While sometimes seen as an only a trendy new-age form of parenting, – attachment parenting is actually a style of caring for your baby – that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parent. Attachment parenting encourages you to first open your mind and heart to the individual needs of your baby; and because of that willingness you will develop the wisdom on how to make the best decisions on what works best for both you and your baby. Attachment parenting can be a great style of parenting for single mothers because it encourages you to do the best you can with the resources you have – that’s really all your child will ever expect of you after all! Below are some ways in which you can attachment single parent. Use these as starter tips to find your own parenting style – one that fits the individual needs of your child and your single parent family.
The way your baby comes into this world helps the early attachment unfold. The days and weeks leading up to and after birth are a sensitive period where it is important to embrace this baby as your gift, accept that you will raise your baby alone for a period, and that you can bond a bit more each day. A close attachment after birth by rooming in at the hospital, breastfeeding, doing skin-to-skin care, and co-sleeping will allow the natural, biological attachment-promoting behaviors of baby and the intuitive, biological, care giving qualities of the mother to come together. Breastfeeding, in particularly, helps you read your baby’s cues and body language, which is the first step in getting to know your baby. As a single mother it can also save $2000 a year on formula costs and keeps you both healthier. Both will get off to the right start at a time when the baby is most needy and the mother is most ready to nurture.
A baby learns a lot in the arms of its mother. Babywearing, which is simply carrying your baby often in a sling or pouch, results in babies that fuss less and spend more time in a quiet alert state. This is the behavior state in which babies learn most about their environment. Babywearing can make your more sensitive to your baby’s need because they are so close to you, you get to know baby better. Babywearing as a single mother means you will also have free hands to attend to other children, work, clean, or do anything you need. Slings can be made for free using any fabric you have around the house or you can buy them for about $30, which is cheaper than a playpen or baby swing.
As a single mother your baby may be with a caregiver all day and once you are home and settled it is already bedtime, so it hard to find time to bond. Wherever you and baby get the best night’s sleep is the best arrangement for your individual family but co-sleeping adds a nighttime touch that helps busy single parents reconnect with their infant at night. Co-sleeping can mean sharing a bed or simply sleeping in the same room. Nighttime can be hard for babies but sleeping within close touching and nursing distance minimizes nighttime separation anxiety. Co-sleeping helps baby learn that sleep is pleasant and that mother is close by if needed.
Listening to your baby’s cries is key to building trust. Crying is a signal of for your baby and the development of the parents. Single mothers that respond sensitively to baby’s cries have babies that trust that their caregivers will be responsive to their needs. You soon begin to trust in your ability to appropriately meet baby’s needs without any “crying it out”. As a single mother you may not be able to drop what you are doing instantly to attend to your crying baby, but by reassuring your baby that “mommy is coming” in a soothing voice, your baby will recognize their needs will soon be met. The cry-it-out method can create a distance between you and your baby and keep you from becoming an expert in your child.
There are many other benefits to attachment single parenting. Because you are more sensitive to your child, you will find your overall sensitivity to everyone and everything else goes up a notch, this can be helpful when dealing with ex-partners! This caring, giving, listening, and responding to a child’s needs becomes normal for the family so these qualities became part of the child. Kids that were AP babies have learned to bond to people rather than to things so they become high-touch people even in a high-tech world. The AP baby is also more likely to become the child who forms deep friendships and builds intimacy with a mate. AP single mothers build confidence much faster and become more accepting of life circumstances and are easily adaptable.
In your enthusiasm to give so much to your baby, it’s easy to neglect the needs of yourself. The key is to balance your parenting by being appropriately responsive to your baby. While keeping baby as physically attached to you as possible, you must also have some along time to meet your own needs. You must learn what parenting style will work best for you. Using some attachment single parenting techniques in your home, may give you more understand of your baby’s needs and thus more freedom than you ever thought possible. Studies show that AP parenting can be easily adopted by single mothers and has many lifelong benefits.