The Principles of Attachment Parenting International


Known as AP, the International Association for Attachment Parenting educates parents and strengthens families through the development of empathic children. The goal of AP is to promote parenting practices that help create strong emotional bonds in children, which can last well into adulthood and be passed on to future generations. The following are some of the principles of AP, including how to use it with your own children. For more information, please visit the website for AP International.

Breastfeeding

When deciding how to breastfeed your baby, it’s important to follow the philosophy of attachment parenting. The first step is skin-to-skin contact, which promotes physical bonding between the mother and baby. Then, you and your partner can begin breastfeeding your baby. You should make breastfeeding frequent and comfortable, and follow an on-demand feeding schedule. Avoid using pacifiers as a soothing tool, and wear your baby often in a safe baby carrier.

Babywearing

Babywearing and attachment parenting are two different approaches to raising children. While co-sleeping encourages parents to sleep alongside their children, babywearing is also an alternative feeding method. Baby-wearing is an excellent way to bond with your child while still giving you time to accomplish other tasks. Additionally, baby-wearing is often more comfortable than using a regular crib, so you can continue to sleep or complete other tasks while holding your child.

Helicopter parenting

Helicopter parenting is one parenting style that is highly problematic for a child’s development. Despite its natural impulse, helicopter parenting is detrimental to a child’s development, especially when it discourages them from taking risks. However, this style is often the default setting for parents. A university professor and the founder of The Helpful Professor, Chris Drew, offers advice on how to raise a child without helicoptering over him or her.

Natural parenting

Many different types of parenting approaches exist. These include natural parenting, conscious parenting, gentle parenting, and intensive mothering. They all seek to strengthen the bond between the parent and child, the single most important factor in a child’s emotional health and well-being. However, the main goal of natural attachment parenting is to create a strong connection between parent and child. The methods promote skin-to-skin contact as a means of preventing abnormal stress responses and improving sleep patterns.

Insecure-avoidant attachments

Insecure-avoidant attachments are a common pattern in infants and young children, and they represent a significant portion of the general population. These children develop defensive attachment strategies as a way to cope with intense emotional states and pain. These babies exhibit one of three kinds of insecure-avoidant attachments: avoidant, insecure-avoidant, or both. These patterns are extremely common among babies, and are responsible for up to 30% of the population.

Self-care

The idea of “attachment parenting” grew out of the work of psychologist John Bowlby, who popularized the concept in the 1950s. Among its most important principles are breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and being emotionally responsive to your child. While the theory is a well-intentioned response to harsher parenting advice, it’s easy to see how it can lead to more extremes. For example, many attachment parenting experts advise mothers to wake up every hour to feed their babies. In this approach, you’re expected to make preemptive attempts to soothe the child, which almost always ends up failing.