When you become a parent, your whole world changes, or should we say – your child becomes your whole world. You begin to understand what your parents meant when they told you that you were the most important person in their lives, because it is the same with you, now that you have children. It is only natural that you want a strong and healthy relationship with your child from the very beginning, and attachment parenting will help you do exactly that.
Breastfeeding on cue
Mother’s milk is truly remarkable: it protects the baby from illnesses for the first six months of their life, and even though it’s ‘just milk’ the baby gets all the nutrients it needs from it. It’s always just the right temperature, and the best thing: the more the baby suckles, the more milk mother produces. Breastfeeding on cue means that the mother pays attention to when the baby is hungry, and then feeds it. Some parents choose to have special times of the day or night for breastfeeding, but with attachment parenting it’s all about listening to your baby’s needs. This means more frequent meals and establishing a strong bond between the mother and the baby.
It is only in the last hundred years that parents began the practice of sleeping separately from the babies. It has always been the practice for the newborns and infants to sleep with their parents in the same bed or at least in the same room. Babies have needs during the day as well as during the night: they need feeding, changing, and seek contact with their parents. If you’re thinking about sharing the bed with your baby or co-sleeping, prepare in advance and this will save your money: find a nice, firm mattress on sale and buy a ‘sidecar’ (crib-like bed with three walls). Making these sleeping arrangements can cost you a lot, so thinking in advance would be beneficial for your budget. Of course, it will ensure that your baby sleeps better during the night.
Practice Positive Discipline
Should you punish your child for something they have done? Do they even understand that they did something wrong? There is an ongoing debate about whether you should physically punish your child for something, or send them to timeouts because these methods aren’t always effective. What is more, punishment seems to be harmful to children’s psychological and emotional development. Remember the old saying “practice what you preach” and always try to show by example what good behavior is. Play with your children, be kind to people around you, always throw your trash in the bin, and try to find creative solution for your problems. Avoid screaming and yelling in front of them, and remember that you are here to help your child find the right way, and finding it can sometimes be a real adventure.
Provide Nurturing Touch
You have probably seen parents who ‘wear’ their babies in a sling or a wrap everywhere: in the store, in the streets, and at home. This is known as the nurturing touch and it is proven to help babies calm down easier and generally be less fussy. The closeness of parent’s body, their smell, the sound of their voice, and their heartbeat help babies calm down and feel protected at all times. If, however, the baby doesn’t like being in a sling or a wrap, they might enjoy being held in arms and carried. A parent’s touch is incredibly important for children, be they newborns, infants, toddlers, or pre-schoolers. Massage your baby when it has cramps, hug and kiss them, snuggle them, and talk to them – it will make them healthier and happier.
Not everyone approves of attachment parenting, and that is okay; we are all different and consider different things to be the best. You don’t have to follow all the ideas the attachment parenting advocates, you can adopt only some or you can adopt them all – it’s up to you to decide what is best. We all want to be the best parents we possibly can, and as long as our children are safe, happy, and healthy, there is no reason to stick to one parenting style alone.