In recent times, popular pediatrician, William Sears, became renowned for her recommendation of a particular type of parenting technique, one she called “attachment parenting or instinctive parenting.” But long before her recommendation, this idea of natural parenting was already a part of some indigenous cultures, that is, some cultures were already raising their kids this way. But what exactly does the whole idea of attachment parenting imply? What does it mean when it comes to caring for a baby? In the simplest of terms, attachment parenting implies staying as close as possible to your baby. Carrying, cuddling, feeding, wearing, and pampering are some of the techniques involved in attachment parenting. For starters, there is a lot more to raising a baby than just feeding, buying the best baby carrier, and changing a diaper. Babies generally need an attachment to develop into normal healthy children — little wonder why the kids raised in orphanages suffer some terrible psychological conditions. Furthermore, most moms would agree that bonding with a baby – via attachment parenting – is significantly important during the process of raising a child.
A Guide to attachment parenting and babies
How does it work?
This type of parenting works on the basis that babies need constant physical contact and a show of affection; preferably skin to skin while they are still very young. According to studies, babies who have been raised through this method are always happier and calmer, and when they grow older, they tend to show greater signs of sensitivity and empathy.
When you consider the fact that your little baby has been tucked away in your tummy for nine months, listening to your tummy, rumbling, heartbeats, and Dad’s voice from the outside, etc. Then out she pops – which in itself is a great lifestyle change – and is suddenly expected to be perfectly happy on their own with just feeding and a few hours of cuddling. Think about it; if it were you, wouldn’t you miss the safety and comfort?
Skin to skin contact
The whole idea behind attachment parenting is for the mother to try and recreate the sort of conditioning and environment the child had in the womb. In fact, in some countries, like Australia, they are now adopting a method known as kangaroo care for their premature babies, wherein the parent tucks the baby up under their shirt and directly on their skin. They believe that this will create the sort of contact the baby would have otherwise enjoyed in the womb instead of isolating him or her in a humi-crib. An effective way to ensure that there is an optimum closeness between you and your baby is to use a baby sling or carrier. While this will obviously not create the skin to skin contact you desire, it will, however, do much more than leaving your baby in a cot or baby bouncer.
Trust your instincts
Many parents are in the habit of doing it wrong when it comes to raising their kids. While you are bound to find some well-meaning advice and suggestions on the internet, there is no ultimate guide to how you should care for your child. In the case of attachment parenting, it is better for you to trust your instincts and follow your guts. The whole idea is to try and keep your baby close to you at all times, and how you go about it is totally up to you. While some parents might choose to keep their babies on their chest, you may opt to back your baby as much as you see fit.
The first five years
The most important period of attachment parenting is the first five years after birth. And quite ironically, this is the period where many parents fail. During this period of parenting, you are expected to put your baby first, rather than expecting him or her just to fit in. This is the period when you can carry the baby as much as you want, connect and bond with him or her, and above all, instill a sense of attachment in them. At this stage, the baby knows little and only responds to the conditions of their environment. By and large, the younger the baby, the more close contact they need.
How to make attachment parenting work
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to attachment parenting, and if you want it to work for your family, then, you have to find your own ways. For instance, if you are a working mom, you may want to create a “me-time” to dedicate to your baby. If you don’t really have the time, you may have to hire a nanny, who will help you maximize close contact with your little one.
Conclusively, attachment parenting implies maintaining close contact with your baby as much as possible.
This content is sponsored by Uday Tank.