(*NOTE: This was last year… I’m now well past this! ALSO please read the comments at bottom because a reader has pointed out that attachment parenting is generally misrepresented in the media and because of this, has been generally misunderstood. Her comments and recommended reading are interesting.) 

I’m ‘this close’ to weaning and my boobies can hardly wait.

Not that attachment parenting is only about nursing your kids till they’re nine, but the whole idea of oneness and dependance that comes with attachment parenting is really not my thing. And it’s not my kid’s either. She basically refused to even sleep in our room from 3 mos old. She liked her crib. She slept well on that flat, open surface (better than in the bassinet). The only time she’s slept in our bed was when she was sick. As soon as she felt better, it was back to her own room – by request.

She was also interested in foods from about 6 months, and took well to early meals of rice cereal and avocado, quickly graduating to brown rice and peas. I don’t think attachment parenting was ever on the table as an option for us.

When Raquel was 9 months, I went back to work. She spent her days with her grandmother (my mom) and an incredible nanny who we absolutely adore (The total cost of this was way cheaper than daycare BTW)

Going back to work made me feel good, not guilty. I felt like my old self again, almost. Give or take some new mommy qualities like bumping into walls (and glass doors.) and searching endlessly for “…that word…” in the empty parking lot that used to be my memory bank.

But what I wanted to note was that even though I’m not doing attachment parenting there have been some influences on my parenting style, and I think of them often in the decisions I make and the approach we take with Raquel.

We don’t hear much about the philosophies or influences of your average supermoms. As in, all the moms I’m surrounded by. So here’s two things that I think influenced my [awesome, obviously] parenting ‘style’ and I’d love to hear about yours.

That mongolian baby from the BABIES doc.

If you haven’t seen the documentary, you should. It’s fascinating. Especially if you have or want babies or have young kids. So there’s this one baby in it who seems to be pretty much fending for himself in some fairly rough terrain in Mongolia. But what I liked about this baby was that he was so independent and curious because he wasn’t handed everything he wanted. He wasn’t attended to constantly. He was free to explore, and move around, and TRY to do things. By the end of the doc, this baby actually seems the most well adjusted and happy. I think of that little guy a lot. I’m not sure why. But I guess it has something to do with trying to encourage Raquel’s independence and curiosity. And letting her try, try, try…It’s hard. We totally want to cater to her every need. But knowing that that’s maybe not the best thing for her helps me quell my urge to assist constantly.

There’s  a really interesting, enlightening Globe & Mail piece about the lessons of the BABIES documentary here.

The book Bringing up Bebe a.k.a the ‘french style’ of parenting. 

Maybe I’m just enough of a snob myself that Frenchiness appeals to me. But the takeaway is this: teach babies that they are not the centre of the universe and give them grown up food. Yes, and yes. I practice encouraging Raquel  to wait patiently (ok, only sometimes) until the grownups finish what they’re doing. To knock on doors (or at least understand closed ones) And I really try to practice not looking at her every second of every minute of every day. This may sound easy… it’s not. I stare at her constantly, and that’s probably not the greatest thing for her… So I like the french idea that babies will not feel abandoned if you be an adult, have a life, have conversations with other grown ups and set expectations (like waiting) for them to meet. At the very least, it’s an aspiration. Also, they’re babies eat leak soup. And garlic. And baguettes. And other grown up stuff. It’s a good read, if you haven’t read it my review and summary are here.


4 thoughts on “Attachment parenting? Yeah, um no..

  1. As a mom and a therapist, I advocate %100 for attachment style parenting, so I was curious (or perhaps wanting to be curious, and hoping not to be closeminded) when I saw this post on your blog. I’m sorry to say that you are actually practicing attachment style parenting! It’s not about breastfeeding until 9 or being a clinging mother or cosleeping. Attachment style parenting is about trusting your gut in doing what is right for your child, and building a relationship with your child in such a way that you can tell when they are ready wean, when they are ready to fall asleep on their own and safey encourage them to independence. Most people don’t realize that the ultimate goal of attachment parenting is independence and healthy relationships. I hate to force a label on your parenting style but it seems very true to the essence of attachment parenting, but whatever you call it, it sure is awesome!

  2. Kristen can you recommend some good reading on this subject? If I have misunderstood the true meaning of attachment parenting, I think most of the Internet (and Mayim Bialik) have also misunderstood it? if it has been misconstrued – what a shame!

  3. It has been completely misrepresented by the media! Here is a blog post (I like a lot of what she posts) that is a pretty good representation of what I’m referring to.


    Attachment theory states that to build a healthy attachment we must be ‘in tune’ with our babies needs and let our little ones know that our relationship is secure and that we, as parents, aren’t going anywhere. But there is no prescribed way to achieve this. Often (not always) things like baby wearing and cosleeping are good tools to achieve this. Attachment parenting (in pop culture) has become about having to do these thing, but it doesn’t work for everyone! My LO sleeps way better in a crib alone and we put her in her own room at 6 weeks! But at 21 months I still haven’t ‘trained’ her to sleep. Sometimes I run in after a minute and sometimes I let her complain and cry for 20-30 mins. I know her cries and i know what they mean. I’m not prepared to let her cry for hours and I don’t think letting her cry until exhausted and collapses into sleep is teaching her anything. so i trust my gut on how long to let her struggle alone. The fundamental difference (in my opinion) is that sleep trainers think babies learn to self sooth by crying until the ‘sort it out’. While attachment theory (and neuroscience) says babies learn to self sooth my being soothed.

    I haven’t read anything from Mayim, but I was under the impression that she advocates for each parent to do what their gut tells them to, if that’s not the case that’s really too bad 😦

    I would look at Dan Seigals work on mindful integration (YouTube is good) and Gordon Neufeld (you can buy downloads for pretty cheap on his website) they don’t claim to be attachment parent advocates but their research is the foundation of attachment work.

    N.B. I love the Mongolian baby too! And really, doesn’t he have to have a healthy attachment to his mom to give him the confidence to explore so much? And she didn’t ‘helicopter’ I to save him!

Love to hear your thoughts! (Leave a comment)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s