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There's nothing new about Attachment parenting; parents have been doing it naturally for as long as humans have existed. Attachment parenting is based on responding to a baby’s needs, which in infancy include staying in very close proximity to the parent. Once the baby learns that her caretakers are reliably nurturing and protective, she builds on this internal security as she proceeds to the next developmental tasks of exploration, mastery of the environment, and forming relationships with others.

Attachment parenting is now supported by an impressive body of academic theory and research, but the basic idea is simple and intuitively obvious. Human babies are born helpless because of their big brains. To survive, they need parents to keep them from harm’s way for many years, and to teach them survival skills. So all humans are born seeking close attachments.

Our brain development, our emotional development -- even our later ability to control our tempers and delay gratification -- all depend on having our innate relationship needs met as infants.

The Attachment Parenting philosophy arises from actual research; both longitudinal studies of children and their parents, and advances in understanding infant brain development. But Attachment Parenting is not a set of rules, and every parent uses it a bit differently. Parenting is an art, not a science. As always, use your own deepest wisdom to decide what's best for you and your family.

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