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Beyond The Sling: Mayim Bialik's New Book On (Attachment) Parenting

By Selena Mae |

Many of us originally know Mayim Bialik for her hit role as Blossom. A teen star no more, Bialik is a wife (husband, Michael Stone), neuroscientist and mother to 2 boys (Miles, 7, and Frederick, 4),  who more recently has brought her acting career back to life with her role on The Big Bang Theory.

That last part? I had no idea. The Big Bang Theory whuuut? I’m so out of the pop culture loop at times. Perhaps it’s because I’m into far darker styles of TV and watch them sans commercials way after they’ve been aired on Netflix or if I really can’t wait for my fix – Apple TV.

Back to Blossom. Errrr. Bialik.

Aside from all of this she’s written a book, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.(Simon & Shuster). Which apparently has many parents up in arms. Specifically for her chapter on co-sleeping.

If you haven’t already heard about Attachment Parenting, it’s a very specific brand of parenting. Child-led and chock-full of baby-wearing, breastfeeding (on demand), no-nannies-no-daycare-or-else-you-suck, (which in turn means home-schooling, you betcha), answering to all cries and for heaven’s sakes — absolutely no sleep-training. That Ferber guy? And Ezzo (deep shudder)? They and Sears (founder of attachment style parenting), definitely don’t see eye to eye.

Don’t let me lead you astray. I’m actually a fan of many of the points (see the 8 ‘principles’ *slight smirk* here), a parent who believes in Attachment Parenting should follow. I just don’t agree with ALL of them, and certainly – even some of the ones I DO agree with, well these babies – they don’t give a hooey about what Dr. Sears says to do. All of these labels and theories don’t fall under their radar.

Sometimes little babies just can’t be molded into any one ideal, mirroring any exact list of rules. No matter how hard the parent(s) may try. Or, our bodies for that matter. At times they too have alternate plans from what you’d really like them to do. Like breastfeed. Not all mothers can.

I’m not into any of these new fad parenting theories that have so many all up in debate. We do what works for our family. Drawing from experience, gut instinct, love and respect for our children and each-other, pockets of research and reading – time. Not any one brand of ‘parenting’ is the holy grail.

That said, we do co-sleep. Safely. As in beds low to the floor and modest bedding. No one’s getting blasted or popping pills, all attributes to co-sleeping safely as Bialik herself testifies to.


We only co-slept for the first year with our first-born and pretty soon we’ll be making that transition with Abby. There has been many a night though, where we wind up in our king-size bed altogether, or one of us with Wyndham in his bed, and the other with Abby.

I suppose I don’t understand all of the hub-bub over co-sleeping. Safe co-sleeping that is – and there IS a difference. I’m glad that there is an intelligent and eloquent spokesperson such as Bialik, on behalf of Attachment Parenting and co-sleeping. Because it’s getting torn up to smithereens out there.

I’m just saying we’re not bed-sharing with our littles into child-hood, but it’s not because I think it’s horribly wrong and un-safe. Ya feel me?

What are your thoughts on the whole co-sleeping controversy?

Read more and watch the CTV video interview with Bialik here.

Check out our Top 7 Safe Co-Sleeping Hacks!

Top Image Credit: The Toronto Star

More on the Babbles …

Extreme Breastfeeding Images: 2nd Edition
10 Tips For Breastfeeding Mamas
Wee Wears
Momfessions: On Breastfeeding & Body Image

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About Selena Mae


Selena Mae

Selena Burgess is crafty, a culinary expert, and a professional wrangler of the toddler variety. When the chaos permits, she writes stories and is addicted to documenting everyday life. Selena is proud of her Anishinaabe roots, and is the type of woman you want to revel (or kvetch) in motherhood with. Read bio and latest posts → Read Selena's latest posts →

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12 thoughts on “Beyond The Sling: Mayim Bialik's New Book On (Attachment) Parenting

  1. Emily says:

    I think you are doing it exactly right. It IS all about what works for your family and each kid individually. I love parenting books, have read many and find them incredibly helpful at times but I could never subscribe on one ‘technique’ and have often felt that people who do (sorry if this option starts a debate) NEED to follow very specific rules to ‘know’ that they are getting it ‘right’. ie if they follow the *7 principles* they are good parents. I find they are usually more insecure about parenting and vastly more judgmental of how other parents are doing it BUT I also really appreciate and respect how much thought and effort they have put into it when I encounter ‘thoughtless’ parenting all the time and LOATH it

  2. Jen says:

    No 2 people are the same and no 2 babies are the same. Read, take advice and then do what works for you, its the only way for everyone to be happy

  3. Rachel says:

    I also find the idea of adopting an Official Parenting Philosophy to be odd. I find it even odder when they do this before the baby arrives and they have no idea what that child’s own quirks and personality are going to be. Most of the good parents I know use a few ideas from one and a few from another and make the rest up as they go. The people I know who are wed to one philosophy seem to have a lot of difficulties.

  4. TamIWas says:

    It’s not something I would do, but I don’t judge those who do. I enjoy my time breastfeeding and cuddling, but I’m okay with my kids learning to sleep independently and figuring out if their cries are something that require immediate attention. That’s just me and it’s worked well for my daughter. She’s happy, bright, affectionate and well-loved. The same as many kids I know who have co-slept and had parents who followed AP. You’re right – there isn’t one right way to do it for every child.

  5. Claire says:

    What I like about Mayim Bialik is that she says that these are things she’s foud work for her and her family, and that it may not work for other people. She cites reasons and evidence for her choices but also emphasizes that they are just that… Choices. It’s nice to hear someone advocate for a parenting style without implying that to do it differently is to do it wrong.

  6. ariela says:

    It seems to be a common misconception that Attachment Parenting means strictly following a specific set of ‘rules’. My understanding of it, which I’ve heard from many AP advocates and real-world practitioners is that while the eight principles are strongly encouraged, parents should ultimately rely on their instincts and of course on what works for them and their children.

    For example, Mayim Bialik herself is a self-described Attachment Parent and yet she chose to circumcise her sons, something which many people would consider completely contradictory to the AP philosophy.

  7. tobermory says:

    what’s with the labels?!? i’m sorry, i find it ridiculous to put a label on my style of parenting – i’m an individual and so is my baby. i’m trying the best i can to be a great mom and hope i won’t screw up horribly. being a parent is not an ideology but something hands on that, for me, works more like a trial & error system. so let’s be sensible and abandon those “official parenting philosophies”, as rachel said so fittingly before.

  8. Eden Hertzog says:

    I find it really strange, and definitely narcissistic, that we even have labels for parenting styles. I think most of us are grasping for an identity that brands us, that tells people “who we are” by “what we do” (or buy, most of the time).
    Life isn’t that simple, nor is it in black and white. Do what works. Put that attachment parenting book down and get in the dirt with your kid. While breastfeeding on a unicycle, of course.
    Ha ha. Goodnight.

  9. Merrill says:

    I’ve read Dr. Sears’s book on attachment parenting. All of the principles are just suggestions and he makes that pretty clear. The main facets to attachment parenting are that your child comes first and to follow your parental instincts. Sounds good to me.

  10. Jude Strib says:

    I think what amazes me is not her views but the way people have jumped her for her views. I think we are all mommies trying to do our best and we should be supportive of one another and sharing parents tips.

    I applaud her for her bravery even though I’m not into attachment parenting.

  11. Lori says:

    As a first time parent living 3000 miles away from my family and not having much experience with newborns it was scary. You just go with what works for you. I have plenty of friends that co-sleep. I did not because that wasn’t what worked for us. That said, the next child I have it may be exactly what works.

  12. Jessica says:

    Each parent should do what they feel is best for a child individually one of my children coslept one hated it one gave up his pacifier at 1 and a half the other was almost 4 (only used at bed) both potty trained at almost 3 one is 8 still sneaks to my bed 2or 3 times a week and wears a pull up to bed as he is a bed wetter….my sister still breast feeds her 3yr old though i would not bf a child that old i dont fault her for it she actually is parenting in my the same fashion as myam and i say great whatever works fir you snd your family is whats best!

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