Attachment Parenting is all about parenting your child with the most love and respect. Generally attachment parenting includes breastfeeding (extended into toddlerhood), babywearing, co-sleeping and gentle discipline but not every attachment parent practices all these things and there is no right and wrong way to be an attachment parent except using the cry it out (CIO)-method which is against the attachment parenting philosophy.\r\n\r\nWhen a child is left to cry it out, it means that the child and his needs are being ignored and it’s detrimental to the child and his physical and mental development because the child learns not to trust others to meet his needs and communicate with him. Crying is the baby’s ONLY way to communicate and if you choose to ignore it, you are permanently damaging your child’s emotional development which in turn leads to physical development problems (most cry-it-out kids are diagnosed failure to thrive when they don’t gain weight nor grow according to normal schedules). The reason why the child doesn’t physically grow anymore is because it’s not getting the emotional nourishment  it needs to grow. The nutrition isn’t the only thing that makes children grow, emotional “feeding” plays just as important part as food does. Most kids who are subject to cry it out method at home also become very clingy which is due to the fact that since they feel that they can’t trust anyone and since they don’t know when they are being ignored again, they try to get as much as attention when they can and sometimes the bad way. The child is very confused and it starts to show in the behaviour. The older the child gets, the worse the behaviour gets because the child and the parent never established a healthy working emotional connection which is the basis for effective discipline. Many times all this carries into problems later in life with not being able to establish healthy relationships as adults. The reason I write so much about this is because every time I hear a child being subject to CIO, my heart cries out for the child. The poor child , usually a tiny baby cannot defend themselves and it makes the situation even worse. I can’t imagine that any parent could be so cruel as to do this to their child but I hear about it all the time. A few months later the same parent is wondering why their child is falling behind on the growth charts and they get harassed by the pediatrician. Unfortunately there are some bad pediatricians out the who also believe in CIO and they make matters worse because a new mother might trust the doctor more than their heart and choose to CIO even if it doesn’t feel right. I urge ALL of your mothers out there to listen to your heart and please DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD CRY IT OUT.  Respond to the crying promptly and your will find that your relationship will flourish with your child because you are both learning to communicate with each other. Your baby learns to trust you that you will be there for him and help him to communicate his needs in other ways which in turn will mean less crying.\r\n\r\nThe choice of what elements of attachment parenting are being adopted at home have to do with the dynamics of the family. Every family is different and not all things work the same for all families and different children. Attachment parent is someone who is very intuitive to the child and his or her personality, feelings and needs and acts upon them as needed. The strong emotional connection between a child and a parent that is being created as a result of attachment parenting makes discipline and changes in life easier to deal with and is vital for the child’s emotional growth which in turn helps the child form healthy relationships later in life. My husband and I chose attachment parenting because it felt true to our hearts and it was something we wanted to do as parents. As a mother I wanted to breastfeed and hold my children as much as possible and I also wanted to sleep next to them at night. I couldn’t think about putting a tiny little newborn to a nursery by himself. I wanted to be near my baby and enjoy every moment of motherhood from the day our son was born and the best way that I found was to have our newborn sleep in our bed. I slept better and our son slept better. Feedings were no problem because I was right there and could nurse our son quickly and easily and go back to sleep without having to get out of bed. When our daughter was born, we just made room for her in the bed and her and I got to share that special bond of night time feedings. As Dr. William Sear’s says “You will never say that you wish you would have held your baby less”. I live and die by that statement because it’s so true. Babies and children grow up so fast and I personally want to make sure I do everything I can to help my kids grow up with no regrets on my part. When our children are off to college I’ll remember all the sleepless nights and nigh time breastfeeding, co-sleeping and holding them with a great smile and I’ll hope their due the same with their children some day.