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Children and attachment parenting

Posted by: 3AW Radio | 23 July, 2012 - 2:16 PM

Attachment parenting is a is a branch of child-rearing philosophy that emphasises sensitivity and developing close personal bonds.  The style centres around 'surrendering' to the child's every need in the hope of forming a secure attachment which fosters the child's socio-emotional development and well-being.

Denis Walter kicked off his Afternoon program with an enlightening discussion on attachment parenting after 60 Minutes ran a special last night about the growing yet often controversial philosophy.

Denis talked to Mother and attachment parenting advocate Andi Lew who told listeners breast-feeding is a cornerstone of the movement.

"Natural parenting is all about breast feeding...It may be a little extreme to feed up to five years old like American Mums but breast feeding is essential from two years on," she said.

"The child controls your milk supply, not you.  We're hormonally connected that way," Andi said.

Andi said Mothers who are not able to breast feed can still form close attachments by holding the child close while bottle-feeding and by making gentle eye contact.  She is also reluctant to classify her beliefs as attachment parenting because it's simply a matter of 'being respectful to the child's wants and needs.'

The eight principles of attachment parenting are:

  1. Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  2. Feed with Love and Respect
  3. Respond with Sensitivity
  4. Use Nurturing Touch
  5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
  6. Provide Consistent Loving Care
  7. Practice Positive Discipline
  8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life


Attachment Parenting received widespread attention earlier this year when Time Magazine in the United States published a story featuring an image of an upright three-year old being breast-fed by his Mother.

In most Western countries, breastfeeding beyond the age of 1 is considered "extended breastfeeding".

IMAGE: Cover of Time Magazine on the May 21, 2012


Listen to Andi Lew's fascinating chat with Denis Walter below.

PLAY: Attachment parenting advocate Andi Lew

Afternoons with Denis Walter

Denis Walter 3AW Afternoons provides a feast of entertainment and helpful information between 12 and 4pm every Monday to Friday. Denis Walter, one of 3AW's favourites, hosts the program each day - with highlights regularly uploaded to 3AW.com.au.

Blog comments Your Say

  • I still breast feed my 18month old & my husband hates it. I do it in private but he thinks the our son is to old for it now. I think that it's a great bond between mother & child & that milk can't go wrong. :)

    Emma Astbury Saturday 18 August, 2012 - 6:21 AM
  • Creepy to say the least.

    Faye Monday 23 July, 2012 - 7:48 PM
  • The Wallet following up on a channel nine program,who would've guessed?.
    By the way Denise what are the call back numbers again?

    jgl Melb Monday 23 July, 2012 - 2:45 PM

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