• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Attachment Parenting

  • By: May Friedman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Attachment parenting is a specific parenting philosophy, initially articulated by parenting author Dr. William Sears. The philosophy has grown in popularity and has proponents worldwide.

This parenting style draws from attachment theory within developmental psychology, a theory that suggests that strong attachment between parents and offspring is a biological necessity. Attachment parenting maintains that certain key parenting behaviors encourage or assure strong attachment, resulting in children with increased confidence and sensitivity. These behaviors include breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, immediate skin-to-skin contact between mothers and infants in the moments following birth, and the avoidance of strollers in favor of carrying babies and toddlers.

Attachment parenting (often shortened to AP by both proponents and detractors), was initially made popular by Dr. Sears and his wife, Martha Sears, who is ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles