I'm An Accidental Attachment Parent

I had seen the phrase "Attachment Parenting" (also knowns as AP) several times before I became a parent...but I didn't bother looking up the meaning, or reading up on the subject. In fact, I read little in the way of parenting books (unless you count Bringing Up Bebe) while I was pregnant. I like an intuitive style, so that was what we planned on using.

In the hospital, we took full advantage of the kangaroo care which is supposed to help with bonding and breastfeeding. It's also a really gentle and loving way to spend your first moments of life, and I was so happy with the outcome; my daughter latched onto the breast within 20 minutes! Right from the start, we knew we were breastfeeding...even though it was a little emotionally challenging at first. I stuck with it and learned to love it, feeding on demand (which is a lot because my Ruby is a snacker!)

When it came to sleeping arrangements, I was fully prepared; I had the co-sleeper nest, the bassinet, AND the crib and planned on using whatever one worked best and felt right. Turned out, none of them quite fit the bill and baby ended up in the bed with us from day one. Then I discovered that putting my baby down was, well, not really going to happen all that much. So, I became a babywearer (you can see my review of my babywearing gear here) and found that it made for both a happier baby and a happier me.

Then one day, a reader from my blog, Maria, sent me a link to her blog, Mia Cucina, Mia Famiglia, Mia Vita and while I was checking it out I saw that she was into Attachment/ Natural Parenting. That was when a bell went "ding" in my head...was I also practicing AP without knowing it?! I looked up the principals of AP and not only was a practicing it, but I had bought THE babywearing sling, The Balboa Baby!

There are basically four principals included in AP which are: 1) Cosleeping (safely, of course), 2) Feeding on demand (most often but not always breastfeeding), 3) Holding and touching (which includes babywearing), and 4) Responsiveness to crying. You can read more about it HERE if you are interested in a more in-depth profile from Psychology Today. What's great about AP is that it isn't a set of rules, but more of a set of guidelines. What I like about it is that it is intuitive, which is why I was essentially practicing this type of parenting without even knowing it!

While parenting styles will vary from parent to parent, even within a household, I feel that following our instincts as parents is paramount. For me, that meant that having my baby close at night, and allowing her to integrate into my world through babywearing. I think feeding on demand is just a given, though I see the value of a feeding schedule but I don't feel that at this age it's appropriate right now. Are there times when I'll deviate from the AP style? Undoubtedly. I've read some stories from people who said that AP style was ruining their lives, and I have to say that above all you've just got to do what works for you.

Ultimately, my daughter is likely to be raised on an AP/ French parenting style hybrid system, which are sort of contradictory. I think that will help provide balance, which is something that AP style also advocates. For instance, now that my girl is almost 3 months old, we've begun to have her start the night in the bassinet rather than in the bed with me. In time she will learn to sleep in her own bed through the night (my goal is by 6 months) and this will help us (hopefully) avoid the cry it out method...though if it come to that, well, I guess we'll have to do what works, right?

So tell me, what works for you? Did you accidentally fall into a parenting style or did you deliberately find one that worked for you? Share it with me in the comments section below!!! 


  1. Thanks for the link up!!! xoxoxo

    We were accidental APers as well; I remember when we brought Tony home from the hospital, my husband kept saying, "is it normal for him to nurse so much??" I didn't know if it was "normal" or not, but all I knew was that it was comforting to him, so we kept doing it. That's the thing I love about AP...you can pick and choose what works best for your family. I'm so glad babywearing is working out for you! It took us awhile to find our groove, so to speak, and I've found (for us, anyway) that certain wraps and carriers worked best at different ages. Keep on keeping on, mama-Ruby is beautiful and you're doing a great job!

    1. You are welcome!!! We are also enjoying picking and choosing...or as my husband calls it, "I do whatever works" parenting style! Haha. I just put Ruby's legs through the Infantino for the first time this weekend, and I am LOVING it. It was also a reminder that she's getting bigger all the time! I am a huge fan of carriers so far!

  2. Ruby is gorgeous! I love "Ruby Tuesday" pics. :-) I think I was an accidental APer as well. But Lana wound up playing me a bit b/c of it and wanting to be really attached at night, even at 6 months! I wasn't a huge fan of co-sleeping, mainly b/c I like my space, but she did sleep with us occasionally. Mostly she was in a bassinet beside the bed till about 3-4 months. From about 5months until 10 months almost EVERY NIGHT she would wake up screaming crying and I had to rock her till she fell asleep. Most times, she woke up when I tried to put her in her crib. So I wound up sleeping a lot of nights on a futon in her room with her beside me till she was dead asleep. That being said, that shit was exhausting! Finally at around 10 months I had to try the (reasonably) cry it out method. The first night was the hardest thing I've ever done. She cried for 2-3 hours straight. I would go in periodically and talk and soothe her, but not pick her up. The rest of the time was spent laying on the floor outside the room crying b/c it was so hard. Finally, she fell asleep and then woke up 2 hours later crying! This time she only cried for an hour or so before falling back asleep. The next night, only 30 minutes of crying and by the 3rd night, she was pretty good to go. It's different for every kid of course, but I'm just thankful she only cried 2 nights. I think if it had gone on longer, I would have abandoned the cry it out method - it was too emotionally wrenching!

    1. Thanks Ashley!! Yes, I agree that co-sleeping can be a bit smothering. Now that she is 3 months, we are trying to transition her to the bassinet in our room for the first portion of the night. I would like to get a few hours of sleep to myself. It's been less than a week, and I am hopeful she will gradually adjust. I would prefer not to do cry it out if I can, but I am willing to do it at 6 months if we haven't transitioned yet. The need for space is one that I agree with! Haha.