Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On Becoming Babywise

As promised a while back, here is my official post on the Babywise method. I’m hoping that this makes sense as I’m multi-tasking right now- writing this post and well, watching Frozen. Because, who doesn’t spend their Tuesday night watching Frozen with their husband?

I’ll start off by saying that one of the most important things I have learned since becoming a mom is that there is no one “right way” to do things. This was a particularly hard lesson for me to learn because I am by nature a rule follower. I like there to be one set way for things to be done. Well, when it comes to kids, it just doesn’t work like that and that’s the beauty in parenting. When it comes to making major decisions for Holly, Kenneth and I typically spend a great deal of time talking it over, praying through it, and weighing our options. When it comes down to it, I try my best to do what I believe is the right thing for Holly and then leave it to the Lord. I know, no matter what my decisions may be, that the Lord is ultimately the caregiver and sustainer of my little girl’s life, and I have to rest in that. Sometimes, (like, hey, when should we start formula, what kind of formula, what kind of food, how many naps should she be taking………) it’s hard for me to take refuge in the Lord, but ultimately when I do, my heart rests easy and things always fall into place. We are never not cared for, and never have our needs not been met. Jesus has a pretty good track record if you ask me.

So, all that leads me to briefly filling you in our decision to use the Babywise method for sleep training. From what I’ve read, it seems that Babywise is either something people love or something people are really against. Either way, like I said, I do what I think is right for my kid and what works for us as parents. I am not saying that Babywise is the only right way to sleep train, but it’s what we did and I am living proof that it works. In a nut shell, Babywise is parent-directed scheduling of your baby. Your baby eats, sleeps, and plays on a structured schedule starting from about week one or two. In the most simple of terms it works like this: feed your baby, play with baby, and then put baby to sleep. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The times that you feed are scheduled starting from every two hours to eventually every four hours. We’ve arrived at the every four hours and its glorious. I no longer feel like my life is controlled by my baby’s eating schedule. After the baby eats, you play. The time for play lengthens as baby gets older. Next, it’s time for sleep and then the cycle repeats. With Babywise you know pretty much exactly when your baby will eat, play, and sleep. It is predictable. I like predictable. Holly likes predictable. We sync well together. There is certainty room for flexibility, because let’s face it, babies have a mind of their own and things can change real quick. So, if baby gets hungry 30 minutes before they are “scheduled” to eat, you feed them. It’s not about making a baby be hungry or not sleep when they’re tired, you just learn to read your baby’s cues. There is a whole lot that goes into the Babywise philosophy, but it would take me forever to write about it, and it is much better put on this site if you’re interested. I have consulted the site many, many times in our journey. Anyway, what initially peaked my interest in Babywise was the claim that you can teach your baby how to sleep through the night at a very early age. I really love sleep. I have always been into sleep. I started sleeping through the night at two weeks old and have never turned back. So, I wanted to also instill this in my daughter. I’ll admit, mostly for selfish reasons of my own need for sleep, but also because I truly believe that a well-rested baby is a happier baby. So, we started Babywise with Holly shortly after she was born. For a while, I don’t know that I even knew that I was doing the method because for a few weeks, time was pretty fuzzy. I was in a haze, but when the fog lifted, we were incredibly intentional with the eat, play, sleep schedule. Holly started sleeping in five hour stints at night at about four weeks old, and then started sleeping through the night at six weeks old. She has slept through the night ever since. People always tell us that “we are so lucky to have a good sleeper”. My friends, we do have a great baby, she’s awesome if I do say so myself. But- we put in a good bit of hard work to get her to sleep through the night, it’s not really luck. At seven weeks old, we moved her to her own crib to sleep, out of our room. (I do have to fess up that this was by my husband’s encouragement, because I was very hesitant to do this.) This was another game changer because we then got a much more restful sleep and were even happier. So, that’s why we have gone with Babywise. We were dedicated to it, and it worked for us. Is it the holy grail of sleep training methods, probably not. Do I recommend it for new parents? Absolutely. I read the book “On Becoming Babywise” (ok ,I heavily skimmed the book) before Holly was born, and after she came I mostly consulted the blog referenced above. It’s a great method and we intend to use it with future babies. From what I’ve read, you can start it at any point in your baby’s life if you are having trouble with sleeping through the night. If you have questions or want further info. I’d love to help you in whatever ways I can. Happy Tuesday everyone, now back to Frozen…

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