feed your child formula because for whatever reason, they were not thriving on breastmilk (or you could not breastfeed), let them fuss for a few minutes in their crib in their own room before falling asleep because you know that this is how they settle themselves best and have the most restful sleep, and use a stroller when out and let them play on the floor or swing in the infant swing when you're busy because this is how they are most comfortable and content, then you are using attachment parenting practices. Things like introducing solids early or weaning before a year are not necessarily non-AP, if they are done because you know your child is ready or, if out of necessity, done with utmost sensitivity to your child's needs. I'll agree that there are some practices, like full-on CIO that really do not in any way fit into AP - there's no way leaving your child to cry and scream for an hour or more is responding to their needs.
I personally tend towards AP in a lot of ways - although I'm nowhere near the natural, organic lifestyle. And I definitely want to be an AP parent (although not necessarily with the lable.) There are some areas that still need work - mainly positive discipline for me. And it's hard when your spouse has quite a different parenting philosophy and thinks that AP is kind of airy-fairy and overly permissive! :(

Sherri - posted on 08/05/2011

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@Tanya ahhhh well since my kids started baby food at 4mo's they couldn't self feed so wasn't sure that is what you meant.

Also I didn't allow mine to self wean they were all forced to wean very early 1st never breastfed. 2nd because had to go back to work at 12wks and last was very sick took medicine that dried up all my milk after 4wks. Then I threw all bottles away by 11mo's.

Charlie - posted on 08/05/2011

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Ive seen way to many parents who mindlessly feed their children crap food .....

I am against CIO however I do see the distict difference between fussing and crying.

Children are like adults sometimes we need to be held but sometimes we just want to be left alone this is usually a good sign when a child fusses IMO.

[deleted account]

My first would only sleep with extra love and attention etc.She was in the bed with us for 3yrs.I do all of those things listed also.



My second did not want to be held much, only for feeds/bath time/nappy change etc.Slept in her own space from birth and right through(blessed lol)So different the were, which more than okay as there two very unquie children with different needs, personalities etc.

I never set out to be an ap mom.I may do a lot of the ap pareting etc.



For me it just happened to work out that way naturally.I don't personally like to label how i parent.If you all understand me.

Krista - posted on 08/05/2011

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It's true. My son has always been like that. I used to try to rock/cuddle/hold him until he fell asleep, and he'd actually get much LESS sleep, because he was too darned stimulated by having another person there. So we did let him cry it out a bit. And yes, sometimes it was crying, not fussing. But I only did this once he was old enough that I could differentiate between his cries, and could tell the difference between the droning, "ehhhhhhh-ehhhhhhhhhh" kind of tired cry, and his "ahhhhhhhh-AHHHHHH!!!!" cry, which meant, "Come and get me now, you assholes!"

[deleted account]

That's true Tanya, I just wanted to point out there are people who use a very mild form of CIO (fussing it out) because that is what their child wants/ needs, so CIO isn't always bad and about ignoring your child's needs.

Tanya - posted on 08/05/2011

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Emma, according to AP beliefs, not everyone does truly feed with love and respect. If you feed your baby only on a schedule, make sure they finish their bottles, regularly prop bottles, spoon feed in a quick manner that ignores their cues and doesn't allow them to self-feed, etc. you certainly aren't abusing your child, but neither are you truly practicing AP.


There is a HUGE gray area, and there isn't always specific guidelines that you HAVE to follow in order to be AP, but there are underlying philosophies and ideas. Yes, the OP does seem very vague, but if you study AP philosophies, you will understand what they mean a bit better.

Tanya - posted on 08/05/2011

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I don't consider that to be true CIO. If there is "fussing", but no real "crying", then that kind of eliminates the "C". AP is knowing and responding to your child's individual needs. If that means your child needs to be left alone to fall asleep, that's still AP. CIO means deliberately staying away from your child while they cry (returning at increasingly long intervals, but only staying a certain length of time before leaving again) so that they will be "trained" to fall asleep on their own. Very different, IMO.

Elfrieda - posted on 08/05/2011

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Toni, your son isn't the only child like that. My son is the same. There's no way he can sleep (unless he's way past exhausted) if there are people around. He's been like that since 8 months old, and even before that, we tried having him sleep in our bed (people suggested it to increase my milk supply) but he thought we were playing and didn't want to sleep, even as young as 5 months old.

Minnie - posted on 08/05/2011

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Attachment Parenting International was originally started to stop children from being spanked. That's why one of their principles is use nurturing touch and another is practice positive discipline. Spanking is another thing that doesn't have a place within the AP frame.

[deleted account]

Tanya I disagree sometimes gentle CIO can fall into the categories for AP, some children (like many adults) want to be left alone to go to sleep, my son needed to fuss for a couple of minutes before he went to sleep, it was like he was telling us about his day, if we tried to soothe him to stop the fussing it made him worse because the 5 minutes of fussing chilled him out for bed. I am sure my son isn't the only child out there like this, it doesn't mean that my letting him fuss (never cry) so a gentle CIO, isn't comparable with AP. AP parenting is about go following your child's cues and sometimes that means letting them fuss. I do agree that hardcore CIO is not compatible with AP though.

Sherri - posted on 08/04/2011

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Ahhh when I read that I just took preparing for pregnancy before not necessarily during.

Stifler's - posted on 08/04/2011

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But these days most people go off to the doctor and all that as soon as they find out/suspect they are pregnant. I didn't prepare for being pregnant but as soon as I found out I went to the doctor for regular checkups and then the midwife etc.

Sherri - posted on 08/04/2011

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The only ones that may not prepare for pregnancy are the ones that had oops babies and weren't planning on being pregnant in the first place.

Stifler's - posted on 08/04/2011

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I was referring to the principles in the OP being so vague. who DOESN'T prepare for pregnancy birth and parenting? Who doesn't feed with Love and Respect? Who doesn't use nurturing touch? And so on. By this definitely pretty much everyone is an AP.

Tanya - posted on 08/04/2011

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No, Emma, there is a pretty wide grey area between true AP and child abuse.


For instance, spanking and CIO aren't child abuse, but go against AP principles. Not breastfeeding is in no way starving your child, but breastfeeding can help facilitate APing. And so on....

Stifler's - posted on 07/30/2011

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Apparently everyone except a rare few who beats their children mercilessly and starve them is an attachment parent based on those principles.

April - posted on 07/30/2011

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i never heard of the label until I came to COMs. i do consider myself an attachment parent. when i learned about AP, i wanted to add to the things i was already doing. baby wearing wasn't one of them. i missed out on that, but i did get to do toddler wearing. My son was 17 months when I started wearing him in a sling. it's never too late to become an AP if you aren't already one and it's never too late to expand your parenting philosophy! :)

[deleted account]

Sherri, you DO follow some of the principles. And I believe that's the point of this thread...to clear up some of the misconceptions of AP. I never really considered myself AP, but looking at the 8 principles (not the stereotypes you listed in your first post) I could consider myself AP. You can label yourself however you want, but label yourself knowing what the term really means. Or, as someone else suggested, we could just drop the labels. =)

Erin - posted on 07/29/2011

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Sherri, when I listed those things, I was using it to point out that someone doesn't need to do all of those things to be AP. I'm not trying to argue with you and say you are AP by any means. I was just using that list to demonstrate the stereotype, and the fact that not all AP parents adhere strictly to the physical attributes of the movement (for whatever reason), but still believe in the ideology.

Sherri - posted on 07/29/2011

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Yes Sara I did. My response was to what Erin posted and I even copied and posted as much.

Even with what Lisa posted I still do not parent that way and so once again I do not even come close to parenting in the views of an AP mom.

Prepare for pregnancy nope almost all of mine were oops babies, prepare for birth well I had an OB and knew I would deliver in a hospital, prepare for parenting I guess never really had a plan.
Feed with love and respect. - I loved them and fed them when they were hungry.
Respond with sensitivity - Don't even know really what the heck this means. Was I always patient and calm - certainly can say not always, although I tried.
Ensure safe sleep, physically and Emotionally - Sure they were safe in their own cribs and by 4mo's I used CIO so I know by AP's standards they would say I didn't.
Provide Consistent and loving care - This one I can say definitely.
Practice Positive Discipline - Since I spank and use time out once again not the AP way.
Strive for balance in your personal and family life - Sure I do, my family is my entire life. My personal life can wait till my children are grown and have moved out.

Sherri - posted on 07/29/2011

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Yup I am officially in no way an AP mom.

There seems to be this checklist that hardcore AP parents follow - homebirthing, no vax, no circ, bedsharing, no CIO, breastfeeding, babywearing, baby-led weaning etc.

For Me:
Hospital births ONLY
All my kids are vaccinated
All my kids are circumcised
None of my children bedshared
We used CIO
Never breastfed 1st, only 12wks with 2nd and only 6wks with 3rd.
Also I decided when they would wean, they had no say.

So although I highly respect other parents who do choose to raise their children this way. It is official I am not an AP mom and this would Never work for us.

Tanya - posted on 07/29/2011

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Cathy, I have no plans to have more kids, but if I were planning on it, and I found out I wouldn't be able to breastfeed them, or birth them vaginally, I don't think I would go through with it. Of course, if they were already here and I couldn't do those things, I wouldn't love them any less! It's not THEIR fault! And yes, AP is about adapting, so it would be entirely possible for me to have a child who wouldn't co-sleep. I just wouldn't CHOOSE to parent without those things, because I find them such an integral part of my parenting.


Feen, that may be true of labelling someone ELSE, but if I give MYSELF the label of "AP", I don't see why that's bad. I don't care what other people think, so why should I have anything against the label? It's not the LABEL that causes problems, it's the ignorance about what the label MEANS. And that's why I embrace the label....so that maybe I can educate and dispell some of the myths about AP.

Charlie - posted on 07/29/2011

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Tanya to label someone is to slot them into a stereotype , I dont dig steryotypes they are often innacurate and lead to judgments made based on ignorance.

Steryotyping IMO has no positive attributions and while some people are not affected by this like myself or you others can be and that goes for stereotyping in all areas.

Charlie - posted on 07/29/2011

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Do you know what? I love a lot of attachement parenting practices ....I hate the label and it is because those who cannot see past the label see the need to steryotype or pigeon hole those who lean towards those types of parenting methods .

Attachment parenting is a philosophy not a set of rules I find a lot of the time when people start banging on about AP and its such a load of BS and blah , blah , blah they have very little to no idea what the fuck they are talking about or what AP entails (or doesnt)

Most people practice AP , if you respect your child peacfully and with dignity than you have practiced that philosophy.

Sal - posted on 07/29/2011

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you are right they are a very wide discription and i don;t think that they are exclusive to "attatchiment" parenting, i feel that i do strive to be a parent who can happily tick all those boxes, i might not make it everyday but on the whole i think i do, but i in no way feel that i fit to the streostyped that is "attatchment parenting" (as mentioned in the question) i refused to co sleep with my 2 girls at all(after i couldn;t get my son out of my bed until he was about 9!!!!) i happily bottle feed when i couldn;t make bf work for me, i do on occations think a smack is appropriate,i absolutly love the moment when i drop them at preschool and i have a ME day, i do not think that openinly saying there are days when i wish the kids would just leave me alone is a bad thing and i miss being able to drop everything and nip off for a dirty weekend, but i am a good mum and i always have my kids best interest in my mind, i think putting a lable on anything is making it a statement that you want people to make an assumption about you, that is by saying i practice AP is giving people information that you want them to know about you, but you can;t know how they are going to process that information....

one thing i think a lot of mums don;t do is prepare for parent hood, they but the cute baby stuff, debate names, look up parenting styles they want to adhere to, but are in no real way prepared for being a parent to a real live child, when baby comes home and it is harder than they ever imagined it crushes their confidence...i

i just want to be a good mum, i want my kids to be happy and successful adult and i want them to visit me when i;m old just because they love me....but i don;t want anyother lable but mum

Sarah - posted on 07/29/2011

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I think the parenting philosophy of AP is a good one.
Other than "-Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting" (I was totally unprepared!) I feel like I parent under those principles, and yet I wouldn't ever call myself an attachment parent.

I've got zero issue with any of the AP practices, I don't care if you bedshare (or any other AP practice) til they're 100, if it works for you, that's great.

I'll be honest though, what does get my back up, is that some AP parents come across as very sanctimonious. It's almost like some of them think that parents who don't use AP practises, don't love their kids as much. That we're not as loving, nurturing, and respectful to our kids as they are to theirs. They often talk about "bonding" and then end up implying that if you don't breastfeed/bedshare/whatever, then you can't possibly have that special bond.
It's people like that who get my back up about AP..........not the actually AP itself.

Stifler's - posted on 07/28/2011

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I don't feel the need to label my parenting style. I do whatever works.

Erin - posted on 07/28/2011

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See I believe wholeheartedly in AP, and the natural birth and breastfeeding components. But natural living in so far as growing my own food, cooking every single thing from scratch and conscientiously avoiding chemicals by making my own shampoo and cleaning products is not my thing at all.

Minnie - posted on 07/28/2011

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Many of those 'natural' or 'whole' living choices that parents make are their interpretation of the principles of attachment parenting. I lean toward the 'extreme' -as my husband likes to label it- end of those choices. To me those choices just naturally follow how I respect my children as human beings and show compassion and empathy.



Other parents make different choices, but still maintain respect and acceptance for their children and display compassion and empathy toward them. We all come from different backgrounds and have different needs.



I do have to point out one thing though- CIO- that typically isn't something that can operate within the realm of AP.

Kellie - posted on 07/28/2011

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I came across this the other day:

http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/ap-fra...

Basically the message is AP is a state of mind, it's fostering an atmosphere of trust and intimacy and about how you interact with your child and not so much about wether you breastfeed or bottle feed, whether you wear you child 24/7 or not.

All I knew before having my daughter was how I didn't want to parent, I'd not heard about AP until after having her and for me, a lot of it makes sense. I'm not a huge rule follower though and pretty much just do my own thing in my own way.

I'm baby led, if she wants to play with me, we play together. If she wants to explore and play on her own then she plays and explores on her own. If she wants to fall asleep on me before going to bed, then she falls asleep on me before I put her into her cot etc etc. I'd have to say that for me, AP is just simply listening to you baby/child and giving them what they need and respecting them as a person, as their OWN person, and not something to break and shape into what YOU want and need.

Erin - posted on 07/28/2011

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People tend to focus on the physical aspects of AP - the bedsharing, breastfeeding and babywearing for example. When that is really just a manifestation of the philosophical principles of being an AP parent. They are not mutually exclusive.



Before I had my daughter, and even when she was very young, I had some of the stereotypical misconceptions about AP. I hadn't really looked into it, and just mothered my daughter the way my instincts led me to. It wasn't until later that I did some reading and realised what I was doing was AP.



There seems to be this checklist that hardcore AP parents follow - homebirthing, no vax, no circ, bedsharing, no CIO, breastfeeding, babywearing, baby-led weaning etc. But I don't think it's at all necessary to mark off every point on that checklist to be an AP mother. I don't (I had a hospital birth - although would love a homebirth - I do vaccinate and I did not do BLW). To me, identifying myself as AP (if we are working with labels) is much more about believing in the ideology... gentle, responsive parenting that is child-led, using positive discipline and age appropriate expectations.

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I certainly lean towards attachment parenting, but before I joined CoM I would have put money on he fact I was not an 'airy fairy' ap parent, I learnt pretty quickly that actually a lot of what I do is ap parenting. I'm sure there are many others like me. To me it is common sense parenting.

Elfrieda - posted on 07/28/2011

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Yes, I've learned that Attachment Parenting is not the bad thing I used to think it was. I thought it was all about not letting your kids grow up (by tending to every need without teaching independence) and throwing your marriage and life out so that you could focus all the attention on the kids, who end up being whiny and insecure when nobody is taking care of them. Turns out those are only the extreme, crazy ones! :)



I've seen lots of attachment parents now that I think are raising great kids, and of course lots of people on COM as well. If you go by some standards, I'm one myself.

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