Preparing For A Little One: BabyWise vs. Attachment Parenting

28 June 2013

My friend Jennifer and I came up with a great idea that I absolutely love. As you know, I am expecting my first child. This can be so overwhelming and I know that other first time moms probably feel the same. I have so many questions and would love to hear the opinions of moms who have already been through this a time or two before.

Because of this, we are hosting a weekly series to try and get some answers to some of the most common questions.

Here are the topics we still have for future weeks:

Friday, June 28: BabyWise vs. Attachment Parenting
Friday, July 5: What You Really Need In A Diaper Bag
Friday, July 12: Buying vs. Making Baby Food
Friday, July 19: Cord Blood Banking vs. Not Cord Blood Banking
Friday, July 26: Moving Baby To Solids: Ideas, Tips & Tricks
Friday, August 2: Shopping For A Little One: Favorite Stores & Shops
Friday, August 9: Introducing Your Child Into A Home With Older Siblings Or Pets
Friday, August 16: How To Stay Connected To Your Partner
Friday, August 23: Baby-Proofing Your Home
Friday, August 30: Baby-Proofing Your Marriage

So without further ado, let's get on with Week 13: BabyWise vs. Attachment Parenting! Since I do not have any children of my own yet, I will be featuring a blogger each week and their expert advice on the topic at hand (:

BabyWise vs Attachment Parenting


Hi! I'm Lydia from Entertaining Angels. I blog about anything that pops into my head. I'm wife to an awesome police officer and mother to six-month old, Anna Wesley.

Before becoming pregnant with Anna Wesley, I knew I was interested in seeing what BabyWise was all about. Several of my mommy friends raved about it so I quickly picked up a copy soon after we became pregnant.

BabyWise is an infant schedule that revolves around the order of feeding, playing, and sleeping. It also teaches parent-directed feeding. By following their guidelines, your baby could be sleeping through the night as early as 8 weeks.

BabyWise teaches you to feed, play and sleep on your baby's demand from birth to two weeks. At two weeks you begin the schedule of feed/play/sleep in that order.

Parent-directed feeding is a balance of listening for your baby's hunger cues and keeping an eye on the clock. Learning this way of feeding helps keep my sanity most days.

In the beginning I was a relaxed BabyWise follower. Anna Wesley nursed every 2 1/2 to 3 hours for 15-20 minutes on each side, 8-10 times a day. Because it took us 8 weeks to figure out why AW didn't like to sleep anywhere but my arms, she slept on my chest while I slept in a recliner.

At 8 weeks a light bulb went off when I laid AW down on a bunched up comforter while I pumped. Y'all. She rolled over to her side and fell asleep almost immediately! Now that she was sleeping in her own bed and me in mine, I felt like a new woman! Let the {hard core} BabyWise schedule begin now that I'm sleeping horizontally.

A typical day for us at 2-4 months went like this:

{Beginning at 4am and repeating until 9pm:}

Feed - 15-20 minutes on each side
Play - I had to remember to switch up her play areas to stave off boredom. Remember babies are just little humans; they don't want to stare at the same 4 walls every day.
Sleep - Usually lasting 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours in her crib in her room

At our 4 month check-up, our pediatrician urged us to let Anna Wesley sleep in her crib in her room at night. (She'd been in her cradle next to our bed up to this point.) With much hesitation on my part {cue all the horrible "What ifs?" now}, we did it. And never looked back. This also helped in dropping that horrible 4am feeding. {Is 4am considered the next morning or still night time??}

Now a typical day for us looks like this: (started nursing every 4 hours at 4 months old; she's 6 months old now.)

7am - Feed: nurse - 7-10 minutes on each side
9am - Sleep
11am - Feed: nurse, then solids (started solids at 6 months)
1pm - Sleep
3pm - Feed: nurse, then solids
5pm - Sleep {This is the dreaded arsenic hour. AW wants to be held during her nap which is fine by me. I love to snuggle! But it stinks because it happens when I'm cooking dinner.}
6:30pm - Feed: nurse (a lot of times, it's a half feeding. I watch AW's cues.)
           (I dropped this nap; she was going to
8pm - Bath
8:30pm - Feed - last feeding of the day
9pm - Bed time

Watch the clock, but also watch your baby's cues. I've had to remind myself of this! Actually, my husband does this best. When we're traveling, Anna Wesley eats closer to every 3 1/2 hours as opposed to every 4 hours.  I tend to forget that she's a little human and will tell me when she's hungry, just not yet with words. ;)

With the feed/play/sleep schedule, Anna Wesley knows what to expect next and so do I. She knows after eating she will play, and within an hour and half to two hours after she ate, she will take a nap. Because we have a schedule, I can plan errands around her feedings and naps.

I'm convinced that on days when we're off schedule due to a special event, traveling, running errands, etc., she's a much happier baby because she knows a schedule is on the horizon.

The biggest thing I've had to remind myself is to remain flexible! I'm a planner by nature, and when things don't happen when they should, I get bent out of shape. Motherhood has taught me to adapt to changes and just roll with it. When Anna Wesley is teething, she doesn't sleep through the night. If we want to get any sleep, I sleep with her in our guest bed. About 30% of her naps are in my arms mainly because she's only a baby once and I want to soak her up.

Remember that what works for one baby may not work for the next including babies in the same family. It really boils down to doing what's best for you, your baby and family!!

Attachment Parenting:

Hey hey! I’m Erin and I blog over at Harris Heart-to-Hearts.  If you would have asked me before if I practiced attachment parenting, I probably would have laughed or just not known what the heck you were asking me about.  My experience has been less research- based and really just the way we parent.  It kind of just happened.   If you Google on the subject, a list of about 7 or 8 activities pretty much defines what researchers call attachment parenting.  Ultimately, it comes down to being there for your baby’s every want and need while making them feel safe and secure.
Birth Bonding – The hospital we delivered at makes sure this happens.  They are huge on the skin-to-skin and “magic hour”.  The staff wants to make sure the parents get that initial bonding time with their new baby.  Although I think the bonding goes a lot further than the first hour, it was amazing to have them on board with the idea.  The birth was still crazy and I didn't end up having the full hour of just quiet bonding time, but don’t worry – there is plenty of time to bond with your baby!

Breastfeeding – Research says parents should be there for the baby’s wants and needs.  I believe this can be done breastfeeding or formula feeding.  I formula fed my first while I’m still breastfeeding my second, 11 months in.  I think they focus on breastfeeding because it is quicker to give the baby the need.  I feel bonded by both of my girls, but the nursing bond is 100% true.  Maybe not in the beginning, but you will get there, I promise.
Nurturing touch – This goes back to the safe and secure aspect.  And the fact that you are “attached” to your child will form the greatest bond and relationship.  I do practice baby-wearing, but only on occasion, and it was more when the girls were younger.  They are both active, so I don’t “wear” them very much.  Although, I do feel like I hold them A LOT ;)  For me, cuddling and loving on them is just as effective.
Bedding – Co-Sleeping or bed-sharing.  We bed-share, something I didn't think I would be doing, but here I am!  With our first, we would bring her in bed with us if she woke up in the early morning hours.  She would go to sleep in her crib and now her bed, so it hasn't been an issue.  With our youngest, it was a convenience to have her in the bed with us since I was breastfeeding.  She still nurses once on most nights.  I love her in bed with us and I know she feels very secure, but I’m questioning when you stop.  I’ve tried moving her to the crib (without letting her cry it out) and I haven’t been successful.   I know at some point she needs to learn to be independent and fall asleep in her own room.

Constant Loving Care – For us, it hasn't been an option for me to stay home.  Thankfully we have my husband’s mother watch the girls while we both work.  We choose to put our oldest in day care part-time.  Wherever the girls are, they are receiving loving care.  I would love more than anything to be able to stay home with them and have constant care with one of us.  As parents, we have to make the best decisions.

Positive Discipline – Children learn by example.  Even if testing boundaries, remaining calm and positive will go so much further in teaching.  I’m conscious to try not to be too negative around them.  I don’t want them growing up being pessimistic, negative, or not confident.  I do think the way you go about talking to them, especially disciplining them, can effect that.

Balance – This is hard.  I’ve been a mother for almost 3 years now, and I still struggle with this.  You shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to get away with some friends,  get away with your husband, or even get away alone.  It’s healthy.  You can’t be the best mother you can be if you are angry, worn out, and stressed all of the time.

I am by no means an expert and I truly find my style a little bit of “my own”, although I do identify a lot with the attachment parenting.  If anyone has any questions (or advice) at all, please do not hesitate to e-mail me!


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  1. this is a great series! i look forward to reading more as the weeks go on. let me know if you would need anyone to write about their experience with introducing the new baby to pets, we dealt with that recently and have (i think) figured it out haha

  2. I love that I just had coffee with Erin and now I can read her post and hear her voice! I also just met her youngest and she is too cute! These are both great posts! Thanks, ladies!

  3. Love this, what a great way to reflect different parenting styles!


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  5. I never realized the difference until reading this post. Very informational. I have been so consumed in just enjoying our little baby to even realize the different parenting styles. Of course, I learned about them in the gazillion family consumer science partnering classes I took for my degree, but it's crazy when you actually start applying them to your own life and parenting styles. I enjoyed this post, thanks ladies!


  6. I am definitely an AP mom. I don't believe in putting tiny infants on schedules. I don't co sleep though. There's a whole lot of choices you have to make while parenting!

    1. Babywise is simply a routine - like waking up, going to the bathroom, eating breakfast, etc. My son does great on his routine. Everyone is on a routine, Babywise just teaches parents to guide their children.

  7. I am a true believe in Babywise. I also have continued the Babywise series with my kids as they have gotten older through Toddlerwise and am actually planning on buying Pottywise soon! Great post ladies!

  8. I think what both gals have to say is so true! And though I forgot to put this in my post, I actually was all "I'm so not going to be an AP mom." We'll, here I am and I happen to be more AP than BW. So excited for you as you near motherhood! Just remember that as long as you and your hubby are on board with what you're doing, that's all that matters. :)


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