Attachment parenting practices are based on the assumption and philosophy that a close relationship between you and your baby will result in a secure and confident child. Close means that you keep your baby close to your body nearly all the time. Attachment parenting implies three principles concerning the way you attend to your baby, breastfeeding on demand, babywearing, and bedsharing. None of these practices are new; people all over the world have applied these three principles to infant care since time immemorial. Breastfeeding on demand is an infant centered response to your baby’s natural needs. No external expectations or artificial schedules need to be engrafted on your baby’s instinctual desire to nurse when hungry or for comfort. Babywearing means that you usually carry your baby with you in your arms, or in a sling or a front carrier. This practice is taken for granted as appropriate in most cultures throughout the world. Wearing babies in a papoose or a sling is the accepted and expected mode of mothering in most areas of the world. Keeping your infant close to your body at night during sleep helps ensure the baby’s safety and health. Children learn bodily functions of breathing and sleep patterns from their parents’ bodies. This learning process requires close proximity and skin to skin contact. Attachment parenting is primitive, natural, and sensible.
Our culture has encouraged the separation of mother and baby for a number of reasons. We have mistakenly assumed that formula feeding is better than breastfeeding, discouraging mothers from sharing and exposing their breasts. We have isolated and neglected infants in separate rooms called nurseries. And we have incorrectly encouraged independence at an age when babies are completely dependent. None of these modern practices with infants help to develop healthy children. Babies need lots of touching, holding, and constant attention. Caring for your baby in this way is actually easier and simpler than instituting schedules and inflicting unnatural habits on this completely dependent and vulnerable little being.