Don't Retract Pack

What is Peaceful Parenting?

So just what is peaceful parenting?

My husband and I have had a lot of people assume things about our gentle style of parenting. We have been called everything from "hippies" to "radicals" to "old-fashioned" to "fundamental" to "new-age" and everything in between. The funny thing is, we do not fit into any of those boxes. We are simply raising our little one according to his innate human baby needs at each step of the way.

Peaceful Parenting has also been called "Natural Family Living" or "Natural Parenting." It is often referred to as "Attachment Parenting" (AP), "Primal Parenting" or "Gentle Mothering". It seems that few people today are familiar with the extensive amount of research related to this natural style of parenting, and even fewer realize just how intensely their parenting style (peaceful or not) dramatically impacts the health, happiness, and development of their baby - at birth, in infancy, childhood, and throughout adulthood. Not only is an individual life and family unit affected, but society at large is also altered as a result of our parenting techniques.

In reviewing the book, Primal Mothering in a Modern World, Jody McLaughlin (editor of Compleat Mother Magazine) reminds us that, "When babies are born, they do not know what century it is, nor do they know on which continent they were born, nor the standards or rules of conduct imposed by outside influences. However, they DO know what they need." And all human babies need the same few simple (but vitally crucial) things for optimal health, happiness and development. This is what peaceful parenting gets to the core of. It is primal parenting. Natural parenting. Parenting as old as humanity itself. Parenting with components that we share with other mammal species. Yet, parenting carried out according to our unique human design. One which puts the mother-baby unit, and mother-baby intuition and instinct, at the core of parenting - where it belongs all along. Above all, a human baby's natural habitat is his mother's chest. Within this natural habitat, all else falls into place.

There are decades worth of specific research on various aspects of natural/attachment/peaceful parenting -- i.e. gentle birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping, intactivism, etc., and how they each relate to and impact human health and development. You could easily spend a lifetime studying the science of attachment. But below are several sources to start with when exploring the literature on peaceful parenting in general. Most of the items listed have ample peer-reviewed, empirical research documented within, which can be used for further exploration. The books listed are the best-of-the-best (and our personal favorites!). If you are in the D.C. area and want to swing by our birth-and-babies library, you are welcome to borrow any of the texts.

Happy Reading! :)


Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain by Dr. Sue Gerhardt

The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland

The Baby Bond by Dr. Linda Palmer

Our Babies, Ourselves
by Dr. Meredith Small

The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. William Sears

The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure & Confident Child by Dr. Ruth Newton

Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for your Baby and Young Child by Granju, Kennedy, and Sears

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D.

Natural Family Living Peggy O'Mara

The Scientification of Love by Dr. Michel Odent

Primal Health by Dr. Michel Odent

The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost
by Dr. Jean Liedloff

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
by Dr. Sarah Buckley

The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart by Jan Hunt

Primal Mothering in a Modern World by Hygeia Halfmoon

Online Sites:

The Natural Child Project

Attachment Parenting International

Peaceful Parenting (Facebook Forum)


The Compleat Mother

Natural Parenting

Articles Linked:
on peaceful parenting

Peaceful Parenting: Following Your Instincts

The Science of Attachment: Biological Roots of Love

What is Natural Family Living?

Attachment Parenting and C-Section: One Woman's Experience *This article is included simply to demonstrate one example of how attachment parenting is circularly beneficial to mom & baby - even in the midst of an otherwise not-so-ideal situation

"If those in mainstream circles did not occasionally critique and criticize us, we would then know we were doing something wrong. Because we want our families, our children, ourselves, to be the exact opposite of what 'the mainstream' produces, it is encouraging to know we are doing something correctly when 'they' don't like it." ~ D. Frisbie


  1. love the picture of the 3 of you! Thanks for the articles.

  2. Nice post! I too am tired of being dismissed on stereotypes. DH and I do not choose to treat our daughter with dignity and respect just to fit into some labelled group.

    (For example someone once accused me of planning for a homebirth b/c it was a fad!)

    I love this quote:

    "The history of mankind, the history of salvation, passes by way of the family. The family is placed at the center of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love."
    ~Pope John Paul II

  3. I just ordered "Why Love Matters" on Amazon along with another called "Becoming Attached" Thanks for the info...I'm a single mom and don't always have time to look around for the latest books!

  4. Natural parenting or peaceful parenting is actually practiced in a lot of countries in Asia and other other parts of the world. There is nothing wrong with it.. I don't know why some people are always out to judge others.

  5. I love the book kiss me from the Spanish pediatrician Carlos Gonzalez