Self-Sufficiency Series

Monday, May 14, 2012

Attachment parenting

Doubtless most of you have seen or at least heard about the controversial Time Magazine cover featuring a mother breastfeeding her almost four-year-old son. Many people reacted with disgust to the photo for two primary reasons: (a) the defiant attitude of the mom and the peculiarly “unbonding” attitude of the boy; and (b) the concept of breastfeeding children who are older.


Critics of the cover say that the in-your-faceness of the photo will set back the advances of breastfeeding by years. I don’t know any woman who wants to stand in the shoes of the mother in that cover.

The focus of the articles in this particular issue of Time has to do with pediatrician Dr. William Sears and his Attachment Parenting method of raising babies. In a nutshell, Dr. Sears and his wife Martha (a nurse) promote baby wearing (using a sling), breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and other elements of bonding. They are the parents of eight children (adopted and natural), including one with Down syndrome. Believe me, if anyone understands the broad range of childhood situations, it’s these people.

Dr. and Mrs. Sears give what they call the “Seven B’s” of Attachment Parenting as follows:

• Birth-bonding
• Breastfeeding
• Bedding down close to baby
• Babywearing
• Belief in the value of your baby’s cries
• Beware of baby trainers
• Balance in parenting


When my girls were babies, Dr. Sears’ book (appropriately called The Baby Book) was my baby bible. We adopted many of his recommendations. I am a huge fan of Dr. Sears’ methods.


When our girls were babies, we lived in a tiny house and we had no room for playpens changing tables, wind-up swings, etc. Heck, we barely had room for a crib (it was in the living room for Older Daughter’s first year). Therefore it was a natural thing to sleep with the girls when they were babies. A secondary advantage is I never had to get up in the middle of the night to feed. All I had to do when a baby cried, as I so vulgarly explained to concerned friends, was roll over, stick it in her mouth, and go back to sleep. Don made a safety side-panel for the side of our bed and the baby slept on my side (rather than between us). That way I could be alert to any noise, hunger, or wet diaper issues with them. And let me tell you, there is nothing more heart-melting than to lie in bed and gaze at your sleeping baby. It’s a bonding experience like few other things. We transitioned each girl into her own bed by the age of two.

I breastfed both girls until they were about two as well. It seemed like a good and natural balance for me and the girls – long enough for nutrition and bonding and closeness, short enough that toward the end it was nothing more than momentary comfort as they became independent toddlers.

Younger Daughter nursing, about one year

Dr. Sears strong advocates the use of a sling for babies, so the child can be on the mother’s body much of the day. Oh my goodness, I agree!! There are few baby products in the world more simplifying for a mother than a sling. I used slings with the girls constantly. There is no finer way to go through one’s day. The baby is content because he’s right where he ought to be (with mama), plus he gets to see and be involved in everything his mother is doing – washing dishes, talking on the phone, feeding the chickens, grocery shopping, etc. And the mother can go about her day unconcerned that baby is bored or getting into something he shouldn’t. When a baby falls asleep in the sling, the mother can either continue to carry him, or she can lay him gently in his crib and let him continue his nap.

Older Daughter, about ten months

My theory about many of the problems today – which is why I remain a huge fan of Attachment Parenting – is that our culture does everything it can to physically separate a mother and her baby. Strollers, cribs, playpens, even daycare… everything, it seems, is designed to keep a baby physically separated from his mother. Somehow baby-closeness is considered unnatural or even – yikes – unneeded.

Yet worldwide, that’s abnormal. In more (cough) “primitive” cultures, a baby was expected to be skin-to-skin (or at least cloth-to-cloth) with his mother for many months after birth. This isn’t to say babies were never allowed to be placed on the ground so they could learn to crawl, but rather that when not learning to move independently, a baby was happiest on his mother.

Now an interesting thing has come out of Dr. Sears’ theory: it seems babies raised with the Attachment Parenting method turn out to be better adjusted and more secure than babies raised with a hands-off philosophy. One of the things Dr. Sears said that always stayed with me was this: Needs that are not met as babies come back to haunt people as adults. (That’s not a direct quote, but that’s the gist.) It makes sense to me. If babies are forced to be “independent” from the person they need the most (their mother), how does this affect their mental health and emotional security as adults?

If babies have constant access to their mother during the stage in life when they critically need it – say, the first two years – then this natural need has been filled and they can move on to the next stages of increasing independence throughout childhood and into adolescence. While I can’t vouch for everyone, I know that’s the case with our girls. They received the bonding and physical closeness they needed as babies, and now as teens they’re respectful, mature, and increasingly independent. They have no emotional insecurity or neediness (beyond normal adolescent concerns).

So anyway, that’s Dr. Sears’ theories. But what if you take those theories too far? And that, more than anything else, seems to be the center of controversy surrounding this Time Magazine article. How long should you sleep with babies? How long should you carry them in a sling? And above all, how long should you breastfeed?

How breastfeeding – literally the most natural thing in the world – could be considered “controversial” escapes me. The nutritional and emotional benefits of breastfeeding are absolutely beyond question. I realize there are circumstances under which women can’t breastfeed (physical limitations, breast complications, and of course adoptions, etc.), but the data are indisputable for breastfeeding benefits.

But for how long? Can you breastfeed a child for too long?

Interestingly, I was able to witness a situation with a family in which breastfeeding was only one component of an extremely unbalanced situation. I related this to a large extent in an earlier blog post (here) about two boys being raised in an emotionally unhealthy home with a dominant mother and an emasculated father. The mother believed in unlimited breastfeeding, and I witnessed an incident where her four-year-old son was physically abusive to his mother until he got to nurse. The fact that she gave in to his abuse and let him breastfeed was just the symptom of how messed up this family’s dynamics were.

Unconsciously, I think that’s what people are responding to when they see that Time Magazine cover: a visceral aversion that it’s the child who is ruling the roost. It’s not that Attachment Parenting is bad; far from it. Rather, it’s that some parents don’t know how to transition from the needs of babies to the training and discipline necessary for toddlers and preschoolers.

What are your thoughts?

33 comments:

  1. Thank you! Why being attentive to both your child's physical AND emotional needs is so controversial, I'll never understand!! I was an attachment parent before I ever knew there was a name for it. I have a BA in anthropology and I just called it "How everyone else in the world raises their babies!" Lol!

    Both my children nursed until they were about two. Both co slept with us from birth(my three year old still does!). It can seem like a lot of work those first few years and it is, to be sure, but it's an INVESTMENT! It has paid off for sure! My five year old is the most friendly, outgoing, CONFIDENT child I've met his age. My three year old couldn't be more fiercely independent!

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Patrice! I hope those among your readership who would have otherwise written off attachment parenting will take a second look!

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  2. I love your thoughts on this. I was confused when hearing about the 'controversy' of this article on attachment parenting. I consider our family to be practicing attachment parenting.
    To me that meant being attached to my child, being there for them physically and emotionally, from the moment of their birth. We homebirth, breastfeed, co sleep until they are around 2, and I LOVE my maya wrap. We also homechurch and homeschool. We love being WITH our children.
    We get flack about this.
    We also get flack that we actually discipline our children. We tell them NO and we make sure they stop bad behavior, through time outs, loss of privileges and sometimes a good swat on the butt.
    How sad when parents are so emotionally detached from their children that they don't even seem to care about or recognize their child's needs.
    I agree that society today fights to separate parents from their children. They instill in any who will listen how impossible it is, and how detrimental to live on one income, to stay at home with your children, to 'shelter' your children, to not allow them the opportunity to attend public schools five days a week and numerous extracurricular activities.
    Our children NEED us. We must be good stewards, not just with the plants and animals. We must be good stewards and take extreme care in raising our babies into adulthood. Then they will hopefully have the strength and fortitude to make the right choices for themselves and their families.
    I love your blog. We are new to 'homesteading' and your site is one of my 'go to' resources. Especially your canning posts!
    Thanks!

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  3. We agree with most of what you say, Patrice. However, we have to draw the line when it comes to sleeping with a small baby in the bed with you. That is NOT a good idea! You can roll over in your sleep and smother or injure the baby, or even knock it out of the bed and seriously hurt it. We also lived in a very small apartment when first married, but we still managed to squeeze a crib into our bedroom next to the bed where we could keep a close eye on our babies without worrying about rolling over onto them in our sleep. As for bonding with our children, there was plenty of rocking, hugging, singing and love. They were never out of our sight. However, for safety reasons, we do NOT believe they should be in bed with their parents. --Fred & Deb in AZ

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    1. I think if you're a very heavy sleeper this could be a problem but I co-slept with all five of my children and never had a problem. Even at my most tired I was aware of my babies. And like Patrice, we had a safety rail and our babies didn't sleep in between us.At around two years old they graduated to their own beds. Our son, who turned two in December still sleeps in a crib next to our bed.

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    2. when my children were babies, I solved the problem of worrying about rolling on the baby by putting them in a moses bed which lay right next to me, I was able to keep a hand on the baby plus it was easier to breastfeed, my son was large at birth and the doctor told me not to lift anything over 5 pounds or risk tearing my c-section stitches he was over 10 pounds and so I had to come up with a way to still breast feed and keep him close to me so I didn't have to lift him to far. This worked so well that I continued to do that with my daughter. It worked great.

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  4. You have a very good point about people/ kids getting their needs met or it affects them later in life.
    "Fathered by God" by John Eldridge goes into depth about the stages of a man's life and how he is affected later in life when those stages are not completed.
    The importance of providing a child what they need at each stage of life cannot be overstated - the lack of providing those needs, as you alluded, has much to do with the problems in our society today!
    JAH

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  5. Dear Patrice,
    I like your practical, no-nonsense approach to this discussion. Babies need their parents - need to breastfeed - need to be attached, etc. until they don't. And that is a gradual process - ideally to be led by the baby. But unfortunately, in some cases the mother-child relationship is artificially and detrimentally delayed/stopped because of the pathological needs of the mother (rarely it is the father so I'm going to speak of the mother here.

    I know of a similar case - the child, a little girl, is almost 5 years old and still "demands" to nurse and the mother continues because she says she doesn't want to upset the child and they both need their sleep. Translation: I don't want to listen to the kid scream 'cause she can't get what she wants. The mother in this case also is very contemptuous of her husband - the little girl's dad. So I believe this also to be an "in your face" defiance of his opposition to continuing the breastfeeding. He is weak too - gives into the mom. I hope they wake up - for their and the little girl's sake.

    Oh, and the little one does go to school. What's up with that? I've talked to the mom about that - how can you say breastfeeding is still so good for her and you send her off to school?

    Well, enough of that -

    Kind Regards to you and your family. Love your pictures of the homestead!

    Nancy

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  6. Honestly, I am usually wary of people who claim to believe in attachment parenting. Not because I disagree with the idea - in theory it's excellent. But in real life most of the people I have seen do it fall into exactly the situation you described - the children rule the roost - and it's a train wreck. It's frustrating to watch people use it as an excuse to completely avoid disciplining their kids or making decisions.

    Thank you for providing balance to the discussion - your own girls are lovely, and it's easy to see you've done/ are doing an amazing job with them.

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  7. I breastfed my eldest until she was about 18 months old, and only quit after several months of pressure from everyone around me telling me she was "too" old to keep nursing. She never slept in a crib, though, for a variety of reasons -- including it being so much easier to feed her in my bed! I always felt I weaned her too soon for her emotional readiness, though, because she started sucking her thumb once I stopped nursing, and she had never done that before. It took until she was almost 8 to get her to stop sucking her thumb. By the time her sister was born, I was more confident as a mother, and able to stand up to the people -- including my own mom, and my kids' pediatrician -- who gave me flack about nursing past an age they were comfortable with. When anyone made comments about it, I just replied that I didn't see them jumping down the throats of moms who let their 2-year-olds pack a bottle around! I didn't breastfeed my kids in public past the age of about 15 months, though, strictly because that while I was completely okay with feeding my babies anywhere I happened to be when they were hungry, I didn't think it was all that necessary once they weren't dependent on my milk for the majority of their nutrition anymore & could drink from a cup. By the time my youngest was approaching 3, we talked regularly about what it meant to be a "big girl" and about how 3-year-olds didn't need to nurse anymore. At that point she was only asking to nurse 2-3 times a week anyway, and she didn't have the least bit of problem no longer breastfeeding once she turned 3. I definitely think "extended" (as it's considered for our culture) nursing was a good decision.

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    1. Yes to your comment about the bottle. I feel the same way about toddlers/preschoolers who carry around a bottle constantly and/or use pacifiers constantly. How is it that my extended breastfeeding is a problem, but these behaviors don't get a second glance?if my child is "too old," isn't that one, too? *le sigh*

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  8. I'm so glad you posted your thoughts Patrice.

    My sweet little girl was born last Fall, and since then, I've come to hear terms like "Attachment Parenting". Like Lynette, I just assumed that this is how the world raises their children. But the more I look around, the more I realize that the rest of the world (at least, the folks I see here in Florida) practice DETACHMENT parenting.

    I surround myself with people that are respectful and share the same ideals as my family, so I've never experienced flak for our parenting methods, but I often feel a bit lonely when I realize how unusual it seems to others that I truly love holding my child. I love being with her, smelling her hair, snuggling with her, playing on the floor with her, waking up in the middle of the night to gaze at her and make sure she's happy and well fed. I feel so sorry for the mothers that never gave breastfeeding a chance because they just didn't know how wonderful it could be, or because they didn't have support those first few weeks.

    It's become very very clear to me since Aurora was born that my whole life's purpose is to build a better future for her and her future siblings. I love having her with me, and I know that when I leave her in the morning, I'm working towards a day (soon!) where I can stay with her all the time. I have friends who had children at the same time that can't wait to "escape" and "get out of the house" and get back to work. I can't wait to get back INTO the house!

    People are always saying how contented Aurora is. What a nice baby, a happy baby. She doesn't cry, she sleeps wonderfully, she's so big, so healthy, so curious and active. I nod and smile, and sometimes venture to say that by being there for her and meeting her needs, she becomes the confident child we all hope for. I just can't bring myself to use the term attaching parenting though. It just seems too obvious to need a title. It's just... natural.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your influence with your readership. Some women need just one role model in the whole world to validate how they want to raise their children - and I hope you have just become that role model for them.

    ~ Sandy Taylor
    www.wildriverrogues.com

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    1. Like you, Sandy, I never understood the need to "escape" my kids. I went back to work (nights) when our oldest daughter was four months old, and it was hideous. Even though Don was home, I knew it was ME who should be home as well. (We accomplished that by the time our younger daughter was two years old.) I love being with my kids and because I've always been THERE for them, they're confident and not clingy or misbehaving.

      Happy mothering, sounds like you're firmly on the right track.

      - Patrice

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  9. The problem with the Time Cover is that the photo was apparently selected solely based on the "in your face" aspect which makes it controversial. If you look at the second photo oh the same child, same mother, it is an entirely different thing altogether. I highly doubt that many children pull up a step stool and nurse this way.

    Here's the 2nd photo, which does not (in my mind) seem controversial at all.
    http://lightbox.time.com/2012/05/10/parenting/#2

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  10. As noted in a lot of indigenous cultures breast feeding until the age of the kid in that picture is normal. Not saying that means we should seek to emulate said behavior but some perspective is important.

    As you noted I don't think the really out of whack breast feeding situations happen in an otherwise functional and healthy situation.

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  11. Having worked in the morgue at the local Medical Examiner's Office for ten years in a major metropolitan city, I strongly recommend NOT co-sleeping with a baby. I have witnessed first hand babies who have died from "over sleeping " and have died from asphyxiation. Not only that, I have lost an infant nephew to this tragedy as well. The devastation of a mother and family is easily avoided by placing your baby on its BACK; the recommended sleep position that studies have shown aids in the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as well. The cause of many infant deaths is due to the rebreathing of carbon momoxide released as a baby breaths that effects some infants, which is why certain types of infant cariers are consideered unsafe for infants and should not be used, as they cause this rebreathing situation to happen. This is why all babys need to be placed upon their backs to sleep.

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    1. No. Babies have survived for millenia sleeping right next to their mothers, for practically all mammalian species! Babies who sleep next to their mothers are far less likely to die of SIDS than babies in cribs, as they sync breathing with the mothers. They are less likely to fall into the deep, deep sleep that is a risk factor for SIDS as well.

      That being said, there are precautions that need to be made! No bulky blankets, NO drinking, NO drugs, keep pillows away from baby. Do not sleep on a couch or a overly soft mattress. If you are obese or a really deep sleeper, co-sleeping may not be the best choice. One of the biggest risks is probably NOT being prepared to co sleep and just falling into it. A so tired mom will just nurse on the couch or propped up on a pillow and then falls asleep or whatever and baby is lost in a sea of cushions or blankets.

      I really hate that no one can ever be critical of parents whose babies die of SIDS all by themselves in another room, but the parents of babies who die of SIDS next to their parents are made out to be brainless, neglectful parents.

      I can't tell you how many co sleeping stories I've heard where mom woke up to choking noises that never would have been heard had baby been in a nursery! Just the other day I read a story of a co sleeping mom who was camping and decided her heavy sleeping bag wasn't the best place to co sleep so she did not co sleep and that very night, "safely" on his back by himself, her baby died of SIDS.

      Both sleeping situations have risks, but if you OBJECTIVELY research it, you will find that with precautions, co sleeping is perfectly safe, if not preferable. Is it for everyone? Probably not, but it IS a safe option for many families.

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  12. I completely agree with you that parents who have an attachment parenting style have great difficulty transitioning to parenting a toddler/pre-schooler who needs discipline.

    We did attachment parenting with both of our children as babies, although we didn't necessarily call it that. We didn't sleep with either child as a baby, but they did sleep in our room. Now that our kids are early elementary school age, we homeschool because we're cool like that. :) We also think they learn a lot more and are no longer assaulted in school (imagine that in a kindergarten classroom).

    However, we also set VERY clear expectations, deliver natural, appropriate consequences and expect good manners, good behavior, etc. Now, the good behavior part doesn't always happen LOL! But, the people in our circle who exclusively chose to do attachment parent have very spoiled, rude, unpleasant children. I'm greatly in favor of meeting every need, but I'm also in favor of mutual respect and courtesy.

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  13. I didn't know that was what it was called when I raised my kids, but I did this also. Another thing we did, which my sister started...we had a family reunion and one day, my Dad had gotten up early and gone downstairs. My sister climbed in bed with my Mom and they sat there propped on pillows just catching up. I came in, and climbed in, too, then my younger sister. Next thing we know, kids started coming in, and they got up in the bed, too. They were being cuddled by grandma, aunts, and me. Even when our kids became teenagers, it was common in the morning when we all got together, for the girls to climb in bed with Grandma, or auntie or me, to discuss life, the universe and everything (the boys liked going out to the shop with Grandpa and the uncles by then). My kids are now 31 and 33, and live out of state, but when they come home, cuddling at least once in the bed or on the couch is mandatory to catch up. My kids are confident, happy, and are good friends, not only with each other, but with other people. Their friends always want to meet my husband and I, because my kids talk about all the fun we have when we are together.

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  14. These topics usually make me feel bad/sad. I totally agree with the importance of being close to your baby, but none of these things really worked for my son and me (he is now 16 months old).

    I had to have a c-section because of the way he was positioned and the shape of my hips. We had to stay in the hospital for a week, first because of his jaundice (required bili-lights) and then because of my blood pressure (pre-eclampsia).

    He stopped breastfeeding at 3 months because he just refused to continue nursing. He was 3 weeks early, and I had to supplement with formula because he wasn't gaining weight. I assume I didn't produce enough milk.

    He slept in his crib in his own room from the very beginning. He grunted a lot as a newborn even while asleep, and every noise kept both my husband and me awake. For my husband's sake, our son went into his own room; otherwise my husband would have slept elsewhere. I wasn't going to put our son above my husband, as much as I wanted to be near him. His room is very close to ours, and I had the baby monitor right by my head, so I was ready to get him whenever he woke up.

    I used my Moby-wrap a few times, and it worked when he was very young. But it didn't take him long to decide that he didn't really want to be in it, so I didn't carry him around that way very much.

    I have snuggled with him as much as I could, and there was a period of time where he was able to nap with me (I loved it). But for a while now, if I try to nap with him, he just crawls over me and gets onto the floor to play.

    He's always been very good, though. Not a fussy eater, has slept through the night since 3 months, is quite happy most of the time, gives hugs and kisses and snuggles. I guess it's just whatever works for the child, as long as you put their needs above your own (whether physical needs or developmental needs, including discipline).

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  15. A mother breastfeeding a child is one of the most beautiful things in all creation. Second only perhaps to the act of making a baby. Neither of which I want to see on a cover of a national news magazine.

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  16. I think the Time cover is degrading and disgusting, even though I've nursed 4 babies over 5 or 6 years, total. Did anyone mention that nursing reduces the incidence of breast cancer? The cover should be covered!

    Thanks!

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  17. How could breastfeeding be controversial? Some years back I visited a friend of my brothers and was warned that she would just begin breastfeeding right in fron of us. Sure enough I was actually sitting right beside her when she took off her blouse naked from the waist up and began breastfeeding her 3 year old daughter. My wife sitting across from me was stunned. I did not see it! I didn't move my head and she wasted her efforts to shock of show off. She wasn't doing it to feed the child she was doing it out of a need to expose herself to strangers. No controversy there...

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    1. Indeed, since neither taking off your clothes nor feeding a 3yo on demand are necessary for successful breastfeeding, that situation was obviously not about the child's well-being. I successfully nursed 2 children till they were toddlers, including in public places, and no one but the baby ever saw me even slightly indecent. 99% of the time no one could even tell what I was doing, they just thought we were cuddling.

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    2. There are too many moms who want to show off how great of moms they are--but take a trolly approach. Challenging people aggressively is not the right way to make yourself welcome. People get defensive when I bring this up, with an attitude of "What's so wrong with something so beautiful?" They think of themselves as selfless, but yet, their actions are selfish. America is full of people who don't want to compromise, feeling that their morals are superior. And this is why we fail to get along. To get along you have to listen and care somewhat. Many people in the U.S. aren't about public nudity. Even if you think that is terrible,
      it is what it is. Putting something in someone's face knowing they don't like it is not going to convert people very well. People who don't do that are the ones who made me open up a little more to the idea of public breastfeeding. If you aren't "whipping them out" and do things discretely, respecting time and place, there should be no problem. I don't want any babies to starve. If I used breastmilk to feed, I'd just pump for the sake of anyone being able to feed. I'm not comfortable about my breasts being at all exposed in public. I don't have a big shame complex. I just don't like exposure, like privacy. I do think more businesses should have a comfortable room for feeding for people like that.



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  18. I guess my family sort of did this "attachement parenting" as my kids were both sling babies, however they did not sleep with us (for safety reasons). I am of the distinct belief that there is no "right" way to raise a child as each child's personality is distinct, as is each family. Children need to have their needs met and know they are loved unconditionally... beyond that it seems that each parent/child relationship should be suited to meet the needs of both the parent and child. (And no, I do not mean that the child should control the relationship, or be allowed to run wild!)

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  19. I don't know what the big deal is. I once told a very attractive woman that if I were her son I would breastfeed until I left for college.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there.

    ;)

    Jeff - Tucson

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    1. What a lecherous and disrespectful thing to say to someone.

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  20. Raised five doing attachment parenting and because my children had plenty of access to me, I beleive that's why there wasn't any sibling rivalry among them or competing for attention. It is joy.

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  21. Patrice, thank you for posting this! It is nice to hear from someone who is far beyond the "trench years" of young childhood, and whose APed children *gasp* turned out just fine. ;)

    I think a lot of blame for "ruling the roost" children is unfairly placed on AP. In those situations, it seems to me that regardless of whether the parent practiced "attachment" or "detachment," if there are parental issues with discipline and boundaries, they're going to be there regardless. I saw it aplenty when I worked at a preschool. *facepalm*

    Have you by any chance read "Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby's First Year" by Lauren Oyer and Megan Tietz? I'm guessing not, simply because you're not at that stage of life anymore, but if you ever get the chance to read it, I would love to hear your perspective. Maybe as a fellow author, they would send you one to review? ;) They blog at SortaCrunchy and In the Backyard, and have been a great encouragemet to me during my son's first year (even though their book want published until after he already was!).

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  22. You nailed it, Hannah. Too many people will unfairly blame unruly children on Attachment Parenting, when in reality it's parents who don't know how to train and discipline their toddlers so they can grow into respectful children and (later) teenagers.

    - Patrice

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  23. Thank you, Patrice. I think a lot of people, both pro-attachment, and pro-detachment, confuse attachment parenting with a total lack of boundaries. Meeting your child's needs INCLUDES meeting the need for boundaries and teaching appropriate behavior, respect, and good relationship skills. We teach our children what love is, and if we do not require any investment from them (as they are capable), they will grow up thinking that people who love you will be your servants, or that love is a power game. A baby cannot distinguish between "you" and "me", but that is exactly what toddlerhood is all about. What disturbs me about the photo is exactly the lack of appropriateness. Because it is so obviously staged and exhibitionistic, it is the opposite of what breastfeeding and attachment parenting are all about - a close personal connection that aids your child's physical and emotional development.

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  24. i am myself a huge fan of attachment parenting they are all 4 the most loving gentle and caring people i know. and i think it is because they were with me to see how i treated others. they are god fearing revert children. i have no problem when my 16 year old daughter has a bad dream that she climbs in bed with me. i feel so sad for parents who spend way to much money for objects to put their little ones in. they think they are doing right by their babies but a simple wrap and a little snuggle is all they really need.

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  25. part of attachment parenting in my opinion is loving discipline, there is a definite hierarchy in a family if you are at all scriptural, hubby is head and absolutely MUST lead, wife is second in command, that means that when hubby is away, the running of the household falls to her, even when home hubby rules the roost but the management of the house is squarely in the wife's hands. I truly believe that hubby will be very unhappy if the home is run by the children, they are definitely NOT in charge until they have their own homes to run.

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