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Confused parent to be: routine / Attachment

(48 Posts)
elizabethy20 Sun 17-Jan-16 08:53:41

Hello all,

I'm 30 weeks pregnant with my first, & very excited about meeting our little one, but pretty confused about the huge divide between attachment parenting & routine.confused

I had been thinking along the lines of this ( - a relaxed routine. I still think I'd want to feed (hopefully breast feed) on demand for the first few weeks, but the always putting the baby down to sleep when he's sleepy but not asleep thing seems very logical...

But then reading other books - it's hugely scathing of routines. I'd like to do some bits of Attachment parenting - baby sleeping in our room, & baby wearing, but once little one is a few months old I'd like not to be doing lots of little feeds / still getting very disrupted sleep....

Am I crazy? Is it possible to combine elements of both? Has any one started off with attachment parenting & gone into a routine after a few months?
The lady who wrote the blog post says she didn't have to let hers cry it out at a few months old as they always had been use to self soothing...

Is there any balanced in between book? ! Does any one know of a balanced (scientific?!) Comparison of the 2 methods?

Thank you smile flowers

YouBastardSockBalls Sun 17-Jan-16 08:58:43

Babies don't have routines. You feed them when they're hungry, let them sleep when they're tired, and cuddle them when they cry. It's been that way for thousands of years before Gina Ford.

It's cruel to sleep train a newborn, or leave one to cry just to try to give yourself less hassle. They're babies, they need what they need.

When they get older, some gentle routine is great. But feeding and holding on demand is just part and parcel of having a baby, and not something to be trained out of them.

So - congratulations on your pregnancy! But I would say that enforcing routine on a newborn is inherently wrong.
You don't need to label what you doas a particular kind of parenting. Just meet their needs and hold them when they cry smile

Bunbaker Sun 17-Jan-16 08:59:06

Just go with the flow. If you try to impose a routine of some sort your baby will just do what he/she will do and you will just get stressed. I would just take your cue from your baby. I didn't read any how to parent books of this type when I was pregnant and I'm glad I didn't because I think they would have made me feel inadequate.

I don't think the term "attachment parenting" had been invented when DD was small, but I suppose that is what I sort of ended up doing.

MoreSnowPlease Sun 17-Jan-16 08:59:34

You can do whatever you want, the books give suggestions, your baby will mostly decide which way you go, it you will hopefully develop your own style which suits your family.

Don't stress about it now because you may not be able to control things as much as you want to. Try something you like the sound of, if it doesn't work, try something else, babies are not one size fits all, and it will be more than possible to change things of you're not happy.


Bunbaker Sun 17-Jan-16 09:00:04

Cross posted with You. I agree with everything she says.

YouBastardSockBalls Sun 17-Jan-16 09:00:55

once little one is a few months old I'd like not to be doing lots of little feeds / still getting very disrupted sleep

Just to pick up on this - your baby may well be sleeping well by a few months. And they may not. They're all different, and disrupted sleep is part of parenting smile
And having the baby in your room is not attachment parenting - it's safe practice. Newborns regulate their breathing by listening to yours, so it's important to keep them as close as possible

MiddleClassProblem Sun 17-Jan-16 09:00:56

You really can't plan what you LO will be like or what will work for you. We just had a bit of a rough feeding schedule and expressing for me. Make sure you have a bottle of ready made formula in just in case breastfeeding is tricky for you. You think nature will take its course but half the time it doesn't work like that.
Sleep you'll have to just go with the flow. We introduced a routine at 4 months and before that DD would not sleep for more than 20 mins with out human contact

bittapitta Sun 17-Jan-16 09:01:20

always putting the baby down to sleep when he's sleepy but not asleep thing seems very logical ha! No babies actually do this.

As for sleeping in your room, that's not attachment parenting, that is standard safe NHS guidance. All sleep/naps should be in the same room as you, to prevent cot death.

I think you just have to wait until the baby is born and focus on the basics before thinking about routine. Breastfeeding and ensuring you and DP get enough sleep (maybe in shifts) are what you focus on in the first few weeks. Breastfeeding especially takes practice and a lot of time.

bigbuttons Sun 17-Jan-16 09:04:29

congrats op.
You cannot impose routines on a newborn. Please chuck the books out.

Your baby will have needs and will require you to meet those needs.
I have had 6. Some of my babies were chilled and had regular sleep times from birth and were happy to sleep on their own. Others NEVER had a regular nap time and would only sleep next to me and neeed to be held almost constantly.
It will be best for you to meet your baby and just see how things pan out.
There is no right or wrong here, only what is good for you and your baby. smile

Murphyslaw21 Sun 17-Jan-16 09:04:54

I don't think it's possible for first 6-10 weeks. Feed, sleep and cuddle on demand.

At 3 months I started with Gina ford routine but it was too harsh! So I took her times etc and worked a routine that baby naturally fell into.

If you have your heart set on routine it won't work you have to be flexible.

My friend was very organised adament in the way she was going to do things when baby arrived. Three weeks after baby arrived I see her and she was a wreck. Baby was not doing what she wanted and thought would happen. She threw routines and expectations out of window and life became a lot easier.

Routines are good but be flexible.

IndomitabIe Sun 17-Jan-16 09:05:15

I do rather suspect that these people who are convinced they pushed their baby into one particular routine/style or another have simply got lucky with a baby that coincidentally does what they'd hoped. As a result, they feel like they're some amazing parent and anyone who doesn't do what they did is neglectful/pathetic.

In reality, I think you mould yourself and your expectations to fit with your baby.

Mind you, I have a sample of one difficult baby.

By all means have some ideas, OP, but be prepared to change things if/when your baby has other ideas!

Fourormore Sun 17-Jan-16 09:05:59

Some things can be attachment parenting and NHS guidance.

I would say be flexible. I felt like a complete and utter failure in my DC1's first six weeks as I couldn't make him follow the routines I had read about. Babies don't follow routines and you may well still be doing lots of feeds and getting very disrupted sleep after a few months.

Follow your baby's cues for the first few weeks and then see what you want to do from there. I found that routines emerged fairly naturally until they hit a growth spurt/start teething/the clocks change

mouldycheesefan Sun 17-Jan-16 09:08:28

there is a not a huge gap between routine and attachment parenting.
My babies were in NICU for a month where they were on a Feeding routine that we carried on when they came home I.e must not go longer than three hours between the start of one feed and the start of the next, but obviously you feed in between times 'on demand' if babies need it. This maternity hospital feeding routine is the same as the Gina ford one I don't know if people realise that!
Babies slept in our room and we used slings. We didn't co sleep.
I wpuld concise myself a routine rather than attachment parent as I was happy to leave my babies with other people.
It's not a choice of one or another.

SleepyRoo Sun 17-Jan-16 09:45:56

I did Gina Ford routine last time and will try to with second baby due next month. Reasons: I'm horrible without 8 hrs sleep; like the idea of some agency over any given situation; and it probably happened to fit in with the natural inclinations if DD1. She slept thru at 10 weeks and has been a great sleeper ever since. Never had to do controlled crying as part of it. I was the only one in my friends/family to do a proscribed feed/sleep routine, but who cares what they think. Choose an approach that works for your baby's personality, and yours. smile

53rdAndBird Sun 17-Jan-16 09:56:34

I would take blog posts like that with a large pinch of salt. Her method worked really well for her (sleepy, easy-going) babies. It wouldn't have worked for mine. But she doesn't say "this suited my babies because of their personalities", she basically says "this suits all babies, and if your baby isn't acting like mine did, it's because you're doing something wrong." (Example: "If your baby refuses to sleep much [18 hours a day] I’d say that it’s a case of you keeping them up." HAHAHAHAHA.)

If you buy into what she's saying, and you end up with a baby who is not like hers, you will end up feeling like you're failing because the baby isn't doing what it's 'supposed' to do. That is a stressful and miserable place to be!

Suggest reading this blog post from a former routine person who ended up with a very different baby with DC2...

AntiHop Sun 17-Jan-16 09:57:41

I can only speak from my experience with one child. The idea of the 4th trimester made a lot of sense to me.

I decided not to impose a routine, except for bedtime. When my baby was about 5 months I remember meeting a mother with the same age baby. She was very strict with her routine meaning she had to be at home at set times of the day. This constrained the baby groups she could go to and stopped her from being able to meet other mums for coffee. I was glad that I had decided not to follow that approach. After we went to baby groups she'd fall asleep in the baby carrier whilst I had coffee with other mums. She did sometimes fall asleep on the way to a baby group but that wasn't too much of a problem. She had no problem with adjusting to routine when she started nursery at 9 months.

Bunbaker Sun 17-Jan-16 09:59:59

SleepyRoo your approach only works with some babies. DD was very small and had to be fed every three hours to start with. She didn't sleep through until she was 9 months old.

Topsy34 Sun 17-Jan-16 10:06:15

Babies are not designed to sleep through the night. we don't routine, we let both children fall into their own routine. With our youngest, 9 weeks, he likes to cluster feed from 6.30-9pm and then once asleep we put him in the crib.

Babies generally don't self soothe, and the logic of putting them in when sleepy but not alseep is a great idea, but the baby will probably cry and you will have to start over. The baby's comfort is sucking, especially when bf, they arent crying to stop ypu sleeping, they aren't crying to be mean, they cry because they need you.

SleepyRoo Sun 17-Jan-16 10:07:53

Bunbaker yes I know that GF is not for everyone, & No doubt we would've acted differently with an unusually small baby. It just shouldn't be demonised, that's all...

SerenityReynolds Sun 17-Jan-16 10:08:51

The trouble with routines is that every baby is different, and frankly often fickle from one day to the next! There's nothing wrong with having a routine per se, but they should be led by your baby. For example, noticing if your little one seems to nap at a certain time of day, what time they get sleepy in the evenings. DD2 is 6 weeks and we have been doing a gentle bedtime "routine" e.g where we feed and change her in the same room, low light, white noise, so she will start to associate that pattern of events with sleep. Other than that and knowing she tends to want her long daytime nap around 11am, we don't force any other routine.

I have known some children who fit in with the Gina Ford plan like a dream. Many don't however, and it will cause you no end of grief trying to force it if your baby isn't interested. They know when they are tired or hungry, you can't decide that for them. That's not to say you might not find certain elements of it useful. The best thing is to be flexible and keep an open mind, trying different things until you find what works for you

ALongTimeComing Sun 17-Jan-16 10:23:44

Eh I would chuck that all out the window. Your baby will tell you what they need and you'll work it out and muddle through. Mines went from Velcro baby who was on the boob all day and co-slept to routine driven EASY style. My social life has been curtailed by that but it has helped my baby settle in to childcare when I went back to work. I didn't do anything to change that she hair started staying awake when she would usually fall asleep on the boob so we tried something new.

Also, you say you don't want baby having lots of little feeds after a few weeks. Please please know that the reality of breastfeeding tends to be sitting down with a baby attached to you for hours and hours of the day for weeks/months. It's ok though because they grow quicker and that time gets less and less but be ready for the reality of the first few months.

HSMMaCM Sun 17-Jan-16 10:25:00

It's fine to read the books because then as you get to know your baby you can pick out the bits that work for you.

minipie Sun 17-Jan-16 10:30:11

I think you can do a bit of both. But you have to do what works for you and your baby - and this may not be your choice, it will depend more on biology and your baby's nature.

For example I did BF on routine from birth because I liked knowing when feeds were likely to be. And naps naturally fitted between feeds. However, this only worked for me because I produce loads of milk - many mothers need to do cluster feeding periods to increase their supply).

Another eg - I never managed to put DD1 down "awake but sleepy", she just screamed. Ended up doing CC to teach her to self settle. It worked for DD2 though, she was a more laid back/sleepy baby.

The main thing I would say is: if you try one method, and it's not working, then ditch it! Don't assume you're doing it wrong; far more likely that it just isn't what suits your baby.

Babies really do vary A LOT so don't have any one method set in your head.

Backingvocals Sun 17-Jan-16 10:44:06

I also found it helpful to think in terms of the fourth trimester. Feeding, sleeping, cuddling.

In fact my advice to new parents for the first three months or so is to keep your head down. Don't spend too much time evaluating how you are doing, whether your baby is doing xyz yet, whether you are doing it "right". Just focus on feeding, sleeping, cuddling.

If you decide ahead of time that you are going to follow a certain strategy and then you find it doesn't work for either you or the baby then you've just given yourself another worry. Better just to go with the flow at the beginning.

But at a certain point I really wanted to get some routine in place so from about three months I started putting more routines in place. That worked for us - although I do still regret the two hours I spent trying to get DD to nap one day when she just wasn't interested grin

I also think that routine and attachment aren't that far apart but it's become politicised. Attachment parents don't get up in the middle of the night and go and play with the baby just because baby says so. And routine parents don't ignore their babies and refuse to cuddle them! It's all part of the same thing.

I definitely wouldn't describe myself as adhering to either regime but took hints and tips from both. I'm not organised enough to be very strict on routine but I also didn't relish the idea of holding the baby all the time and cosleeping.

So you end up doing your own version. Congrats btw.

ThursdayLastWeek Sun 17-Jan-16 10:47:08

I haven't RTWT, my apologies.

I feel very strongly that labels need to fuck off grin
Do what feels good for you and your baby, and trust your own instincts and you'll do right.

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