Am I an Attachment or Scheduling Mama?

We are on a “babymoon” here, so it is hard to blog about anything else except the sweetness of the newness of life! So bear with me a little longer. πŸ™‚

I remember as I was soon to be expecting my first child, wanting to do everything just right, and being stressed over the controversial subject of scheduled vs. attachment parenting. I wrangled over which one was the “right” way. I had friends that practiced both that I greatly respected. I remember talking with one mom who was so pro-scheduling that she had it all down to a wonderful system of when the baby ate/slept/played. It seemed so orderly and beautiful.

But, another friend of mine was more of the persuasion of attachment parenting. She wore her baby often and felt that it was a time in her life to give herself to the child and be there for them whenever they wanted her, whether for nourishment or comfort. It was so motherly and also beautiful. Both these moms were wonderful mothers and doing such faithful jobs being mommys. So what was I to do?

I even went so far as to call a pastor friend of ours, asking him which was the biblical view? Do you know what he told me?…

Both. We see the Lord towards us as One who is to be obeyed, respected, and feared. Our religion is not “me centered” but God centered. But, then we see our tender Father nourishing us and portrayed as a nursing mother, ever shadowing over us, caring gently and oh, so lovingly condescending to us.

I was left realizing that there was not one RIGHT way. But, I had to find our family’s own way.

So what has become our family’s style over the years? A bit of both. πŸ™‚

With my first baby I rocked, nursed and cuddled him to sleep so much that by the time he was able to pull himself up in the crib, he could not fall asleep on his own. As soon as I would lay him in his crib, he would pop right up! I knew that I wanted my children to be able to lay down for a nap without me always needing to lay with them or nurse them. So we began the painful time of trying to reteach my little one to fall asleep on his own. I can remember patting him on the bottom lighter and lighter and tiptoeing away afraid to make a sound.

With my second baby as he got a few months old, I began to find times when he was sleepy to lay him down and let him fall asleep on his own.  He gradually learned how to put himself to sleep and it was gentle without the trauma we had with the first.

So now with baby #7 am I attachment or scheduled parenting? I am both. I use a baby swing, want them to learn how to have quiet times without needing to be held every moment and teach my babies eventually to fall asleep on their own. But, I co-sleep with my babies, and I nurse them on demand for the first good while.  I do not worry if they are really hungry or just needing mommy comfort.  I want to be there to give that to them. As the babies get a little older I try to encourage them into somewhat of a a pattern, but I am not bound by the clock.  The time will come for me to teach him discipline and self-denial.  Eventually, I will have them spend some quiet times playing in their crib or playpen, and even blanket train them. But for now, long hours of cuddling and comfort are what I am all about.

Is there one right or wrong way? No. Every mother has to find what is right for her and her family. Pray and ask the Lord to direct your steps. It may be that you are more one way with one child and another way with your next child, for each child is unique and special. But, if you are like I was, I would encourage not stress about it. The Lord gave you to be this child’s mother and will give you the wisdom on how to walk before Him with this little one.

And you other moms out there? How have your worked this out practically in your lives? I am also looking for a good baby wrap this time around…any suggestions? I have never liked the front pack carriers or slings I have tried. They have been hard on my back.  I am hearing good things about things like the Moby.

So give me your thoughts!

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26 responses to “Am I an Attachment or Scheduling Mama?

  1. This blog has 2 great links that have simple, very comfortable for wearing, inexpensive slings. I have had all different kinds and these ones are similar to the Moby, but much cheaper.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. My husband, Karl (married 6.5 years) and I have 4 children on earth (ages 5, 3, 15 months, and 3 months), and 11 in Heaven.

    With my first I was told to use a ridged schedule (kept it down to the minute) and so I did. I was told the only Biblical way was to schedule. But I have since learned that that teaching is false. It was a love/hate relationship. He did a great job laying down on his own to sleep. I always knew what was next, and it was easy to plan life when I knew what he would be doing when. But we didn’t develop a close bond (I believe part of that was also due to the fact that he was born by c-section). I also found church very difficult due to the fact that it always interrupted nap time. He never would go to sleep in my arms because he was only trained to sleep in bed by himself.

    I believe in order and discipline, that’s why I believe in a routine with love. With my last 3 (all home births) I have not been so ridged in my schedule. While I still teach the little ones to sleep on their own, I love putting them in a sling, or wrap and having them with me while I play with the other little ones, teach school, wash dishes, fold laundry, etc. I like to occasionally hold them (while reading to the others, teaching school, etc) so they will be able to go to sleep in my arms during church. It is such a blessing to have them trained both ways.

    I believe in having a routine, that you pattern life by, with occasional adjustments, is the best way. It is so important to teach our children to be disciplined and balanced, to be able to handle whatever comes their way. If we only teach them to live by a strict schedule they will not be able to handle the craziness of real life!

    Thank you again for your sweet post! It’s been fun to rejoice with you in the birth of little Matthew Henry!

  3. I am very much like you- we do what is best for our family and that means taking a bit from everything. πŸ™‚

    I have a Moby and it’s really nice, but I love my Maya Wrap. It’s a ring sling and I can use it for every carry I can think of. I’ve had mine for 12 years and it’s amazing.

  4. I was a little of both too. I nursed and held them a lot when they were little, but my daughter exhausted me. There were times she wouldn’t let me put her down. And it would be 1:00 in the morning and i would just be exhausted. My stepmom who was very, very pro-nursing. . . if it wasn’t for her and my sister, I would have quit with my first. . . was also very adamant about babies being able to put themselves to sleep. So, after 3 months of my daughter exhausting me, I had to let her learn how to put herself to sleep. And that little booger was stubborn with a capital “S”. I did the Ferber method (is that the one when you go in every 10 minutes, but don’t pick them up?). She last 5 hours one night. It killed me! She’s 4 now and of course goes to sleep on her own, but she’s still one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever met! Anyway!!! We do both also. And I have no clue about the wraps. Sorry. Hope you find one you like!

  5. You are right…I do like your blog and we do have a lot in common.

    As soon as I saw your post I was thinking…why not both?

    I lean more towards AP though. I do not mind, not one tiny bit, rocking and holding and nursing, till they fall asleep. Still doing it with my 15 month old. At the same time I can’t be completely child lead. We do have a schedule I adhere to 100%. When they are little, tiny newborns, eat, sleep whenever. As they get older we got to stick to it! LOL

    As for the carrier, I reach for my Ergo every time. But when they are little, I prefer the Maya wrap. Especially if you nurse on demand. They are so easy to pop in and out of and you can nurse in them. I never figured out how to nurse the one who was in the WRAP while they were in it. LOL. I could nurse a toddler with a baby in a wrap though. LOL LOL.

    Just did a post on how common baby wearing is over here and there were a lot of good comments on people’s favorite holders. Might check it out.

  6. Have you ever heard of the ergo baby carrier? They are very comfy and can be worn for a lot longer than normal carriers because the straps don’t cross your back.

  7. Great article! I loved reading it, because it sounds exactly what I went through as a new mom. I wanted to do it just right and like you, I had good friends on both sides of the issue who were both wonderful mothers.

    Over the years and five children later, we found our own style. Like you, we practice elements of both scheduling and attachment parenting. Our babies are born at home and they start out life sleeping with us. Eventually, we try to train them to take naps in their crib, and as they get older we put them to bed in their crib and then they get in bed with us later. That way we can go to bed later than the baby. Our 20 month old is still sleeping with us and nursing. Love cuddling with him. πŸ™‚

    Regarding the Moby wrap, I loved using it this last time. I’ve used slings of various sorts and front carriers and then tried the Ergo, but it wasn’t comfortable for me (or maybe it was just my baby who didn’t like it). πŸ™‚ Anyway, the Moby wrap is the most comfortable baby carrier I’ve ever used. The babies weight was evenly distributed over my frame, and it never made my shoulders hurt.


  8. stopping by from the NOBH. Beautiful baby enjoy this sweet time as they grow so fast:) Parenting is hard you must chose a path that fits for you and your child. I stopped reading parenting books years ago because each of my children were unique and had very differing needs:)

  9. What a beautiful post! I recognized myself as doing both, too! Thank you for sharing!
    As mother of 8, I’ve used all kind of wraps and carriers, until a friend posted me the Ergo carrier (I’m living in South Africa) with the baby insert, a week after my 7th baby was born! Now I’m never without it! The baby insert work beautiful until baby is about 4 months old, then you can put it away. I could nurse where ever we go, while doing groceries and at the age of 5 months I can even clean my house with baby in the Ergo and without any back pain. You can carry baby (up to 5years old or 20kg and we tested it, you can!) in three different positions!
    I encourage you to investigate the Ergo.
    Blessings and enjoy your precious newborn baby!

    • Linnie, I went over to your website and enjoyed a peek. πŸ™‚ I noticed you had written regarding miscarriage as well. Did you recently have one? I have had 4 m/c and know the pain. I also know the healing the Lord gives.

      Thanks for the info on the ergo, another mom has recommended it as well. I am going to go over to a shop next week and try a bunch of wraps, etc on and see how they feel.

      • Hi Jenny
        I also had 4 miscarriages, the latest one 6 weeks ago. It was so unexpected . The first three were in my early motherhood days, then I had 7 healthy pregnancies over 14 years! The pain was so much more intense this time.
        Thank you for asking and caring!
        I love your blog! Enjoy your sweet, newborn baby!
        Pray that you find the exact carrier!

  10. So sorry about your m/cs Linnie. Maybe some of the quotes that I put on my miscarriage page will be a blessing to you. Rest, rest, rest. six weeks ago is not very long ago and I learned that you have to give your self time. It’s so nice to get to know you!

  11. I made a Moby wrap (they are very expensive) by cutting 5 yards of stretchy fabric in half lengthwise (or sewing 2.5 yards that were cut lengthwise end to end to save on fabric costs). It is so easy, and I feel like the kiddos are more secure than in the side lying slings when I wear them.
    I have been a pretty good scheduler with my first three sons (and loved it!), but now that we have our kids with us in church (not in a nursery), I need to teach them to fall asleep on mommy instead of just in the crib. When our little girl is born this summer, I hope to combine the two. Thanks for your great encouragement.

  12. I have nine children and I agree with you. Extremes on either side are not good. I tell new mothers to just enjoy them when they are little. Hold them, cuddle them, love on them and don’t worry about it. They grow out of that stage so fast. It’s NOT worth worrying about. I can’t stand people who try to make a certain type of parenting more Godly than any other. It’s just wrong.
    Thanks for the good article. I hope mothers listen to you.

  13. I was very routined with my older two. Of course they are already toddlers when I got them (they came with my husband and are now teens) but mostly I was scheduled because that is what they needed. One has down syndrome and is still scheduled to this day. The other has ADHD and now that she’s older she sets up her own schedule but I had her on one for the attention and focus. I still at times have to direct her path a bit. My youngest is 3 and my first baby although he is the 3rd child. I did a lot more attachment parenting. I tried to keep a routine at first but found it didn’t work well with a reverse cycle breast feeding baby (2 years). Then we ended up co-sleeping when he was older mostly because I missed him all day while I was at work. He still prefers to sleep in Mom/Dad’s bed and we are ok with that as long as he isn’t kicking us. He has been though sleep training too so he can go to his own bed if he’s too restless. πŸ™‚ We will be bed shopping soon and I have a feeling I won’t be seeing much of him once he has his own big boy bed. We had a baby carrier but I only used it for walks outside. I always felt like i would bump my baby into things while I was cleaning. We used a little chair with seatbelt (like a bouncy seat) then a highchair and I’d set him up in the kitchen while I cooked. My son still like to help cook.

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