A couple ago, I made some remarks regarding attachment parenting in my post on Raising an Optimistic Child book that an esteemed author of The Wonder Years replied in her comment. I thought that I will write a post with my views on attachment parenting, and now finally I have 30 min to do so.
Even before Anna was born, I read multitude of books on child development and raising young children. As I mentioned before, I like to know my theory before even attempting practice, and being an only child, I had very little exposure to babies before my own unexpectedly came along. As I was reading, it quickly became obvious that "the theme du jour" in parenting advice world is "attachment parenting". It mostly applies to children in the first year of life and stresses physical closeness between a mother and her child - breastfeeding, babywearing and co-sleeping.
It's not that I disagree with an importance of close relationship between a mother and her baby. What I disagree with is a sort of doomsday scenarios that some of these books and articles picture. It sounds sometimes that your children will be somewhat "damaged" unless you follow the gospel of attachment parenting. I know women that were depressed just because they didn't have a perfect birth prescribed by attachment parenting and insisted that now they will be unable to bond with their infants properly.
I already profiled "Baby Whisperer" book earlier in my posts, and that was the book that really meshed with my own view of parenting. I think it can be described as "common sense parenting". I followed the premise of that book - think of what you want and don't start on the road where you don't want to be. So, we never co-slept, because I wanted to still have a bed with my spouse, not a family bed. I never wore my baby - I have some back problems, and I couldn't find anything that was comfortable both for me and for Anna (Interestingly, my husband loved Baby Bjorn, and Anna spent a lot of time there while he was running errands or hiking with her). I breastfed my daughter for the first 15 months of her life and didn't mind the fact that she didn't sleep through the night until 18 months. That was who she was, and I accepted that as part of her. I went back to work full time, when she was 3 months old, and my husband took full-time parenting responsibilities confidently and successfully. We never had to "sleep-train" her, to break her out of pacifier (never gave her a pacifier), to potty train her in three days (a subject of a separate post). We never baby-proofed our house. We just paid enough attention to our child and taught her not to touch things that were "not her toys". So far I am happy with the results. Our daughter seems to be healthy and happy. She is introverted (not shy, just prefers to play by herself), but she interacts well with her peers in preschool, and she seems to be securely attached without all the "necessary" ingredients of attachment parenting. We just connected to who she is and responded to what she needed - love with firm boundaries.