Southern California Integrative Wellness Center
Every January 1st, we all look for ways to better ourselves, and one way many moms and dads look to improve their child-rearing skills is through the philosophy of Attachment Parenting.
One of the core ideas behind this practice is that parents who touch and interact with their infant frequently are more attuned to their baby’s signals and needs. They should use their own natural instincts and common sense to guide them. In other words, there are no absolute, set-in-stone rules to attachment parenting. However, there are some helpful guidelines, broken down into the “7 Baby Bs”.
Here, we look at the “7 Baby Bs” and how to incorporate them into your everyday life so you can enjoy the closest possible bond with your child. Here’s to a happy and nurturing 2021!
- Pain medications also affect your unborn child, potentially interfering with the bonding process. If you are expecting, discuss with your caregiver alternative non-drug ways of relieving pain during delivery.
- After giving birth, spend as much time as possible giving your child direct skin-to-skin contact.
- Breastfeed on-demand, rather than at set intervals.
- Enhance the connection by looking into your baby’s eyes, talking, singing, and smiling while breastfeeding.
- Consider breastfeeding for a longer period of time. Some experts recommend nursing your child up to 1 to 4 years of age.
- Invest in a good-quality sling or other carrying device.
- Wear your baby during all your activities.
- If you must work outside of the home, wear your baby for 4 to 5 hours when you return home.
- Get Dad in on the action — promote father-child bonding by letting Dad wear the sling too.
Bedding Close to Baby
- With proper safeguards and considerations, co-sleeping with your infant is no more dangerous than sleeping apart.
- If you are still concerned, you can still stay close to your baby with a bedside cradle.
Belief in the Language of Your Baby’s Cry
- Remember that babies cry to express themselves – it is not always a sign of distress.
- Practice “reading” your baby’s cries to learn their signals.
- Prevent crying by breast-feeding, wearing your baby, and co-sleeping as much as possible.
- Anticipate your baby’s needs by watching for early warning signs.
Beware of Baby Trainers
- Try not to listen to anyone who suggests that your baby should be “trained” to expect specific mealtimes or who insist that your infant should sleep through the night on their own. Advocates of attachment parenting view baby training as being strictly for the convenience of the parents, rather than for the needs of the child.
- In fact, when moms and babies co-sleep, they tend to synchronize their sleep-wake-rhythms.
- Feeding a young baby on-demand quickly teaches parents how to anticipate and interpret their child’s moods, signals, and needs.
- Set priorities — Attachment parenting is not easy, so you may need to rearrange your schedule, streamline your routine, or change the division of responsibilities.
- Moms: Let dads help — changings, running errands, performing household chores, etc., so you can focus on your baby.
- Dads: Create a loving, supportive atmosphere by assisting Mom in whatever she needs. Touch, wear, and interact with your baby as much as you can.
- Give yourselves a break — realize that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. When you focus on learning, anticipating, and meeting the needs of your baby, you will also learn to trust your best judgement.
If you are committed to attachment parenting in 2021, you are to be congratulated. It will be challenging at times, but in the end, it will be immeasurably rewarding for both you and your baby.