During our Natural Baby Care Class one of the big topics that came up was Attachment Parenting. Attachment Parenting is based on forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. We discussed Attachment Parenting International‘s (API) Eight Principles of Parenting*:
- Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
- Examples: Work through negative emotions surrounding pregnancy. Explore different types of healthcare providers and birthing options. Educated yourself about developmental stages of baby.
- Feed With Love and Respect
- Examples: Breastfeeding and attachment. “Bottle Nursing”. Nurturing through feeding. Introducing solids. Nurturing a taste for nutritional foods. Gentle weaning.
- Respond With Sensitivity
- Examples: Needs and the benefits of responding with sensitivity. Responding to tantrums and strong emotions. Responding to the old child.
- Using Nurturing Touch
- Examples: Needs and the benefits of nurturing touch. How to provide nurturing touch. Nurturing touch and the older children.
- Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
- Examples: The case against solitary sleep. What is Co-Sleeping (co-sleeping versus bed sharing). Nighttime routines.
- Providing Consistent and Loving Care
- Examples: Create schedules with baby in mind. Practical tips for short separations. Working and alternate caregivers.
- Practice Positive Discipline
- Examples: The dangers of traditional discipline. A gentler approach to discipline. Tools for positive discipline.
- Strive For Balance in Your Personal and Family Life
- Examples: Balance is the foundation upon which attachment grows. Practical tips for maintaining balance. Tips for supporting new mothers. Tips for balance and the older child. Tips for dealing with parent “burn-out”
*Information provided from Mother Rising Childbirth Services
The most important thing to remember about attachment parenting is that you don’t have to do it all or go to the extreme. Finding what works best for you is most important. We have done our best to prepare for pregnancy, I am planning to breastfeed, we will be co-sleeping for the first few months (not bed-sharing but rather sleeping in the same room) and are planning to keep all of these principles in mind as we begin our lives as a family of three.
Do you practice attachment parenting?