The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby

The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby

by William Sears, Martha Sears


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America's foremost baby and childcare experts, William Sears M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N., explain the benefits—to both you and your child—of connecting with your baby early.

Might you and your baby both sleep better if you shared a bed? How old is too old for breastfeeding? What is a father's role in nurturing a newborn? How does early attachment foster a child's eventual independence?

Dr. Bill and Martha Sears — the doctor-and-nurse, husband-and-wife team who coined the term "attachment parenting" — answer these and many more questions in this practical, inspiring guide. Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that encourages a strong early attachment, and advocates parental responsiveness to babies' dependency needs.

The Attachment Parenting Book clearly explains the six "Baby B's" that form the basis of this popular parenting style:

  • Bonding
  • Breastfeeding
  • Babywearing
  • Bedding close to baby
  • Belief in the language value of baby's cry
  • Beware of baby trainers.

Here's all the information you need to achieve your most important goals as a new parent: to know your child, to help your child feel right, and to enjoy parenting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316778091
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/07/2001
Edition description: 1ST
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 359,588
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

William Sears, M.D., and Martha Sears, R.N., are the pediatrics experts to whom American parents turn for advice and information on all aspects of pregnancy, birth, childcare, and family nutrition. Dr. Sears was trained at Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital and Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, the largest children's hospital in the world. He has practiced pediatrics for nearly 50 years. Martha Sears is a registered nurse, certified childbirth educator, and breastfeeding consultant. Together, the Searses have authored more than 40 pediatrics books.

Table of Contents

A Word from Dr. Bill and Marthaix
Chapter 1Becoming Attached--How to Get There1
What Is Attachment Parenting?2
Seven Attachment Tools: The Baby B's3
What Attachment Feels Like8
Chapter 2The Benefits of Attachment Parenting11
AP Babies Are Smarter11
AP Babies Are Healthier14
AP Babies Grow Better16
AP Babies Behave Better17
AP Promotes Intimacy22
AP Parents and Children Work Together Better23
AP Promotes Empathy24
AP Is Contemporary25
The Payoff for Parents25
Chapter 3What Attachment Parenting Is Not26
Clearing Up Misunderstandings26
Myths About Attachment Parenting32
Chapter 4Bonding at Birth and Beyond36
Bonding at Birth36
Eight Tips for Better Bonding37
Rooming-In: The Attachment Continues40
How Rooming-In Builds Attachment43
Bonding Blues45
Homecoming: Ten Tips for Staying Attached the First Month47
Chapter 5Breastfeeding53
Breastfeeding Makes Attachment Parenting Easier53
Attachment Tips for Successful Breastfeeding57
The Benefits of Long-Term Breastfeeding62
Beware of the Breastfeeding Schedulers64
Chapter 6Babywearing65
The Background to Babywearing65
The Benefits of Babywearing68
Siblings and Babywearing78
Babywearing and Wearing Baby Down78
Work and Wear79
Babywearing for Subs79
Chapter 7Belief in the Signal Value of a Baby's Cry81
Crying Is an Attachment Tool81
Should Baby Cry It Out?84
Advice for Parents Whose Babies Cry a Lot86
Chapter 8Bedding Close to Baby89
Continuing Your Attachment at Night90
Our Co-Sleeping Experiences91
Why Bedding Close to Baby Works92
Sharing Sleep: How to Make It Work95
Moving Out: Weaning from Nighttime Attachment97
Night Weaning from the Breast: Eleven Alternatives for the All-Night Nurser98
Current Research into Sleep Sharing and SIDS102
Chapter 9Balance and Boundaries106
Is Your Parenting Out of Balance?--How to Tell106
Avoiding Mother Burnout112
Rekindling the Flame116
Stick With Attachment Parenting117
Chapter 10Beware of Baby Trainers119
What's Wrong with Baby Training?120
Does Baby Training Really Work?122
Why Is Baby Training So Popular?123
Handling Criticism125
Chapter 11Working and Staying Attached130
A Tale of Two Mothers130
Ten Tips for Working and Staying Attached133
How a Baby Can Change a Mother's Career Plans141
Chapter 12Attachment Fathering143
My Story: How I Became an Attached Dad144
Nine Attachment Tips for Fathers146
Where's Dad?152
Father Feelings About Mother-Infant Attachment155
Chapter 13Attachment Parenting in Special Situations159
Single and Attached159
Attachment Parenting the High-Need Child162
Attachment Parenting a Child with Special Needs164
Attachment Parenting Multiples166
Chapter 14Attachment Testimonials168
Could a Mother Not Want This?168
What Is a Good Baby?169
A Gift for Dad170
Working and Staying Attached170
Sensitive Night Weaning171
Understanding "Cries"172
Compassion for Others174
When Babies with Teeth Nurse and Sixteen-Year-Olds Drive175

Customer Reviews

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Attachment Parenting Book 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I read on attatchment parenting and I love it. We've slept with our 4 month old son since his first night home, and try to incorporate attatchment parenting into our days. It is a very supportive book with plenty of advice for dealing with the well-meaning family members who aren't so willing to accept this form of parenting. It has chapters on extended breastfeeding, adoption, single parents, and much more. Another great feature is Dr. Sears is clear to state not all of his recommendations need to be used-a welcome change from some popular parenting books with the attitude of 'My way or the highway'. A must read for every parent of young babies and children.
CharliesMomCA More than 1 year ago
My only regret is that I didn't read this book sooner. I purchased it and started reading it when my daughter was about four months old only to mourn the four months that I didn't give myself more credit. I was already practicing attachment parenting, I just didn't know there was a name for it...and I was letting all the naysayers affect the trust I had in myself to do what was right for me and my daughter. Now that I've read the book I no longer doubt my style of parenting, in fact I am more confident than ever that I am doing what is best for both of us. I look forward to reading more books from the Sears Library.
didilyn More than 1 year ago
I am grateful to the Sears family for writing this book - not only does it support my natural instincts, but I now feel justified in my parenting choice. So many well meaning friends have given advice (unsolicited) that simply felt "wrong" to me. This book helped clarify what is best for my baby according to research and natural mothering instincts. I am confident in my choices now and learned so much about the benefits of attachment parenting. Who knew so many decisions in early life could help form a person's trust in others during childhood and adulthood alike? I recommend this book to all new mothers. Don't listen to your well meaning friends and family. Trust your instincts and read this book to get the science behind those instincts. It's great to have facts to support you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think all new parents and/or soon to be parents should own this book. There is so much conflicting info available concerning vaccines and their safey and necessity that it is a releif to have so much useful information in one place. This book tells you what the vaccines are for, how likely the disease is to occur without it, what various brands of each vaccine are available and what goes into making each. It also discusses the ingredients individually and explains what the possible risks are and then gives a couple of alternative vaccine schedules. Overall, he leaves the ball in your court after giving you plenty of needed information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Attachment parenting as presented in this book by Dr. Sears is not about being a perfect parent. Attachment parenting is about communicating with your baby and understanding what your baby needs. Being a parent isn't easy---in fact, it's probably the hardest work a person could ever do in their life. Dr. Sears gives practical ways to care for your baby through attachment parenting. Wearing your baby, co-sleeping and nursing your baby are ways through which you can communicate and bond with your baby. Dr. Sears suggests in this book that every family use what is practical to them and what works in an individual family is different for each family. I loved reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As with any book, it's very important to take what you and your family can relate to and leave the rest. You can't do everything the book recommends, but do incorporate the things you can accomplish and feel comfortable with. I wore my baby more than I anticipated, which makes me believe it made a tremendous difference in the incrediable bond with my child (and helped with discipline issues later on), and most importantly listening to parental instincts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is more than a 5 star book! The Sears family truly knows children needs, and respect and love children. This book is a must for all mothers in the world. This is the most natural and ancient way of parenting - parenting from your heart with wisedom and attachment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will remind you of the importance of trusting your instincts with regard to parenting. It emphasizes the importance of being there for your baby, loving, listening and responding. Great baby shower gift.
echoesofstars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What Dr. Sears makes sense. The only part of this book that I question is sleeping with your baby. You just hear so many news reports about babies that have been suffocated by sleeping parents rolling on them. We have an Arm's Reach co-sleeper next to the bed because I don't want to roll over on the baby. This co-sleeping arrangement works well for breastfeeding - she is close by to nurse but not in the same bed. I personally am a huge fan of babywearing. We have a Moby sling, and it works wonders for calming her down. Sometimes being in the Moby is the only thing that works. Babywearing is a lifesaver for my sanity, and it is also wonderful for going out in public and in nature with baby. If you have been told to schedule your baby by "experts," or told you are spoiling your baby, go ahead and read this book. It will help you trust your instincts again!
lieslmayerson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to anyone that is having or adopting a baby. Many of the guidelines and theories in this book evoked the "well, of-course" response from me as I think (hope) they would for most people, but it provides support and back up for some of the ideas I might have questioned had someone asked me, "why are you choosing to do things that way?" Additionally, it had some excellent recommendations I had not considered and will probably incorporate into our parenting style (depending on the needs of our child). Attachment parenting focuses on birthbonding, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cosleeping, believing in the baby's cry, establishing balance and boundaries, and basing parenting on the individual child as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach. Two crucial areas that I found especially helpful were how to approach baby's cry and establishing boundaries. I also appreciate how this book discusses what typically are called fussy or difficult babies as high need babies. I like the shift to a positive language and approach to these babies. Instantly at the mention of a fussy baby, I cringe, picture an ill-behaved child with a haggard looking parent nearby. However, the much more accurate description of a high need baby, while maybe its crying is very trying, instantly produces an image of a baby that is a little extra sensitive and needs a little more attention to cope with the discomforts of life. This is such a different image of the same child and parent. Instantly the high need baby brings about a sense of empathy in how one would approach this child. Here are some parts of the book that I found helpful:[From a parent testimonial on the effect of believing baby's cry in an older child] "'I believe that he is this way because he's always been given empathy and love when he cries. His injuries, his pain, his fears are taken seriously. Becuase he has received such loving concern for his emotions, he is able to show that same concern towards others.'"[On the importance of establishing boundaries] "Attached parents are attentive to their children, but not to the point where they neglect their own needs. Mothers and fathers who are completely worn out and don't take care of themselves are not balanced attachment parents.""When helpers come to visit, be sure they actually help you. Don't be the one to wait on them while they hold and play with your baby. You should be the only [people] acting like the baby's [parents]. It's a good idea to make this clear before anyone comes to spend a week or two.""To a baby trainer, a baby's cry is an annoying, inconvenient habit, which must be broken to help baby fit more conveniently into the adult environment. To an attachment parent, a baby's cry is a language to be listened to.""Babies who are 'trained' not to express their needs may appear to be docile, compliant or 'good babies." These babies could in fact be depressed babies who are shutting down the expression of their needs."Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It just makes a lot of sense. As with any of the parenting books I am reading, I am only going to take the parts that work for our child as an individual, but I foresee us using much of the ideas in this book as part of our daily lives and interactions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Non-biased and extremely informational! I think ALL parents should be required to read this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book! I only wish I'd read it when I had my daughter 4 yrs ago. I found many mistakes I had made by trying to make my kids fit a mold that the "experts" said they should fit. Kids are not only unique but only a mother knows her child and we've known for centuries. Fortunately it's never too late and I will definitely do my best to make up for lost time. Very helpful that it doesn't have to be all or nothing in order to be attached to your kids. This is defintely a must have and just follow your instincts as a mother..your mother's heart will never lead you astray!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall great book- allows you to realize the developmental needs of an infant and the importance of applying this knowledge to the care you provide. Makes perfect sense- to love and nurture your baby. However, I am 4 months pregnant and this book did slightly increase my anxiety to being a parent- I agree with nurturing and tending to all needs of your baby but the recommendations in this book I believe put a lot of pressure on the mother to dedicate all of her time and being to the infant for the first 3 years. If I followed all of this advice- like breastfeeding until 2 years of age and letting the infant sleep in your bed until he/she is a toddler I invision going insane from lack of sleep and lack of "me time" (baby wouldn't be too lucky then, huh?). I am also a nurse and feel this book doesn't address the safety issue of sleeping in a bed with an infant at all. There is no mention of the changes to the bed that are necessary if a parent decides to do this such as eliminating fluffy pillows and bedding and not having a frame where the baby's head could become trapped. I agree that the first years of a baby's life are vital in tending to their cries and needs in order to form the proper amount of attachment, but I just think this book overdoes the attachment a bit and doesn't create opportunities for the infant to learn to self soothe and for the mother to resume somewhat of a life. The basic message is an important one to get though and therefore is a must to at least read and be aware of during those vital first years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are or think you'll be a type A mom- one who demands the best from herself, and if you are or will be a type A mom, as in A for attached- stay far away from this book. It will drive you insane. It will become the voice inside your head that compels you to parent in a way our society, our modern marriages, our human selves cannot possibly achieve. And then when you fall short because no human being can parent at this level and remain sane, you will feel like the biggest failure riddled with guilt at the supposed damage you have inflicted on your baby because you failed to keep them on your person while you tended to your other 3 kids and basted a turkey. I first read this book when I was expecting my firstborn. I innately believe that a baby's cry is his form of communication, I believe in holding a baby as close to 24/7 as possible because I love the infant stage. I believe in bonding with a capital B. Because this is what I believe naturally, I would have been better off not reading this book. It pushes you to a level of extremes. However, if you are one to believe in baby trainers, etc., this book is a valuable eye-opener.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrible, awful and dangerous. Nothing in the book has a scientific basis. I know families who have depended upon this theory with almost dangerous results. There are far,far better advice books on baby parenting. DON'T BUY AND DON'T ACCEPT EVERYTHING IN THE BOOK AS ABSOLUTE TRUTH!