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Attachment Parenting 101: What are Attachment Parenting International's 8 principles of parenting?

Happy baby
Happy baby
Photo by Jessica McMaken

Are you interested in attachment parenting but unclear on exactly what that means? 

Attachment Parenting International states that the essence of attachment parenting is about "forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children." 

To that end, they offer the following Eight Principles of Parenting.

  1. Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting.
  2. Feed with love and respect.
  3. Respond with sensitivity.
  4. Use nurturing touch.
  5. Ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally.
  6. Provide consistent and loving care.
  7. Practice positive discipline.
  8. Strive for balance in personal and family life.

As you can see, these 8 principles do not tell you exactly how to parent your child but rather guide you as you make important parenting choices. For example, the principles of attachment parenting do not dictate co-sleeping but rather ask you to respond to your baby's night time needs quickly and with sensitivity - whether he is sharing your bed or sleeping in another room. Similarly, a bottle feeding parent can still practice attachment parenting by making sure to hold and connect with her baby when he eats rather than propping him up with a bottle in a baby swing. 

Attachment parenting challenges parents to treat children with kindness, respect and dignity. New parents interested in attachment parenting should know that there is a wide range of parenting behaviors that conform to the principles of attachment parenting and that there are parents from all walks of life striving to parent their children in accordance with these principles.

For more information about Attachment Parenting International (API) in Colorado:

Mother's Circle API of Northern Colorado meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month (second meeting is a playgroup/ informal meeting) at 11:00 a.m. at University Village Center, 1600 W. Plum, bldg. 34, Fort Collins. Contact Barb Lattin 970-402-8922

If you are further South, contact API of Parker, Colorado:

Alice Burson 303-404-9738
Kendrah Nilsestuen 303-699-1212


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