Attachment parents, at least from my point of view, get a bad rap. We're smug and smothering and science-adverse and just generally insufferable, they say. And yet, strangely, the people who would make such claims can't even really tell you what attachment parenting even is. But I can, and will go so far as to say there are definitely things every parent can learn from an attachment parent. Just like, you know, you can learn something from pretty much anyone you are willing to sit down and actually talk with them.
OK so, yes, some attachment parents are miserable human beings. But I think attachment parenting has very little to do with that fact. Certainly you can run across someone who will confirm every one of your negative perceptions of a particular group, but one person does not represent a whole.
So, whatis an attachment parent? Well, to quote Pirates of the Caribbean, attachment parenting is more "guidelines than actual rules." The term was coined about 35 years ago by Dr. William Sears, but since then has been modified, adapted, and used by a number of different experts, groups, and organizations. In other words, it depends. In general, it is a parenting philosophy that puts a premium on immediate attentiveness to a child's needs (physical and emotional) and promotes continuous physical touch in order to develop a close parent-child bond. The goal is to bring up independent and empathic children. Breastfeeding, close-sleeping, and unmedicated birth (among other things) are often included under the umbrella of attachment parenting, too. Some people find a definition of the term that resonates with them and follow every point emphatically. Other people (yours truly, for example) take more of a generalized approach.
Whether or not this kind of parenting is for you, there are things attachment parents often subscribe to that might be useful to incorporate into your own unique brand of parenting. Or, you know, maybe not. In my opinion, it never hurts to see alternatives, right?