I just thought I'd place this link (it's also in the links section) in a more prominent site for those that come to find out what we are all about!
According to Attachment Parenting International, it is Dr. Sears who coined the term "Attachment Parenting" about 25 years ago, so it is to his website that I will link everyone to find out about what AP is.
Click HERE for the link to "What is Attachment Parenting" - per Dr. Sears
My understanding from his books and his website is that the general point of AP is to be connected to your child in such a way that you follow your baby's cues, whatever they may happen to be. I will share a personal experience to relate how reading cues may not lead to what some consider 'AP' practices: when my DS was 0-6 months old, he did NOT sleep well in our bed: he seemed annoyed by our presence as if we were in the way, and he wouldn't sleep. Instead, he would cry and definately NOT sleep. So, during that time we followed his cues and he didn't sleep in our bed. He slept happily and soundly on his own... and we WANTED to cuddle with him, so it was purely based on what he was showing us. In fact, Dr. Sears himself - even though he is a huge fan of co sleeping - does not say that you must co-sleep: he says
After 6 months DS started teething like crazy (by 11 months he had 16 teeth) and wanted closeness and comfort, so ever since then we've snuggled up to him every night and we LOOOOOOOVE it!
According to Dr. Sears and API, AP isn't a series of criteria that one can list that mean you are AP or not (Dr. Sears only mentions a connection between parent/child), it's just a simple and natural following cues of your baby so that you are connected, and your baby feels secure in your attention that you give him/her. If he/she wants to play on their own, you let them do that, but if they need you then you are there. I'm saying this because sometimes people feel like they aren't AP because they don't co-sleep (as an example), when really if the reason you don't co sleep is because it doesn't work for your family, then that *is* actually AP. One wouldn't want to ignore a baby's cues and needs by forcing them to co-sleep if they didn't want to... that wouldn't make a very connected relationship at all, I'd think?
Here is a link to Attachment Parenting International that also explains what AP is:
Click HERE for link to Attachment Parenting International FAQ
API has EIGHT IDEALS that are "are guidelines to help parents understand their baby's needs to develop a secure attachment." They want everyone to realize, however, that they are IDEALS, and not every child wants every ideal (eg, some babies hate being carried around all day and only want it for a bit):
Click HERE for ATTACHMENT PARENTING INTERNATIONAL'S EIGHT IDEALS