AP is a starter style. There may be medical or family circumstances
for why you are unable to practice all of these baby B's. Attachment parenting
implies first opening your mind and heart to the individual needs of your
baby, and eventually you will develop the wisdom on how to make on-the-spot
decisions on what works best for both you and your baby. Do the best you can
with the resources you have – that's all your child will ever expect of
you. These baby B's help parents and baby get off to the right start. Use
these as starter tips to work out your own parenting style – one that fits
the individual needs of your child and your family. Attachment parenting
helps you develop your own personal parenting style.
AP is an approach, rather than a strict set of rules. It's actually
the style that many parents use instinctively. Parenting is too individual
and baby too complex for there to be only one way. The important point is to
get connected to your baby, and the baby B's of attachment parenting help.
Once connected, stick with what is working and modify what is not. You will
ultimately develop your own parenting style that helps parent and baby find
a way to fit – the little word that so economically describes the
relationship between parent and baby.
AP is responsive parenting. By becoming sensitive to the cues of
your infant, you learn to read your baby's level of need. Because baby
trusts that his needs will be met and his language listened to, the infant
trusts in his ability to give cues. As a result, baby becomes a better
cue-giver, parents become better cue-readers, and the whole parent-child
communication network becomes easier.
AP is a tool. Tools are things you use to complete a job. The
better the tools, the easier and the better you can do the job. Notice we
use the term "tools" rather than "steps." With tools you
can pick and choose which of those fit your personal parent-child
relationship. Steps imply that you have to use all the steps to get the job
done. Think of attachment parenting as connecting tools, interactions with
your infant that help you and your child get connected. Once connected, the
whole parent-child relationship (discipline, healthcare, and plain old
having fun with your child) becomes more natural and enjoyable. Consider AP
a discipline tool. The better you know your child, the more your child
trusts you, and the more effective your discipline will be. You will find it
easier to discipline your child and your child will be easier to discipline.