A core faculty member with The Circling Institute in Berkeley, California, Korenna Barto Reynard previously spent four years as a trainer, educator, and group leader with Attachment Parenting International. There, Korenna Barto Reynard led parent support groups and educational courses focused on attachment parenting practices.
Attachment parenting, which refers to the practice of responding to a baby’s needs and maintaining continuous bodily closeness, brings numerous physical and psychological benefits. First, close physical contact such as baby-wearing and frequent holding encourages bonding between parent and child. When baby’s needs are met quickly, he or she is often more relaxed and peaceful, crying less and spending more time in the “quiet alert” state. It is in this state that babies are most receptive to interacting with others and learning from their environment. According to research, because attachment parenting encourages emotional regulation and secure connection in infancy, children who are parented in this way become more confident and independent later in life.
A parenting and personal growth expert, Korenna Barto Reynard previously served with Attachment Parenting International (API) beginning in 2011. During her tenure with API, Korenna Barto Reynard served as the organization’s representative and trained facilitators to educate parents on API’s eight parenting principles.
The Attachment Parenting Institute includes loving feeding methods as one of its core principles. According to API, children get a large part of their emotional as well as their nutritional needs met during feeding times. For this reason, it’s important that parents view meals as an opportunity to deepen their connection with their child.
Young infants bond with their mothers through breastfeeding. This same connection can be developed through bottle feeding that mimics the closeness of breastfeeding. API recommends maintaining eye contact with the infant during feeding and providing food when the baby displays hunger rather than relying on a schedule.
As the child is weaned from the breast or bottle, parents can ease the transition to solid foods by giving the child small meals throughout the day, according to his or her hunger signals, thereby modeling healthy eating habits.