You Might Be an Attachment Parent If ...

mom wearing babyWe need to set the record straight on Attachment Parenting because too many are thinking it's an oppressive, hovering form of taking care of your kids. It's not. It's actually nothing new -- it's not some trend -- and Dr. Bill Sears didn't invent the concept. And contrary to how most media outlets are portraying it, it doesn't mean you are physically attached to your baby all the time. Dr. Sears isn't some freak pushing some extreme parenting agenda that demands you breastfeed your baby until he's 16. He just wrote about a natural way to parent -- a way many have been doing it for thousands of years -- and he just put it in books because, you know, people like to read books and open their minds to different ways people do things.

There is actually a good chance that even if you never heard of Dr. Sears or Attachment Parenting before this whole Time magazine cover story came out, you may have even practised it yourself.

It's all about letting your baby feel secure, that mama or daddy is there for them, and that their feelings are valid. And when you are dealing with an infant, you can't just buy some card with a heart on the front and write "I love you and I'm here for you" in it and expect her to understand. She's a baby! So what do you do? You show her. Or him. You show your kids you love them by actions

The values are interpreted in many ways to fit each family but at its core, it is respect and love. So take a look at this checklist.

More from The Stir: 8 Babywearing Benefits for Everyone (Even Baby!)

You might be an Attachment Parent if ...

  1. You babywear about town, but you have a stroller on those bad back or my baby doesn't match my outfit days and use that, too. (Kidding. Babies match everything, but you do love your stroller sometimes.)
  2. You think putting on Dora and plopping your kid in the pack and play so you could go in the other room and play video games for seven hours is a really bad idea.
  3. You scoff at relatives who have said to spank your child so they learn.
  4. You don't just leave baby in her crib with a box of tissues so she can cry her face off into them.
  5. You still have sex with your husband, you just do it in the living room as not to wake the baby in the bedroom.
  6. You actually change your baby's diaper when it has poop in it.
  7. Sometimes you even get excited when baby poops.
  8. After birth, you spent as much time as possible with your baby oohhing and ahhing at her every move and you didn't once think you'd rather be on a beach in Jamaica. 
  9. You feed your baby with love. Maybe you breastfeed, but if you can't, you lovingly give her the bottle while snuggling skin to skin.
  10. You know kid isn't exactly like Jane's kid down the block so you don't just do what she's doing because she's doing it.
  11. You are NOT a helicopter parent. You don't hover.
  12. You smile a lot when thinking of your kid.
  13. You don't feel like you are parenting in a way that is forced or unnatural. 
  14. No one in the house sings (or screams or babbles) Aretha Franklin's "Respect" because everyone gets some.

Now some of these things might not work for your family. Maybe co-sleeping isn't an option for whatever reason ... that doesn't mean you don't love your kids. Or as Time mag would say you aren't "mom enough". That headline was to sell magazines, you know that, right? Because anyone who does what's right for their family with everyone's best interests in mind is mom enough. Everyone practises some form of AP parenting.

We are all different. We do what's right for us. Allow those who want to be attachment parents do so without grief or being called freaks. AP parents will do the same. All we're asking for is a little respect ... for all.

Did this clear up some myths you heard about Attachment Parenting? Do you follow some AP ways?

 

Image via © iStock.com/HaniHarman

babywearing, bonding, breastfeeding, natural parenting

61 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Gal Ropas

This is a really smart alec, rude, and condescending way to get your point across. You are just as bad as the ones who rip AP. The point is, even if you don't practice attachment parenting, it does not mean that you neglect your child. Ugh.. this just makes me sad.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

When I started out on this adventure called motherhood, I only did what felt right and was in the best interest for me and my daughter. She slept with me, it was easier for both of us! She nursed, because babies are supposed to. I didn't let her cry for extended periods of time but I let her explore her world. I let her be her own person, but kept her feeling safe and loved. Now, 8 years and three babies in I find I have a "style" of parenting... I just followed my heart and child. :-)

Stacey. Stacey.

1. This article is ridiculous and adds to the bad press AP parents get. Are you really suggesting only an AP parent will change a dirty diaper or smile when thinking about their baby?


2. how come EVERYTIME you reference breastfeeding, you say ". Maybe you breastfeed, but if you can't, you lovingly give her the bottle while snuggling skin to skin." NEWSFLASH: you can be an AP parent and CHOOSE to formula feed, not just do it because you "cant" breastfeed,


3. You wrote: After birth, you spent as much time as possible with your baby oohhing and ahhing at her every move and you didn't once think you'd rather be on a beach in Jamaica. 


Being an AP parent does NOT mean you have no life other than your child, and its wrong to suggest to a new mom she doesnt love her baby enough if she still dreams about taking a vacation.


I truly hope you do not believe AP has anything to do with the malarkey you wrote.

Kara Venables Dudley

Yup, I'm an AP mom, too. So was my mom, but back then they just didn't have a name for it. :)

nonmember avatar Shelly

*Rolls eyes*

nonmember avatar Sarah

I dont consider myself ap, I just try to respect my kids and do whats best for them. And what feels right.

Gloria Thai

You might like the article in this magazine on Attachment Parenting--page 28.
http://www.hidili.com/harringtonPublishing/hawaiiParent/

nonmember avatar ugh

Co-sleeping is creepy.

Cafe... Cafe MicheleZ

Some of you are missing the point. It's meant as a response to the divisive Time mag piece and bring moms together. My point is we ALL follow some parts of Attachment Parenting and it's not some weirdo way of parenting that the media is making it out to be. And that AP is just a natural way that we ALL parent in many aspects.

Christie Haskell

Love it. :)
It's not saying "Only AP parents do this", it's saying, "There's a little of this thing called 'AP' in everyone." 

1-10 of 61 comments 12345 Last