This week’s cover of Time features mom Jamie Lynne Grumet who subscribes to the practices of attachment parenting. The eye-opening image shows Jamie breast-feeding her nearly 4-year-old son. Three additional families who parent via this practice were also photographed for the piece by reporter Kate Pickert.
According to Time:
Attachment parenting has been on the rise over the last two decades, since the publication of The Baby Book by Dr. Bill Sears and his wife, Martha, in 1992. Its three main tenets are extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and “baby wearing,” in which infants are physically attached to their parents by slings.
For Grumet the method was an easy choice as a mom. She was the daughter of attached parents and her sister practices the method as well. She told Time:
“I grew up this way and never thought about raising my kids differently.”
It turns out Jamie’s son was already a viral YouTube star at the age of 1 in a clip where he sings along to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” The cute video has over a million views and you can check it out here.
To see the additional images from the article you can head over to Time here. Attachment Parenting International focuses on 8 principles that help explain what this parenting philosophy is all about:
Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible.
Feed with Love and Respect
Breastfeeding is the optimal way to satisfy an infant’s nutritional and emotional needs. “Bottle Nursing” adapts breastfeeding behaviors to bottle-feeding to help initiate a secure attachment. Follow the feeding cues for both infants and children, encouraging them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Offer healthy food choices and model healthy eating behavior.
Respond with Sensitivity
Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately. Babies cannot be expected to self-soothe, they need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them learn to regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to a child who is hurting or expressing strong emotion, and share in their joy.
Use Nurturing Touch
Touch meets a baby’s needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage. Carrying or babywearing also meets this need while on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children.
Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe co-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.
Provide Consistent and Loving Care
Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent. If it becomes necessary, choose an alternate caregiver who has formed a bond with the child and who cares for him in a way that strengthens the attachment relationship. Keep schedules flexible, and minimize stress and fear during short separations.
Practice Positive Discipline
Positive discipline helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between parent and child. Rather than reacting to behavior, discover the needs leading to the behavior. Communicate and craft solutions together while keeping everyone’s dignity intact.
Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life
It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don’t be afraid to say “no”. Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Be creative, have fun with parenting, and take time to care for yourself.
In a Q&A with Time Jamie explained just how long she was breast-fed by her mother (a long time) and responds to those who find her parenting to be questionable at best. You can check that out here.
To find out more about the growing movement you can get all the info you need via attachmentparenting.org.