Attachment parenting

There's something magical about the bond between mother and child mums are attached to their children, quite literally.

Caitlin Edwards has her hands full with 8 month old Tilly, so she's the boss? "She's the boss, she is the boss of the house, if she wants to do something, and she will do it"

To many of us that sounds like real trouble but the 21 year old and her partner James are strong believers in the principles of attachment parenting. "she stays with me at work, she sleeps in our bed, she's breast fed, she's constantly with one of us, she's an attachment baby" and that includes feeding on demand and for as long as it suits the child.

Attachment parenting insists the needs of a child are constantly being met and are comforted as soon as a child cries it also includes co-sleeping.

"Everyone gets a good night sleep in the house no one's getting out of bed for any reason, our babies are really good sleepers, I do believe because they've been with mum." Amy Mcglade and her husband lee have co-slept with all three kids from birth.

According to parenting expert and author Pinky Mackay who's a supporter of the theory this is nothing new. But it's becoming more popular in western society with celebrity advocates like Alicia Silverstone Kourtney Kardashion and Angelina Jolie.

It's caused some controversy particularly after this picture of a mum breast-feeding her three year old toddler hit the cover of time magazine in 2012.

"I think people have a lot of misconceptions about what it actually is because unless you're chewing your babies' food up or breast feeding a five year old in public sleeping with your baby day and night it's not an extreme kind of parenting all of these things can be responsive to your individual child"

It may not be for everyone but Amy says extended breast feeding has worked well for her family. She still breastfeeds her 2.5 year old Jonathon as well as her baby Luke.

Clinical psychologist Rita Princi acknowledges some benefits but warns taken to extremes it can lead to problems. "if a child is in charge or calling the shots or being in charge of where they're going to sleep of be weaned, they then learn they're in charge, that can affect what they're doing with friends and even as adults they've loss that sense of entitlement" But both Caitlin and Amy don't regret a thing.

Further details

www.attachmentparentingaustralia.com