A baby's sleeping, emotional and feeding needs always come first with this approach. Popularized by the pediatrician William Sears and derived from psychological research on parent/child attachment, attachment parenting holds that children fare best when they've bonded early and well with a guardian, usually the mother.
Attachment parents abide by eight principles, which, according to Attachment Parenting International's Web site, are:
- Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting
- Feed with love and respect
- Respond with sensitivity
- Use nurturing touch
- Ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally
- Provide consistent and loving care
- Practice positive discipline
- Strive for a balance in personal and family life
Critics say this child-centered approach is too hard on parents and can foster kids who are spoiled and demanding.