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Meticulously researched and warmly presented, the most authoritative and persuasive guide to attachment parenting When it comes to early parenting, scientific evidence points time and again to the bond between parent and child as a critical factor in a baby's health and wellbeing. Backed by more than 1,200 trusted sources, this breakthrough guide reveals the many little-known advantages that only a responsive, nurturing parenting style can provide: Surprising evidence on the benefits of breastfeeding How attentiveness and touch impacts permanent brain development in infants Under-reported facts about how to reduce colic, food allergies, and illness Why sharing sleep is both safe and natural How to reduce future teen-year stress by bonding with your young child early At the forefront of a passionate, growing movement called "attachment parenting," this warmly presented guide is a rare overview of information too often missing from parenting circles, pediatric offices, and financially motivated product promotions. Why Attachment Parenting? Cultures around the world that practice more natural forms of parenting have healthier infants who cry much less, toddlers who do not exhibit "terrible twos," generally respectful teenagers, and independent adults who participate in family matters. A well-controlled study found sleeping outside of the parents' room brought 10.5 times the risk of SIDS as sleeping in the parents' room. Studies have shown that infants who receive frequent physical affection have lower overall levels of stress. In the United States and other industrialized countries, the infant death rate for formula-fed infants is twice that of exclusively breastfed babies. Excerpt from The Baby Bond Most would agree that children probably do not consciously remember the way they were treated during early infancy. Many recount this observation as support or comfort for their ideas about ignoring babies' cries for attention and providing minimal stimulation. Yet, it can be shown that while the specifics may be lost, unconscious memories are developed on the neurological and biochemical level from birth a baby's brain develops from day one according to its environment. Childhood, adolescence, and adulthood are all affected by this early programming. And, as far as the coveted independence goes, it has been shown that those who receive the most affection early on display the highest levels of independence as adults. Praise for The Baby Bond "Babies would tell you to buy this book!" Jan Hunt, MSc Author of The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart "An instant classic. A must-read for all parents. Dr. Palmer's book is the best book on the hard science behind attachment parenting that I've ever read. I wish I had read this book before I became a mother." Katie Allison Author of Attachment Parenting "Well researched and hard hitting unabashedly tells the truth about so many very important issues." Denise Pickett-Bernard, PhD RD, The Journal of Human Lactation