Natural parenting or attachment parenting, as it is sometimes called, is simply following the clues and signals of your baby or child as they grow and develop. Instinctively, most parents will want to fulfill their baby’s needs and thus this leads to a more natural style of parenting and not following someone else’s advice in discipline or structure. Back in the 60s many people followed this way of parenting. It was the “hippie” or “flower child lifestyle that many parents can identify with and are comfortable with.
Though many parents will feel that by following the advice of someone else, particularly a child expert, such as a pediatrician or child psychologist they are doing what they are supposed to be doing even if it feels uncomfortable to them. Some will continue doing this while others go against the grain and follow their own instincts. These “rebel” parents are often criticized, but because they are not followers they will maintain this form of parenting and be happy with it.
Although by necessity many people require two incomes and must leave their children in the care of others to go out and work. A natural parenting lifestyle would be to have a stay-at-home mother who does the entire child rearing process on her own with the help of her spouse during his non-working hours. This natural parenting lifestyle can follow a wide variation and there is nothing set in stone on just how “natural” you want to live. Some parents will practice bed sharing with their baby or child, breastfeeding on demand, swaddling and a great deal of baby cuddling to enhance their bond with their baby, organic feeding of their baby, cloth diapers, homeschooling, gentle discipline and the list could go on. Gentle disciplining, for example, would reject the idea of spanking and instead use other methods, such as time-outs and taking privileges away to achieve the desired behavior of the child.
Deciding to follow a natural parenting lifestyle is very much a personal decision and some do not believe this is a healthy way to parent. Everyone has to feel comfortable with the raising of their children and neither advocates nor non-advocates should feel ill at ease or criticized for their choices in their parenting techniques. The most important thing to remember is that your child thrives when their basic needs are met.
Natural parenting is not for everyone, but those who do choose it feel that their children grow up to be happy, secure, and very much loved.