********** 10 Stars!
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"Attachment to and dependency on parents... is a normal, healthy aspect of childhood and not something that needs to be discouraged." This quote from Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child sums up the attitude behind the growing shift in many Western cultures toward a labor-intensive but arguably more rewarding, effective, and "natural" way to raise children. This philosophy, termed "Attachment Parenting" by its champion, pediatrician and father of eight Dr. William Sears (author of the popular child-care manual The Baby Book, among others), sees infants not as manipulative adversaries who must be "trained" to eat, sleep, and play when told, but as dependent yet autonomous human beings whose wants and needs are intelligible to the parent willing to listen, and who deserve to be responded to in a reasonable and sensitive manner. As with Sears's books, there are no plans or schedules here, no specific prescriptions for what to do with your child. Techniques to facilitate connection and communication are outlined, but mostly the book is an exhortation to listen and to trust yourself, and to trust your child's ability to convey to you what he or she needs.
Information is provided in a well-organized format that parents will find useful. Common questions regarding some of Attachment Parenting's less orthodox tenets are answered, and each section of the book provides lengthy reading and resource lists, Web sites, and e-mail addresses. This book also provides a fairly broad discussion of how working parents can incorporate such a "high-touch" style of care into their busy schedules. The authors are sometimes painfully straightforward about the cost-benefit analysis parents must go through when deciding to work outside the home, but they do not patronize working parents by glossing over this difficult decision. They show how Attachment Parenting can be especially beneficial to these families and give advice on choosing child care, breastfeeding after returning to work, and the techniques for creating a breastfeeding-friendly workplace.
Given the overwhelming cultural paradigms that parents must resist if they are going to adopt this compassionate methodology, the book's sometimes defensive tone can be at least partially excused. As a whole, parents will find this a good overview of some compelling arguments for Attachment Parenting and a wonderful resource for delving deeper into the issues it addresses. How much of it they choose to integrate into their lives is, as the book emphasizes, their decision to make, with their baby. --Katherine Ferguson
From Library Journal
Drawing on the literature of Dr. William Sears, who provides the book's introduction, Granju (with the help of Kennedy, R.N., M.S.N.) offers a mother's insight into the concept of attachment parenting. Rather than the typical child care approach that provides a list of generic "do's and don'ts" during certain phases in a baby's development, the attachment theory posits that parents know their child better than so-called experts. Granju examines breast feeding, baby wearing, and the family bed as natural concepts conducive to raising healthy children. She relates numerous experiences of mothers pulled from Internet listservs. Patrons may be well served by using these addresses to engage in their own Internet discourse, but, unfortunately, these rather flat anecdotes, along with extensive lists of attachment parenting resources, comprise the bulk of the book. Attachment Parenting adds nothing that Sears hasn't already covered in more detail in his many respected and groundbreaking works. Purchase for public libraries where demand warrants.ALisa Powell Williams, Moline Southeast Lib., IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grow a secure attachment with your children by listening to your heart
Popularized by bestselling pediatrician Dr. William Sears, "attachment parenting" encourages mothers and fathers to fully accept their babies' dependency needs. According to the growing numbers of attachment parenting advocates, consistent parental responsiveness to these needs leads to happy and emotionally well-balanced children.
This practical, comprehensive, and first-ever guide to today's most talked-about nurturing style, Attachment Parenting shows how some conventional childrearing advice can be detrimental, and urges you to trust your instincts on such important matters as:
Responding attentively to your baby's cries
Minimizing parent-child separation
Avoiding "sleep training" for infants
Breastfeeding according to your baby's cues instead of a schedule
"Wearing" your baby in a cloth carrier rather than relying on "baby gadgets" such as plastic carriers and carriages.
In addition to expert advice from pediatricians, lactation consultants, and anthropologists -- as well as words of wisdom from hundreds of real parents -- Attachment Parenting includes an exhaustive list of print, Internet, and support-group resources. It's an indispensable, hands-on reference that allows you to confidently and joyfully develop a secure and loving bond with your young children.
A revolutionary and yet ancient book!, July 29, 2004
Reviewer: Ahleemah Joy (Regina, SK, Canada) - See all my reviews
Thank goodness there is someone out there that doesn't buy the fallacies enforced upon us by our Victorian-hang-over society that says touching is bad, sleeping with your child will turn them into a pervert, and that breasts are sexual objects and shouldn't be for feeding your child beyond 6 months.
This is a wonderful book, I give it out regularly at baby showers to new moms to counteract the fearful misinformation of those who believe babies need to be controlled and manipulated into becoming human beings, instead of gently unfolded like precious creatures, with just the right amount of loving guidance.
Co-sleeping advocates can find books with better research and references, clearly this book was not meant to be a complication of research, but it's a refreshing change from the infamous Crib industry-sponsored "study" (which managed to lump in drug using mothers passed out on their babies and calling that "co-sleeping") making the uneducated public up in arms about that issue.
All in all, an easy read and a good beginning to point towards more varied and detailed books.
Put it in perspective!, August 18, 2004
Reviewer: N. Laurent "Graduate Level Clinical Psych Student" (Issaquah, WA USA) - See all my reviews
I enjoyed this book and have used a modified form of attachment parenting for both of my girls. I have seen others parents take attachment parenting too far because they never stopped parenting their children as an infant. Cosleeping and breastfeeding are not producing the "brats" the other reviewers are complaining about. Inadequate parenting in general, in areas other than food or sleep, are much more likely causing such behaviors. Attachement parenting does not mean you refuse to use the word "No" after the child reaches a certain age. This is different for every family, but eventually, No must be said and a deaf ear to the tantrum will prevail. Parents who are failing to do this, are not ruining their child with attachment parenting. The people writing the reviews strongly against the principles in this book need to use a little basic skill I like to call critical thinking. Try reading "Our Babies, Ourselves" which is based on sound experience and research from an ethnopediatrician if your afraid cosleeping is somehow dangerous. Not all parents who use the attachment parenting method are overly permissive parents. Get a clue people.
"Attachment parenting" = spoiling them rotten, August 18, 2004
Reviewer: Reginleif II "reginleif2" (Everett, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This ridiculous child-rearing philosophy can be summed up thusly: never leave the kids alone for a minute, even to go to the toilet, because separation from their parents might permanently sear their fragile little psyches.
Um, the whole point of having kids is to raise them to be self-sufficient adults. After all, when you die, you're going to leave them for good. You *do* want them to be able to go on living afterwards, don't you?
"Attachment parenting," from what I've seen of its results, produces overly anxious, whiny, and dependent children. And the virulent opposition to giving a kid who's acting up the mildest of slaps on the hand, I'm convinced, has been a contributing factor to the horde of screeching brats running amok in just about any public place I visit these days .... with their brain-dead parents standing by chanting, "Sierra, stop that, or I will give you a Time Out," to no avail.
"AP" seems to have the greatest resonance with the "crunchy granola" types who reject as much as they possibly can of modern, high-tech, capitalist society, and fetishize primitive Third-World existences as more "authentic." Funny, but has anyone else noticed that whenever those "authentic" peoples get enough scratch to build houses with multiple rooms, the children are put to sleep in a separate one? And I've never noticed "indigenous" parent getting all neurotic about delivering a well-deserved smack when it's needed.
Granju, in particular, seems to be one of the more intolerant "AP" propagandists out there. She runs a blog called "Loco Parentis," but she chooses not to enable comments, possibly because the idea of anyone contradicting her "wisdom" perturbs her.
Around last year's holidays, she blogged about a study purporting to find that giving your infant *even one bottle of formula* could harm him or her for life. I wrote her to challenge this, and she never responded...rather like the experiences of other Amazon reviewers who found her book lacking in one regard or the other. When I wrote her again to criticize her lack of response, she wrote back claiming to be "very, very busy" and that she gets lots of mail from readers (I'm sure). Well, that was a few days after New Year's, and I never heard back from her again.
I see that reviewer "Ahleemah Joy," a True Believer, writes that she regularly gives this book out at baby showers to "counteract the fearful misinformation of those who believe babies need to be controlled and manipulated into becoming human beings, instead of gently unfolded like precious creatures, with just the right amount of loving guidance."
Reminds me of fundamentalist Christians handing out Chick tracts and other pushy pamphlets. Those "precious creatures," Ahleemah, usually turn out to be the ones who make my trips to the grocery store, post office, or what-have-you sheer hell.
Get a clue, attachment "parents": Rousseau was wrong. Children are not perfect little packages from God or The Goddess or what have you, but little savages who need to be civilized. Anyone who thinks they're all "innocent and sweet" has never seen them playing with one another when they think adults aren't watching, particularly if they've got a scapegoat among them to torment.
Believe me: if your kid doesn't scream "I HATE YOU!" at least once during his or her younger years, you're doing something wrong.
Great source for pregnant and new parents, January 10, 2004
Reviewer: A reader
This book will remind you of the importance of trusting your instincts with regard to parenting. It emphasizes the importance of being there for your baby, loving, listening and responding. Great baby shower gift. It's also a good companion to the AP compliation book, LOVING MAMA.