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What is Attachment Parenting?

By Emma Davies


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Attachment parenting is a way of parenting that involves making that connection between you and your kid a lot stronger. This is mainly done through a lot of physical closeness and having constant attention on your child when they’re a baby to increase that bond as a family.

What is Attachment Parenting_

You may have heard the term attachment parenting or people claiming to be an attachment parent but you may actually have no idea what it means. Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here – to help you to explore the ins and outs of attachment style parenting as well as attachment parenting pros and cons. We’ve got you covered.

Examples of Attachment Parenting

It’s important to remember that every parent has a different way of parenting and so the attachment style parenting may not work entirely for you and that’s okay. We’ve put together a little list of examples of attachment theory parenting to help you get your head around it a little bit.

In fact, we’ll refer to these examples as the “Baby Bs” to help you remember them all and to make life a little easier.

  • Breastfeeding on demand – Breastfeeding is a very popular method of attached parenting and is very widely used to help increase that connection between mother and child, especially after birth so it really is something special. Your child will have the opportunity to be connected to you physically and have that physical connection. Another cool fact is the fact that breastfeeding is known to release hormones in the mother’s body that increases those motherly features – that’s pretty cool.
  • Bed sharing – This aspect of attachment parenting sleep is one that some find quite controversial and you should be extremely careful. It isn’t really recommended to sleep in the same bed as your baby as it could do more bad than good but sleeping in the same room for the first year certainly has its benefits and we’d recommend it to make your child feel safe from birth and to build those connections together.
  • Believe your baby’s tears – This is a very good example of parental attachment and it’s your kid showing you that they need something – they’re not just being a pain. If you decide to follow the attached parenting books and style then you’ll find that these parents are much closer to their kids and are much quicker to respond to their tears. Attachment parenting promotes autonomy and independence and by listening to your baby’s cry, you’re showing how much you care about them which is what every kid wants.
  • Boundaries – Boundaries are important with any relationship, especially with your children and this is an important part of attachment parenting too. This type of parenting is all about understanding your needs, the needs of your baby and the needs of your family and so boundaries are super duper important. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for help when you need it because there is no rulebook for parenting – it’s daunting for everyone.
  • Being sensitive – This includes things like responding to your child’s emotions when they need you. It could be something as small as spraying the monster they think is under the bed or helping them with nightmares or worries.

So those are our four Bs of attachment parenting and they may sound simple but they are quite daunting. But with a lot of patience and commitment, you can do it.

Signs of Attachment Parenting

Everyone knows that there are lots of different parenting styles and most of them are good options such as this style. There are some aspects of attachment parenting that some may find controversial but on the whole, it’s a great way of getting closer with your kid. So here’s a list of some signs of attached parenting:

  • Holding your baby close often
  • Using a carrier or sling of some sort
  • Skin to skin contact and touch
  • No strict feeding times
  • No pacifiers
  • Showing empathy
  • Allowing your kid to make their own decisions
  • Co-sleeping
  • Breastfeeding
  • Gentle discipline without any strict punishments

Effects of Attachment Theory Parenting

Before we take a look at the pros and cons of attachment parenting, there are a few effects that this parenting style will have on you as well as your child.

There’s no doubt that attachment parenting is hard and keeping physical closeness almost constantly with your child can be super tough but there are tons of benefits to it so you can do it – we believe in you.

  • Mutual giving – By being an attached parent, you and your kid may adopt mutual giving. This basically means that whatever you give to your child, they’ll give back – so the more you give, the more they’ll give. This could be something as simple as giving them a smile and them smiling back which is one of the best feelings as a parent!
  • Smarter children – Now there is some research that claims that attachment parenting will actually help your child’s abilities. Attachment parenting is good for the brain and whilst your child is being closely cared for, they have that time to grow and feel safe during their younger ages.
  • Better behavior – This is good news for everyone – teachers, parents and friends! Due to this way of parenting, your child may cry less due to the fact that they always feel safe so the risk of tantrums in public is automatically a bit lower which is great. Because your baby is always close to you, they won’t need to fuss as much and your ability to respond to their non verbal demands also makes it a lot easier.
  • Mutual shaping – Similar to mutual giving, attachment parenting will also lead to mutual shaping which means that you and your kid will help each other to grow and develop into better people together which is very nice to think about. You’ll start to notice this idea of mutual shaping through smiling and crying.

Attachment parenting pros and cons

Like any parenting technique, there are a few benefits of attachment parenting as well as cons. So what are they?

Let’s firstly look at the positive aspects of attachment parenting and what it can mean for you and your bundle of joy.


  • Close bond between you and your child
  • Helps you and your child to have a positive personality
  • Allows you as a parent to understand non verbal communication
  • Makes your child feel secure and safe
  • Allows you to develop a good family and life balance

Just like anything though, there are a few cons to attachment parenting that you or your child may not appreciate as much. Here are a few:


  • Bed sharing is quite an important aspect of attachment parenting as we’ve mentioned already but co-sleeping can increase the risk of suffocation so be careful
  • Physically and emotionally challenging for the main parent involved
  • On demand breastfeeding and always being close to your baby could affect sleep, work or intimacy
  • There are also many negative effects of not bonding with mother
  • Sheltered children

Can I Be An Attachment Parent?

Anyone can be an attachment parent and parental attachment is something anyone can adopt. Lots of people do have the question of “is the attachment theory valid” and the answer is yes. We’ve seen in this article how many benefits there are to being an attached parent, for you and your child.

So, if you’re thinking about taking on attachment style parenting – remember physical closeness is key and you’re doing an amazing job.

About Emma Davies

Emma Davies is a freelance writer that specializes parenting and animal topics. With over 20 years experience as a parent there are very few topics that faze her.

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