I’m Mom Enough Not to Be an Attachment Parent

I’m home on my couch, in sweats, with my chest covered in bandages and a skin tight sports bra, following my lumpectomy for a precancerous breast mass yesterday. I had planned on leaving my computer off and relaxing with an icepack all day, but after I saw the Today Show this morning, I had to fire it up and blog. The segment with Dr. William Sears, 72, and Jamie Grumet, 26, who was photographed nursing her three-year-old son Aram on the cover of TIME magazine, totally pissed me off.

To be clear, I’m not riled up that Grumet is nursing a preschooler. I agreed with Charlotte when she told Violet on Private Practice two seasons ago that, “What you want to do with your boobs is your business.” (See the latest post on Love & Diapers for more perspective from a breastfeeding mom.) If Grumet, who was breastfed until she was six-years-old, thinks that nursing her older son is the way to go, so be it. I momentarily fantasized about nursing my 20-month-old when I learned that I was still producing breastmilk, but it’s just not my style.

What irritates me is the notion that moms who practice attachment parenting, in which they carry a child in a sling everywhere they go, breastfeed into toddlerhood, share their bed with their child, and attend to their child’s every cry–are somehow better than moms who don’t (as suggested by the headline on the magazine’s cover, “Are You Mom Enough?). And that kids who are parented in this way are somehow superior. Dr. Sears, who pioneered this extreme style of parenting, even goes so far as to suggest that attachment parenting prevents bullying.

“I’ve never yet seen an attachment-parented baby who’s become a school bully,” he said on the Today Show. “If you were on an island, and you had no mother-in-laws, no psychologists, no doctors around, no experts, this is what you would naturally and instinctively do…”

The bully statement is impossible for him to prove. In fact, one of his former patients just might be a bully now. I imagine that he’s seen thousands of patients in his career given his age, and I can’t believe that he’s followed every single one into adulthood.

And the island comment? I just don’t buy it. If we lived on an island, I wouldn’t haul Mason around in a sling all day–I’d encourage him to explore our surroundings and learn. I’d make every effort to protect him against dangers, just like we do at home by baby-proofing our apartment, but I’d want him to develop independence and curiosity, not cling to me all day. Part of being a healthy, happy person is being self-reliant, which he can’t learn if I do everything for him. The ultimate goal of parenting, I think, is to foster independence and instill an understanding in your child that you’ll be there for him, no matter what.

I also agree with psychotherapist Robi Ludwig’s take on attachment parenting, which she shared as part of the segment.  “When you give a child the feeling that the whole world revolves around them, it’s not good training for the real world,” she said. “The whole world doesn’t revolve around anybody.”

Since I’ve become a mom, I’ve tried to be less judgmental, and I think I’ve succeeded in some ways.  But there are certain issues that I can’t be neutral on–and this is one of them. Are you pro-attachment parenting, or against it? Share your thoughts here.

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  1. by peggy

    On May 11, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I am in agreement with your island scenario. I think some of this attachment parenting prevents some discovery and inquiry that all children should experience.

    I am also concerned that some of the attachment parenting techniques makes a child more dependent on their parental unit, rather than independent learners and discoverers that are age appropriate.

  2. by MommaM

    On May 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I personally find it pretty low of TIME Magazine to use the title that they did, as I’m sure they have plenty of moms who work there. A sad way to try and a) increase your sales and b) try to imply that mom’s who don’t do this aren’t mom enough.

    SHAME ON THEM for trying to add one other aspect of guilt to mothers.

    Unfortunately, the way this cover is positioned it doesn’t make me want to go learn about attachment parenting. I won’t be picking this magazine up, I won’t be sharing the link to the story. However, I did watch a brief segment on the parenting style that I found to be good. Where it was to each his own, but here’s what I do type of mentality. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/attachment-parenting-big-thing-child-care-15849262

  3. by Valerie

    On May 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I think attachment parenting has its merits and having just returned from living overseas there are numerous cultures who dont call this ‘attachment’ its just parenting ie:survival. Its not fair to assume my way of parenting is the best way, for either side of the argument.

  4. by blakesnewface

    On May 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I posted my opinion on my blog earlier today. I should not be forced to feel like less of a parent because I work full time and did not breast feed. And I find it cruel that the writer implied with the title “Are You Mom Enough?” that anyone who doesn’t breast feed or otherwise use the attachment parenting regime is not “enough”.

  5. by Sarah

    On May 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    My sentiments exactly. I am a mother of two (5 years old and an 8 month old). I was offended by Time’s headline which suggests that because I will be returning to work and not breastfeeding past a year that I am somehow not as good of a mother as one who chooses to do the opposite. For parents who choose attachment parenting and cry to have their decisions respected I would only expect that they respect the choices and circumstances of those who don’t.

  6. by Jasmine

    On May 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    The cover and the mom featured portray “attachment parenting” as being extreme and freakish. No body actually nurses like that! The average age for weaning worldwide is between age 3 and 4. I have a feeling that most parenting styles fall somewhere in the middle.

  7. by Holly

    On May 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I think this should really be called “no back bone parenting” the entire concept is meant to make a child feel entitled to anything and everything they want. And if you parent this way you aren’t setting serious boundaries that need to be set. Not to mention the lack of serious research about the long term consequences of this parenting style. I just don’t believe that breastfeeding your child once they’ve stopped using diapers is perverse, and is probably more so done to make the mother feel important.

  8. by Meg

    On May 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I think Dr Sears and his followers have made a business of making mothers feel guilty. Motherhood is already steeped in guilt without feeling as though you are doing your child an injustice by putting him in a stroller. I feel that this trend has bred, and is breeding, a whole generation of adults who feel entitled to anything and everything, and are not willing to lift a finger to get it.
    That said, whatever I think of attachment parenting, it is not my place to judge those who implement it. I wouldn’t want to be judged for my style of parenting either!
    Thank you for this article! I also commented on it here: http://sleepworkparent.blogspot.com/2012/05/yes-i-am-mom-enough-why-attachment.html.

  9. by jkd

    On May 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    honestly i am more than offended by this article than the time article.

    if you go to any website or blog that has wrote on the time article in all the comments on the article almost 98% are disgusted. its rare that someone comments otherwise.

    to me the picture is inappropriate not cause she is breastfeeding a 4 year old. its her all dolled up and him standing on the chair and even the fact that he is a boy and not a girl. it does not shed good light on the point of dr. sears at all! but it was controversial yes.

    what i am offended by is you telling me that you all feel guilty for weaning your child earlier than you would like or by choosing not to bf at all! i went back to work after 2 months tried pumping (nightmare) and only breastfeed when i was at home with her (was bottle fed other wise) she also co-sleeps with me (cause of the breastfeeding) and she is now 3 and still does both.

    who are all of you to tell me i am wrong? i dont care what you do in your own homes. i never read any books on raising a child this came from my own instincts! i have more people tell me i am wrong than i am right. and for anyone else out there like me they will tell you the same. why would you all feel guilty when you are the masses. maybe your guilt comes from ignoring your own instincts.

    just a thought.

    and speaking of masses journalism is not about writing about what everyone already does it’s about writing what very few are doing. is that not way more interesting?

    and to the writer of this article let me say that whole island thing? do you think for one moment if we lived in the jungle or an island we would walk away from our child and let them explore and put them down and let them cry it out? would that not attract our predator?

    just a thought.

    shame on you parents.com for not covering all sides of parenting.

  10. by Heather

    On May 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you all for sharing your opinions on this topic! I value and respect your thoughts.

  11. by Sarah m.

    On May 11, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Personally, to a certain extent I don’t believe there is a righ r wrong way to parent! I think you were put with your child because you know what’s best for him/ her! Every child has different needs and your motherly instincts wil tell you what you need to do! My daughter sleeps with me but I don’t think that it would be wrong if she didn’t.. It just happened this way and we never tried to break her from it! I think everyone is different and everyone has a different style of parenting and neither is right or wrong! I always tell women that are pregnant not to worry about what other people ( I.e. Moms in laws etc.) say, because YOU are the best mom for your child!!

  12. by Lisa Shin

    On May 13, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I work 60+ hours/week as an optometrist and I practice attachment parenting with my 3 1/2 year old daughter! She comes to work with me every day – it’s a beautiful time – she is a happy & loving & incredibly healthy child

  13. by Twingle Mommy

    On May 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I’m so sick of these mommy wars. I’m better because I breast feed. I’m better because I cloth diaper. I’m better because I stay at home. I’m better because I take my kids to church. I’m better because I home school and on and on and on.

    The bottom line for me is that I REFUSE to have a child centered marriage. It’s not heathy for a kid to be the most important person in the marriage and it’s REALLY not healthy for the marriage. I had a baby sling, my kids hated it! They screamed bloody murder in it. They all liked the backpack carriers that we used for long walks and hiking in the mountains. But I put my kids down. I have twins, how would I put two kids on me at all times? And what would I have done with my 1 year old? Put her on my shoulders???

    Kids are pretty amaing in that they can thrive in any loving enviroment. It doesn’t matter where you sleep or how long you were breast fed (or not) as long a your home is loving. It doesn’t even matter if a kid is being raised by their biological parent all they really need is love. (Did you sing?)

    So let the judgement of you’re not good enough stop already.

  14. by Danielle Rush

    On May 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I am mom enough to parent in the way that works best for my kids and for me. I nursed my daughter until 2.5 and my son until 2. I went back to work when each child was 8 weeks old, and I pumped milk at work until each one hit 1 year old. I took parts of attachment parenting that worked for me, and ignored the parts that did not. The Time article did not bother me, but I found the headline annoying. Why do we have to make parenting a contest?

  15. by Lori

    On May 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I do not agree with the whole picture of attachment parenting. That being said, my one year old daughter sleeps in the bed with me and my husband. She is the youngest of my four children. All of my children slept in my bed until they were at least a year old. I liked having them close to me I guess is the main reason for it. My son slept with us until he was two and my daughter was born so that had to stop. I know a lot of people don’t agree with co-sleeping with a newborn but I found it easier to fall asleep with her feeding…and of course she was free to use the boob as a passy if she pleased. That is just my opinion though.

  16. by S

    On May 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Isn’t all this attachment parenting stuff just the opposite of the recent articles about the “Tiger Mom” from China and the article about the French way of parenting (which seemed to virtually ignore your child)? Everyone thinks they do it all the right way. I’m curious if Dr. Sears and his ways have contributed to some of the current climate of kids who think they are entitled to everything without having to work hard for it. My kids are my world, but the world doesn’t revolve around them. Part of parenting is to make our children responsible citizens of this world and I feel raising kids to feel empathy for others is far more valuable then making them think everyone is here to meet their every demand at all times.

  17. by Jessica

    On May 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I’m not pro or against. But I do agree that the magazine headline was elitist and judgmental, which is ironic because all attachment parents claim to be asking for is not to be judged. Most AP parents that I know are the most judgmental, maybe because they’re being defensive or maybe because of Dr. Sears and his attitude. They claim to be promoting themselves so much lately as a form of public education, to foster understanding, but the TIME cover doesn’t do that. Mayim Bialik’s book and blog posts are the ultimate non-elitist non-judgmental form of education people about AP without being judgmental herself. The TIME cover should take a lesson from her.
    Bottom line, parenting is hard, no matter what form it takes.

  18. by aimiee

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

    My mom weened my little sister from the bottle at two and did the attachment parent thing and my little sister is now 7 and cries all the time because mom isn’t there at school with her and bc she doesn’t get everything.

  19. by Kelli

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I understand your point, however, you should really research Attachment Parenting yourself instead of relying on a single interview or a single article written in a magazine. We practice AP, but our daughter is very independent. We wear her in slings and carry her around, but she also climbs and crawls on things and she plays with puzzels that are designed for older children. She crawled early, is walking early and is speaking early. I still use a stroller sometimes and I don’t condem other parents for the way they raise their children. We didn’t read any baby books before out daughter was born, we just went on instincts. It wasn’t until 3 months in that we realized we were practicing AP. It’s foolish to think that AP kids don’t explore, don’t discover and don’t gain independence. I wish that mom’s would stop attacking one another and just do what they think is best for their child. There are so many other things in this world that are more crucial then whether or not you or anyone else was offended by a single article or a single interview about parenting styles.

  20. by Leah

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    To answer the question: Neither! Not for it, or against it. If it isn’t for you and your child, don’t do it. If you feel it’s what you must do, then great. I let my first born cry it out, he slept in his own bed, I nursed him to 8 months, I let him discover his world on all fours rather than carrying him around. He is smart, kind and pretty self sufficient for a pre-k kid. On the other hand, my daughter got carried around in a sling, is held constantly, co-slept with me in my bed and sometimes still does, and is still being nursed at 15 months with no sign of weaning on the near horizon. She is smart, kind and pretty self-sufficient for a toddler. Neither child is retarded or a bully, and they don’t have any complaints about the way I do things. I simply saw that each child needed something different according to the circumstances in which we stood. It’s not wrong to choose how to do things with your particular child. It’s just wrong to make others feel inferior if they don’t do things your way.

  21. by Jackie

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I have a 15 month old & a 7 yr old & both of my boys are wonderfully independent neither were breastfed but given the chance again I will breastfeed but I would be bald & insane if I carried my boys in a sling all day & separation axiety would be an issue. I agree that ” what you do with your breasts is your business” but I don’t agree that you should breastfeed a 5 year old, they should be drinking milk from the little cartons. It’s a little weird when a child is old enough to say i’m thirsty & goes for the breast.

  22. by Taylor

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I’m not fully an attachment parent nor am I a non-attachment parent (detachment parent???). I’m somewhere in between. However, I find it unfair that you equate carrying a child in a sling with doing everything for them. That is not what APing says. It’s also about fostering independence, just doing it in a gentle way with lots of parental guidance.

    I think we have to be balanced if we want to have balanced kids.

  23. by Rebecca

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Pro or against are both pretty extreme. I am pro doing what your instinct tells you to do, especially when they are small. I am pro comforting a crying baby, and holding them as long as they want to be held. I am pro nursing til you and your baby are ready to stop nursing. I am pro encouraging your child to explore their surroundings, and pro teaching your child to be considerate of others including Mom. So what side of the argument does that put me on?

  24. by Melanie

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:13 am

    My question would be…why are we letting authors and editors set us against one another? I know several people who practice what has been described here as attachment parenting. (None of them use that phrase, btw. They just parent.) I’ve never heard them diss another parent for NOT parenting that way.

    Honestly…the mommy wars are getting old. But we allow them to continue. We could just choose to ignore this sort of nonsense and deny the patriarchy the power to make us angry…

  25. by kathleen

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I never breast feed my two kids. My kids are 11 months apart. I HATE that title are you mom enough. ITs hard enough raising kids now. Being a mom is a hard job but a job I would never change.

  26. by minikin83

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Why is it that “crunchy moms” or “exclusive breast feeder moms” or “long-term breast feeder moms” are so frequently elitist and/or belligerent about their superiority? Like you said, what you do with your boobs is your business… What I do (or don’t do) with mine is MY business. (Hey, wait, aren’t elitism/superiority/belligerence GROWN UP ways of bullying?! Hmmmm…)Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t need to be a PUBLIC thing. Sex is beautiful too, but I’m not cool with sharing THAT with the public!

    If you’re proud of your mothering/parenting method – great! But, you (and your kids) are not superior to me (or my kids) just because we’re doing the same thing differently. You want to share what methods you think work well? Good for you. Cool. Thanks. We should be sharing information with each other and inspiring/being inspired to be better and better parents. But, I don’t have to agree with you or adopt your ideals, nor you mine.

    If I’m on a desert island, I’m going to teach my child how to take care of himself. Period. The fact is I just might not be around to do everything for him forever, I might die young, who knows?

    As far as the bullying claim, I’m pretty confident that I can teach him to respect others and be compassionate without carrying him around 24/7, sleeping with him, or breastfeeding him until Kindergarten. (Giving him a moral education and respect will do this nicely.)

    The only judging that should be going on is: are we healthy? are we happy? are we providing a loving environment as best we can?

  27. by Anna

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

    The island comment isn’t something he just made up. It’s based off of these things called facts that we’ve learned from natural societies and thousands of years of evolution.

    If you were born and raised to do what is natural and instinctive, then you would breastfeed well past two, to around four, the most common age for breastfeeding around the world.

    Or at LEAST to two, which is recommended by the World Health Organization because, health wise, assisted breastfeeding [Breastfeeding in addition to a healthy diet of foods] is best for the child’s brain and immune system.

    But instead of just paying attention to what is proven best for the baby’s health, lets all just do what we think makes us look the most socially acceptable.

  28. by pj

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I disagree. I come from a country that is less fortunate than the US where mothers brestfed their children as long as they can for survival and to them there is not deeper meaning than that. People here are so sensative about issues that are out of the norm and make such big headline about it.

  29. by Jami

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I have 2 children. My daughter is 10 yrs old, and my son is 2-1/2 yrs old. I have used attachment parenting methods with both of them, but I have not done it completely. I believe that the things I do with my children are things that come naturally for me and that my children enjoy. My husband and I both let our kids sleep in the bed with sometimes. Our kids have their own rooms and beds, but even if we put our son in his bed, he gets out of bed and ends up in our bed. We don’t mind though. We co-slept with our son from the time he was born (we had a co-sleeping wedge that we used for safety). I co-slept with my daughter from the time she was born and up to the age of 4, but she did have her own bedroom and bed. (At the time, I was a single mom and worked full time as a nurse on 2nd shift, so sleeping with my baby was the only time I got with her wasn’t working.) With my son, I chose to stay home with him full-time since I was married and my husband worked. We agreed we did not want to put him in daycare. Our daughter gets to sleep in the bed with us sometimes, but not very often. My husband has been away with work for the past month, so I’ve had both of my kids in my bed for the whole past month. I love cuddling with my kids. :) I breastfed my daughter solely til she was 3 mos, but then I found out I was no longer lactating, so she had to be put on formula. With my son, I was able to solely breastfeed him for 2 mos., then I stopped lactating. Sometimes mothers want to breastfeed their babies, but hormonally, they aren’t able to. My body actually does not produce enough prolactin, so I do produce milk past 2 or 3 mos. Both of my kids are very healthy and rarely get sick. My daughter plays violin and the recorder (which is like a flute), she is extremely smart and tests above her grade level in academics, is an artist (she sews, does fashion design, paints, draws, writes stories, and makes jewelry), and she has been a Girl Scout for almost 5 yrs. My son tests above his age developmentally in mechanics and attention-span. He is extremely bright and shows a lot of mechanical inclination. Both of my kids are very respectful and extremely loving. Everywhere we go, people tell us how well-behaved, friendly, and loving our children are. We get compliments EVERYTIME we go somewhere! :) We even flew from Alabama to California when our son was a year old, and we had tons of travelers on the plane, along with the stewardesses AND pilot, ALL told complimented us on how well-behaved and delightful our baby boy was on the 4 hrs. flight. The pilot told us he had NEVER seen a one year old behave as well as our son did. :)
    Oh yeah, and I wore my son in a backpack-styled baby holder all the time when he was a baby. I quit using it once he got to be about 6 or 7 mos old and was too heavy on me. I did use his stroller too, though.
    Personally, I think the whole breastfeeding into toddler years is a little weird and ridiculous, but I don’t judge those who do it. I subscribe to Time Magazine, so unfortunately, I got that issue in the mail. LOL I read the article and did not find it informative whatsoever. It was not really about attachment parenting. It was more about Dr. Sears and his life. I honestly don’t know why they threw the attachment parenting in there. Dr. Sears is a quack doc anyways. Nothing he has proclaimed has ever been able to be proven.
    I think as long as your child knows they are loved, then the child will be fine. You don’t have to give them your boobs til they are in elementary school for them to know you love them. My children are VERY independent, and I am very proud of them. They love their mommy and their daddy, but they do not cling to us 24-7. Sure, they love to cuddle with us, but at the same time, they are independent individuals, which is exactly what they need to be.

  30. by Elizah

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I think this blog title and some of the statements inside is just as inflammatory as the TIME cover. Although I don’t believe the mag cover is good for the boy, I do think it tries to bring attention to attachment parenting for the purpose of breaking some of the stereotypes. It’s not easy being an attachment parent because of all the crap you have to take from your mother-in-law, pediatrician, etc. As I’ve experienced it, the reality is that attachment children are very independent because they know they can always return to the comfort of the mother or father if needed. We don’t hide them in slings all day and keep them out of the world, but we (and very often the babies) prefer them to cribs, strollers, or swings. And when they are curious, we most certainly let them “explore our surroundings and learn.” We don’t “do everything for” our children either. The idea that this type of parenting yields little needy, helpless creatures is false.

    I’m sorry you were threatened by the poorly chosen title of the TIME article, but that doesn’t mean you should retaliate and then propagate myths about this parenting style. It sounds like you just reacted instead of researched.

  31. by Courtney

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I think moms in general should stop attacking each other and realize that, in 90% of cases, moms do the very best they can with what they have. I’m sure some children thrive in attachment parenting, and I’m sure some would find it suffocating. Let’s just celebrate our differences and realize that it isn’t a competition. And also remember that the mom on the cover of the magazine didn’t pick the title. Her blog is actually really need and non-judgmental. She even wrote an article for someone about things that women that breastfeed should STOP saying because women that don’t breastfeed find them offensive.

  32. by corinne

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

    As a mom of two beautiful, healthy, well rounded children, I must say that article is rediculous to suggest anyone not breastfeeding into preschool is not enough of a parent. There is not one study showing that children breastfed past the age of 1 are any better than those that weren’t. But there are plenty that show those breastfeedingin until 1 is best. I breast fed both of my children and I stopped because they grew teeth and it hurt. Personally I feel once a child can walk and chew regular food there is no need for them to be lacthed on to me still. And neither of my children are bullies by the way. And studies have shown tribal people do not breast feed too much longer than “civilized” societies ad I’m from an island and we stop after 1 also.

  33. by Jami

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

    In regards to Anna’s statement about WHO recommendations, this is actually what the WHO says about breastfeeding:

    Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.

    Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of pregnancy, is recommended by WHO as the perfect food for the newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth.

    Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

  34. by Lina

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Attachment parenting is actually about treating your child like a human being. If your best friend, spouse or family member cries, fusses or expresses discomfort, would you respond by helping them feel better? Attachment parenting is about bringing the family together again, something that is lacking in the us because of our concern to be more successful and to label everything.
    Crying it out, sitting the baby in a swing all day and to drop kids at a daycare the whole day are not healthy ways of growing up and that is what attachment parenting is against.
    I believe each mom must do what feels right for her, but there is so much false information out there that it is easy to get lost, that happened to me. i started by reading the baby whisperer and found myself feeling uncomfortable by the book’s suggestions. I then found dr sears and it felt right, just how I imagined raising a child should be…

  35. by Jenny

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I love the article. I am a breastfeeding mother but not for or against attachment parenting. I think little of both is necessary and to each their own. Different children have different needs and it’s up to the parent to be conscious of them and treat them accordingly.

    I love the head line because I think it brings attention the the breast feeding stigma. Breast are designed for this and to all the people who are uneasy with the picture, get over it. Women will still be doing it till the end of time and I think should be able to do so without being looked at in a sexual manner.

    A few decades ago women were urged NOT to breastfeed. I’m guessing it had something to do with formula companies. I’m so glad all the health benefits of breastfeeding are becoming more known to the general public. Also the special “attachment” it gives to mother and child.

  36. by J Beezy

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I personally find it offensive to pass judgement. I’m a first time mom. I had a very hard time getting pregnant. While pregnant my husband lost what we thought was a very secure job. What saving we had left after fertility treatments was quickly drained.

    I was set on taking things as they come. I breastfeed, but was just unable to produce enough milk to keep my baby full. I tried every trick in the book. At 3 weeks it was suggested to me by our pedio (whom is very pro-bfing) to introduce formula. Did I feel guilt? Sure, but I think more of it came from what is told to me by society.I realized I am doing my best and I would rather have a happy, healthy, full baby than to continue to breastfeed only “because I should if I want to be a good parent.”

    I returned back to work. I think it’s important for me to help my husband build back our nest egg and save for our child’s college education. That’s not possible without me working. I don’t think that makes me less of a parent. I co-sleep, I pump at work, I work 45 hours a week. It’s not possible for me to bring my child to work. I’m rasing a happy, healthy baby.

  37. by Debbie

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:46 am

    A friend gave me the Dr. Sears book at my baby shower. I really respected her, and I thought she was a great mother. I read the entire book, and I really tried to live up to the standard it set. However, I believe AP contributed to the onset of my PPD. I had difficulty breastfeeding and was exhausted from breastfeeding on demand 24-7, but I kept going because I didn’t want to be a “failure.” AP didn’t work for me. After four miserable months, I finally switched to formula and asked my husband to take over 1/2 of the night-time feedings so we both got sleep. And our baby moved into his own crib– out of our room. I ditched the sling, used a stroller and brought in babysitters so I could have some time to relax, read and work during the day. Our son is incredibly attached to us, and he’s healthy and happy. When my second baby arrived, I followed my instincts. I ignored the pressure to breastfeed and enjoyed every minute of his infancy while fully supported by my husband who helped with night-time feedings using bottles of (gasp!) formula, diaper changes, etc. Attachment parenting doesn’t work for everyone. If Attachment Parenting makes you happy, you should attachment parent. I respect women who choose to attachment parent, but it didn’t work for me. In order to be happy, it was important for me to be able to sleep and also to work outside the home. It was difficult to face the scorn of the attachment mothers who bragged about how they’d never left their preschooler with a babysitter and how they kept breastfeeding after multiple bouts with mastitis, but I also knew I was making the right decision for my family.

  38. by Jessica

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I am a stay at home mom to our 17 month old daughter. We choose this route because we want our daughter to be potty trained and talking before we put her into a daycare setting( i was hit by a daycare teacher when is was a child) also i am going to school to be a teacher and have worked in numerous daycare settings and have seen first had what gets ignored. Anyways..I dont carry my daughter around 24/7, she is already in a toddler bed however if needed/chosen she sleeps with us at night. She refused to ever use a bottle(pumped milk) or pacifier. She has been breastfeeding since birth and still does but only 2x a day now and for comfort(when wanted). She also drinks whole milk from a sippy cup. My daughter has been walking since 8 months old..knows how to throw her garbage out, put her clothes in the hamper, brings us to the fridge when shes hungry. She is very independent and smart for her age. Although her doctor claims that she is advanced for her age..We as her parents can see a huge difference between her and 2 of her friends all born the same week that aren’t breastfeed (they never were).I do agree that there are some significant differences in children’s development based on breastfed and none breastfed children..however I don’t believe I’m better than anyone nor that other parents are wrong in the ways they choose to raise their children.

  39. by Cherie

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I think it’s strange that so many “negative” responses came from this article. For one, the picture on the front of the magazine is ridiculous! The mother portrayed here is NOTHING like the picture makes her out to be. As far as the title… That wasn’t coming from a parent who believes attachment parenting is the way to go… this is from the magazine to get people in an uproar about it to make more people BUY their magazine. I agree with some others who have commented, that attachment parenting isn’t about attending to your childs every “cry”, but to simply nurutre and love your child the way we are “supposed” to! Breastfeeding isn’t only until your child is one and to be honest I think the cover of TIME magazine made it look as if they were portraying breastfeeding beyond one in a “bad” way. NO ONE! and I mean no one who continues to breast feed their child after the age of one carries around a stool for their child to step up on and pull down their shirt and nurse with the arms haning at their side! Just ridiculous! Another thing… the women who were represented in the article did not in anyway suggest that those who do not practice what they call “attachment” parenting are better than those who don’t. I actually had the opposite response than those who were upset about the article. I was actually upset about the response from those who think attachment parenting is something it’s not!

  40. by Ruth Agatep

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

    The island comparison is funny because, unless trying to prepare for a living in seclusion on an island, it is NOT the real world. In my field of business, I manage teenage kids who have zero work ethics, a lack of common sense and feel that every task should be celebrated and I believe strongly, that’s it is due to our youth being handed everything immediately and are no longer taught to be self motivated, think independently nor competitive. We are hindering our youth’s abilities. Attachment parenting is selfish. Although it may be a great feeling for the parent to feel “mom enough”, these parents are NOT thinking about their children’s future endevours.

  41. by AT mom

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

    You clearly have missed what AT is all about. It IS indeed about fostering healthy independent individuals.
    I didn’t become an AT by choice. I became one by default. Because unlike you I instinctively know Dr Sears to be right. I do exactly what I would do if I lived on an island. I carry him because that teach him new experiences in the comfort of his mother. I let him sleep next to me cuz it gives him warmth, nurture and reminds him that he’s got to breathe. (Babies innate response to trauma, cold, heat etc etc is to stop breathing) and I will brestfeed him til he no longer needs to be breastfed, until he no longer needs the benefits of the breast milk. I hope I raise a superior kid. A superior kid who is well balanced and secure within himself to know you don’t need to put people down to be superior. (Jesus didn’t. Not saying that i think my son is the next jesus)

    However. I don’t think you are any less of a mother for choosing to raise your kid differently.

  42. by Scibeira

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Does anyone else find it interesting that it is the moms who didn’t breast feed who take offense to the article and title. It is their guilt disguised as anger. Hmmmmm.

  43. by Krista

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

    This issue I think has gone on for too long…lets just all agree that we all do the best we can as parents, trying to provide the most loving, secure environment for our children. Teaching them right from wrong, treating others with respect & so on…i personally don’t agree with attachment parenting, but thats not my style, I love my children dearly, but there comes a time that every child needs to learn how to do things without mom or dad. With that said, everyone does attachment parenting differently, some take it to the extreme (which its where you get children who expect things to be handed to them without lifting a finger) & there are others who teach the importantance of being independent & not expecting inferring to be handed to them. So I there are all sides to this type of parenting.

  44. by Sue

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I am mom enough not to judge the way other moms raise their kids and I expect the same courtesy from them. I breastfeed, co-sleep, use a stroller, but what it all comes down to is I LOVE my kids and I do what is best for us. Being a mom is the hardest job you’ll ever have without all the judgments from other moms. What we need is to support each other and our parenting choices!

  45. by Coral

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I think, because you aren’t an “attachment” parent, you have a somewhat “clinical” view of attachment parenting. I liked what you said about being on the island with your son and encouraging him to explore. Yes, part of attachment parenting is maintaining that “closeness” that slings and carriers provide. However, that doesn’t mean I carry my son 24/7. I foster independence through attachment parenting. The idea is that if I’m always there and I always offer to be with him/hold him/play with him he will play more on his own because he knows I’m there whenever he wants me. It is my personal belief (and there are some studies that substantiate this) that clingy children are clingy because they don’t know if you’ll be there after they let go.

    I have 3 kids, all “attachment parented” (which I didn’t read about or know about before I had kids. It’s just the way I raised my kids naturally) None of my kids are clingy. None of my kids have a problem with being on their own, or going with friends, or even going to sleep at night (in their own beds, by themselves) My kids are well adjusted and function well in social circumstances, independently. Most people comment on my oldest son’s level of independence, because he is so self sufficient.

    Being an “attachment parent” isn’t as simple as “attending the child’s every cry”, it’s about being there when they get scared and telling them why it’s ok, and why they don’t need to be afraid. It’s about being there when they get hurt, comforting them and then telling them that the next time they try they will succeed. It’s about being there when they have a choice to make and reminding them that THEY can make the best choice. My kids are independent because even when they are on their own, they are never alone. They always have the memories of help, support and advice to guide them on their way.

    Because of the bond I have developed with my children, which I believe is the direct result of “attachment parenting”, they trust and believe in me. When I believe in them, they believe in themselves that much more. You can say this is the nature of all parent-child relationships, but that isn’t true. I know that even from my own personal relationships. In my experience, when a child raised through attachment parenting starts to assert their personal independence, it isn’t direct at the parent, but rather constructively channeled into personal strengths and creativity. None of my kids ever fought me, or had tantrums or screamed at me and told me no. My kids trust my word. If the answer is no, it’s no for a reason. I’ve also made it my policy to be honest with my children and use clear direct language. Instead when my kids found their independence they shared it with me, treating me like a friend and not the authority figure they need to rebel against.

    I look at my relationship with my kids as a gift. I understand their unique forms of communication and their body language. I can use this to tell me how they feel and what they need. For me, this came from a lot of hard work and commitment to my relationship with my child. If this is the nature of your relationship with your child, you are blessed. For me it is the result of “attachment parenting”.

    Some people don’t like how I raise my kids (my parents included) but I don’t much care for people who have kids and expect it to “just work” and then can’t understand why when their kid is a teenager they are dysfunctional and troubled, or why their kid’s emotional tool box is missing key pieces. Now I COULD assume that all parenting that isn’t “attachment parenting” is like this, but that would be a narrow minded generalization.

    I like to believe that we all try to be the best parent we can be. If that means we are an attachment parent, then that’s what works for us. If you are some other kind of parent, then that’s probably what works for you. I think the only kind of parenting that deserves criticism is that which results in parents that aren’t doing their best and kids who suffer because of it.

  46. by michelle

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I personally do not agree with attachment parenting. It’s not for me. I believe in fostering your child’s independence. I believe that you should not give your child the assumption that the world revolves around them. I am a full time college student. My 5 and 8 year olds know that when it is time for me to do my homework they need to do things on their own and try not to interrupt me. My children are very independent, as they should be. Even my 17 month old is very independent. She can already feed herself with a fork and does not like getting help, but knows how to ask for it when she needs it. I see other parents carrying their children that are good and able to walk. If they can walk let them walk!! I think that giving your children the assumption that the world revolves around them will lead them to have a huge shock when they get into the real, working world. Children need to be taught that the world doesn’t revolve around them and that they need to work for what they want. My children are learning this by watching me go to school, especially my 8 year old. It is important to foster your child’s sense of independence. I haven’t actually read te full article. I honestly don’t want to. I think it will irritate me. I agree that the dr in the article is wrong that children that were parented with attachment parenting never become bullies. That doctor couldn’t have possibly followed each and every one of his patients to see if thy become bullies. It really irritates me that Time magazine would word the title in the way that they did. Because I choose not to parent with the attachment parenting method I am less of a mother? I am less of a mother because I teach my children the skills that they need to be independent people? That does not make any sense to me!!

  47. by Erica

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I have to say…I practice attachment parenting with my 12-month old and I hate the title of the TIME’s cover. That said, I am all for doing what is best for your family and all for making it work…but the principles of attachment parenting is rooted in evolution and biology. The idea is based on research that a child learns to become dependent on their parent for food, comfort and protection and then will discover their world on their own when they want to. This doesn’t mean you cater to their every need and every cry, in the sense of a demanding toddler…it’s a philosophy for determining why they are crying and finding more appropriate solutions to help them learn from it. That is a very big difference! There are a lot of reasons why there are benefits for infants following this practice and I am unsure if the article even covers it. There is a lot of research suggesting that bullying does decrease with this practice since it supports and promotes a more centered and confident child. I AM NOT suggesting that if you do not practice attachment parenting that your child will be a bully or will be bullied…I am saying that in this crazy, violent, aggressive world…there seems to be some merit in these philosophies. I just HATE the way it was presented and hate the way it puts all moms down..b/c let’s be honest…we all do what we think is best for our kids!!

    If anyone is curious, I suggest that you read “The Contiuum Concept” (rooted in the psychobiological aspect of human nature) and “Attached at the Heart” for the real principles of this parenting style and not to go by the opinions of others…These two books delve into the difference b/t societal beliefs and the instincts of a baby and toddler…very different!

    Either way….we are ALL mom enough and we should all do our part to support each other rather than continuing these ridiculous “MOMMY WARS”…if we are comfortable and confident in our parenting than we will reflect that in our children!

  48. by Mayra

    On May 14, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Sadly the problem is that few people know what attachment parenting is. The ones who pretend to know have only read a headline…or a paragraph summarizing AP.I The notion that attachment parenting does not encourage independence or discovery is just preposterous.bordering on blasphemy. I am a 26 year old mother of a 18 month old–today actually— it ook me miscarrying to really read hundreds and hundre

  49. by Sarah

    On May 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    When I was pregnant and preparing to be a mom I had never heard of attachment parenting or any other specific method of parenting. I was more concerned learning practical techniques of newborn care. One day, when my baby turned 6 wks old he suddenly couldn’t be put down for any reason (naps, swing, bouncy seat, stroller, ANYTHING!) without crying. I was desperate to find a way to get things done and console my son. A few internet searches later I found attachment parenting. I bought a sling, started wearing my son, and everything got EASY! No more stress. Baby was happy and I was getting things done and was close to him. I bought Dr. Sears book and much of it makes sense to me. I think you can use some of the attachment parenting techniques in a moderate way. I work outside of the home and I pump then breastfeed when with my baby. I don’t have guilt about that and I don’t plan on continuing until after he’s one (or maybe one feeding a day till he’s two). I reserve judegement of other mom’s techniques. Whatever works and makes you happy! All kids are different!

  50. by Heidi

    On May 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    “What irritates me is the notion that moms who practice attachment parenting…are somehow better than moms who don’t” And yet you seem to be saying that mothers who DO NOT practice attachment parenting are better! Rather hypocritical. BTW, I practice my own version of attachment parenting, I used a sling and breastfed for 2-3 years, my babies would sleep in my bed for some (not all) of the night, by 2 years old they were all in their own beds all night (unless they were sick or had a nightmare, which was rare). My kids are now 9, 6, and 2 and they are all perfectly well-adjusted, they are independent (my older two have gone on camping trips w/out mom or dad, they love school, they are not needy or clingy or shy, they make friends well and get all A’s or “exceeds expectations” in school. My two year old is doing great as well, he is still nursing but he never rides in the sling anymore since he prefers to walk. He doesn’t cry a bit when he stays with a babysitter and he speaks very clearly and has an above average vocabulary. I’m not saying that attachment parenting is the only way to raise children or that parents using different methods cannot get similar results, but attachment parenting has worked very well for my family. It is a perfectly valid parenting method that many families have benefited from, and practiced correctly it DOES teach independence and empathy.

  51. by Heidi Rosen

    On May 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Personally, I think this attachment parenting (among other factors) is also the cause of the proliferation of narcissism in the United States. The Today Show did a segment about that a few years ago too: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30312181/ns/today-books/t/me-me-me-americas-narcissism-epidemic/#.T7E7z79XzUQ

  52. by Ashley

    On May 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I did and do practice attachment parenting but didn’t like the Time cover either. And if you followed up on the story you would know the mother on the cover didn’t like the picture they chose and also disagreed with parts of the articles as well. My son is now 23 months old and breastfed until 21 months child and parent led weening but in loving natural way. He slept in our room in an arms reach basinet until he was 6 months and moved to a crib just fine across the house. I also wore him everywhere which helped tremendously since he had colic and stomach issues. He is now a very independant little boy and likes to explore on his own but also loves his cuddle time. I didn’t practice every part of AP but made it my own and it’s what works for us. Everyone needs to stop being so judgmental towards other mothers. I would never let my baby CIO but would never judge anyone who chooses to do it either because that is what works for THEIR family.

  53. by Chris

    On May 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    The problem with the time magazine, and this article is it pits moms against moms. It’s not a game. And to quote another article I read, “This is not a test. It’s a game called Extreme Parenting, and you can’t lose if you don’t play. And, really, why would you play? You have children to raise.”

    I am tired of moms telling other moms they are doing it wrong, or their way is the better way. How I raise my son is a choice made my husband and myself with the guidance of our pediatrician. We have a healthy happy 2 1/2 year old son. And really, isn’t that all that matters?

  54. by Breanne

    On May 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    I think you have to do what is best for you and your child. My me and my child I want her to know I love her and I’m always their for her but I can do that without her clinging to me every second of the day and with her sleeping in her own room. She will need to learn to be independent one day very soon. As much as I would love to be with her 24/7 that just isn’t possible for us and frankly she makes too much noise for me to get any sleep at night with her in the same room let alone the same bed. She giggles and wiggles in her sleep way too much for that.

  55. by Tina

    On May 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Maybe if we didn’t feel such a compulsion to label everything and catagorize people this would not be such an issue, but it is and it pisses me off too. I couldn’t breast feed, does that make me a bad parent? All I heard about was ear infections and immune sytem issues. I did have a family bed, and all I heard about was “never getting them out!” The bottom line is simple, we are human and we are going to screw up. Our kids will have memories of our screw ups and the times in which they thought we were super heroes. Why does our generation (I am 45) think that we are so much better at this than previous generations? Why do we have to be? Can’t we all love our kids and do our best as mothers?

  56. by kim

    On May 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    It seems like you’re equally as ignorant as the parenting philosophy you’re trying to discuss.

    If you think all people who practice AP are nursing toddlers, bedsharing with older children, carrying their child, you are sorely misinformed. I am an attachment parent who works part time outside of the home, formula fed because of medical necessity, and never even used a sling with my first child. Attachment parenting doesn’t promote a strict set of guidelines you must follow, like if you don’t nurse until your kid is in kindergarten that they’ll be somehow scarred for life and beating up all the other kids on the playground. You take what works for your individual child/your family and leave the rest.

    I never have met an AP who uses a sling all the time. Saying that attachment parents use slings all the time and don’t encourage independence for their child is the furthest thing from the truth. My child who was worn in a carrier is a whole lot more independent than the one who hated being in one!

    I would advise you to actually do some real research on what attachment parenting is THEN make a judgment. Thinking we’re all pompous and extremists because of some magazine headline is incredibly ignorant on your end. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  57. by Joelle

    On May 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I do agree with attachment parenting to some degree. I’ve never really read that much into it, but it is a style of parenting that comes naturally to me. However, I certainly don’t take it to extremes (i.e. carrying baby around in a sling all day).

    My son has been exclusively breastfed, and I plan to continue to do so until I feel he is ready to be weaned. I have always been very attentive to his cries, especially when he was younger. He sleeps in his own bed most of the time, which is in my room. And if he is having trouble sleeping he is allowed to sleep in my bed. If he is having a “bad” day for some reason I will give up on housework for the day and spend the time reading to him, rocking him, or playing with him.

    Now, I am not one to say that I am a better mother then anyone else–but I do know that this style of parenting has worked very well for me and for my son. He is now 11-months-old, and is a very independent and confident boy. He is comfortable around other people, rarely ever clingy, and he can literally spend hours contentedly playing by himself. While I know some of this is determined by personality, I do believe that my always being very responsive to him plays a significant role. He trusts that I will be there for him if he needs me, and therefore he is comfortable playing independently.

  58. by Jennifer

    On May 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    From reading your article it is obvious you know nothing about attachment parenting except for the superficial garbage that gets the 30 seconds on the Today show. Learn about something before you comment on it.

  59. by Wendy S.

    On May 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I agree with Robi Ludwig’s take on this issue. Parents should always strive to teach their children to be self-reliant, not revolve around them. Otherwise they are grossly unprepared for living in the real world. Attatchment “parenting” is just another excuse for moms to not let go and let their kids mature.

  60. by STEVEN ROHAN

    On May 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Dr. Sears. “If you were on an island, and you had no mother-in-laws, no psychologists, no doctors around, no experts, this is what you would naturally and instinctively do…”

    IF?

    IF??

    IF U were on a Deserted Island?

    You’d probably be doing your sister.

    THATS where you going with this?

    (Dr. Sears seems to be 6 short of a 6 pack)

  61. by Emzwee

    On May 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I agree with many its a personality thing. I’m not an attachment style person, but my baby came that way. I try to encourage as much independence as I can, but she is very clingy, has always screamed for babysitters, and freaks out if she doesn’t know where I am. So I’ve read Dr. Sears stuff and followed some of it because nothing else worked for her. We breastfed longer than I ever thought I would, although not a long as most. We quit at 15 months. I think the key is, all of us are different and we don’t need to judge if one mom is better than another

  62. by Sarah

    On May 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I am concerned that some parts of this article, along with a few of these comments may be perpetuating some misunderstanding about “attachment parenting” and it’s methods and goals. I believe that Sears style attachment parenting actually hopes for and encourages independance and self reliance, only it waits for the child to choose these things on their own (perhaps with some gentle coaching) rather than have it forced on them before they are ready. I include my 22mo old daughter in my daily tasks, sometimes in a sling and sometimes not, breast feed her when she asks for it, and respond quickly to her cries in hopes that she will continue to be able to venture out with confidence, secure in the knowledge that I will respond to her if and when she needs me. I will never assume that this style of parenting is better for your child than it is for mine – but it is what I have chosen and I know that I and other attachment type moms would appreciate it if our choices weren’t judged either.

  63. by Becki

    On May 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    What about us Moms who wanted to breathers but couldn’t? I felt like a failure….. But then we discovered she was tongue tied and couldn’t but the guilt killed me…. Am I not Mom enough? Doubt it, my baby is a beautiful and very advanced toddler now… Do not look down in women who use formula, maybe they didnt have a choice….

  64. by MP

    On May 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Sadly the problem is that few people know what attachment parenting is. The ones who pretend to know have only read a headline…or a paragraph summarizing AP.I The notion that attachment parenting does not encourage independence or discovery is preposterous.
    And yes i am a better mother because i breasfeed…because im the first one to experience every of my childs milestones…because she IS my priority—not the big home or expensive cars or clothes.I am raising MY child..(with my husband)no stranger is.The most laid back,loving,patient,encouraging to explore, parents have been parents who practice AP. Thats not to say that other parents are not loving…not saying that. But I see how self attachment parents go out of their way to raise a their child in a way that fosters self-esteem, independence, kindness toward others and animals.knowledge of the world and Always trust in parents. My advise: Educate youself. stop being a slave to modern barriers that get in the way of loving dedicated parenting. Stop pretending formula is the same as breasmilk.Stop pretending your milk “dried up”…

  65. by Jenny

    On May 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I agree with Twingle Mommy, who posted May 13th, who commented on the mommy wars. Why do we have to waste energy judging each other as mothers? What is best for your child may not be good for the next mother’s child and vise versa. The most important thing we can do as mothers is make decisions that are best for our children and ourselves, including considering other support people in our lives whether they are husbands, boyfriends, friends, parents. And we need to support and love each other as mothers. Motherhood is what we all have in common.

  66. by Kerri w

    On May 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I agree we shouldn’t judge each other as mothers (unless of course you’re on Jerry Springer or Maury’s “you my baby daddy”). I don’t know enough about AP and I don’t consider myself an AP practitioner but I do think that in some ways all mothers take on some sort of form of this practice (whether it be breastfeeding, attending to their cry, etc). I think the hard part is that AP has gotten somewhat negative exposure (Alicia silverstone feeding her son like a baby bird, the article done on Malim Balik from blossom). Also, I’m assuming that the Blogger here has had negative exposure from those who do practice AP. I had the unfortunate experience of encountering someone who put her life on hold to cater to her son’s every cry, want for breastmilk, etc. Just a guess that this may be why she is taking the negative from that article and segment……

  67. by Jill Cordes

    On May 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your post on this and I happen to agree with you on all counts. I also really enjoyed Berit’s (Love and Diapers) on it too. I am breastfeeding right now but not sure how long it will last as Emmett barfs up copious amounts of my breastmilk, versus formula. We already got him on Zantac and I had high hopes it would work. But it’s not really. And I’m wondering how long I can hang in there. I guess all this to say I appreciated the read, the comments (good and bad–always good to see everyone’s perspective) and that both of you wrote from your hearts on this highly controversial topic. Most importantly, I am glad you are out of surgery and recuperating. Get well! Best, jc

  68. by JessDK

    On May 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I think some people do not understand what Attachment Parenting is… or what it looks like for individual families. Some are more extreme than others. I think there is a stereotype and it’s probably not accurate.

    I agree with the poster who asked why it matters as long as children are loved and know their parent(s) love them?

  69. by Elizabeth Atwood

    On May 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Well said! My son has never slept in our bed, I have a bad back so I could never wear him, and due to medications I’m on I couldn’t breastfeed. I don’t think that makes me a bad parent and I don’t think that my son suffers because of it. It totally agree that it is our job as parents to prepare our children for what lies ahead of them. I suppose Time got what they wanted because now everyone is talking about them, but I think it was poorly done.

  70. by Cassie

    On May 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    MP I genuinely believe your children will not benefit from your style of parenting, that is not because you AP, because I AP as well, it is because you parent with a sense of superiority. I promise you, every mother will find a time when they don’t do something “perfectly”. Your comment that “yes I am a better mother because I breastfeed…stop pretending formula is the same stop pretending your milk dried up” is hateful narcissistic and ridiculous. You are not going to be able to raise well rounded children until you become well rounded yourself. and your comments about women who did not breastfeed are hateful and malicious. My cousin had breast cancer that metastasised while she was pregnant because of the hormones and she had to have her breasts removed after the baby was born…is she a bad mom because she can’t breast feed because her breasts tried to kill her? is she a lesser mother because she used the only other thing that she could use.. formula? or is your personal superiority complex so severe that you fail to have compassion and praise for women who genuinely are better mothers because they give their children the best that they HAVE to give. Moms need to be more supportive. more mothers would breastfeed if more mothers would genuinely gently support each other in the struggle and offer to help one another. Stop putting down the mom who isn’t doing it your way, focus on your own children, and ensure that they mirror your example which SHOULD BE kind compassionate understanding and non judgmental people

  71. by Jessica

    On May 16, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I personally am not into attachment parenting. I have seen my kids do some awesome things with the independence I have been giving them. All three are really sweet caring kids and that didn’t come from attachment parenting. That being said, I think mothers/fathers/families should raise their kids the best way they see fit. I wish we would support each other as mothers and help us build confidence as parents instead of tearing each other down the first moment we get.

  72. by Cassandra Barry

    On May 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. And for the record, one of biggest 3 year old bullies I know is the result of attachment parenting. Because his parents never freakin’ say NO to the kid.

  73. by Jorjie

    On May 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I practice attachment parenting!

    I breast feed my 1 year old (when she wants to nurse), She sleeps in our bed when she wants to (easier to nurse at night), I wear her (although we own a stroller), We take her out of her car seat not her car seat out of the car, We cloth diaper.

    I do not judge you for not, I do not tell you, you are wrong, I do not shoot you dirty looks for giving your child a bottle (if you so choose to), I do not lecture you for using disposables or giving your child sugar, you can give your child sugar in a bottle it is your child and how you choose to raise them is your choice.

    DO NOT act like I am the judgmental one!
    DO NOT act like you are the victim.

    I have never seen a bf mom tell a mother giving a child a bottle they should only feed their child in privet. I have never seen a baby drinking a bottle be kicked out of a store or restaurant.

    I have never seen a mother of a baby in disposable diapers be hassled and told they would never last using those, or told how gross they are and unclean for using cloth.

    and since you brought it up, strapping a kid in a stroller or shopping cart is still keeping them from exploring.

    Is it so bad to make breast feeding more normal or exceptable? So those who choose to do it are not treated so poorly in public.

    Is it wrong to educate individuals on the health benefits so they can make their own educated choices?

    I would alike to address this idea of AP being the cause of Self centered kids/ adults… Look at the stats, look at the time line. These coming of age adults are actually from the time where Formula was the ‘only’ way to feed a child, day cares and nanny’s raised all of the kids, and babies had decked out nursers that they spend from 7pm until 7 am in alone (plus the two strictly scheduled naps) we did not feed babies when they were hungry we put them on a scheduled. because that is what we were told to do. AP was not the norm (nor is it now, heck it was not even popular then). *personal opinion: parents who felt guilt and purchased every toy in the store, the you can do/ be / have anything you want idea that is what taught children the since of entitlement. Love and attention do not teach your children to act out for more attention, they already have it so they don’t need to do the bad things to get more.

    Everyone makes their choices based on what they think is right (at least I choose to think that) there is no exception with the way we raise our children. If we thought the other guy was right or doing it better we would be doing it their way. So if you want the “mommy wars” to stop, stop being so mean to those who do not choose your way. Stop name calling, and attaching them for being different. Start taking care of you children. (Mine is out on a daddy/ daughter play date right now, where is yours?)

  74. by Stacey C

    On May 21, 2012 at 9:08 am

    So it’s not okay for TIME to proclaim that attachment parenting is good, but it’s okay for you to proclaim it’s bad? I hated that article because it came off as preachy and self-serving, but this blog is doing the same thing. We don’t need more people telling us that how we’re raising our kids is wrong. In fact, that was the point Dr. Sears was making. If you take away all the outside factors like judgmental mothers-in-law, the baby item industry, and know-it-all bloggers, there are things that you would do for your child without thinking, because it’s instinct. Attachment parenting simply asks parents to follow their instincts and do what they think is best.

    AP is not about restricting your children. It’s about making them feel safe so they are confident enough to go out into the world on their own. It seems that Ms. Schott and many of her readers have made a common mistake in confusing attachment parenting with helicopter parenting.

    At the very least, if you aren’t going to be an informed blogger, perhaps you should try keeping your thoughts to yourself. Mommyhood comes with enough guilt and worry on its own.

  75. by Jane

    On May 22, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Frankly it seems a bit extreme. I come from a culture where rearing a child is not so mom-centric, and it seems healthier to me. It takes a village is right. I was brought up not just by mom but relatives and friends and maybe that is why I’m gregarious who knows? regardless anything exteme I personally don’t like and attachment parenting seems to extreme to me.

  76. by Danielle

    On May 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I am pro doing whats best for your child and your family. (emphasis on your). I still “wear” my daughter when she’s too tired to walk, but thats more about convience, the sling is far less cumbersome to tote than a stroller. I practiced “baby led weaning” my children just happened to wean early. I DID NOT co sleep, I wasn’t worried about my children’s safety, but rather my marriage’s. I made my own babyfood and used disposable diapers. Both were easier for me. I think the headline is what really bothers me, it encourages the bickering, and judging and comparing that already goes on. If you want to know what causes baby blues, I don’t think its the hormones at all, I think its the constant nagging fear that you are going to ruin your child, and it is perpetuated and constantly told to you by the media and society. And the worst offenders are other moms!

  77. by Around the Web… |

    On May 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    [...] Don’t let attachment parenting get you down – Parents.com [...]

  78. by Claire

    On May 23, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Attachment parenting is not extreme parenting. These practices are common all over the world and don’t have special names there – is just loving, caring for and tending to children.

  79. by Mindy

    On May 23, 2012 at 8:15 am

    One of the ideas of attachment parenting is to foster independence through the development of a secure attachment to a caregiver. Once a child feels completely bonded and is sure that the caregiver will meet all needs then he or she can safely venture off to explore. There are studies that have shown the more secure a child feels in her attachment the earlier she will explore and seek independence. I’m not judging one method of parenting over the other but I thought it necessary to address the author’s assumption that attachment parenting inhibits independence.

  80. by Heather

    On May 23, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I practice attachment parenting, but not because I read a bunch of philosophies and picked one, but because I just use my instincts to parent and it turns out that my instincts tell me to hold my baby when she wants to be held and breastfeed her when she wants to. She also co-sleeps with us and we use a baby carrier when she’s sick of walking/crawling or riding in the stroller. She’s a baby and it’s not important for her to understand the “real world” right now. Her “real world” is that she is a baby and is dependent on her parents to take care of her needs and wants. So what if she just wants to be held for no other reason than wanting to be held? Also, I work outside of the home. Attachment parenting does not mean you have to stay home and be with your child 24 hours a day.

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  82. by Janie

    On November 28, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I think I’m the only person in the world who goes with her gut, follows the best scientific advice (that of experts, my doctors) and trusts that I’m doing the right things. I think you’re probably going to emotionally scar a kid if you breastfeed much past the age of 3, but if that’s what works for you, go for it. Wear a baby ’til he’s 16 and can wear you if that’s what you think you need to do. That said, there’s one place I think we’re negligent in letting “attachment parents” get by with something extremely dangerous.

    I don’t need a philosophy or a book to tell me that sleeping with a child is dangerous, but that’s exactly what it is. Dangerous. Co-sleeping is an unnecessary risk. Any risk of a suffocation accident is too much of a risk for me. I’ve been told again and again by people who seek to rationalize their dangerous behavior by that Moms have some magical instinct that prevents them from rolling over on or smothering their baby while unconscious. That just sounds like ridiculous, magical thinking.

    Do your kid a favor. Get him a bassinet. Get him a co-sleeper. Get him a crib. It can even go right next to your bed and you can grab when whenever he whimpers. But a baby, especially an infant in the parent’s bed is just flat dangerous.

    As for the rest of it, I have taken virtually no parenting advice from relatives or societal standards. Very little of what I do meets the “attachment” parenting definition and I have two bright, adjusted, loved children. Dr. Sears sells mommy guilt and lots of people are buying it.

  83. by Kari

    On December 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Not sure if someone already said this, but studies show a child develops his/her independence because his/her needs are met and he/she feels safe. I think in our culture most people think we have to force the independence from the beginning. But really it will develop naturally in a secure child. Attached children are not protected from the world any more than they are supposed to be and need to be at that age. They are children after all. We are the parents and are supposed to protect them and make them feel safe. Then when they are ready, we have to let them explore on their own. I don’t think we should confuse attachment parenting with helicopter parenting which seems to me to demonstrate the behavior you mention in your blog. The quote about giving them the world and the world revolving around them is not what attachment parenting is about.

  84. by Kari

    On December 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    To Janie – Cosleeping is safely practiced in much of the rest of the world. There is a safe and unsafe way to do it. And also, many parts of the world breastfeed after 3 years of age. No studies have shown that children are emotionally scarred. Quite the opposite. Kids that remember, think fondly of it.

  85. by Karolina

    On December 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Attachment parenting is very destructive to a child’s well being. Its the the mother’s sick and twisted needs to CONSTANTLY have her child touching her and breastfeeding into the toddler years, and it is NOT normal. Mother’s do it for their own personal and sick gratification, and no, it does NOT benefit the child. It makes said child more prone to separation anxiety when the mother is actually away, when the child (or when the child is an adult) and hears the word “no”, they won’t know what to do, because according to the stigma of ap, you don’t ever tell your child no, you child should be able to “think”, “explore”, and make its own “choices”. Co-sleeping is not only destructive to the child, its also destructive to your relationship. Co-sleeping has created sexless and intimacy issues because most men don’t like having their children in their bed. Its the honest truth whether you ap mothers want to believe it or not. Also, most men are disgusted by extended bf. They see your breast as theirs (again, from the article written from the point of a MARRIED man), you breasts are sexy to them. They don’t want to see your four or five year old child hanging off your teat. There is so much more I could say to this, but go on and destroy your child’s life. At least I won’t.

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    On January 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

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  87. by d

    On January 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    This article is so idiotic. Do some research on attachment parenting, take the time to talk to parents who choose to follow it, and read a book on child development. These comments are disgusting. Shame on you, for promoting such ignorance.

  88. by CC

    On January 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    As an MD, a mother, a grandmother, and wife for 37 years to child psychologist, I can say that the first I heard about attachment parenting I thought: that’s a group of narcissistic, needy moms raising (if you can call it raising) yet another generation of entitled kids–this time on a monstrous scale. There is really no argument as far as I’m concerned.

  89. by Alicia

    On January 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Watching one television segment and reading one skimpy magazine article don’t represent real research on a topic. Attachment parenting is the way children were usually reared in America until maybe 2-3 generations ago, before childcare “experts” began convincing people to ignore their instincts. Choosing a parenting style is so important; isn’t it better to find out much more about something before criticizing it? My boy is 2, weaned on his own, and is a happy, independent little guy with lots of friends. We’ve been attachment parenting from day one, and it’s been wonderful.

  90. by Tass

    On February 14, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Do AP mums really think that everyone who doesn’t do what they do are not ‘mum enough’ though?? I’m pretty sure even Jamie doesn’t think that. I AP and I don’t. The title of the article was created for sensationalist reasons specifically to get this reaction so the sell magazines. Jamie has actually come out saying she was not at all happy with how they displayed her, what they said, and that they put that pic on the cover. That it made things look totally different to how they are. You my friend have simply just played into the sensationalist media hype. You are exactly why they get payed so much money to come up with this stuff. Lmao!!!

  91. by Sierra

    On February 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    to be clear, i read only to the part where you disagreed with the island comment, saying that instead of lugging your babe around in a sling all day you’d encourage him to explore his surroundings. at this point, i facepalmed and am now having trouble articulating my shock at your ignorance. attachment parenting, babywearing, sling using, etc does absolutely not mean you literally lug your nine month old around ALL day long. speaking of carrying your babe ALL the time, this is only to last until he/she is old enough to play on the floor by themselves, or crawl and explore. babywearing does not, cannot, will not substitute for independent play. a sling baby will play just as much as a non-sling baby, if you will. the idea is not to never put the baby down, as you seem to think. it is to carry them around with you when they are otherwise not content exploring by themselves.

    also, i’m not sure if you’ve ever seen pictures or read about, or heard about traditional societies where they essentially have no mother in laws, psychologists, doctors, or experts but these people have found through the centuries that babywearing is indeed the best way to calm and entertain a baby. in nearly every corner of the world where traditionalist practices are *ahem* practiced, you will see babies being carried around in all sorts of sling type things. this is not to say, of course, that their children never get on the ground and explore. of course they do! at a certain age, they will of course become more interested in their surroundings than what their mother is doing. babywearing is simply what to do with your baby when he is not actively playing/exploring.

    i’m sorry that i am so bull-headed i can’t bother reading the rest of your article or the controversy surely peppering the comments section but i just can’t handle your absurdity. whether or not breastfeeding your 20 month old is your “style”, the World Health Organization along with an overwhelming majority of mothers on the planet will tell you again and again that breastfeeding for at least 24 months is the most advisable, with undeniable and irreplicable health benefits for both mother and child.

    hmph!

  92. by AP Mom

    On February 20, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Attachment Parenting is not Indulgent Parenting. Attachment parents do not “spoil” their children. Spoiling is done when a child is given everything that they want regardless of what they need and regardless of what is practical. Indulgent parents give toys for tantrums, ice cream for breakfast, allow their infants to forward face before they’re physically safe doing so. Attachment parents don’t give their children everything that they want, they give their children everything that they need. Attachment parents believe that love and comfort are free and necessary. Not sweets or toys.

    Attachment Parenting is not “afraid of tears” parenting. Our kids cry. The difference is that we understand that tantrums and tears come from emotions and not manipulation. And our children understand this too. They cry and have tantrums sometimes, of course. But they do this because their emotions are so overwhelming that they need to get it out. They do not expect to be “rewarded” for their strong negative emotions, they simply expect that we will listen. I don’t remember the last time my partner was feeling so frustrated about something and needed to vent, and I told him to go sit alone in a corner and come talk to me when everything was hunky dory dandy. We pick up our babies when they cry, and we respond to the tears of our older children because we believe firmly that comfort is free, love is free, and that when a child has need for comfort and love, it is our job to provide those things. We are not afraid of tears. We don’t avoid them. We hold our children through them and teach them that when they hurt or are frustrated we are here to comfort them and help them work through their emotions.

    Attachment Parenting is not Clingy Parenting. I do not cling to my children. In fact, I’m pretty free-range. As soon as they can move they usually move away from me and let me set up a chase as they crawl, run, skip and hop on their merry way to explore the world. Sure, I carry them and hug them and chase them and kiss them and rock them and sleep with them. But this is not me following them everywhere and pulling them back to me. This is me being a home base. The “attachment” comes from their being allowed to attach to us, not from us attaching to them like parental leeches.

    Attachment Parenting is not Selfish Parenting. It is also not selfless parenting. We are not doing it for us, and we are not doing it to torment ourselves.

    Attachment parenting is not Helicopter Parenting. I don’t hover. I supervise. I follow, I teach, I demonstrate, I explain. I don’t slap curious hands away. I show how to do things safely. I let my child do the things that my child wishes to do, first with help and then with supervision and finally with trust. I don’t insist that my 23 month old hold my hand when we walk on the sidewalk because I know that I can recall him with my voice because he trusts me to allow him to explore and he trusts me to explain when something is dangerous and to help him satiate his curiosities safely.
    Most of the negative things that I hear about “attachment parents” are completely off-base and describe something that is entirely unlike AP. AP is child-centric and focuses on the needs of the child. Children need structure, rules, and boundaries. Attachment Parents simply believe that the child and the parent are allies, not adversaries. And that children are taught, not trained.

  93. by Sarah

    On April 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    It sounds to me that you are not critiquing real attachment parenting. You’re misrepresenting AP and then criticizing that misinterpretation…

  94. by junebug

    On April 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    For all those moms saying AP moms are elitist and judgmental just read all your comments. Who are the ones being judgemental? I found I had a lot of opposition from family when we decided to co-sleep, and people thinking its perverse to nurse my baby past a year old. Yet we’re told to give our children cow’s milk, which s full of hormones, and God didn’t design womens breasts for mens pleasure its there for the same purpose as other animals. I personally am doing what feels right and think you need to do more research on attachment parenting before making statements like ‘AP children are entitled and grow up thinking the world revolves around them’. The point of AP is to actually foster security and trust from an early age so that as they grow older that feeling of security is what enables our children to be independent. They do not have to question being loved or wonder if their needs will be met. I for one will admit, yes I can be judgmental of moms who think its ok to let your baby cry it out so they can sleep on their own. Do you know the psychological damage you are potentially causing, do you realize babies do not get the concept of object permanence till they are over 6 months or older? I would equate leaving your baby to cry themselves to sleep in their own room, after 10 months of being in a snug warm, constant state of having their needs met and feeling mommy always there to torture. Babies are just that, babies. Why does modern western society think it’s the right way to parent, in what is convenient for the parents. The fact is, as clearly demonstrated by most of the comments hear AP is still the one considered abnormal, even though I think most loving parents practice some form of it. It’s sad when people make the assumption that AP is extreme parenting, I know in my case and I think most others do what they feel in their hearts is right, and go by their instincts. Women who work are outraged when someone thinks ‘they aren’t mom enough’ because they chose or have to work to provide for their family, yet I’ve had the same women think I’m not woman enough and must be anti feminist because I chose not to work and feel my greatest fulfillment is being a mother.

  95. by TB1

    On May 1, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Wow there are some angry comments on here – to people who have never met each other either! Not sure what that teaches children about respecting others’ right to a different opinion.
    I am a psychotherapist with 3 children, and studied attachment and other parenting techniques as I work with children too.
    Personally, I used elements of attachment parenting but found the co-sleeping thing didn’t work well for our whole family. I got little sleep and was grumpy and tired with my other kids the next day.
    What I find hard is reading attachment parenting articles that indicate they know best and its the only way. I am all for reading non-biased, intelligent research, but find it hard to ignore guilt-inducing, self righteous articles – whether its around attaching parenting or another approach. Bowlby, the Godfather of attachment theory could also be quite judgemental in my opinion. Feeling like a guilty, shameful mum is not helpful and sometimes this literature can trigger these feelings if they are dogmatic and blinkered enough. There are elements of attachment parenting and other approaches which I believe are truly brilliant and inspiring, but I don’t want it rammed down my throat as the only way to parent.

  96. [...] all for the general idea of attachment parenting, but saying that co-sleeping and baby-wearing will guarantee that your child will never be a bully minimizes so many other social pressures and makes non-attachment parents feel unnecessarily [...]