I was an attachment parent. I wasn’t always very popular among others for it either, among mothers and others in general. I remember hearing many not so favorable comments like, “let that baby cry”, or “why don’t you ever put that baby down”? But I forged on as an attachment parent nonetheless, because that’s what felt absolutely right to me. In hind sight, I’m not at all sorry for using this method of parenting over the years, even at the dismay of others. Is attachment parenting good for your family? Below, there are questions I asked myself in those early years as a parent trying to decide on the answer to this question, which you may find helpful for your own family.
Cry it Out? Yeah Right!
If you and your spouse or partner are taken back by anyone who suggests that you let your baby cry it out, you’re probably in attachment parent mode. For me, it seemed like a no-brainer to comfort my baby when they cried with either a device to wear them with as I went through the day doing things, or to co-sleep with them during the night to keep them comforted. Sometimes as newborns, I would lie on my back and have them laying on my chest through the night to comfort them. My heartbeat was a surefire comforter if they were distressed. As an attachment parent, I believe that babies develop self soothing methods later in life, and by ignoring their cry as babies, you are breaking down their trust and security sense. You’ll probably feel similar if attachment parenting is for you.
Wearing Your Baby all Day?
Does holding your baby throughout the day feel right? Don’t ignore that, just because our “run out and get money” society says you should. If you feel a sense of “right” and well-being for both you and your baby by wearing it, then by all means…do it! You get one chance to parent this baby, don’t squander the time away trying to please other people, who are maybe envious that they feel they can’t do this type of thing, or just simply don’t understand it at all. You’re the mom…do what your instinct tells you to.
Do You Have Support?
As a “hands on” attachment parent, you’ll need a break at times from others who are “hands on” as well. If you feel you have a support system to provide that for you at times, then you’re good to go, even if you don’t have family. I’ve gone to members of my church and other attachment parents for the support as well. For example, when another attachment parent I knew needed help with her baby because she couldn’t nurse, I stepped in to nurse for her. It was truly a rewarding experience for me, but probably wouldn’t be seen that way by society at large.
Use Your Own Judgement
Attachment parenting isn’t for everyone. If you find that using this parenting method tends to stress you out, makes you feel depressed, or doesn’t feel right for one reason or another, pay attention to that. Your baby doesn’t need a stressed out depressed mom, and if other methods of parenting seem to fit better in your family and you can provide those in a less stressful way, then by all means use those techniques to parent.