And it can apply to attachment parenting as well.
We visited my in-laws' for Christmas this year. It was a magical holiday, filled with family we never see enough, great food, and happy babies forming attachments to Grammy and Grampy. Excellent!
But it was my first experience as a mama of twins in a house that wasn't truly childproofed. I've come to learn there are two levels of childproofing. Level one is where you put some outlet protectors in and get locks for the doors of the cabinets that contain poisons. Very important stuff. But level two childproofing is outlet covers, cabinet locks, and putting EVERYTHING out of reach.
In my apartment, there is nothing within a baby's reach that a baby can't safely have. I can let them roam the place somewhat freely. I keep a close watch on them, but I don't generally have to spend my time removing them from someplace it's not safe to be. At my in-laws' house, there were tantalizing knick knacks calling to them from every surface. There were low-hanging ornaments, candles on the coffee table, fake holly berry and pine cone arrangements in the hallway, and plates and platters lining the buffet.
We all spent a lot of time removing babies, telling them "no touching this" or redirecting them, or moving things from reach. It was exhausting.
So, what does this have to do with setting yourself up for success?
By understanding our children's developmental stages and creating safe spaces for them to exist within those parameters, we can set ourselves up to have a very positive relationship with them.
If I had to operate every day like I did over these past few, my relationship with Gus and Jack would get very strained very fast. I would feel like we were adversaries. Me vs. them, in a battle for knick knacks. Of course, they're only doing what babies do, and exploring their endlessly fascinating environment.
Instead, I can arrange their environment in such a way as to make us partners in discoveries. What's in this cabinet? Oh, look, toilet paper! Let's see how it feels. And tastes. And moves. And we can make towers and knock them down! That is so much more fun than scolding them for taking the toilet paper out of the cabinet.
By being purposeful and mindful, by taking into consideration the developmental needs of my babies, I can set myself, and them, up for success. I can set myself up to be a good mama.