What is proximal mothering?

What is proximal mothering?

- Categories : Default

Proximal mothering is more than ever in vogue. More and more moms are opting for co-sleeping, late breastfeeding or babywearing. These proximal mothering practices allow moms to listen more to their instincts.

So what is proximal mothering really? What are its benefits and risks? A look at this new way of approaching motherhood.

Why proximal mothering?

Proximal mothering is based on the idea that the baby needs to be close to his mother during the first months and even the first years of his life. The aim of close mothering is not to suddenly break the strong bond that has been built up between baby and mother during pregnancy.

Thus, proximal mothering simply consists of adopting certain practices that promote a strong bond between baby and mother. What are these practices?

Proximal mothering practices

Based on close proximity between parents and baby, proximal mothering includes a variety of practices ranging from co-sleeping to babywearing to late breastfeeding.


Co-sleeping is a common practice in Japan, China, Norway and some African countries. It is based on a simple rule: mother and baby sleep in the same bed.

the co-sleeper

The objective is to reassure baby by letting him sleep with his mother to avoid creating anxiety in baby.

This sleeping technique, also called "co-sleeping"Breastfeeding is very popular with breastfeeding mothers, as it allows for effortless feeding of the baby. A woman can breastfeed her child while falling asleep, creating unforgettable moments for the mother.

However, some doctors advise against co-sleeping to prevent baby from being crushed under the weight of his parents. When it comes to co-sleeping, there are certain precautions to take to ensure that baby can sleep with mom safely.

Understanding baby's sleep better will benefit you and your baby.

Late breastfeeding

The WHO recommends that babies be breastfed for up to 6 months. However, more and more women are opting for longer breastfeeding, continuing to breastfeed their child until the age of 2 years or more. This practice of late breastfeeding, known as proximal mothering, is intended to allow for a special relationship between mother and child.

late breastfeeding

Doctors confirm that breast milk contains many benefits and provides everything your child needs. Because late breastfeeding is not the norm, some doctors warn that the child may feel judged and mocked by other children.

To know when to stop weaning, proximal mothering recommends listening to your body and your desires. As long as weaning is a pleasant time for you and baby, you can continue.

The portage

Practical and reassuring, babywearing allows mothers to continue their usual activities with baby always with them! Mum is freer to move around, while baby is reassured. Indeed, when baby is regularly carried, he cries much less, because babywearing creates a feeling of security for baby Babywearing would be beneficial to baby and mom.

maternal carrying

Babywearing is part of the line of action that allows a special bond between mother and baby that is desired through proximal mothering. However, from a certain age onwards, it may be interesting to change position or stop carrying to allow baby to interact more with the world.

Risks and family life

Proximal mothering is contested by some physicians. Practices such as co-sleeping or late breastfeeding may pose certain risks. It is therefore important that parents remain vigilant if they wish to adopt proximal mothering.

It is essential that the decision to practice proximal mothering be made together, to avoid excluding the father or setting the couple aside. A consultation with a psychologist can greatly help couples in these situations.

paternal bearing

Proximal mothering can also be adapted to men. With the exception of breastfeeding, dads can also adopt proximal mothering practices such as babywearing or co-sleeping. In fact, there is more and more talk of proximal parenting to include dads!

What should we remember?

proximal mothering

Proximal mothering is not necessarily suitable for all mothers. When some mothers cannot do without breastfeeding, others prefer the bottle, which is more practical when it comes to looking after their baby at the nursery or at the nanny's.

Babywearing and co-sleeping are not necessarily suitable for everyone, and it is important to consider all the consequences of these practices on daily life. Babywearing can lead to back problems if done incorrectly, and co-sleeping can reduce intimacy.

Conversely, the distal motheringThis is the opposite of proximal mothering and can also be difficult for a mother to live with. It requires that baby be allowed to cry and that he be carried only very rarely. If some babies live well with the independence of distal mothering, others demand the attention of proximal mothering

Each mothering method has its strengths and weaknesses. The perfect mothering varies from one mother to another, from one baby to another. It is up to each mother to find the mothering that best suits her and her baby!