Is attachment parenting extreme?

I'm a 26-year-old stay-at-home mother of one. I breastfeed and co-sleep with my 1-year-old daughter and still carry her strapped to my chest or back as often as she'll allow me to now that she's walking. I don't believe in smacking as a form of discipline or in sleep training of any kind. In short? I'm an attachment parent.

Go ahead, call me extreme or a hippy. Ask me about my sex life, separation anxiety and back ache. I've heard it all before. For some reason attachment parenting is often viewed as offbeat and weird. The fact is, I'm not all that weird. I'm just a normal woman who is trying to be the best mother she knows how.

My life is so much easier

I didn't set out to be an 'attachment parent'. I did what I needed to do to survive and someone gave it a name. I planned on breastfeeding for 6 months, but when my baby was 6 months there was no reason for me to stop, so I carried on for one more month. And then for another one after that. The next thing I know it’s a year down the line and I still see no reason to stop.

Life is easier for me, no formula or bottles to worry about. I have an instant soother for any occasion right on hand. Hungry? Sad? Tired? Bored? Boob is always the answer! In fact, I'm terrified to stop because I don't know how to calm a crying baby or get her to sleep without it.

Co-sleeping followed in the same vein. I didn't set out to co-sleep. Lily started off sleeping in a cot, but I got sick of walking up and down to her room every half an hour to comfort her, so I put her in our bed. One night turned into two nights and we just went with it! We all get more sleep and that's fine with me.

And no, my husband is not pushed aside, quietly resenting the baby for taking over the marital bed. He's supportive and happy and thrilled that we have such an affectionate, confident and happy daughter.

Baby wearing is just logical, two free hands and a baby snuggled up to you, what's not to love about that?

I’m not a doormat

Attachment parenting or parenting gently is not about permissive parenting, I don't advocate allowing your child to run riot and walk all over you. Its about showing your child that you respect them as a person. Its about teaching them to be confident and kind in the hope that they grow up to be adults who can empathize and connect with people, but most importantly it creates a strong, nurturing bond between parent and child. What's extreme about that?

Do you see a problem with attachment parenting?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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