Attachment Parenting

How do you define attachment parenting?

My sister and I are both AP with our kids but I wouldn't say I follow a parenting method. I read half a Dr. Sears book once. Mostly, I just do what comes naturally which I suspect a lot of AP mamas do.

The other day, my mother (who was an AP parent herself before such a term even existed) asked what AP was. I was at a loss to effectively explain because its not like I actually follow a "method."

So how do you describe it when people ask?

Re: How do you define attachment parenting?

  • First-time posting on this board so hi! I think I know what you mean- I really dont feel AP because I dont baby-wear and wasnt able to breastfeed (and therefore feel uncomfortable co-sleeping) and those seem like the obvious aspects to AP. So I feel weird saying I AP.

    But at the same time, I make a conscious effort to respond before he cries, hold to the firm belief that my baby's job is to grow and be happy, not make my life easier, and hold him as much as humanly possible. I actually prefer just holding him. I swear people stare when I hold him in public like hes supposed to be in something.

    I say "I dont hold tightly to any one style, but what comes naturally to us looks alot like AP." or something to that effect.

  • For me, AP is about 2 way respect. I respect my child's needs in anticipation/to model her to respond to my needs in the future. My other easy definition (again, for me) is the phrase "No, because..." vs the traditional parenting "No".
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    Why is this defined as AP. Shouldn't this be parenting in General??

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  • Well, I think it should be parenting in general.

    But it's not. The other 8 points are the longer, elaborate, official definition of AP which you are free to read if you actually care.

  • I think of it as intuitive parenting. But, AP is filled with things that a lot of parents do and have been doing for a long time. Now, they just have a label.
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  • I don't really have a definition per say for AP and I don't like to say I am a strong AP because I'm not very serious about it, But I baby wear occasionally (I would like to do so more and start earlier with future LOs), I breastfeed and will until she naturally weans may that be at a year, 2 or 3. We co-slept for a while when she was younger. Generally if a parent seriously incorporates baby wearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping I would consider they're parenting style leaning towards AP. I think it's a hard thing to define.
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  • I definitely think that AP is about following your heart and how we as humans are naturally geared to parent.  I prefer to think of it more as "natural" parenting.  It's natural to be near your babies a lot.  It's natural to bf (barring any medical issues).  It's natural to respond to crying QUICKLY.  It's natural to sleep near your baby.  ETC.  I stumbled upon a few weeks into parenting and I was delighted to find someone who put all my feelings into words and had research to back up my gut feelings.  Attachment parenting is the opposite of "traditional" parenting...which I think is a joke of a name.
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  • I actually don't really ID with Attachment Parenting because those I see doing it, or calling themselves AP, are much more lax on discipline than I would ever feel is appropriate for my family. But those may just be my friends' personalities, rather than AP on the whole. That said, I lurk on this board often because I find that I have a lot in common with people here in the realms of: 

    - Tending to my child's needs (rather than waiting X minutes before responding)

    - Following my instincts as a mother

    - Breastfeeding until my child naturally self-weans; using BLW to introduce solids

    - Sleeping arrangements based on what gives the whole family the most sleep. For us, this meant co-sleeping in the beginning and gently transitioning to the crib at around 6 months, but still night nursing.

    - Including our daughter in all parts of our life; whatever activity we have, we aim to include her and encourage her participation

    - Gentle approaches to transitions and we talk her through everything 

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  • As a soon to be first time mom, all these things among other answers to this post seem like everyday practices. I figure that parenting may be like pregnancy and birth, meaning different for everyone. When I first opened this post I was expecting something extreme but I really don't see what the big deal is to actually give it a label.
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  • I don't like labels. In fact, I hate them. When I had my DD 3.5 years ago, there was no such term as Baby Led Weaning (BLW), or at least, no one used it. It was called "getting your baby to eat FOOD". Now there are so many terms and labels so that people can feel like what they are doing is a part of a bigger community of like-minded people. That is just one example of a strange term I see on these boards.

    I guess to me the definitions of attachment parenting I have seen on strike me as just describing PARENTING. I don't get the attachment parenting term at all. I breastfed my babies. I carried them in wraps. I respect them and care for them with sensitivity. I would never label this as attachment parenting. To me it's just so weird to put a name to it!

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