Attachment parenting is not new to the world. In the past few years, a lot of research has taken place to study the behavior of attachment. Attachment parenting is actually a style of parenting that brings out the best in both the baby and the parents. It helps nurture a healthy bond between a parent and a child. Not only does this attachment help the baby develop a high level of security, but it also assists in transforming the parent-child relationship into a healthier one. Attachment parenting involves a number of steps and the process begins even before the birth of the child. The first step in this process is to become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Acquire knowledge about the different developmental stages of childhood, set realistic expectations and remain flexible. The next step is breastfeeding, which helps in satisfying an infant's nutritional and emotional needs. Right from infancy, you need to build the foundation of trust and empathy between you and your little one. Try to analyze what your child is communicating to you and then respond accordingly. Babies do not have the ability to soothe themselves and that is why they need calm and loving parents to teach them how to regulate their emotions. Note that your affectionate touch would fulfill your baby's need for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Similarly, tight hugs, snuggles, back rubs, massage and physical play are other factors that would help establish attachment between you and the baby. However, while attachment parenting enhances the quality of relationship that is shared between the parent and child, it can turn out to be unfavorable if the same is overdone. As such, the need to know the art of striking the right balance is absolutely necessary. Herein mentioned are some advantages and disadvantages of attachment parenting.
Pros of Attachment Parenting
It is said that the more you give to your baby, the more it gives back to you. Babies can provide you with small quiet moments of pure joy as they smile or gaze at you. Mutual giving helps in enjoying parenthood. A good example of mutual giving is when you breastfeed your baby, your milk contains a sleep inducing substance. Also, as you suckle your baby, you produce more prolactin, which produces tranquilizing effect on you. In this way, as you put your baby to sleep, your baby puts you to sleep.
Attachment parenting helps in developing mutual shaping of behavior and personality. Once you become parent, you will never be the same and want the change to be for the better. Mutual shaping is demonstrated when you and your baby learn to talk to each other. Your behavior, talk, and even thinking will change to your baby's level. As you master your baby's language, your baby will learn to speak the language of the family. Then it will be baby’s turn to act, talk, and think at the parents' level.
More than 70 percent of the conversation that happens is through body language. Even if the words are spoken, the body gives out cues which signal the information that is waiting to be passed onto. Attachment parenting allows for mutual sensitivity between the parent and the child. The connected parent can read out the body language of the child and redirect the same for a more appropriate behavior. In turn, the child can comprehend the desires and wishes of the parent and act accordingly.
Enhanced Baby's Behavior
It is commonly observed that attached babies cry less and are less colicky, fussy, whiny, and clingy. This is because they spend most of the time in the state of quiet alertness. Normally, babies display certain behaviors while awake; crying, sleepy, alert, agitated and quietly alert. Babies are most attentive to their environment in the state of quiet alertness. By not fussing and crying, they conserve their energy and use it for interacting. As such, they are pleasant to be with and attract a lot of attention.
It is a fact that the human brain grows more during infancy than at any other time, doubling its volume and reaching approximately 60 percent of its adult size by one year. An infant brain consists of miles of tangled electrical "wires," called neurons, majority of which are unconnected. As the baby grow, these neurons grow larger and connect to each other to complete circuits that enable the baby to think and do more things. The more connections a brain makes, the better the brain develops. Attachment parenting helps babies to learn faster and better, hence making them smarter.
Cons of Attachment Parenting
Attachment parenting induces parents to care on a high probability. Despite the baby being safe and sound, parents would probably be obsessed with its safety and try to keep an eye on it all the time, thus making it difficult for the baby to have some space and time of its own.
Attachment parenting could be harmful in the long run. If parents do not punish the child for the sake of attachment, chances of children taking advantage of the situation and doing things on his/her own would be high.
Alternatively, attachment parenting can make the child overly dependent. If parents do everything for him, and take all his decisions for him, the child will not develop a sense of independence and probably will not learn to do things that other children of his age know.
Attachment parenting can lead parents to give excessive time to the baby, thus often ignoring the other relationships. The child may be the world for them but then, had it not been for your spouse, the child would not have been there in the first place.
Attachment parenting, when practiced rightly, can help develop a healthy and bonding relationship between the parent and the child. But take care not to follow the same blindly. Infuse in some amount of other styles in your parenting to make your child have a sound growth.