With so many parenting resources out there these days, do you really need another one? In the case of Attachment Parenting, the answer is yes. The term attachment parenting was coined by pediatrician William Sears, and refers to a method of child-rearing that focuses on intuitive care of infants and children. In the introduction by Dr. Sears, the features of attachment parenting are described as the Ôbaby b's': birth bonding, breastfeeding, bedsharing (sleeping with your baby), babywearing (carrying your baby in a sling), and belief in the signal value of an infant's cry. Granju and Kennedy explain in the first paragraphs that their book is fundamentally different from typical parenting books, particularly because this philosophy trusts that the parents in partnership with the child are the parenting experts. No one author, doctor, or other person can or should tell a parent exactly when their infant should sleep, eat, or even cry. In addition, many of the philosophical principles, such as responding quickly to an infant's cries, run counter to those that permeate American parenting in the 20th century.
After defining attachment parenting in depth, Granju and Kennedy offer advice about how to prepare for the baby on the way and an attachment-style birth. Much of the rest of the book is devoted to the two most controversial aspects of attachment parenting: extended breastfeeding and sharing sleep. For those concerned that this style conflicts with working outside the home, Attachment Parenting spends a chapter addressing the issue, and even goes so far as to provide a template letter requesting the creation of a baby-friendly workplace.
Through the use of cross-cultural comparisons, anecdotal evidence, and excerpts by researchers, the authors present evidence that attachment parenting works in all types of families. It's reassuring to read about the successful experiences of other parents and to learn how this parenting style has affected their lives and relationships with their children.
For both those familiar with attachment parenting and neophytes, some of the strongest aspects of the book are the comprehensive lists of like-minded publications and electronic media. News-groups, websites, magazines, and even other parenting books are referenced. Attachment Parenting is a must for those who plan to attachment parent.