Wednesday, July 30, 2014
What I learned from babywise
I've received a good amount of questions from people curious about Babywise. It's quite the controversial book. Some moms hate every idea that has come out of it. Some live by it like it's their bible. Others, like me, take the principles and practices from the book and apply it to their family's as it fits.
Regardless of where you land at either end of the spectrum, here are some tips that I found really helpful for my family. Some of these tips are real lifesavers for my little one.
1) The basic principle of this book: establishing a feed, wake, sleep schedule
A solid, full feeding (whether breast or formula) will promote a great wake time, and a restful sleep time. If one of these three things are out of line, the other two will be affected. This was a huge revelation for me to understand. If Hunter had a bad feeding, he would not be as alert during his wake/playtime, and he would either cry before his nap or wake up early. If he had a rough nap, his feeding wasn't as successful. And thus the cycle is out of whack creating a tired, fussy baby and tired mommy.
2) The order of the feed, wake, sleep schedule is important
The order that these three practices falls just as important as how successful they are. A successful feeding will lead to an alert and wakeful playtime and a restful nap time. But if you have a wake play, feed, nap schedule you have the potential to get this system out of line. What happens is baby starts to depend on nursing or his bottle to fall asleep. Having his play time right before sleep time teaches him to fall asleep on his own. This is the most amazing thing to watch, Hunter will be put in his crib wide-awake maybe talk to himself for a minute or two (sometimes 10!) and blissfully drift off to sleep. Note: this took some time to develop and train and I'm glad I did because it is been a real lifesaver for naps!
3) Scheduled FULL feedings
This is where the controversy comes in. In baby led feeding you feed the baby when the baby is hungry. This approach is a little bit different...as babywise teaches you that the baby sometimes does not know that they are hungry. For example newborns can blissfully sleep past the four hour stretch when they're supposed to be awakened to eat sooner than that. Also babies like to nurse for comfort which could be happening rather than true hunger. Like I said you could be on the baby led feeding routine and love it. If that's what works for your family that is great! But I believe in schedules, consistency & routine so this is what works for my family.
The amount of time between feedings will depend on the baby's age. A newborn eats every hour and half to two hours. But someone Hunters age at almost 4 months eats around every three hours (except at night). So Hunters schedule will be every three hours from the first feeding to the last.
FULL feedings are KEY. if baby is not getting a full feeding or just snacking all day long, he will never get full and be able to last the amount of time between feedings. So it is crucial even on the baby's birth day for baby to get the full feeding. (Which I'm sure you mom's know is very hard when you have a sleepy newborn!)
Note: the book does discuss growth spurts, sickness etc. and in that case you feed the baby when they need to be fed. There is "no cry it out" just because it hasn't been three hours if it is truly hunger. This is where people get very confused and think that this book is from the devil! But if you read the pages carefully it really does say when the baby is hungry feed the baby!!
4) Scheduled naps
Yes, naps are scheduled too! Just like the feeding schedule, you train the baby to sleep when necessary. This took some time but now will Hunter actually show signs of being tired around the same time every day at his scheduled nap time.
5) Where/ how baby sleeps
Baby sleeps in his crib for every nap and at nighttime. Babywise doesn't shove this concept down your throat, but they suggest this is the best place for baby and parents. They also advise to stay away from sleep props, so that baby does not get dependent on them to sleep. Essentially you should be able to put baby down in his crib and walk away and baby should sleep by himself and be able to soothe himself if he wakes early. (This doesn't always happen but 9/10 it does!)
**an adjustment I made to babywise that works for my family** I don't feed Hunter immediately when he wakes up from his nap (unless he' can't wait). I Hold him or let him play for 10 to 15 minutes before he eats. I don't want him to think that he automatically needs to eat every time he wakes up.**
At the end of the day, I encourage you to do your research. This is my job: mommy. The BEST job so it is my job to be as well-educated as I can for the welfare of my baby. Do your research, and take the practices from different theories that work for you. Babywise is not the end all be all for me. I still like to research and learn from other mommies and other books about baby and have applied them to my parenting! (The four "S" have been key!) and I don't feel guilty at all if I have to deviate from the plan. There are some days where Hunter is off schedule a little bit and I have to feed him sooner or he doesn't nap very well. He's a baby it's going to happen! But babywise provides structure to my crazy life and for that I am grateful.
So I hope this is helpful to you!! Let me know if you've any further questions I'd be happy to answer. Xoxo-B