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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cemcnair cemcnair

I didn't know it was called attachment parenting either. I just did what felt right, what it felt like my child needed. I'm glad that it is being researched because I frequently get critism from others for "spoiling" my baby. I just like to be near him and he seems to like to be near me!

nonmember avatar Jana

We need a shift in American thinking to enable parents to be with their children and not fear ramifications to their livliehoods. The benefits of AP to our society will stem from addressing and conquering the larger issue of creating a society that values the roll of the parent and health of the family above all else. I worked full time when my first child was born and quit working shortly after my 2nd child was born. My first child spent most of his days with his grandparents. Resources on how to juggle it all are vast and varied making it hard to know who to listen to especially if you're a first time parent with a limited support system. Also, many women (and men) are 'afraid' of the transition into parenthood, from initially giving birth to the responsibility of working/not working, single parenthood, battling depression, etc. Men have it tough, too, fighting the stigma of the stay at home dad and having few dad-centered parenting resources period.

nonmember avatar Brenda D

Attachment parenting isn't a "trend". I hate it when people do that, claiming it is a "trend" and one way to parent. AP is the way mothers have parented since the beginning of human kind, it is only in the last few hundred years people decided to treat children like inconveinences rather than joys. And if you think there are "rules" to AP, you don't understand it. There are no rules. You do what works for your family and respond to the needs of your child. Every child is different, so no mom needs to kill herself to do doing anything except what she can.

nonmember avatar Anon

OK . . . so bonding is good for babies. Really? Why do they do these studies? Who paid for this? Is anyone of child-bearing age too stupid to know this already? ... As for what some call attachment parenting - I have nothing against that if it works for you, but not one of those "I get AP points" behaviors is necessary to having a well-bonded child. Just ask the adoption community.

nonmember avatar guen

"Attachment parenting" isn't a trend or even really a "style" of parenting so much as it is "default parenting". That is to say, it is what a mother would most likely, most naturally, do, if she found herself caring for her baby in a situation where there was no one (books or people) around to tell her how to do it. She'd nurse her baby when it cried, hold it, carry it and comfort it and she'd sleep with it close to her. That's because these mother and baby behaviours are programmed into the the mother-baby pair already (ie. baby cries, mother experiences an irresistible urge to comfort it, mother feels anxious if separated from baby, etc.). All the different parenting styles, trends and even techniques we have today are the result of people over-thinking the whole process, trying to improve it or control the outcome or steer it in a certain direction. I understand the disdain for labels, but "attachment parenting" is really nothing more than a phrase to describe default parenting--our natural inclinations in the absence of others telling us how "better" to do it. Only, "attachment parenting" is a much quicker, easier way of saying it, LOL.

As to the research, I can't help but appreciate the irony. Basically, we now have studies that are telling us that the way our ancestors raised their babies since the beginning of time actually is good for babies. And we call this progress. I think our ancestors would probably roll their eyes and sigh, if they knew this!

kiri8 kiri8

I like what Ursula said.  I think this article is misleading, because Attachment Parenting is a parenting style.  Being loving, affectionate, and bonded with your baby is just the right thing to do.

I was very closely bonded to my babies.  They are 10 and 13 year old boys now, but are confident, secure, smart, well-adjusted kids who are still very affectionate with me.

I was NOT, however, an AP mom.  I rejected entirely the sanctimoniousness of the movement, the nastiness of some AP moms online, and the message that their way was the only way.  I couldn't breastfeed, I did not sleep with my babies in my bed, and I alternated babywearing with baby-holding, baby playing on the floor, or baby in the stroller.  I, and many other moms like me, were great mothers to our babies.  We did what the study said is right.  But we were not AP moms.

Blue_... Blue_Spiral

I'm sorry, but if you don't breastfeed, co-sleep or stay close to your baby, you are NOT bonding fully.

Those are things that are proven to make a child healthier, and it has nothing to do with labels.

Attachment parenting is such a phrase used to describe healthy parenting.

Anast... Anastazia975

People should just parent as they see fit. End of story, spend that research money on more important things. Like a cure for AIDS, or cancer, or CF.

nonmember avatar Kate

The study doesn't say attachment parenting is better at all.

It says children who were securely attached as infants had more stable relationships as adults.

Most children are securely attached. Most children were securely attached back in the 50s and 60s when when people first started researching attachment, long before attachment parenting became a trend. In fact, the started enrolling kids in this study in 1976.

There isn't anything wrong with attachment parenting, but this study isn't proof that it is better. Children who feel that their parents are responsive to their needs are securely attached. That is going to include some co-sleeping, breast feed until 24 months kids and it is going to include some bottle feed, crib sleeping kids.

iLuVk... iLuVkAidEn

I bottle fed, didn't co sleep, and didn't baby wear.  I must be a shitty mom even though my kids are the center of my world.  :)  who cares if a child is raised in a very loving home, right?  it must not count for anything. 

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