Monday, August 29, 2011

Natural Parenting - Back to Basics in Infant Care

I came across this wonderful paper the other day. It investigates the (in my opinion) paleo style of parenting, and talks about the sort of parenting practices that babies have evolved to expect. Here's the abstract...

"Abstract: This review examines an age-old approach to parenting recently rediscovered in Western industrialized societies and known by names such as natural parenting, attachment parenting, and instinctive parenting. Its leading principle is utmost sensitivity to the child’s innate emotional and physical needs, resulting in extended breastfeeding on demand, extensive infant carrying on the caregiver’s body, and cosleeping of infant and parents. The described practices prevailed during the evolutionary history of the human species and reflect the natural, innate rearing style of the human species to which the human infant has biologically adapted over the course of evolution. An overview of research from diverse areas regarding psychological as well as physiological aspects of early care provides evidence for the beneficial effects of natural parenting. Cross-cultural and historical data is cited to reveal the widespread use of the investigated parenting style. It is concluded that the described approach to parenting provides the human infant with an ideal environment for optimal growth both psychologically and physiologically. It is yet to be determined how much departure from this prototype of optimal human parenting is possible without compromising infant and parental wellbeing. The review also invites a critical reevaluation of current Western childrearing practices."

What are your thoughts on this? Agree, disagree?


  1. Hi, I just found your blog! I have six children. I wore all of them in the sling and breastfed them all for 1-2+ Years. My second son, now 11, is the one that I let cry in a crib because he woke up every 20 minutes or so. He has some behaviour problems and I do regret it now. That time in a child's life is short! Happy parenting!

  2. Thank you for your comment and welcome! I agree they are children for such a short time, and it seems to be a very important time too. I hope everything goes well with your family :)

  3. What's your source for this? I'd love to read the whole study.

  4. Hi Mrs Stowers, sorry I took so long to reply, I have been very busy with study.
    There is a link at the top where it says "this wonderful paper", which will take you to
    hope that helps