There a lot of things I like about attachment parenting.
In fact, when I first started hearing about AP a year or
so ago, I said to myself, gee, I've been doing that for
a long time, and I've been doing that for a long
time and I've been doing that for a long time.
The idea of carrying your child around with you all day
is not new. Front packs and back packs were very popular
when I had my first child 20 years ago. I had several.
Before them there were parental arms. In fact, in old
fashioned larger families there were more arms to do the
carrying. Some cultures, even today, wrap their babies
up in some sort of fabric sling and carry them many
hours a day. What is new is the term "wearing your
baby", coined by Dr. Sears.
Co-sleeping is also not new. It's been around a long
time and is even mention in the Bible. I personally
don't feel comfortable keeping a newborn baby in bed
with me every night. I'm too exhausted at that point, I
sleep too hard, I use too many pillows, Dad can't sleep
worrying he might smother the little one, etc, etc.
However, I figured out all on my own, with my very first
child, that a bassinet placed right next to my side of
the bed was so much easier and reassuring, than getting
up 2 or 3 or more times a night to go tend to a crying
newborn kept down the hall in his own bed in his own
Now I keep the newborns next to me in a bassinet for
a few months, then move them to a play pen or crib in my
room, then eventually, when they are a little older and
bigger, I let them climb in our bed for a little while,
then usually bed them down on a blanket on the floor in
our room as long as they want to stay with us. I usually
let a toddler or two take their afternoon nap in bed
Of course I believe that parents should be loving and
affectionate and "connected" with their child.
It used to be popular to call it "bonding". Of
course it is good to keep your baby with you as much as
possible and to understand your child's needs and to
develop a close relationship. A few generations
back it was probably just considered a normal part of
loving your child. It still is for many parents even if
they don't practice official "AP".
So I do agree with some of the main things Sears
advocates, but I think his theory on child discipline is
a poor and misleading one.
It seems to me that Dr. Sears believes that if you do
this AP thing fanatically when the child is newborn to
18 months old, then you miraculously won't have any
serious discipline problems after that because you
two will be so "connected". BAH! Don't buy it.
It doesn't work that way. Not unless your child is
extremely compliant by nature. I really think Sears
reverts to permissiveness after age 18 months when the
attachment part is phased out, and that is a bad way to
In "The Discipline Book", Sears generally
starts each section with a reasonable sounding comment,
then "twists" it to fit his personal theories.
He actually says that spanking can be done successfully,
but then he goes on and on and on and on, all about why
you shouldn't spank, and spanking is awful, blah, blah,
blah. He does that with a number of other things. One
good idea or quote, then a lot of bad stuff. I'll pass
on Dr. Sears. I think he's a good businessman who has
discovered he can make a lot of money writing parenting
books that appeal to the kinder, gentler, politically
correct parents of today. I also think he villianizes a
lot of good parents and falsely categorizes them as
overly harsh when they are not.