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GCM Webpage: Attachment and Natural Parenting

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Old 03-24-2005, 02:13 PM   #1
flowermama
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Default Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

GCM encourages and supports a style of parenting commonly called "attachment parenting." If you agree with our parenting statement of beliefs, chances are you "do" attachment parenting, whether you use that name to describe your parenting style or not.

The essence of attachment parenting is listening to our children, listening to our mothering intincts, and responsively meeting our children's needs.

They say it's what we would do if we gave birth to our baby on a deserted island, away from the advice of well-meaning relatives and friends, away from all the wildly varying opinions in the baby books. Without the influence of culture, this is how God designed us to be. Intuitively, we feel drawn to meet our baby's need for comfort, security, connection, and closeness with such things as gentle touches, nursing, cuddles, and loving words. We want to be *there* for our baby, and we want to do what it takes to help our baby feel right.

There is not a checklist of things we must do that will make any of us more of an AP parent that the mama next to us. Attachment parenting is an approach, a style of parenting, a lifestyle. Many attachment parents sleep with their little ones and use a sling -- we affirm that having our children be an intregral part of our daily lives is crucial, but how that looks in each family will be different for certainly God created each of us to be unique with individual needs. There are various attachment tools we can choose, and there are no pat "formulas" that work with all our children. The key is responsive parenting where we and our baby listen and communicate with one another -- that will help our trust and understanding of one another (and our confidence) to grow.

The ability to listen and communicate, and the understanding and trust that grows help us know how to parent our little ones as they grow older. God has been gracious to us, and as mothers we desire to be gracious with our children, and need to give ourselves grace, too. It's not about being perfect -- as one the mamas on the board has said, we are not perfect, but we are the perfect mamas for our children. As we seek Him and His wisdom, we can trust that He will guide us and give us the tools we need to raise our children in a way that will bring glory to Him.

Dr. Sears, a Christian pediatrician and father of eight, is the man who coined the term "attachment parenting." These links on his (and his sons') website explain things better than I ever could. I encourage you to take a look!

WHAT ATTACHMENT PARENTING IS –THE 7 BABY B'S
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t130300.asp

WHAT ATTACHMENT PARENTING IS NOT
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t130400.asp

GCM also supports informed choices. Becoming informed often leads parents to make choices outside the mainstream -- "alternative" or more "natural" parenting choices. Natural parenting is not the same thing as attachment parenting, and you can do one and not the other, but many elements are intertwined. We encourage you to search and see what natural parenting choices might be best for your family at this time, or perhaps in the future. Natural parenting includes such things as cloth diapering, avoiding mother substitutes, breastfeeding beyond a year or more, natural weaning, homebirthing, choosing not to vaccinate or delaying vaccinations, homeschooling and child-led learning, deciding against routine circumcision.

Also, please visit the GCM page about attachment and natural parenting for more information:
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/topics/apnp.php
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Last edited by flowermama; 11-24-2011 at 01:34 AM. Reason: to fix typos
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Old 02-09-2006, 06:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

I was wondering..... what is Natural Parenting? I looked around and I don't see a definition....
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

I'm not sure if you saw this part (I'm thinking you might have over-looked it due to the way I organized what I wrote above ), or perhaps you are looking for more of a definition?

Quote:
Natural parenting includes such things as cloth diapering, avoiding mother substitutes, breastfeeding beyond a year or more, natural weaning, homebirthing, choosing not to vaccinate or delaying vaccinations, homeschooling and child-led learning, deciding against routine circumcision.
Does that help at all?
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

Ohhh I see... what are mother substitutes?
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Old 02-10-2006, 03:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

Quote:
Originally Posted by illinoismommy
Ohhh I see... what are mother substitutes?
Well, depending on who you talk to (different people have different opinions) and depending on how they are used, here are some things can be mother substitutes: articifcial nipples -- pacifiers and bottles (both subs for breastfeeding), baby swings (sub for mom's arms/being held), and even carseats (they are necessary when driving, but they could be considered a "mother substitute" when people leave their baby in them for long periods of time when they are not in the car), lovies -- blankies and such (can be sub for mom's presence).

Due to differing family situations, some families may deem these things necessary or very beneficial for their family, so it's a very personal decision as to whether or not one uses these things and in what way.
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Old 02-10-2006, 05:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

thanks
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

I was guilty of using a swing and pacifiers as mothering substitutes--life without them is much better for us. Again, a totally personal choice. Very interesting and informative post!
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

"away from the advice of well-meaning relatives and friends, away from all the wildly varying opinions in the baby books. Without the influence of culture, this is how God designed us to be. Intuitively, we feel drawn to meet our baby's need for comfort, security, connection, and closeness with such things as gentle touches, nursing, cuddles, and loving words." I LOVE THIS STATEMENT!

It is this very feeling that started me on my quest through various parenting philosophies and found me adopting the 'attached parenting' philosophy. It's not that I advocate every single technique of it, but this is how I started my journey and I'm so thankful that my motherly God-given instincts are prevailing. It is because of this bond given to mother-child that I now co-sleep and feed on demand and in the future plan on practicing extended breastfeeding.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

This was sooo helpful, thank you. I see myself in a lot of AP practices. I like the philosophies behind it even though we don't co-sleep and I weaned at 6 months. Looking back, I wish I tried harder to keep nursing! But that's another post for another day. I'm looking forward to learning more about AP. It just feels right for me!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

I found this forum a few months back before my son was born. I really wanted to change my lifestyle and to start raising my babies this way. I had been doing daycare in my home and trying to AP my children and work with other children was not working so well.

So as of recently I have applied for some part time positions that would allow me to be with my children as much as possible, practice AP and make some money. I sure hope I get the job. Crossing my fingers!! Daycare is really taking away from the time I get to spend with my own children. The job I want is over night so we wont need daycare.

I'm so excited to have found this forum and to begin my journey with my two littles in AP!
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

thank you for helping newcomers like i am to be informed about AP. This is exactly why i joined this website. I need knowledge and encouragement + ral life stories from Mamas like i am to keep pressing on in raising my precious d in gentle grace-filled ways.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

Thank you for this, I began my journey in AP when my bubba wouldn't sleep in his moses basket and I was very confused. Thankfully I stumbled upon Dr sears at 2am on my iphone and I was so joyful to find that what my heart wanted was actually normal. Thus began our co-sleeping journey & eventually AP. I always wanted to use cloth diapers too so was doing that without knowing it was NP. I'm loving learning more each day!
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

Our first son in particular needed to be on me or my husband for most of his infancy. We wore out our wrap and baby carrier. It was challenging, but our instincts were right. He became increasingly more secure and outgoing and now at age 5 I can't tell you how often people comment on how mature, fun, caring and like-able he is. I share that just to encourage you moms out there who might be a bit weary. There were many times when people would criticize us, suggest we were "spoiling" him or that by carrying him all the time he wouldn't become independent. The opposite is true and I attribute his healthy adjustment to the extra nurture he received from day 1.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

Thank you for that very helpful description of attachment parenting and natural parenting ideas. I have read some of the Sears' books about AP, but I am less familiar with natural parenting ideas. Do you have a favorite resource you'd recommend to someone looking to learn more?
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: Attachment Parenting & Natural Parenting

Very helpful to differentiate between the two (AP/Natural). Parenting is definitely a big task and I want to make sure I am doing the best I can for my baby and this website is a blessing. Great info and great insight!
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