An Introduction To Natural Parenting Of Infants

An introduction to the natural parenting method, sometimes referred to as attachment parenting.

Natural or attachment parenting is a style of raising children. A simple definition is a way of raising infants and children with their needs first and to meet those needs in a natural way. It is about being a full-time parent with very little separation between parents and child, especially in first five years. One parent tends to stay home with the infant. It is usually the mother due to breastfeeding, but not always.

Breastfeeding is strongly encouraged for infants until they wean naturally. Mother's milk is acknowledged as the best food source for infants. Natural parenting means that breastfeeding is also on demand by the infant and for as long a session as they want. To make nursing on demand easier at nighttime, co-sleeping is encouraged. This is the infant sleeping in the bed with the parents or in a co-sleeper next to the mother for easy access to the baby. There have been many negative reports about co-sleeping but many details are left out. Cloth is the preferred diapering method for natural parenting. It is better for the infant and for the environment. With a little practice, it is just as fast and easy as disposable diapers.

Natural parenting also encourages no substitutes for the mother. Pacifiers are not encouraged to be used by the infant. Instead of placing the infant in a bouncy seat or swing, a sling or carrier is used. Wraps, slings and carriers all allow the mother to carry the infant on her body. Fathers are also encouraged to wear their infant as much as possible. There are many types of slings and carriers so it is easy to find one that works for the family. Infant massage is a great fit with natural parenting. Touch is very important to infants. It tends to calm down a fussy infant in just a few minutes. It also fosters a strong bond between infant and parent. It helps them deal with stress when they are older.

Medical care involves fully informed decisions. No circumcision for infant boys is a big choice. The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) has come out on the side of no circumcision is necessary for medical reasons. Be sure that the decision not to circumcise is known to your doctor and the nurses after delivery. A natural birth, barring complications, is encouraged, including no epidurals or other medical interventions. Use of a midwife or doula will increase your chances for a natural childbirth. Vaccinations are another area of natural parenting. Many natural parenting families chose not to give their children any vaccinations, while others select which vaccinations they feel are best for their infants and children.

Other lifestyle changes for natural parenting with an infant are non-punitive forms of discipline and healthy eating. Discipline really should not be an issue until the infant is older toddler at the earliest. When introducing solid foods to the natural parented infant, organic baby foods, cereal and juices should be used. Alternatively, the parents can choose to make their own baby food. There are several excellent books with recipes.

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