Ever since bumping on Dr. Sears' "Baby Book" I've become interested in attachement parenting and found a lot of resources on the internet. But I'm wondering how widespread this kind of parenting actually is. I read somewhere also that it's kind of "fashionable".

Of course one thing is theory and another is practice and there must be many different levels of application of the attachement parenting philosophy.

So my question is: is there some statistics or estimate of how many or what percentage of parents claim or can be viewed as applying attachment parenting?

  • 1
    Curious to know what the statistics will do for you? Would it sway your parenting style?
    – Rhea
    Mar 31, 2011 at 2:26
  • It would just fulfill my curiosity. I think it's a great parenting style and wonder how many people share it: the more the better!
    – bangnab
    Mar 31, 2011 at 5:58
  • I'm kind of a mix of attachment and traditional so I thought it hard to try to answer this, though not a parent yet, but will be very soon (2 weeks)! So I'll see how I am when reality sets in...
    – Rhea
    Mar 31, 2011 at 17:21
  • I think some of this is going to depend on how you define "attachment parenting". I think some people are going to try and define it so broadly that it's not very descriptive. I'd argue that you can't do "attachment parenting" if the baby is in day care, so you can look up the stats for that where you are. I'd argue that a baby/parent duo who isn't baby wearing much, isn't breastfeeding and isn't co-sleeping isn't doing "attachment parenting" but so what? Is a kid less loved because they are comfortable sleeping in a bassinet?
    – swbarnes2
    Feb 20, 2017 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


To be honest I have some problems with these labels. From what I can tell, we are doing attachment parenting, without having ever heard of it, by just doing what feels right and is easy. It's a natural thing to do.

So why attach a label to it? It turns it into some sort of movement, means you have to do it "Just the right way", as described in the books. For example we have been more or less co-sleeping for a year now, but it isn't working anymore, but when asking how to stop we get several responses telling us we shouldn't, because Attachment Parenting is so great and you have to follow it by the book. It becomes dogma. Therefore I think it's a bad idea to do Attachment Parenting. It is a good idea to follow the practices in Attachment Parenting, but as soon as you attach a label to it it becomes a fixed set of things to do, that you then may end up forcing yourself or your child to do even when it's not right for you, but because it's included in the label. Sure, most people won't do that, but do they then continue to use the label or not?

And that brings me to the actual question: Statistics like this will be very misleading, as many more people do attachment parenting than any statistics would show, because they don't know what it is. Many probably know what it is, say they follow it, but don't follow it by the book. Should they then be counted at doing it or not? How much of it do you need to do to classify as attachment parenting?

So the answer probably is: Everyone does it, more or less. Some a lot, some very little. Where you put the line to say "this is attachment parenting and that is not" becomes arbitrary, and therefore any percentage would be arbitrary as well.

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    I'd +2 this if I could. ALL of the "parenting styles" codified in books or other media have this problem in spades. Eventually, more people cling to the label or the movement rather than really thinking about each, individual, little decision we make as parents in its own right.
    – HedgeMage
    Mar 31, 2011 at 7:09
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    +1 about labeling. FWIW, the book says over and over again that you should take the prinicples that work for you and make sense in your situation. But people do tend to get dogmatic. Also, FWIW, we have taken several ideas from the book. Mar 31, 2011 at 12:29
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    I agree that accepting a parenting style as dogma is a bad idea, but I think a label has value in communicating a concept. The person that suggested you shouldn't stop co-sleeping even though it doesn't work for your family obviously doesn't understand attachment parenting. Attachment parenting emphasizes exactly what you're doing: parenting in the way that feels right for your family. Their "Baby B's" are tools to use, not a strict code to which one must comply (though perhaps this isn't emphasized enough). Mar 31, 2011 at 13:06

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