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What's controversial about attachment parenting?

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Enough has been said about the Time magazine cover and article surely!!

But, what about responses to the cover?  The Chicago Tribune described attachment parenting as:

"a controversial approach to child development that promotes practices such as baby wearing (carrying a baby close in a slinglike cloth carrier), co-sleeping and, of course, breast-feeding.”

The full article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-time-magazine-cover-0511-20120510,0,304585.story

I thought I'd ask attachment parenting advocate and babywearing trainer Ulrike Hoewer from Germany's Trageschule (Carrying School) to comment.

Here is her response:

"I have been asked to comment the so called “controversial aspects of attachment parenting”


I used the link Christine had send me. I read through the text. And, through another click on “child development”, find recent articles the magazine has issued regarding that topic. Among them was an article titled “How to find the best daycare.”
 I was curious to see what the criteria for best daycare was, so I read that article:


This is what I find:


“Choosing a day care center is one of the most important decisions that a parent is going to make," says Linda Hassan Anderson, senior director at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Academy (NAEYC) in Washington D.C. She recommends that parents seek day care that meets the highest standard of care and nurturing of child development — the early years are a crucial time in baby's brain development. You want care that will help your child develop social skills, build relationships with teachers and other kids, figure out how to regulate her emotions, and learn a lot.”


I absolutely agree that is why I love attachment parenting (ATP).

It provides the child with everything it needs to develop social skills, build relationships, learn how to regulate the emotions and learn a lot.
Why does ATP provide that? Because being close to your baby and reacting immediately to baby's need there will be a great strong bond build up between mother and child. The child will feel safe, secure, welcomed and accepted. He or she learns that they are special. Through bonding the child will learn everything called for above.  


Let me quote another line from that article:


“Constant supervision and good teacher-to-child ratios: A caregiver should watch your child at all times, even when the child is asleep….These ratios ensure that your child will get the one-on-one attention that's crucial to her social and emotional development.”


That is exactly what we do with a child in a wrap … nothing needs to be added.

Let us see what else is important: ”Teachers should be creative and intelligent”


Nothing is more fascinating for a young baby than to discover the mother: her face, her reactions and actions – in  a wrap or carrier the child is so close that she can actually see the face of the mother, feel movement, emotions and, when a bit older, also see the world as it is. Put your head into the neck what do you see? Not much of an inspiration - but now look in front of you - that is were the action takes place that is what you want to see as a child. That is what we offer when we carry our babies. That is a creative and intelligent way of early childhood learning.  

What else is on the list:


“A safe and healthy environment: Find out the program's health and safety policies and procedures. A good day care center will happily share its policies on everything from immunizations (should be up-to-date in all children) to hand-washing, dealing with sick children and diaper changing. You want to be sure that each adult in the center has had a background check and is certified in CPR and first aid. There should be plans in place for a lost, sick or injured child and regularly practiced emergency plans for fires, floods and other natural disasters.”


The only thing that shoots through my head is that I am glad I do not have to deal with this questions when it comes to my little Baby because he is at home with me.

“"Parents should be able to drop in at any point," says Fiene. If there are only designated times when parents can visit kids, that may be a red flag.”


We are already there…


“A focus on learning and development”


There have been numerous research articles showing that the basis for learning is a healthy bond between mother and child. Also breastfeeding helps - because there is something only in the mother's milk that will build up the brain (unsaturated fatty acids).  Babywearing (carrying your baby) is great for learning: stimulation of the sense of movement and constant information about that body through the tightness of the wrap  and much much more…


To sum up: it is clear that the number one daycare choice is the parent who allows their child to come close.


Herzliche Grüße aus Dresden
Ulrike Höwer