When I was pregnant I can remember wanting to know more about attachment parenting. I began researching and reading anything I could get my hands on. I also wanted to know what I would need, and what I really didn’t need.
Below you will find the products that my family used and loved the most, or what I learned I liked better through trial and error and talking to other parents. I recommend looking for gently used hand me downs first. Use friends and family as a resource to collect as much of this gear as possible.
There is nothing better than receiving hand me downs and then paying it forward to the next parents. You can also find many of these products gently used at thrift stores, used baby stores, garage sales, parenting groups, and Craigslist. Many of these books can be found in your local library or used book stores. Good luck in your collecting!
If there are any products you can not find used I have included Amazon affiliate links to everything listed for your convenience. I earn a very small commission with no extra cost to you — thank you for your support!
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The Attachment Parenting Gear Guide
Below you will find my favorite finds for each category related to attachment parenting and the necessary gear for that category. I wish I had this resource when I was pregnant! I hope you find it helpful on your journey through attached parenthood.
1. Attachment Parenting Books
The first thing you will need in attachment parenting is to know more about the basic tenets — the whats, hows and whys. Below you will find a few of my favorite books on the subject and related categories. These are the best that I have found.
- The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby
by Dr. William & Martha Sears — the doctor-and-nurse, husband-and-wife team who coined the term “attachment parenting” — answer all your questions in this practical, inspiring guide. “The Attachment Parenting Book” clearly explains the six “Baby B’s” that form the basis of this increasingly popular parenting style: Bonding, Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Bedding close to baby, Belief in the language value of baby’s cry, Beware of baby trainers.
- Attached at the Heart: Eight Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children by — While there is no such thing as perfect parenting, research suggests that there is a strong correlation between a heightened sense of respect, empathy, and affection in those children raised the “attachment parenting” way. In this controversial book, readers will gain much-needed insight into child rearing while learning to trust the intuitive knowledge of their child, ultimately building a strong foundation that will strengthen the parent-child bond.
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding By La Leche League International — La Leche League has set the standard for educating and empowering mothers in this natural art for generations. Now their classic bestselling guide has been retooled, refocused, and updated for today’s mothers and lifestyles. This is the book my mother read to help her when she wanted to nurse her children back in the early 70’s. It was the only book on the subject available at that time. Not many women were breastfeeding in the United States back then, but she was determined to read this book and give it a go. I’m so glad she did!
- Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin — I love all of Ina May’s books. This one draws on her decades of experience in caring for pregnant women, mothers, and babies. In it Ina May Gaskin explores the health and psychological benefits of breastfeeding and gives you invaluable practical advice that will help you nurse your baby in the most fulfilling way possible. Inside you’ll find answers to virtually every question you have on breastfeeding.
- The Complete Book of Breastfeeding, 4th edition: The Classic Guide by SallyWendkos Olds and
- Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping by James McKenna — Dr. McKenna is a leading researcher in the field of maternal-infant sleep. It is written with wit, warmth, kindness and is straight to the point: all sleeping must be done safely, whether done in a crib or a parent’s bed. He explains the biological need of human beings to be close at night and helps us to understand how we can integrate this into our own lives. And he does so with science supporting his stance and without judgment regarding the choices of parents.
- A Quick Guide to Safely Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Co-Sleeping by James McKenna — If you don’t have much time to read the book listed above read this abridged version. It contains all the key facts from “Sleeping with Your Baby” in a condensed format. This booklet instructs parents on how to create safe sleep environments. Complete with sections on minimizing hazards and risks, this booklet explains why and how to sleep with your baby.
- Good Nights: The Happy Parents’ Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night’s Sleep!) by
2. Breastfeeding Gear
Below you will find a list of the items that many breastfeeding mom’s swear by. Beside each product I will include the recommendations and opinions of other parents. Not everyone uses everything listed here. Some people use it all, while others see some items as unnecessary. I will give all pertinent details next to each product so you can make your own informed decision.
- Earth Mama Angel Baby Non GMO Natural Nipple Butter Lanolin Free Nursing Cream 2 Ounce — This is a product every breastfeeding mom should have to use sparingly. I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 2 1/2 years now and I never needed more than one container of this. It is meant to be used only when your nipples are chapped, not as a daily preventative measure. I used it in the beginning weeks as my nipples got used to breastfeeding and never needed it again. When I needed it — it was indispensable. Cracked nipples hurt and this helps a lot!
- Heart Felt Organic Bamboo Breastpads 2 Pair (4 Piece) Pack. — These are soft organic reusable breast pads. Every breast-feeding mom needs breast pads and these are the eco-friendly way to go. Leaks happen — trust me! Reusable pads will also save you money over the long haul. I recommend purchasing several packages to wash and reuse. They are easy to hand wash in your bathroom sink and dry on a washcloth on your bathroom counter. I personally found that 3 packages of 2 pair was enough to have on hand.
- My Brest Friend Original Pillow, Fireworks — I preferred this to the Boppy Pillow for breastfeeding. There are many other color and cover options available. I loved that I could clip it to myself and move around if I needed to. I know several woman who argue breastfeeding pillows to be useless and un-needed while others swear by them. I fell somewhere in the middle. I found them useful but did not use them all the time. I liked it most when my daughter was an infant. It allowed me to rest my arms and prop her easily when I needed to.
- Boppy Pillow with Slipcover, Peaceful Jungle — I was given one of these as a hand me down. I preferred My breast friend to this one for breastfeeding purposes. This pillow was a fantastic propping tool for tummy time. It was also great for keeping my daughter from falling over when she first began sitting.
- Udder Covers – Breast Feeding Nursing Cover (Grace) — I know several mothers that think these are absolutely ridiculous! When I first started breastfeeding I wanted it in public situations and around people who seemed uncomfortable with my exposed breast. It was great for when we traveled. I could breastfeed and allow my daughter to nap under it. They are not necessary, but they are convenient if ever you need to breastfeed somewhere you don’t feel comfortable. If you are totally comfortable breastfeeding in front of others this is not the product for you.
- Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump Starter Set-Model # 57081 — As a stay at home attached mom I still needed and used this. There will always be a time when you will miss a feed, and it is important to teach your baby to take a bottle of your breast milk in cases of emergency. I always kept a stock of breast milk in the freezer even though we rarely needed it. Having a breast pump is also a great tool to have around when you get a clogged duct or mastitis. I got mastitis 5 times and needed this every time! It is an indispensable tool for every breastfeeding mother whether you stay at home or not. This is the best pump available besides the hospital grade ones. I provided the best lowest priced option available. You can also purchase an advanced Medela pump that comes with a tote and milk cooler, but if you are a stay at home mom you may not need it — I never did.
- Lifefactory 4-Ounce Glass Baby Bottle with Silicone Sleeve and Stage 1 Nipple, Spring Green — These bottles are compatible with the Medala breast pump above. I always prefer glass to plastics especially where babies are concerned. The borosilicate glass is superior to others on the market and the silicone nipples are much more durable. The entire product is completely free of toxins including BPA, phthalates, polycarbonates, and PVC. The nipples and sleeves (which come in GREAT colors) are made of a medical-grade silicone and are completely free of plastic or latex. As for cleaning, there’s no need to remove the silicone cover. The bottle can be popped right in the dishwasher or even boiled with the cover still on. Super easy! Highly recommend!
3. Babywearing Gear
There are three primary designs; the ring sling, wrap, and soft structured carrier. I used all three types for different purposes. If you can’t find used options and your budget is tight choose the one that you feel will meet your needs best. They each fill specific needs and purposes. I provide information within each description to help inform your decision.
- Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling – Graphite – Medium — This wrap allows you to wear newborns through toddlers in a variety of positions. This was my favorite carrier for breastfeeding. I also preferred this carrier for running errands because I could leave it on and easily get baby in and out of it. Other carriers take more time and effort to wrap or get baby into and out of.
- Moby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Baby Carrier, Black or Boba Baby Wrap, Grey [There are several color options available from both companies] — These two wraps are very similar. With a wrap sling you can wear baby rear facing, forward facing, on your hip, or on your back. There are many you tube video’s out there to help you learn several amazing ways to wrap and carry your baby. I used the Moby, but have heard lots of good things about the Boba. The Boba is 95% cotton and 5% spandex while the Moby is 100% cotton. The spandex helps improve the elasticity of this design. When wearing the Moby it had the tendency to stretch and get loose so that I had to re-wrap it. This was especially true as I moved around a lot and/or my baby got heavier. The mothers that I spoke to that used the Boba said that they did not have to re-wrap as much because of the spandex in the design. I found wrap carriers like the Moby and Boba were great for wearing baby around the house. I didn’t like them as much for going on walks and working or laboring because they tend to loosen over time. For walking and labor such as housework or yard work I preferred using a soft carrier. You can breastfeed in a wrap carrier, but I found it challenging to get the right wrap to do so. I have several friends who prefer this style of wrap to the others and can breastfeed in it without any problems.
- Ergo Baby – 4 Position 360 Carrier with Grey Infant Insert – Grey — This is the new Ergobaby design. I preferred soft carriers like this one for doing yard work, housework, and for going on long daily walks with our dog. I used the freehand baby carrier. I loved it because it offered a three carry design — inward, back, forward. Based on reviews from friends this soft carrier has now trumped it. With this new design you can wear baby inward facing, on your hip, on your back, and forward facing when your baby is ready to great the world.
4. Co-Sleeping Gear
- Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Surround – Beige Doodles — We used this but we did not end up using it as a co-sleeper as we originally planned. Personally I prefered having baby right next to me at night without having to lift her out of it to breastfeed. I never felt like I would roll over and crush her but I did worry about her falling off the bed so we ended up purchasing the Humanity Family Sleeper below to use instead. We used this as a portable bassinet and daytime sleeper to keep our baby safe and nearby. I could just pick her up and move her wherever I wanted to as she slept.
- Humanity Family Sleeper- co-sleeping pad and maternity body pillow — Made in USA of organic cotton and recycled eco poly pillow. This patented bed-top sleeper makes bed sharing a safe and easy. We absolutely loved this product! It prevented roll-offs while the soft organic cotton absorbed leaks so we didn’t have to sleep on wet sheets. Highly recommend!
Arms Reach Co-sleepers
I did not use one of these but I wish I did. I have many friends that swear by them because it is easier to get baby out of the bed once they get older. My baby slept in our bed, which we loved, but she is still in it! We still love sleeping with her but know that there will come a day when we are ready for her to move into her own bed. I doubt she will be keen on the idea so we will have to rely on tips from the books above.
These bassinets enable you to reach over and draw your baby close for comforting and bonding. The innovative design also makes breastfeeding easy. Whether you choose to breast feed or bottle feed, the Co-Sleeper Bassinet promotes bonding and enables parents and infant to sleep better. It is also recommended by leading pediatricians and sleep research experts. Reach over and draw your baby close for feeding, or just plain loving. Below I have listed the three most popular designs; Mini Arc, Ideal Arc, and Wooden Sleigh bed. There are many other styles and colors available.
- Arm’s Reach Concepts Co-Sleeper Bassinet Mini Arc, Natural
- Arm’s Reach Ideal Arc Original Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet, Natural
- Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet Sleigh Bed, Expresso — Wood design for today’s contemporary bedrooms that converts to a “read to me” love seat.
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