Attachment Parenting Vs. Gentle Parenting [WHICH IS BETTER?]

Attachment parenting encourages parents to focus on their instincts. Those instincts as a mother would lead you to be close to your baby at all times. Gentle parenting is a type of parenting that is built on connecting with your children and developing a respectful relationship with them.

Attachment and gentle parenting have become increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason. Although some might think they are the same, attachment and gentle parenting work differently. So, is attachment parenting or emotional parenting better?

Treating children with human decency and respect, leading by example, and forgoing using violence against them can result in magnificent individuals who do not contribute to the world’s pain. Here’s all you need to know about attachment and gentle parenting and each parenting style’s benefits and drawbacks.

Mother and daughter under covers laughing

Related Reading: Top 5 Movies About Parenting Styles

All About Attachment Parenting and Gentle Parenting

Gentle parenting is where parents treat their children the way that they themselves would like to be treated. Gentle parenting is a parenting method that encourages a relationship with your kids based on their willingness and preferences rather than parental expectations and rules. It educates children to do the right thing by utilizing positivity and patience instead of fear or punishment.

Gentle parenting is fundamentally about the bond a parent has with their child. Rather than imposing inflexible expectations or consequences, parents should spend time conversing with their children about their feelings, available choices, and challenges. Another critical aspect of gentle parenting is respecting your child as if they are your equal/an adult.

Typically, parents feel compelled to impose rules and demands on their children, telling them what they should and should not do. Letting children make their own choices and learn from them, have open communication, guide the problem-solving process when obstacles arise, and, where appropriate, address issues in a lighthearted manner, are all ways in which gentle parenting is done.

The end purpose of gentle parenting is to build a deep bond with your child that is built on growth, trust, and security. Positive reinforcement is used to guide children in gentle parenting. Parents do not punish their children for making errors; instead, they assist them in learning from them so they can make better decisions in the future.

They instill in children the ability to make excellent decisions based on their own internal compass rather than external control. They regard children as competent, valuable, and worthy of love and respect, instilling positive self-perceptions in their children. The idea behind gentle parenting is to recognize that when kids do something wrong, it’s not because they’re horrible and deserve punishment.

The gentle way is to jump right into problem-solving mode. The purpose of gentle parenting isn’t to exert control over children. It’s to assist children in developing the abilities they’ll need now and as adults to solve their own difficulties safely and politely. Children require time to work things out and adults nearby to redirect them if they cannot do so.

Attachment parenting, on the other hand, is a high-touch relationship between children and their parents. This parenting style entails keeping your child as close to you as humanly possible at all times. There are 5 Baby Bs associated with this type of parenting: bonding, breastfeeding, baby wearing, bedsharing, and boundary building. The Baby Bs promote a physical and emotional connection.

The parents rely on their basic instincts and reflexes for clues on what their child requires, rather than a conventional clock. According to attachment parenting, babies develop emotionally, physically, and socially best when they have the most opportunities to form strong relationships with their caregivers.

This entails plenty of physical contact, using a baby carrier rather than a stroller, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding. It involves not allowing your child to cry it out. Attachment parents do not sleep train their children and believe spoiling a child is impossible.

Attachment parenting also includes ensuring that interventions are minimized during pregnancy and childbirth to encourage bonding between the parent and the child. The parent also practices positive discipline via problem-solving and by being good role models. Physical punishment of any kind or time out is thoroughly discouraged. Attachment parenting also focuses on encouraging life balance. 

Related Reading: How Do You Define “Parent” Exactly?

Pros and Cons of Attachment Parenting

There are many pros to attachment parenting. Early attachment parenting can be beneficial because it results in a more independent child. Attachment parenting instills trust and the knowledge that someone is looking out for you.

Attachment parenting encourages infants to learn more quickly and effectively by allowing them to create more interconnections within their brains as they mature. Compared to children who have not been exposed to attachment parenting, this can result in youngsters who remember and retrieve information more readily over time.

Attachment parenting enhances awareness and sensitivity between parent and child, allowing for more accurate communication opportunities. Each may comprehend the other’s wants and needs.

However, attachment parenting is time-consuming and demanding. Some believe it places unreasonable demands and responsibilities on parents, particularly working women. When they don’t think they’ve adhered to the concepts of attachment parenting, many women who don’t work from home feel burdened and guilty. As a result, some argue that modern-day moms live in an age of anxiety.

Attachment parenting can strain and take a toll on the marriage as all the attention is focused on the baby.

Children may not learn to be independent.

Pros and Cons of Gentle Parenting

There are many pros, such as children turning into happy, resilient, independent, and mature people with healthy senses of self-worth. They won’t feel compelled to mistreat people or bully them to feel good about themselves.

They also learn how to control their environment as the parent does not control everything for them. Instead, the parent provides ample opportunity for the child to improve their ability to control their environment.

Children learn to recognize, express, and ultimately manage their emotions instead of sweeping them aside as the parent has helped the child voice the present feelings.

However, it is not for the faint-hearted to practice gentle parenting. This parenting style necessitates a great deal of self-control. Instead of reacting, you’ll need to be proactive. You’ll have to make thoughtful choices and provide an example of sensitivity, acceptance, understanding, and communication.

Some believe children do not receive enough discipline when parents utilize this parenting style.

Which is Better: Attachment or Gentle Parenting?

While both methods of parenting are considered great, attachment parenting has the edge over gentle parenting. While many people mistake attachment parenting for no-discipline parenting, it is compatible with many disciplinary approaches, including the Love and Logic approaches.

Attachment parenting is ineffective for parents who use a tyrannical or drill-sergeant approach to punishment since this type of parenting demands that parents exhibit empathy even when disciplining their children.

The quality time parents spend with their children makes attachment parenting better. How they intentionally maintain physical contact, talk to their kids, ensure that they keep eye contact with them, ensure to provide for their needs, and most importantly, constantly be their primary caregiver are all the many reasons why attachment parenting is more favored than gentle parenting.

As innately social beings, humans need to connect is primary. This is why attachment parenting is better. It focuses on this as the parent responds to the child’s needs promptly and sensitively. Simply put, attachment parenting means relationship quality.

Continue Reading: Does Being Sober Make You A Better Parent?


Attachment and gentle parenting aim to use as little violence and punishment as possible and focus instead on understanding, respect, and building bonds. However, attachment parenting is the better as the parents and child bond from the get-go.

Skip to content