Secure Attachment vs. Attachment Parenting

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These are two topics that are so often confused.  So let’s define the difference, secure attachment  is the process of babies and children emotionally attaching themselves to the consistent caregivers and adults in their lives.  This is a crucial element of human development.  And as parents and caregivers it is crucial for us to get it Right (babies and children will attach to adults regardless if the adult is worthy or not).  This means responding to our babies and children’s needs, providing them with loving reassurance.  This allows children to grow and explore the world as nature intended, knowing that the adults in their lives are trustworthy and ready to meet their emotional needs when they have setbacks.  This is why we know you can’t hold your baby too much, a newborn baby cannot be spoiled and  as exhausting as it may be, we need to lovingly respond to their cries.

Attachment Parenting takes the notion of secure attachment and doubles down.  The main difference being, attachment parenting is a specific style of parenting, commonly known for baby wearing, exclusively breastfeeding, and often bed-sharing so breastfed babies have easy access to feeding at any time. 

Most modern parents use some, sometimes all aspects of attachment style parenting.  The goal being, developing secure attachment with your baby.  However, secure attachment does not require attachment parenting.  You can ensure you and your child are securely attached with or without a sling (although slings are amazing!)  Love your baby, respond to their needs and choose the parenting style that works best for your family, secure attachment sets your child up for success and is a parenting win.   

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