The First Post for the #BlogchatterAtoZ begins today and the first letter of the series is A and I have chosen Attachment Parenting for this. Attachment Parenting is nothing but a style of parenting where the parent is compassionate with the child. It is a broader spectrum where many sub-classes comes with it. Now my Query to you all of you is, IS IT something NEW Technique which is from the recent times?
History of Attachment Parenting
Attachment Parenting is not a new thing. It’s been around for many centuries and people were practicing it without knowing the name. It was coined recently in 1900’s.
According to Attachment Parenting International, what attachment parenting is really about is this:
The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with kindness, respect and dignity, and to model in our interactions with them the way we’d like them to interact with others.
If you look out in the olden history of our country India, we had been following Attachment parenting since long. You can see people taking their kids to farm and cuddle them whenever the kid cries, nourish them with the food when the kid is hungry and wear them for their ease. This was all done by necessity and that’s what the west has done enough research and brought it back to the world. This has been practiced by Native Americans, Africans, Tribes, Japanese, Chinese mostly the tribes of all the Continents.
So Which phase of your parenthood you started Attachment Parenting?
I Started researching about the Parenting concepts as soon as I got the hang of being Pregnant. The moment I was ready to deal with this. Pregnancy is a phase where both the parents get to know of each other more. I was privileged to enjoy the companionship of my husband being around me all throughout our pregnancy journey. I say gifted because I have my friends and have seen many where they had to handle things all alone just because they were either in a different city/country or they served for the country. It’s completely a transformative phase where the parents get themselves prepared for the physical, mental and emotional needs required.
Only during this Phase I decided on the ways I wanted to handle my pregnancy like what are the things I need to do, what are the things to speak with my baby? How will my pregnancy , delivery phase be? etc., etc.,
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has stated that the prosperity and adversity of a child is determined in the mother’s stomach. In another tradition, Imām °Alī (as) too, has said that in terms of Akhlāq, nature and religiousness, a child is made by the mother and obtains his/her disposition from her Akhlāq. Thus it is the responsibility of the mother that she creates the best possible environment for the first home of the child.
The father plays an important role in helping the mother maintain a healthy spirit and development, by supporting her and helping her in every way. By being informed and understanding about the changes the mother will undergo, as well as her physical, emotional and mental needs, he can help create the warm and loving atmosphere at home that is essential for the positive development of the child.
Islam has always encouraged Love and Compassion. As muslims it is an important principle of a muslim to follow this guidelines. Children are not to be hit and they must be respected at any cost. They must be treated as Human.
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) stressed that “one who is not merciful and loving to their children is not of us.”
Here are the Principles of Attachment Parenting. Let me share with you what Islam says about this?
The moment the baby enters the world is precious to a mom. This is special to every mom by whatever means the baby decides to enter the world. As a parent or to-be parents you all should know the importance of Golden hour-the first few minutes of birth. It is the time AP promotes no drugs and more bonding time so that the kid gets a chance to be more aware of the family.
In Islam we are asked to recite the Adhan (call to prayer) in the right ear as soon as the baby is born obviously after the first phase like cleaning the baby, etc., and Takbeer should be said in the left ear. This will give a positive vibes to the baby and get to hear all the positivity without the devil intervention.
"O Allah! Make this child grow as a nice sapling in the nursery of Islam; make him steadfast in Islam"
Breastfeeding is one of my favourite topics where I can speak for hours subhanallah! Islam has prescribed atleast 2 years of breastfeeding in the Quran. Breastfeeding is the right of the kid and that has to be given to the kid.
“His mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning takes two years – Be grateful to Me and to your parents.” (Quran 31:14)
For newborns, suckling at the mother’s breast does no doubt provide immense nutrition but also gives emotional strength and physical warmth. This gives a protection and security to both the kid and the mama.
Through Attachment Parenting the mother follows the cues of the baby and will understand the cues as days goes on. Like a cue used for the baby is about to get hungry so before the child gets tired and cranky we can nurse them.
The first thing in the feeding/nursing is that not to follow the clock like when you are new to parenting you might get advices from everyone around you to nurse once in 2 hours. But the truth is nurse the kid whenever the kid asks for. Follow the instinct of the mom is what this says.
Breastfeeding is more than filling the stomach of the baby. It gives an emotional connection and while you nurse the baby you speak with the baby about the positive effects which will help the baby to be in positivity.
Breastmilk lowers the occurence of asthma and allergies and it is linked to higher IQ.
Does it mean Bottle Fed Kids cannot practise Attachment Parenting?
Not at all, Bottle Fed babies can also be given the comfort of Attachment Parenting. Every baby will have a cue and they will be able to follow the same like the breastfed kids. Even they will be fed by moms/dads in the same comfort zone. Cuddling, emotional bonding will be there.
Babywearing is one of the key elements in the nurturing touch. It has many benefits subhanallah. When I was wearing my doll people mocked at me and critised me that I will be creating a dependant kid and clingy cranky kid but the reality is too far. She is the independant kid Alhamdulilah. Most of the babywearing moms feel our kids are sociable,secure and independent.
Babywearing creates a unique bond between parents and the kid. I was really confident in handling her all alone in my International journey with limited chaos and less amount of tension.
From the Najul Balagha, “A Profile of Imam Ali”, we read: “He was born three years before the marriage of the Prophet with Lady Khadija. Soon after his birth the Prophet took him under his care and Ali was like a son to him. He used to live with the Prophet and used to sleep with him. (AP’s “sharing sleep”) He was fed by him, washed and dressed by him and even carried by him on a sling whenever he would go out. (Attachment Parenting- Babywearing)”
The most insensitive thought we mostly get after a baby is, Does your baby Sleep the whole night? This question comes as soon the baby is born! How can the baby get adjusted to the new environment so soon? I was tired of answering them back that the kids will need physical, emotional comfort. Sleeping through the whole night is the developmental milestone and it will take time. This is why Co-sleeping is preferred as the mom will be fine to nurse without disturbing the flow.
According to SIDS researcher James J. McKenna,
“Nighttime parent-infant co-sleeping during at least the first year of life is the universal, species-wide normative context for infant sleep, to which both parents and infants are biologically and psychosocially adapted…Solitary infant sleep is an exceedingly recent, novel, and alien experience for the human infant – a sensory – deprived microenvironment for which not all infants are equally prepared biologically.”
In Islam, a child is not required to sleep alone until he is seven. “Order your children to observe Salat when they reach the age of seven […] and arrange their beds (for sleeping) separately.” (Abu Dawud)
Why did I choose this?
Following Attachment Parenting is not a big deal with the Tamilian (I can vouch for as I am for South Indian- Tamilian) setup as we usually follow this in our tradition.
I did notice that Attachment Parenting allowed me to be closer to my child. She listened to me more, had a trust in me and will have trust in me more and confide in me more.
Looking at the west we tend to forget our tradition and try to bring in the concepts from the west. But they are researching and saying that our practises were best! So let’s follow the traditions and question more to find out why is it being followed and how to follow it in the current scenario?
I am always against the fact that pushing the child in a different room and staring the monitor if the child is sleeping throughout the night is stressful. The mommy who keeps the child in different room tends to shift to that room to sleep with the kid in one point of time. When the kid is near us even the mom and dad can sleep in peace.
Attachment Parenting is a big space where everything cannot workout for every family. Follow what is suitable for your family and leave the rest without stress.
This blog post is a part of my blog series for the #AtoZBloggingChallenge where my theme is Parenting Techniques which I followed in this four years. Read my theme reveal post here.