I promised you all a "Please Research" post on Attachment Parenting. So, you're gonna get a "Please Research" post on Attachment Parenting.
I really feel like I need to issue a warning to my readers, though. My "Please Research" posts are almost all about pretty controversial stuff (i.e., co-sleeping vs CIO, circumcision, vaccinations). I once had a professor who would tell the class that every religion believes that they are the true religion, and that they should believe that. If they didn't, they shouldn't be in that religion, but in one that they do believe is correct. I feel the same way about parenting. I believe that the way I parent is the right way. That's why I parent that way. Any type of parenting that is different (specifically those that are drastically different), I DO NOT agree with. I do, however, respect the rights of parents everywhere to choose how they will parent their children. But, I cannot respect a parent who makes choices without researching the options. If the options were researched, and a parent still chooses differently from what I would, I will still respect them. I won't agree with them; but it's their choice, not mine. I would hope that other parents feel the same way, and respect others' parenting practices, regardless of whether or not they agree with them.
*Phew*! Now we have that out of the way. The reason I brought that up is because I know some of the things I say may potentially offend others. I don't want to offend others. I DO want people to be informed. I can't do all the research for you, and nobody should do the research for you (not even a doctor....well, you can rely on other to do the initial research, which most of us don't have the resources to complete.) All I can do is tell you how I feel, and possibly introduce topics of research that you may not have considered before.
Attachment parenting (AP) is a style of parenting that encompasses nearly all in which I firmly believe. There are always ways to manipulate the style to suit your own personal tastes, which I have done. But, there is a basic core to AP. I have mentioned the Drs. Sears before, and this post would be seriously missing something if I didn't mention them here! Dr. William Sears is the modern go-to doc for AP. I say modern, because people have been practicing AP since the beginning of man. Doc Sears is just the most recent guy to be an AP advocate. His website, askdrsears.com is a great resource for a lot of parenting issues.
More specifically, Dr. Sears addresses AP and has come up with The 7 Baby B's of AP. These are just 7 different things that parents can do to practice AP. Please refer to the linked article for the whole explanation of each item.
1. Birth Bonding: get to know your babe right after birth. A natural birth is most conducive to bonding, for both mother and baby.
2. Breastfeeding: know when baby is hungry, and respond with close contact and intimate time.
3. Babywearing: keep your baby close, he is used to you, and wants to be with you.
4. Bedding close to baby: continue keeping your baby close, respond quickly to baby's needs.
5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry: your baby can only communicate by crying. Listen to him!
6. Beware of baby trainers: babies aren't used to schedules. They may not sleep through the night. They may be hungry, even if you just finished a feeding a short time ago. Babies don't understand schedules, and they shouldn't have to.
7. Balance: baby needs attention, dad needs attention, and mom needs to give herself some, too!
I think that AP is the most natural parenting style. It should come naturally. It is based on the idea that parents will listen to their children, determine their needs, and act upon them. I think it is the way we were intended to parent.