There’s a new parenting method on the block (actually first published in 1994). Babywise, which seems to be the opposite of Attachment Parenting method, is gaining some popularity among parents. Sometimes called Parent Directed Feeding method, babywise follows these principals:
- One of the main concepts of Babywise is that you separate your baby’s activities into three basic cycles of feedings, waketime and sleeping, all scheduled into the day.
- Babywise divides a baby’s first year into four phases, during which your child will go progressively longer between feedings and will sleep longer at night.
- Feedings are every 2-3 hours, maintaining a consistent schedule.
- If your baby isn’t sticking to a schedule between feedings or is waking up at night, Babywise says to let them cry.
- The most controversial aspect of Babywise is letting babies cry it out at night when they wake or in order to put them to sleep for naps. You are also not encouraged to pick up a baby frequently in order to soothe their cries.
- Another common complaint in the book is the quick suggestion of formula. If baby seems hungry only an hour or two after breastfeeding — they may not be getting enough, switch to formula! Instead the mother should be encouraged to consult a lactation specialist (looking for one in Erie? Click here for local breastfeeding help)
Keep in mind, not everyone who practices Babywise sticks to “all the rules” just like AP parents don’t practice all the aspects of Attachment Parenting. Indeed, based on the Amazon.com reviews, many parents are making adjustments based on their own instincts. Many parents like Babywise because it’s “easy” to follow — it gives parents clear guidelines and a schedule in an otherwise very overwhelming time. At what cost though?
On the other end of the spectrum, the basics of Attachment Parenting are:
- Infant led breastfeeding (otherwise known as on-demand feeding)
- Bedding close to baby (many AP people practice co-sleeping)
- Believing in the language value of your baby’s cry (crying is how they communicate)
- Balance – keep the needs of yourself and other families members in mind too.
Check out Dr. Sear’s website for more information or you can check out a number of Dr. Sears books from the Blasco Library on the Bayfront.