Gentle Parenting and Attachment Theory
It is important that parents know the thought processes of their chosen pediatric medical team when it comes to parenting, child development, and sleep. Unfortunately, this rarely comes up at a discussion during initial pediatric visits. We would like our families to be aware that we find baby-led processes and attachment theory most closely shaping our recommendations to guide our parents with the many aspects of parenting. Families will often hear Dr. Sue tell them to trust their instincts, and that if it 'doesn't feel right, that it is not right for you and your baby'.
Attachment theory is a beautiful, supportive concept of relationships between children and their parents. This theory was developed by Dr. John Bowlby and expanded upon by others such as Dr. Gordon Neufeld. This theory explains the importance of attachment between infants and caregivers. It emphasizes that responsive, sensitive caregivers optimize the infant's ability to form healthy patterns of behavior based on secure attachment to another. This leads to children and adults that have optimal social and emotional development.
Putting attachment theory into practical terms, this means that cry-it-out methods and separation may affect infants negatively on a long-term basis. Infants cannot be 'spoiled' with love and attention. Before a year of age, object permanence is not fully developed. Your infant does not understand that you are still present in his/her space when they cannot see or feel you. Letting parents trust their instincts is of utmost importance when it comes to providing guidance. We focus on giving our parents the ability to be aware of their instincts, and to implement them in all stages of their child's development.