There’s a big attachment parenting umbrella that covers all manner of things that are not really attachment parenting at all. Perhaps the moniker of crunchy parenting is a better fit.
Attachment parenting is fairly rooted in science, but a lot of the things that get lumped in under that term are not. Some things I do, many I do not.
Baby wearing, co-sleeping, feeding on demand (no matter your feeding method)- all attachment parenting and with scientifically rooted benefits.
Cloth nappies(diapers), homeopathic products, natural remedies, rear facing car seats, and alternative medicine- not attachment parenting. Some may have scientifically rooted benefits but they are not the hallmarks of attachment parenting. They seem to just be along for the ride.
I read this a while ago and it really covers a lot of my feelings on the subject of attachment parents. I like to do some of the things that fall under the attachment parenting umbrella and I am unable to do others and I think that others are …bad. So I don’t make friends easily because I don’t buy the whole package. Because I don’t do the whole package I don’t get classed in groups of other mums as an attachment parent. Which is….I’m not sure. It’s hard enough to feel kinship with people, at least with some kind of a label you expect that people might have similar interests. Perhaps it’s a label I should be happy to be dodging.
What do I do? I babywear, I cloth nappy, I co-sleep, I feed on demand (and baby led wean for solids because giving kids food while I eat mine is really lazy led weaning. Hey-o), I extended rear face with carseats, and I use a bit of natural remedies (though I try to be picky and scientifically conscientious and mainly apply them to myself anyhow).
But there is some freaky snobbery over many of these things. I will use baby wearing and cloth nappies as my main examples. I have a fair few baby carriers. One is a ‘popular’ (amongst babywearers) big brand, one I made, another few are semi- ‘off’ brands. I am fairly happy with my carriers. If I could justify it I might buy one more. Maybe two. I don’t get involved with other baby wearing enthusiasts because there is a pervasive snobbery favouring a type of carrier (linen wrap) and various brands thereof. I’m happy for you that you have a collection of expensive rectangular woven fabrics. Really I am. Some of them are very pretty and soft. But I do not like linen wraps as much as I like buckles. This does not make me less of a mother or a worse attachment parent. Ok? Ok.
The same thing happens with cloth nappies/diapers. There are brands to have, but there is also a slight snobbery from the people who use prefolds or wool covers. Just a bit of superiority that I don’t really get. Ok, I have some cheapo plain ones that have saved me a lot of money over Thing 1 and Thing 2’s nappy wearing time. They work, the elastic has needed a bit of repair in recent time, but it’s cool, I can sew. They are pockets, they are basic and boring and they work for me. Prefolds are ok (and I used them on Thing 2 until the pockets fit), but I have enough problems with my very easy pockets and daycare. I don’t look down on people who use other types (I admit I think the people who get caught up in the collecting of pretties are odd, but whatever), so I have never understood the…attitude. I have gotten attitude from people who use the more expensive name brands, and the people who use prefolds (which are the cheapest you can go really). One one end maybe it’s a brand snobbery, and the other it’s the knowledge that they are doing things hardmode….? So yeah. I don’t get it.
For me attachment parenting means I don’t fight with my baby for being a baby. I don’t try to make a baby conform to my adult schedule. Baby wants fed? Feed it. Baby wants held? Hold it. Understand that little people have undeveloped minds, but are still little people? Gotcha.
That’s pretty much it.