Attachment Parenting Proven to Be Best for Your Child


attachment parentingGive yourself a round of applause, attachment parenting mamas! The hard work you are doing is paying off. We have another study that says just how important bonding with your baby is -- oh, yeah, this one is pretty cool.

This study published in the Psychological Science studied subjects for two decades -- 20 years, folks -- to see how their attachment styles as infants affected their relationships later in life. Turns out, the stronger bond a person had with her mother as an infant, the better she was able to resolve conflicts in her relationships as a young adult.

That's big guns. That's huge. But I'm not surprised. 

Yes, there's a lot of definitions flying around of what attachment parenting is, the proper rules of attachment parenting, and so on. I really like what Michele, fellow blogger here at The Stir, wrote: "Many parents practice Attachment Parenting long before they find out that it's been given a name, if they ever do."

She's right. Think of it this way: the bonding you are doing with that baby, the breastfeeding, the babywearing -- that is all attachment parenting. Talking to her about random things throughout the day, responding to her cries quickly, keeping her close to you -- that's all under the attachment parenting umbrella, too.

I call it gettin' in the groove with your kiddo. Here is this little person who you will have a lifelong relationship with -- lifelong is, well, a long time. Relationships of any kind take work, they take time spent together, they take constant nurturing. I like to think that, at the heart of it, attachment parenting is about respect. With attachment parenting, you are treating your child with respect. By doing this, you establish the foundation of the strong relationship, you establish your bond with each other. That's what we want, right? A strong bond? You betcha.

Of course, attachment parenting goes beyond the first year of your kiddo's life -- it's how you interact with your child as she grows. Again, it's respecting her, paying attention to her cues, and providing her with choices rather than rules so she becomes independent and confident in her ability to travel through this world.

So, the results of this study make total sense to me. With attachment parenting, we're teaching our kids how to have good, trusting, stable relationships. Doesn't surprise me that then those babies with strong bonds grow up and handle relationship conflicts, the bumps in the road, in a healthier way than those that didn't have that example.

Nope, this study doesn't surprise me. It energizes me. It give me that little pat on the back that what I'm doing with my kiddo -- which isn't always the easiest or most popular (I'm talking to you, Tiger Mom) -- is all worth it. Let's all feel good about it.

How do you feel about attachment parenting?


Image via LisaW123/Flickr

baby development, babywearing, bonding, breastfeeding, childcare


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RanaA... RanaAurora

 Relationships of any kind take work, they take time spent together, they take constant nurturing. I like to think that, at the heart of it, attachment parenting is about respect. With attachment parenting, you are treating your child with respect.


You got it. It's about respecting that your child has emotional needs as well as physical. :) And about respecting their bodies and future lives enough to do the best for them you possibly can.


I think it is great and something every parent can take lessons from, even if they don't go "all in".

Freela Freela

I did 'attachment parenting' before I realized it had a name and a book series... I did it because it felt natural and it worked with my high needs oldest child (turns out he has some sensory processing issues, which probably explains why he was so difficult to soothe and regulate as an infant.)  Because it worked, and because I enjoyed the experience, we did the same with our next two babies.  The kids are now 8, 6, and 4 so our parenting has by nature evolved, but I still think we keep that 'emotional iq' componant going, and as all three are great kids I think it's going well!

Ursul... Ursula187

I wasn't able to read the entire study (just the abstract), but I think it is worth mentioning that the study included but was not primarily focused on parenting styles.  Instead, the study concluded FIRST that the partners in the study were likely to mirror each other in conflict.  Furthermore, the partner who was willing to "cool down" quickly tended to be a partner who had formed a strong attachment to his or her mother in the first 18 months of life.  From what I can tell, the study does not recommend a particular parenting style.  Instead, the study makes the claim (surprise, surprise) that the relationship that an infant forms with his or her  mother (I would be interested in relationships with fathers as well) affect the way that the grown-up child relates to other adults.  

I write this not to poo-poo AP.  I practice many of the basic tenets of AP myself - breast feeding, co-sleeping (at least to a point), baby-wearing.  But I also think that it is important to realize that AP is not the only legitimate parenting style.  The important thing is to bond with your child, let him/her know that he/she is loved and cared for, and to help him/her feel secure in the family.  This means making parenting choices that work for the entire family (and, not insignificantly, the COUPLE).  That seems to be the result of the study more than advocating any one particular parenting style.  


nonmember avatar Ules

You said it Ursula187!

Bonding with your child is not just an AP thing! Good Lord! Neither is breastfeeding, carrying your child in a sling, sharing your bed with the kids or having a deep, close connection with them. Why, why, why must we label?

Fallaya Fallaya

I am very bonded with my daughter, and I practiced a few facets of the so-called "AP" theory.  I never labled it as "AP'.  I thought that was just what normal parents did.  I do not consider myself an "AP" mom...I have disdain for labels.

Kellie Chanoff

Right on Ursula whilst i breast feed n co sleep as far as in the same room. there are many styles of parenting and we shouldn't label we should congratulate and help each other out.  i have close bond with both my boys but the bonds is so very different between them and when it comes to parenting you need to go by how your child responds to it my eldest thrives on rules n routine he has freedom to make choices on whether he follows the rules or not and rally in life there are 2nd well its to hard to tell yet as he is too little i demand feed with him he goes where ever i go no matter what

tyrel... tyrelsmom

I despise the "trend". A bunch of new rules (that although good, may not work for every family), that moms kill themselves trying to accomplish, instead of figuring out what works for them and their babies. More reasons for moms to bash on each other instead of helping each other.

The general basic idea is spot on, and the b's are great. The "religion" it has become - not so great.

Sarah Dailey

We decided to be "attachment parents" before we even knew that it was a subculture. It seemed right. Turns out it was.

MissMeg MissMeg

I think as long as you respond to what your kid- not just baby- needs, you'll develop a strong relationship. Who cares what you're doing, if it works, it works! IMHO, do whatever comes naturally to you. You will see what you're doing "wrong" or "right" because it will negatively or positively affect your little person. I carry my kid everywhere in a sling and breastfeed because I don't have to buy bottles or a stroller! Whoot! lol

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