Thursday, October 1, 2009

Attached at the Heart Through The Years

October Is Attachment Parenting (AP) Month

What: Attachment Parenting International (API), along with the Sears family and other prominent AP supporters, declared October to be Attachment Parenting (AP) Month.

The AP Month vision is to create one strong voice for AP through activities, events and information and to celebrate what we believe in — the value of being “Attached at the Heart Through the Years” for our families and for our communities.

Who: All parents, AP partners and like minds around the world are invited and encouraged to join with us in growing “Attached at the Heart Through the Years” during the second annual Attachment Parenting Month.

Why: “Attached at the Heart Through the Years” is the theme for AP Month 2009 and a statement that healthy, secure attachments between parents and children is a dynamic process that extends throughout childhood and does not end with baby bonding. During AP Month, parents are challenged to re-examine their daily activities and traditions and learn new ways to grow with each other and remain close and supportive. AP Month partners will offer resources to support and sustain these efforts all year round.

Key AP Month Goals include unifying the AP voice to:
1. Offer parents and adults support and confidence in growing “Attached at the Heart Through the Years” to last a lifetime
2. Promote awareness of AP
3. Educate about API, other AP Month sponsors and their services
4. Provide a source of funds to support the API mission

Resources: The AP Month Central website is the gateway to information about AP Month. It includes the AP Month Toolkit as resource for you to use to plan and promoting your own events and activities for October.

What Attachment Parenting Is

Attachment parenting is a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents.

7 Attachment Tools: The Baby B'S

1. Birth bonding
The way baby and parents get started with one another helps the early attachment unfold. The days and weeks after birth are a sensitive period in which mothers and babies are uniquely primed to want to be close to one another. A close attachment after birth and beyond allows the natural, biological attachment-promoting behaviors of the infant and the intuitive, biological, caregiving qualities of the mother to come together. Both members of this biological pair get off to the right start at a time when the infant is most needy and the mother is most ready to nurture.

2. Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is an exercise in babyreading. Breastfeeding helps you read your baby's cues, her body language, which is the first step in getting to know your baby. Breastfeeding gives baby and mother a smart start in life. Breastmilk contains unique brain-building nutrients that cannot be manufactured or bought. Breastfeeding promotes the right chemistry between mother and baby by stimulating your body to produce prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that give your mothering a boost.

3. Babywearing
A baby learns a lot in the arms of a busy caregiver. Carried babies fuss less and spend more time in the state of quiet alertness, the behavior state in which babies learn most about their environment. Babywearing improves the sensitivity of the parents. Because your baby is so close to you, you get to know baby better. Closeness promotes familiarity.

4. Bedding close to baby
Wherever all family members get the best night's sleep is the right arrangement for your individual family. Co-sleeping co-sleeping adds a nighttime touch that helps busy daytime parents reconnect with their infant at night. Since nighttime is scary time for little people, sleeping within close touching and nursing distance minimizes nighttime separation anxiety and helps baby learn that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a fearless state to remain in.

5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry
A baby's cry is a signal designed for the survival of the baby and the development of the parents. Responding sensitively to your baby's cries builds trust. Babies trust that their caregivers will be responsive to their needs. Parents gradually learn to trust in their ability to appropriately meet their baby's needs. This raises the parent-child communication level up a notch. Tiny babies cry to communicate, not to manipulate.

6. Beware of baby trainers
Attachment parenting teaches you how to be discerning of advice, especially those rigid and extreme parenting styles that teach you to watch a clock or a schedule instead of your baby; you know, the cry-it-out crowd. This "convenience" parenting is a short-term gain, but a long-term loss, and is not a wise investment. These more restrained styles of parenting create a distance between you and your baby and keep you from becoming an expert in your child.

7. Balance
In your zeal to give so much to your baby, it's easy to neglect the needs of yourself and your marriage. As you will learn the key to putting balance in your parenting is being appropriately responsive to your baby – knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no," and having the wisdom to say "yes" to yourself when you need help.

More about What Attachment Parenting Is

What Attachment Parenting Is Not


  1. Hmm, you notice how I got all linky for 7/8 of the Bs there?

    I'm actually just linking to more details on the topics from Dr. Sears, but I did consider adding some links to previous posts on each topic.

    I probably could, for those seven, but balance?

    Yeah, sorry, can't help you there.

  2. Who is this from? Dr. Sears? I ask because I take particular issue with number 6. LOL I raised Deion with schedules and he didn't sleep with me and I didn't wear him and I didn't breastfeed and I knew each of his cries, each of his whines, each of his moods, each of his moves... and he's grown into a loving, caring, gentle, open minded, and wonderful now *gulp* 16 year old young man. I realize it's from a book and certainly an opinion... but I wanted to give an example of a #6 paragraph parent for whom that type of raising worked out for. :)

  3. I have a problem with the Dr. Sears version of AP. Primarily his diminishing the value of a non-breastfeeding parent, be that a dad, a birth mother that isn't breastfeeding, or a non gestational mother. And let's be honest, baby wearing isn't always a practical option. But that doesn't mean a baby is any less well adjusted, cared for, happy, or developmentally stimulated. Every baby and every parent is different and I firmly believe that the best parent/baby relationships are the ones where each person's needs are considered individually. What works for some won't necessarily work for all.

  4. D's Mom - Establishing a schedule for a baby isn't necessarily the same as trying to make a baby conform to a one-size-fits-all schedule according to a book, which a lot of the "baby training" books seem to advocate.

    1inV - Likewise, being an AP parent doesn't require a one-size-fits-all strict adherence to all the "Baby Bs" either.

    Please read my next post for a slightly more in depth response to your comments.


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