basics of attachment parenting

The Bs of Attachment Parenting – Basics and Starter Style

Jain temples of Khajuraho
Baby wearing in India

What are the basics of Attachment Parenting? Parenting from the heart? Starting out with the ideal to bond? Ask 100 parents and their definition will each be different – because what defines attachment parenting is that it is a starter style – an idea more than an ideal.

How many Bs are there in attachment parenting?

A Yahoo post said 3 but that was news to me. Perhaps there are 7? Maybe 8? In the end, there likely are no numbers, as parenting can’t be quantified in such a discreet manner. Instead there are some ideas that can be renamed into the “Bs” of attachment parenting.

The focus is the BOND between parent and child.

  1. Birth – Prepare for birth and aware during pregnancy.
  2. Breastfeeding 
  3. Babywearing 
  4. Bed sharing
  5. Belief in Baby’s Cries
  6. Balance and boundaries
  7. Beware of baby trainers

What If I don’t do all the Bs of attachment parenting?

There are guidelines, these “Bs” are just that: there are no rules.

  • You can have a cesarean and multiple tests and interventions throughout pregnancy and be an attached parent
  • You can bottle feed and be an attachment parent
  • You can use a stroller and swing and be an attached parent
  • You can have a crib on the opposite side of your house and be an attached parent

The Attachment Parenting International has a broader definition of attachment parenting for those who like lists. They don’t use “just Bs” so those who may not breastfeed or those who choose to room share over bed share aren’t “alienated” perhaps. Read more about them on their website. 

The true Basics of attachment parenting

In the end the idea is that you respond to your baby. It doesn’t mean you never get a pedicure again. It doesn’t mean you give up your career. No matter what, parenting will change you. In the end, it isn’t the method of parenting and there’s no contest to speak of. But there is that bond and trust that you and your child have.

In all honesty, attachment parenting chose me. I’m not the huggy type – AT ALL. So, for me, the ideas behind attachment parenting in a way forced me to give my babies the gentle touch, and time they craved. Now, with a 3 year old and a 5 year old, there are new challenges and I’m always learning. I know I’m working on rebuilding trust with my daughter and we’re both testing and finding that balance and boundary line after our move across the world.

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Do we really even need labels for how we parent? Likely not, but as society we tend to use them a lot and for some having a basic guide helps since really, there is no one right way to parent. Each child is different and their needs are different. So the starter style of some of the ideas behind attachment parenting can work as a basic parenting philosophy for many.

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  1. Like Robin, I didn’t do half of the Bs, but my Daughter is grown now and we are best friends, so I guess if you just love your kids and show them that. They will turn out okay.

  2. It is all about finding out what works for you and your children. I breastfed many moons ago and loved it when many women did not. To each their own. Parenting from the heart is the key!

  3. I somehow have the feeling that most parents don’t consciously think about all this–they just do or don’t do it–which sounds about right to me cause every child is slightly different as is each parent.

  4. I agree with Pam. It’s all about finding what works, or doesn’t, for you and your baby. I didn’t do all of the B’s, but I like to think that I have a super close bond with my girls.

  5. I said before my son was born I would NEVER co-sleep, we are now on our third child that does co-sleep. I try and baby wear, still getting right sling for me, we dont let baby cry, because thats how they communicate, we breastfeed exclusively and even though we tried for a home birth and have had 3 c sections we had the last 2 for 100% medical reasons, we have not let it stop us be attachment parents.

  6. I think there are so many opinions because nobody but the parent and child knows what is right. Every parent has to decide what their child needs. I guess I would be considered one of the attachment parents, but I never saw it that way, just saw it as a family that did what their child(ren) need. The only title I want is mom.

  7. My kids are older but these issues were so important when they were younger. Understanding them can make a huge difference in teen years!

  8. I think I am an attached parent, but don’t do the list at all. I think simply loving your child and being a part of their lives helps you be an attached parent. No, my child isn’t “attached” to me as an extension of my arm at all times… but I still see myself as an attached parent.

  9. I had never heard of attachment parenting and to be honest I am still a bit confused as to what it means or stands for. But whatever works for a person to feel good about their parenting, and to raise stable productive kids, is fine with me.


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