Attachment Parenting International


Attachment parenting is a philosophy pioneered by Dr. William Sears. The pediatrician and his wife Martha, a registered nurse and lactation consultant, have been practicing and advocating this bonding-oriented form of parenting for more than 30 years.

Attachment parenting’s major components are breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and baby-wearing. All three of these practices strengthen the bond between parent and child: the parent learns to respond to the child’s cues, and the child learns to trust that he or she is loved and that his or her needs are important. A mother is encouraged to breastfeed her child on demand, and to respond quickly to baby’s signals that he wants to feed. Breastfeeding is a time of skin-to-skin closeness and emotional nurturing. Attachment parenting proponents don’t consider co-sleeping to be a cause of SIDS: the mother’s closeness to the baby actually may prevent SIDS because the baby’s breathing syncs with the mother’s, making it less likely that baby will stop breathing. It also creates a physical bond that strengthens mother’s and baby’s emotional attachment. Babywearing, or carrying baby in a sling close to the body, lets baby go about his day seeing the world from his mother’s or father’s point of view, while remaining close and comforted, rather than his lying in a crib on his own with little stimulation.

There’s much international support for breastfeeding. La Leche League is an international organization that promotes nursing worldwide. Currently it has a presence in 68 countries. The women in the organization hold meetings and help other women fix common breastfeeding problems: they also provide phone support and promote breastfeeding through ad campaigns.

Co-sleeping is also an international phenomenon. SIDS instances are among the lowest in Hong Kong, where co-sleeping is very common. Child mental health expert Margot Sunderland writes in her 2006 book The Science of Parenting, “In the UK, 500 children a year die of SIDS. In China, where it [co-sleeping] is taken for granted, SIDS is so rare it does not have a name.” Japanese parents often sleep with their children between them in the bed until the kids are long into their teens. In Latin America, babies sometimes sleep next to their parents’ bed in a hammock.

Mothers around the world carry their babies in slings – as one baby-wearing blogger put it, they do so “from Benin to Europe, from Aruba to Peru.” The mei tai, a sling with straps that’s favored by mothers worldwide today, comes from Asia, where Vietnamese, Chinese, Laotian and Thai women use it to carry their babies. Australian moms typically use an Mbeleko, or a ring sling, as do Colombians, who call it a bandolera. Tribal women in Borneo traditionally wear their babies on their backs in rattan carriers. While upper-class women in some countries – India, for example – have fallen out of the practice of baby-wearing, the lower-caste women still do it, carrying their babies in the shawl part of their saris.

Many women around the world practice attachment parenting because it’s practical to do so – they don’t have room for a bedroom for the baby; they need to carry the baby so they have hands free for chores; and they breastfeed partially because it’s cheaper than formula. Still, it’s heartening to see that this sound and loving parenting philosophy is practiced across the globe.


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, family planning, child psychology, marriage counseling and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care or mental health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, application of medication or any other action involving the care of yourself or any family members which results from reading this site. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

What does your weekly dinner look like?
The whole family dines together at home
The whole family dines together at a restaurant
Parents and children eat separately
Whoever is around eats together
Every family member for themselves!
Total votes: 5755