Secure Attachment Parenting Does Not Mean You Have to Feel Like a Kangaroo - bökee

Secure Attachment Parenting Does Not Mean You Have to Feel Like a Kangaroo

Parenting styles can depend on a lot of variables. Parents’ values and their childhood family experiences will have a significant impact on how they raise their children. There is no training manual for moms and dads. And, of course, there isn’t one “right” way to be a parent. 

“Secure attachment parenting” is a popular nurturing style that fosters emotional health and intelligence, empathy, resilience, confidence, and independence. 

At the bökee, we celebrate and support all parents on this journey. Because it’s not easy, and every mom and dad should have someone in their corner! To make bottle prep and other jobs simpler, give the bökee a try. We created this product so that parents could continue to hold and soothe a “hangry” child while prepping bottles. With the bökee, you don’t need to set your crying child down while you get their bottle ready.

What Does Secure Attachment Parenting Look Like for Families?

Baby-wearing is a hallmark of the secure attachment parenting style.

First, you won’t have to feel like a kangaroo if you don’t want to. This parenting style should feel intuitive and (mostly) comfortable, not forced or unnatural. If it isn’t the right fit for you and your family, that’s fine! You get to decide what works best for you. 

The goal of secure attachment parenting is to provide a nurturing environment that will help the child develop confidence and respect because they consistently feel loved and safe. By creating a circle of security for the child, parents give them the freedom to explore, communicate, and learn without fear of failure or shame.

Traditional attachment parenting generally follows eight principles that address the scope of parenting from feeding to discipline. These principles are:

  • Prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting. By engaging in mindfulness and positive language surrounding this upcoming change, parents are likely to enjoy a more positive experience.
  • Feed with love and respect. Attachment parenting acknowledges that breastfeeding is the optimal choice when possible. But it primarily seeks to instill an intuitive way of feeding your child, whether by breast or bottle.
  • Breastfeeding on demand is a great way to help your child develop into an intuitive eater.
  • Respond with sensitivity. Secure attachment parenting encourages parents and caregivers to accept all interactions with the child as an attempt to communicate. Even temper tantrums are communication, and parents try to respond calmly without punishment.
  • Use nurturing touch. People following this parenting style often wear their babies most of the time. They also seek skin-to-skin contact with their babies to establish that nurturing relationship.
  • Engage in nighttime parenting. Attachment parenting includes co-sleeping arrangements to continue the parental presence for the child. Co-sleeping doesn’t necessarily mean being in the same bed. It can include a cradle or crib in the parents’ room or a co-sleeper attachment on the bed.
  • Provide constant loving care. In the “ideal” form of attachment parenting, at least one parent is with their child pretty much around the clock for the first few years. This arrangement can be difficult for working families, however.
  • Being a constant presence for your child helps them develop a sense of security.
  • Practice positive discipline. Redirection and modeling of appropriate behavior are the goals in this type of parenting. Parents see “misbehavior” as a type of communication and try to find a solution with their child.
  • Strive for balance in personal and family life. Parenting requires a lot of diligence and energy. Building a network of support people who will adhere to the attachment parenting principles helps parents feel less overwhelmed.

  • Although these core principles haven’t changed over the years, they have received a modern update from Dr. William Sears. This more streamlined approach can fit many different family situations and setups.

    What Attachment Parenting Is Not

    Secure attachment parenting often gets a bad rap thanks to a few extreme practitioners who insist it’s the only way to parent. So here are a few things that are not actually part of this parenting style.

    • Spoiling Your Child - Skeptics may believe that attachment parenting means giving your child everything they want. Nope. Parents following this style are responsive to their child’s needs as often as possible. But responsive does not have to mean permissive. They work to find respectful solutions for various problems and conflicts that arise.
    Attachment parenting does not mean that anything goes for your child.
    • Creating Dependency - When done from a place of connection and respect, secure attachment parenting builds confidence and competence. It is not designed to never “let your child go.” Instead, it aims to allow the child to develop in an environment of safety and trust so that they feel capable of doing things on their own.
    • Never Having a Break - Admittedly, this parenting style can be intense at times. It asks parents to be present for their child almost constantly. But it does not mean that you can never set your child down or get a break for yourself. The eighth principle addresses this by encouraging parents to build a like-minded support network.
    • Drop Everything - Being responsive to your child does not mean that they never have to wait a bit for you to meet a need. You do have a life that has other demands. Parents who follow attachment practices do not have to be on-demand 24/7, dropping everything to run to their child at the first whimper.

    Integrating Attachment Parenting Into Your Family Routines

    Co-sleeping safely is a treasured part of secure attachment parenting.

    Attachment parenting can be exhausting if you feel like you have to have your infant attached to you at all times. Strictly following this style isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. 

    As with anything related to parenting, the style in which you raise your child will likely be a bit flexible and malleable. Different approaches may fit different children at different times. What works for your first child may not work for your second. Or perhaps your circumstances will change, requiring a shift in how you parent. 

    If it feels right, you may choose to incorporate pieces of secure attachment parenting into your daily life. Some ways to do this include wearing your baby for a while each day or feeding on demand. 

    Many parents utilize some components of attachment parenting while leaving others by the wayside. This is your parenting journey. You have the right to build it in a way that works for your family.

    Creating a Secure Attachment Has Tremendous Benefits

    Families reap great benefits from responsive parenting.

    Using secure attachment as the basis of your parenting is a way to keep your child’s emotional security at the forefront of how you handle parenting situations. You create a safe space for your child to understand and work through their emotions. Secure attachment means that your child understands that they are loved, supported, and validated at all times.

    Parents who follow this approach often find that their children grow up to be kind, intuitive, and independent. They see deep sibling bonds and empathy for others. Parents also often find their children are great collaborators, problem solvers, and teammates.

    No matter which methods or approaches you choose to use, helping your children feel secure and loved is crucial. Trust your mom or dad instincts. They will serve you well!

    Honoring All Parents

    At the bökee, we respect each parent’s journey through sleep, feeding, discipline, and all the other choices parents need to make to keep their children safe and secure. 

    To help simplify your feeding journey, we created the bökee to allow for one-handed bottle preparation. Whether you’re feeding on-demand or on a schedule, our products can help make the task a little easier.

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