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What is Attachment Parenting?

Attachment Parenting, as described by Attachment Parenting International, consists of 8 principles that are thought to help parents form strong, healthy emotional bonds with their children. The 8 principles are:

  • Prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting
  • Feed with love and respect
  • Respond with sensitivity
  • Use nurturing touch
  • Engage in nighttime parenting
  • Provide consistent and loving care
  • Practice positive discipline
  • Strive for balance in your personal and family life

Research has found these practices to be beneficial for children. Some are directly related to secure attachment and others help parents recognize and respond sensitively to their child’s needs. Responding sensitively to the individual child’s needs over time has been found to be the most important thing parents can do to help children develop secure attachments. This means learning to accurately interpret the baby’s signals and respond with love and sensitivity.



Tia Schultz, Graduate Assistant, Human Development and Family Studies


Kim Leon, Ph.D., Former Assistant Professor and State Specialist, Human Development & Family Studies, Human Environmental Sciences Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia






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Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2009





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