The Real World of Attachment Parenting

by Lysa on July 3, 2013

We haven’t post much in the last few months because we have been diligently working on the new edition of Attached at the Heart, due to be released on Aug. 6, 2013. We couldn’t be more excited because it gave us the opportunity to update and add a lot of new information!

Since our book was first published in 2009, a lot has happened! Attachment parenting was introduced to the world by TIME Magazine just in time for Mother’s Day, 2012. A year later, people just can’t stop talking about it! Celebrities are coming out of the shadows to proudly announce they are practicing attachment parenting, which is great but can create more confusion. While it’s been disconcerting to hear the same misinformation repeated over and over at least now it’s part of the consciousness of the world. According to most media reports AP requires three things: breastfeeding, babywearing and bedsharing. Surely many countries are asking “What is so strange about breastfeeding, wearing your baby and sleeping with your baby?”

Thirty years ago it was unheard of to talk about a child nursing six months let alone one year. Now we are talking about four year olds and older (not that you have to do that to be AP). So with all the criticism and misunderstanding, progress is still being made and we are so happy that API has helped in doing that. Attached at the Heart is also doing its part in clarifying, raising awareness and informing parents and professionals about best practices that are supported by a wealth of scientific studies.

The truth is that attachment parenting isn’t about what you do as much as it is about an overarching understanding of what children need from us to develop into whole and happy adults and why it is so important for our future. At the heart of attachment parenting is a level of empathy and respect for our children as precious human beings; values that are uncommon in our culture among adults not to mention children. In the real world of attachment parenting, we are kind and compassionate, we respect and support each other knowing that we can make a difference in our families and in the world one generation at a time.

Our revised and updated edition of Attached at Heart is coming soon! (HCI Books, Aug. 6, 2013) There’s new information that every parent and professional needs to know. You can preorder now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online.


Attached at the Heart with New Publisher!

by admin on January 3, 2013

Hello world!


Attached at the Heart Wins Gold

by Lysa on June 1, 2010

We’re excited to report that last week it was announced at Book Expo America in New York City (May 27, 2010) that Attached at the Heart won the gold award from ForeWord magazine! Our book won in the category of Family & Relationships, one of sixty other categories. The judges consisted of librarians and booksellers, to whom we are very grateful.
Starting in February, we spent three months travelling and promoting AATH and meeting many wonderful people. In mid-April we met with a couple of Congressmen and many aides on Capital Hill to give them our book and discuss the book’s important message as it relates to many of the difficulties families face everyday.

We’re also very grateful to the friends and families who have supported or hosted us in our travels from WA DC, Texas and California. Our publisher, iUniverse has been incredibly supportive and our publicity agency, Smith Publicity, did a phenomenal job of publicizing our book from the US to Australia. It has given us the momentum we’ve needed and we will feel the ripple effects for months to come, from book reviews, articles and media requests.
Become a fan of AATH on Facebook and remember it’s a great gift for pregnant mommies and new parents. Even grandparents would benefit from reading AATH to update them on the latest information on birth and parenting so they can support their children as they raise their grandchildren.
We don’t know what’s going to happen next we we’re ready for the ride!


Barbara Nicholson Interviewed on AM800 CKLW

by Melissa on March 27, 2010

Recently Barbara Nicholson, API Co-Founder and co-author of the book Attached at the Heart, was interviewed on AM800 CKLW, a Windsor, Ontario-based radio station. Listen to her segment now.


Come see us in Texas and California!

by Barbara Nicholson on February 7, 2010

We are adding conferences, book signings and other events and we hope that some of you will come out and say hello~and share with us your stories of your parenting journeys.  When Lysa and I had our children in the late 70’s and early 80’s, we assumed that all the hard work and advocacy that was being done by mothers, fathers and some health professionals at that time would mean that by the time our children were having children, the birth and parenting paradigm would have changed so much for the better. Instead it is disheartening to hear about sky rocketing C-section rates, misinformation and medicalization of birth, and of course the serious increase in autism, and other neurological disorders. The good news is that there are many organizations, mostly non-profit, that continue to advocate and educate parents and professionals all over the country. As Lysa mentioned, we will be speaking in February at two wonderful conferences, and we’ve added a book signing at a Barnes and Noble in San Antonio, TX on Saturday, February 27th.

In April we will be speaking at several locations of a maternity/parenting store called “The Pump Station” in the Los Angeles area, and you can check their website for our speaking schedules as they become available.

The main reason we will be in the Los Angeles area is to attend the Whole Children/Whole Planet Expo, coordinated by our good friend Kathy Arnos.  Kathy is a passionate children’s advocate and environmentalist, bringing the two passions together to educate and support parents in making the best decisions for their families.  This conference will be in a beautiful setting in Northridge CA on April 24th (Earth Day of course!) and we hope if you attend you will come by our exhibit table, shared with Infant Massage USA (IMUSA). Lysa and I are excited to announce that we will become certified in Infant Massage as we will be attending the training in Nashville, TN from April 27-30th. For more information about the training visit their website at

If you live in these areas and would like to invite us to speak, please contact us here and let us know. We are happy to come to schools, churches, support groups, wherever parents gather and want to discuss any of the 8 Principles in our book. This year our mantra is “how can we serve you and your community.’ Together we can make a difference and make the world a better place for future generations!

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In Memorium Elizabeth Paris

by Barbara Nicholson on December 9, 2009

Attachment Parenting International realized a long-held goal to have a book that captured the essence of Attachment Parenting. Of great blessing was to publish the book with a cover that captured the essence of an Attachment Parenting family–the Paris-Barnet Ress family of Nashville, Tennessee, mother Elizabeth Paris, father Jay Barnet Ress, and children Zachary and Elysha. The love in this family was captured in such a way, that those who see the book cover are stunned by it’s beauty and joy. So many people have told us that if a picture says a thousand words, we could not have chosen a better cover for our book.

At this Thanksgiving time, Elizabeth’s long struggle with cancer came to an end. While API mourns her loss and grieves with the family, along with the API of Nashville Support Group, API is honored to have been graced with her life and this enduring cover photo treasure of secure attachment.  Her children are a testimony to the enduring love she had for them, her husband Jay, and her extended family and friends.

Here is a short biographical sketch of Elizabeth:
Elizabeth Paris, wife of Jay Barnet Ress and mother of Zachary and Elysha was active in Nashville’s Hillsboro Neighborhood Assn, La Leche League, Attachment Parenting International, and Ronald MacDonald House. She was a Stanford University graduate, with a Phd in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. She was born in Cincinnati, traveled extensively, and taught at a private high school in Los Angeles and in the Harvard University Science Department. She was a Dibner fellow and an Argonne National Lab Historian. She was a cherished wife, mother and friend. September 4, 1968 – November 28, 2009.


Learning to live a life of gratitude

by Lysa on November 27, 2009

I’m trying to learn not to take anything for granted by feeling grateful for the little things of life, by living and appreciating each moment. It’s not easy to do and it takes a diligent and conscious daily effort- similar to meditation. In mediation, our minds tend to wander- the Buddhists call “monkey mind” because we are constantly jumping from one thought to another.  The act and discipline of meditation is training your mind to refocus on your breathing.  Learning to live a life of gratitude is like a “walking meditation”, being present in the moment, not worrying about the past or the future but really living in the now, feeling intensely grateful for the many blessing we have in our lives.  That doesn’t mean we don’t struggle, that doesn’t mean hurtful things won’t happen but we can change how we react and perhaps even glean some valuable spiritual lessons. 

The holidays always remind us of what is important , our family, our children, the welfare of others and the beauty of the human spirit. Let’s continue our work together toward a more peaceful and compassionate world by creating peace in our own hearts and families.  Maybe we need to begin by forgiving ourselves or forgiving others in order to begin to move forward even if that means asking for help to do so. 

May you always stay attached at the heart,



Attached at the Heart with Imago

by Barbara Nicholson on November 3, 2009

On October 22-24 we attended another great conference, Imago Relationships International (IRI), and listened to many brilliant clinicians speak about attachment theory and how this applies to their work with couples. Imago therapy is based on the work of Dr. Harville Hendrix and his wife, Dr. Helen Hunt, and Dr. Hendrix’s book, Getting the Love You Want, a Guide for Couples. Their parenting book, Giving the Love That Heals, A Guide for Parents, is another important resource for AP parents, as it discusses the importance of couples being very conscious in their parenting decisions, including getting in touch with their own childhood histories. As we know, we often parent the way we were parented, and being conscious of that will help us make better choices if needed with our own children.

It was exciting, rewarding, and inspirational to meet and renew friendships with so many Imago therapists. We sold out of our books, and felt that we really made a deep connection with so many like-minded professionals, even though some of them had never heard of Attachment Parenting! Although Dr. Hendrix endorsed our book, and we conducted an interview with him on the phone (that is posted on our website) this was the first time to meet him face to face. He and IRI are very interested and supportive of developing a partnership with API, so that more Imago therapists will be aware of our work, and network with local API groups. We hope that our AP community will see the value of strengthening their relationships…that couples need help with learning good communication skills, and modeling this for their children.

Ultimately, we have a shared vision of a more peaceful world, through loving, empathic communication.  If we can teach those skills to our children (and model it with our partners), and teachers are taught how to practice this in the classroom, and world leaders are taught how to dialogue in government, what a joyful world it would be!


Reclaiming our birth rights

by Lysa on October 10, 2009

Having just attended the Lamaze conference in Orlando, Florida, it is alarmingly clear that women have to become proactive in reclaiming our rights to give birth the way we want.  We spoke with several Lamaze instructors who shared their own personal experiences in hospitals and the obstacles they are up against in providing all the evidence-based information in their childbirth classes. Many if not most hospitals are NOT practicing evidenced-based care when it comes to delivery and postnatal care of mother and child.

The most important thing we learned that can be very helpful in creating change is this; hospitals are sensitive to a certain rating based on the number of complaints (or not) received by patients.  The problem is that women aren’t complaining because they really don’t know what their choices should be in regard to having their best birth. So all of us have to play our part in educating women, our friends and family members, about healthy birth practices and also encouraging women to write letters of complaint to their hospitals if they aren’t satisfied and request changes be made to improve outcomes that are in line with the healthy birth practices outlined in our book Attached at the Heart and at

Let’s do it!



Things Moms Like – Attached at the Heart

by Melissa on May 22, 2009

Attached at the Heart has been available for a couple of months now and parents are starting to post their reviews.  Recently, the Things Moms Like blog posted a glowing review of the book.  Here is an excerpt:

I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! FINALLY we have some solid evidence and stories to back up what many of us have known for years about Attachment Parenting and staying close to our children. The best thing, perhaps, about this book is that there aren’t any definitive “you must do this to be a good parent” messages in this book, as you find with so many other “parenting” books.

Read the entire review: Attached at the Heart – Barbara Nicholson & Lysa Parker