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Monday, May 14, 2012

Attachment Parenting and Gentle Parenting – A Slight Difference

There has been oh-so much going on in the media surrounding Attachment Parenting (AP). As a result, I’ve seen many people talking about AP not being about “The Bs,” rather a mindset of loving and responding to one’s children. Unfortunately, I have to take exception with this.

Attachment Parenting and gentle parenting are slightly different. Let’s go over what Attachment Parenting is according to Dr. Sears, who is widely known to be the “father of AP.” According to Dr. Sears’ site, there are 7 “Bs” to AP:

• Birth bonding
• Breastfeeding
• Babywearing
• Bedding near baby
• Belief in the language of baby’s cry
• Beware of “Baby Trainers”
• Balance

Gentle parenting, on the other hand, is far more loose in concept. Most who consider themselves gentle parents, for example, take a stand against routine infant circumcision, whereas there is no stance on the procedure in the guidelines stated above. Now, in fairness, AP is not a set of hard and fast rules that one must follow, but there is an obvious statement of basic concepts, as opposed to the more vague, moldable approach of gentle parenting. One is not more right than the other. Parents can certainly be both, but being one doesn’t necessarily make one the other.

What are you? Are you an Attachment Parent, a gentle parent, or do you defy labels? What makes you the parent you are?


  1. I agree that there is a distinction, and there are other related terminologies: Continuum Concept parenting, Natural Parenting. I consider myself part AP, part Continuum Concept, part natural parenting, and all gentle parenting. LOL, so I guess that in a way that defies a single label. My parenting has evolved over time, too, in the decade since I've become a parent. And it continues to evolve because my children are constantly teaching me new things! So if any common thread runs through my parenting philosophy it is to listen to my instincts and respect my child as a unique individual. Sounds simple, but it is always a challenge! That challenge, however, yields great happiness for the whole family when we can rise to it.

    1. Instinctual Parenting - perhaps we've just developed a new label! ;)

  2. I would say I'm a gentle, instinctual parent. I follow all the Bs of AP but I've never actually read a book by Dr. Sears and in general the parenting decisions that my husband and I make are about what feels right to US and our family more than anything else.

  3. Hello! What's your point of view on who are your blog's common subscribers?