Attachment Parenting Criticism

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Attachment parenting is a belief system in which parents keep their babies close to them by co-sleeping and wearing them in slings; they nurse babies on demand, and keep nursing until their child gives them cues that he or she is ready to wean; and they don’t employ “cry-it-out” methods of getting their babies to sleep through the night. These methods are intended to create happy, well-adjusted children who have no problems separating from their parents when they’re old enough and independent enough.

Difficult to maintain

Critics of attachment parenting say that it’s a very difficult parenting style to maintain. It requires a lot of time and energy from a parent, which is especially hard if both parents work. Some say that attachment parenting is almost impossible unless the female partner becomes a full-time mom, meaning that attachment parenting could be viewed as a sexist parenting practice.

Cosleeping often criticized

Another criticism of attachment parenting is that cosleeping is dangerous. While research differs on whether cosleeping can actually lead to SIDS or whether it prevents SIDS, opponents of the “family bed” method of sleeping say that parents may roll over on babies in bed and smother them. A much less dangerous side effect, but still one that cosleeping opponents bring up, is that it can lead to dependence on others to go to sleep: a cosleeping child may not be able to go to sleep on his on her own, and this may persist as the child grows older. So far, there is no research to confirm or refute such claims.

There’s also not much research confirming or refuting claims that attachment parenting works. This makes it hard for some parents to put in all the work that this method of child-rearing requires. In addition, the way most families are set up these days makes it even harder to employ attachment parenting: there isn’t often an extended support system consisting of relatives or friends, which means most, if not all, of the work falls on the parents. It can be even worse if family or friends do not agree with attachment parenting, and try to discourage the parents from employing this method.


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