When I was pregnant, a couple of my friends mentioned Baby Wise to me. Having only heard negative things about the ideology, I brushed it off. But then I actually talked to these friends and got some real-life examples of how they schedule their days out and how Baby Wise helped them, I became interested. I began reading and researching and decided to implement this with Lila. It turns out that people who hate BW are the ones who haven’t read it.
If Lila is the best thing to happen to me, then Baby Wise might be the second best thing to happen to me.
I joke about this, but seriously, putting her on a schedule has been fantastic. BW isn’t for every baby or every mother, but I’ve yet to find someone who it just didn’t work for at all. At 8 weeks, Lila was sleeping 8-9 hours a night – no middle of the night feedings or dreamfeedings. Now at 6 months, she eats dinner at 7:30, falls asleep by 8, and wakes up at about 6:30 and eats around 7. She naps 2-3 times a day, with at least two 2.5 hour naps during the day and maybe a quick one before dinner. Have the benefits been awesome? YES. We have reaped the rewards.
It’s also been a life saver for my sanity because now I know our schedule for each day. I know when she naps and when she’s going to be awake for awhile so I can plan our outings/errands accordingly. With her being so well rested, she’s in a great mood 98% of the time. All of her needs are met, and she’s just the happiest baby. This has also been great for Joel because he can be just as assertive and active in parenting when I’m not here.
Here are some of the false claims made by non-Baby Wise parents:
- They starve their children!
–False. Yes, Lila eats on a feeding schedule but if she’s hungry, then I feed her. She’s gone through 2 growth spurts and was fed about every 2-3 hours (she’s been on a four hour schedule for a few months now). The book tells you to feed your child when she’s hungry. At the end of the day, you HAVE to watch your baby’s signals in order for her to be satisfied.
- This doesn’t work if you breastfeed your kid!
–Nope. Lila goes 12 hours between feedings. Someone (a family member, ahem) told me that breastfed babies can’t go more than 8-9 hours before they need to be fed until they are weaned. Not true. At least in my case.
- They don’t respond to their baby’s cries!
–False. Instead, whenever she cries, I’m able to know that more than likely, it ISN’T hunger that’s causing her pain. Maybe it’s gas or just being tired. Lila also hasn’t been a normal baby in her crying. She rarely cries, and I think that’s because I’ve been able to anticipate what she needs next. When it gets close to her needing to be fed, I keep an eye on the monitor and wait for her to wake up so I can feed her. She doesn’t have to cry to get my attention.
- They believe in crying it out!
–Yes…BUT, it’s not like you just abandon your kid in the room and say “Suck it up!” Lila never had crying issues when going to sleep, except for one night. She cried for about 10 minutes, but it was because she was SO exhausted she couldn’t get to sleep. This was one of those times where I was kicking myself for getting waaay off schedule.
- You have to wake your baby up from naps!!
–YES, I have to do this but that’s because Lila would sleep her life away if I let her. When she was a newborn, I would wake her every 3.5 hrs in order to feed her and hope she would stay awake the entire feeding.
- You force your child to go to sleep!
–Lila has a party personality and doesn’t want to miss out on anything. She is her mother’s child, what can I say? So, because of this, I have to go lay her down in her bed, swaddle her up, and basically give her permission to fall asleep. My mother-in-law was visiting and I think she just wanted to see if Lila would fall asleep when she was tired. So she didn’t put Lila down when she needed to and Lila went full force until there was a complete breakdown of exhaustion. I’m a big believer that kids need naps, and I truly believe that MY kid needs to nap.
Though the actual Baby Wise book doesn’t have ALL the answers, I found that this website does. Baby Wise Mom has been an awesome resource and such an encouragement to know that other kids are having sleep regressions or teething issues. The lady who writes this blog has read almost all the baby sleeping books out there so she gives all the views at times, so that’s been a great resource. It turns out that BW is a LOT like Baby Whisperer, but somehow Baby Whisperer has a better reputation than Baby Wise.
Of course, I write this post and watch her have sleep issues tonight. Children always know how to make you eat your words.