Monday, July 21, 2014

Reader Week 2014


It is reader week again! This is a fun week where you readers help contribute to improve posts that parents look to as resources regularly here. Akin to the idea of "many hands make light work," I think many minds make great ideas. I love turning to you readers to see what you all love and getting new, fresh ideas. Here is the schedule for the week:


TUESDAY: READER SAMPLE SCHEDULES DAY
The Readers Sample Schedules posts are some of the most popular and most-visited posts on this blog. I know you love them! So be sure to drop by Tuesday and add your most recent (or any!) schedules. I will have a post up linking you to all of the reader sample schedule posts so you can easily get to your pertinent post. 

WEDNESDAY: POLL RESULTS DAY
Poll results can be very helpful to people. It helps someone come see what is "normal" and also see that even though there is a range of "normal" there are also people who fall in a range outside of normal. If you haven't voted on the current poll, click here to do so: 

Poll Discussion Post: Adding Baby to Family and Sibling Dynamics


THURSDAY: READER BLOGS DAY
I will put a post up Thursday that will take you to the various posts where you can share your blog. I have a post for various categories, everything from business blogs to "just-for-fun" blogs. This is fun because it helps keep the Babywise community close and helps you be aware of blogs written by like-minded parents. 

FRIDAY: READER FAVORITES DAY
I will put up a post Friday to posts where you can comment and share your favorite things. These will include baby products, toys, books, etc.

SATURDAY: GIVEAWAY DAY
Giveaways are fun because it gives you readers a chance to win something for free! Be sure to drop by Saturday for your chance to enter to win a canvas! 

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and thank yous as I write this blog. I really do enjoy it and sincerely enjoy helping you. So long as you keep reading, I will keep on writing. Have a great week!

Friday, July 18, 2014

#BabywiseSuccess


I hope you have enjoyed the Babywise Success Stories Week this year! I love to hear from you all on the successes you are having and how you are making Babywise work in your family. I love spreading the message that there are many parents out there who use Babywise and love it.

There are so many benefits we have seen in our children from using Babywise and the methods beyond. We have well-rested children who are predictable. We have had help in sleep training, feeding, scheduling, discipline, educating, and more. We have had guidance we need on getting our kids to sleep in their childrens beds (not our bed--that was a goal of ours before we even heard the word "Babywise"). We have had great ideas to apply for everything from potty training to character training. It has helped us be intentional in parenting and forced us to look at our main values and goals and set a plan to achieve these. 

If you can and feel inclined, continue sharing your success throughout the year. When you are sharing something on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, your blog, etc., that is a result of your efforts with Babywise, share it with a #BabywiseSuccess. I don't think we should feel afraid to share what works for us, and with our united voices, we can spread the word that Babywise babies are actually happy, healthy babies. 

Have a great weekend!

Multitude of Success

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I decided it would be fun to have a whole round up of many success stories during this week. Below are many great things people shared on Facebook about what they love about Babywise. Do you see anything you recognize in your life? If you have something you want to add, please feel free to do so in the comments below!
I love BW because we know what to expect as a family, and there have been very few gradual changes to his schedule. He is always happy, sleeps 11 hours/night, has always napped well, and has slept through all his teeth 8 and 3 molars), house alarms, pretty much everything! -  
-Heather

4 hour schedule. Enough said:) -Jeanine

I can see in my children's eyes how much they *trust* me. They know what to expect from the BW schedule, and it brings us all peace of mind. -Marie


Yes, I agree with Marie Bartels. Using BW has helped me feel strong and capable as a parent. I can meet my needs and my children's. They trust me because I meet their needs (and of course, adore them and cover them in kisses whenever possible) - they know what to expect from the schedule and know that I will change things when appropriate. I like the way that BW focuses on parental assessment of any situation or problem. While my kids took longer to sttn, I felt more confident in using CIO as a sleep training strategy, and assessing its usefulness at any given time. I think that using BW helped me enjoy my kids more and enjoy parenting more! -Katie

The way we can make a schedule to fit our family's lifestyle and be able to tell people pretty much exactly what to expect when we leave our son with them. It's so easy to plan things because of the schedule we have in place. He has slept through the night since about 8 weeks with only a handful of nights with interruptions due to sickness, teething, etc. I get comments about how happy and content he is which provides an open door to explain to them why  We love BW!! -Sydney

 BW has given us the ability to really enjoy our baby girl. She slept through the night at 6 weeks. There is no guessing if she is hungry or sleepy. She takes two two hour naps and one one hour nap in the early evening. She is just now five months. I can get house work done and whatever else I might want to do. BW makes happy babies and a happy home. And yes it is true... Everyone thinks we are"just lucky", but no it's baby wise!! (and she has GERD.) -Kristen

I love that the sleep habits I taught my then 4 month old now allow me to focus teaching my now 2.5yo other skills like obedience, patience, and sharing. Many of my fellow mothers are still so focused on getting their toddlers to sleep that the other more abstract concepts have to be put on hold. I love that I knew baby wise so well with my second that he never had to cry it out and has always been a great sleeper for 18mos now (and he had bad GERD till 15.5mo). I love the concept "start as you mean to go on" and the words it puts to other parenting concepts so I can explain my methods to friends, family, and husband! I don't think I could've had my first two only 16 mos apart with our BW! -Alyssa

I love how loosely I followed BW and my LO still fell right into the routines. It doesn't have to be strict to work! Eat-play-sleep, full feedings, and LO took right to it. I didn't expect it at all!
~Rachel

Used BW with all three kids. My almost 4yr old sleeps 12hrs as does my 2yr old and my 3mo old. They are calm, aren't clingy and are independent children. In toddler beds at age 1, never get out if bed until morning, and no 3 hour sleep routine. It's wonderful! -Katie

What I love about BW??? The fact that my 4 yo, 2yo, and 4 mo sleep 11+ hours every night. They are the happiest little girls. All 3 of them take awesome naps, which let's me get things done. -Oana

Keeping a routine has been so helpful with our twins... We all know to expect during the day and at night. Establishing the right bedtime (7pm) has been a sanity saver for us and like someone mentioned above, there are no fights at nap time and bedtime! -Mara

I love how I don't have to guess (for the most part) if my baby is hungry or sleepy and it relieves guilt for not feeding him even though he is crying because I know it is because he is trying to put himself to sleep. -Heather

-I love how it equipped and empowered me as a new mommy. I feel confident in the decisions I'm making on his behalf knowing they are for his best. I also love the peace it brings to our baby and home. -Cristi

Both of my babies are BW babies. It has given us peaceful nights and days that are so much more manageable than I ever dreamed they could be. There are no bedtime battles at our house! -Becky

Confidence! I feel like I know what I'm doing with a first baby. I'm rarely guessing what my baby needs... I just know!! It's pretty much awesome! -Karley

I love that I can leave my three girls all of whom were BW babies, the youngest just turned one, and they can still follow their schedules to a tee with other family members and on our own vacations. I love that when it's bedtime, I walk then to the bedroom, do our bedtime routine and within minutes they're asleep. Everyone's always so impressed! -Elaine

-We did BW with our first and loved it. We were allowed to enjoy our time with our baby because we were all well rested. It also helped us as new parents to be more confident in our "crying problem solving". Fast forward 22 months - our first is an enjoyable toddler and our second is 6 months. I would not have survived the last 6 months without BW (and the whole wise series)! The sleep training and routine have allowed for a smooth transition where I can enjoy both my girls without all the horror stories my friends like to share. -Amanda

 I have a 19-month old and 3-week old (both boys). I was at the library last week, and a lady asked me for any tips for surviving with 2. Don't get me wrong...it's tough no matter how you slice it, but BW is a huge help! My older son is in independent playtime for up to an hour a day. This is my saving grace! I can take care of the baby, clean up the kitchen, and make myself presentable. I don't know how parents survive without it... Plus, having him in a strict routine makes life more predictable for all of us! I'm now working on the little one, and he's already developed some sort of schedule, though he's obviously unpredictable because he's so little. Knowing what to expect with the older one helps me tremendously. -Andrea

Love that babies are well rested and happy -Kim

I love knowing what to expect, being able to plan family activities because I know when my baby needs to eat and sleep, and I love that my whole family is getting enough sleep. I also feel like my kid was much better prepared for daycare, even at just 3 months. -Amy

It took longer than expected (by Babywise standards) for our baby to sleep through the night, but he started going to bed without complaint before eight weeks and has done that pretty much ever since. He is now (13 months old) sleeping through 12 hour nights and is such a happy content little guy. My life is busy, but there is order and predictability. I can really enjoy my baby. All this is such a blessing considering that little sister will join us any day now. I don't know what I would do without the commonsense principles of Babywise. -Janalin

BW literally has been beyond amazing. We started at 6 weeks and our little one slept through the night at 12. Next week he will be 7 months old and is doing amazing. He is always happy because he knows what to expect. We are so blessed. People tell us all the time that we have the best behaved baby and that he is the happiest they have seen; combination of love and Babywise for sure! Xo 
-Bangs, Bottles, and a Bambino

Happy babies. I have two BW babies, and I can't even begin to tell you how happy they are. I get constant compliments on the happiness of my children. People are baffled, actually at how happy they are sometimes. My response is always "a baby that is well fed and we'll slept is a happy baby"
-Teresa

 I love that BW has given my family predictability in our week. I can set aside time for focusing on godly training as well as working on behaviours that carry the wrong attitude. As for my babies they sleep through the night quickly and are much more settled than any other baby I know. Selah -Kat

I love that I can leave my kids with anyone and can tell them exactly when they eat, nap, wake up, etc. It's predictable and easy for everyone involved. I can also plan things in advance because I know when my kids will be awake and napping. Babywise produces great sleepers, predictable schedules, and sanity for me as a mom. -Lacey

Happy, Well-Rested Baby

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We have one child, a 13 month old named Patrick. He is the sweetest, happiest little guy, and I think a lot of that is due to Babywise. My sister-in-law recommended BW to us, and I read the book a couple weeks before he was born. So we started right away, working on full feedings and doing the eat/wake/sleep cycle. I was amazed when Patrick slept through the night at 2 months! I loved having a predictable routine and a baby who took naps and slept well at night--that meant I was well-rested and better able to take care of my family. 

Funny thing was, even though I saw the benefits, I had some doubts about BW, fueled by the fact that most other moms I knew were co-sleeping and feeding on-demand. I started to loosen our routine, even nursing the baby to sleep sometimes...and guess what, he started waking at night. It was hard to get him back on track at that point because I had to re-train. But eventually Patrick was sleeping through the night again and taking great naps, and I learned a lot through trouble-shooting the sleep issues.  

Whenever we go out, we always get comments on how happy and content Patrick is. We haven't followed Babywise very strictly, but the things we have implemented have definitely made our life easier! 

Stephanie

More than Just Luck

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My husband and I both work full time so when I was pregnant with our son (he is now 4) we knew that we wanted to have him on a good schedule and we knew we would need to start shortly after he was born. One of my good friends read Babywise when she was pregnant with her first and had started implementing some of the principles after her son was born. She told me how much she loved the predictability and the routine and recommended the book to me. I think I read the book cover to cover within a couple days - I loved it! I highlighted so many things in the book and put sticky notes in certain spots for easy reference.
A couple weeks after our son was born we began putting some principles into practice to begin a schedule (somewhat loosely at first), but we were pretty strict on the eat, wake, sleep cycle and making sure he ate at the 2 hour, 2.5 hour, 3 hour mark, etc.
Our son was the first grandchild on my husband's side of the family, and he was the second on my side of the family. Neither of our families were familiar with Babywise and I think a lot of them thought we were crazy. Especially when we would wake our sleeping baby to feed him during the day. However, after we got our son on a good schedule, his days were so consistent and he slept really well, he was generally a happy baby, and people started to comment on how "lucky" we were that he was such a good, easy baby. Some people even told us how "lucky" we were and that we shouldn't expect that with our next child and we would really see what it was like. I know that we were fortunate that our son adapted to the schedule and thrived on that, and I know some babies may not adapt as well, but sometimes it was frustrating because we felt like our hard work was paying off and most people just said we were "lucky".
The grandparents loved (and still do!) taking care of him because his schedule was so consistent, they knew what to expect when, and they knew they could count on good naps and overnight sleep (for the most part).
As our son grew up we have continued to keep him on a schedule and even now we are pretty firm with his nap times and bed time. We have had to say no to some family functions, or ask them to move the times around to work around our son's nap or bedtime, and I think some people think we're crazy, but that's not something we're willing to sacrifice. There are of course exceptions and times where we need to be flexible on nap time or bedtime, but those are pretty rare.
Our daughter was born last July and when she was just a couple weeks old we started with Babywise, just like we did with our son. We were so used to one nap a day with our son and not doing the eat, wake, sleep schedule for awhile so it was kind of a hard adjustment to go back to the infant schedule, but I knew it was something I really wanted to do. We have stuck with it with our daughter and people are saying the same things as they did with our son - she is so well behaved, she's so happy and alert, and she rarely cries, unless she is hurt. I attribute all of that to Babywise and having her on a consistent schedule and keeping her well rested.
We love Babywise and tell everyone we know about it and how much it has helped us! 

Jessica S.
Mom to 4 year old son and 11 month old daughter

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BabyWise is for Wise Mums

I was lucky enough to witness to gift of BabyWise through two close friends who had little one's well before my little guy came along. 

One friend in particular "Alice" has three delightful children that slept literally anywhere at nap time, who played happily and heartily during awake times and who ate beautifully for all meals. Now, if it was just one, or even two kids, you could argue that Alice is lucky, or that she won the lottery with the calm, well behaved kids that she got, but I knew three kids who were so well adjusted could not have been a fluke. So, I asked her what she did, and she was so willing to share.

"BabyWise from birth" was her answer.

I got the book whilst I was still pregnant and started to read; it seemed fairly straight forward; but I'll admit that I was a little lost in knowing how much of it I would actually need to know. I joined a mother's group through facebook and began to form some very strong bonds with women from all over the country, all of us expecting babies in August 2013. Many of us were first timers, but lots already had one or more other kids, and their voices emerged as the louder stronger ones over time. One day a discussion came up about routines and feeding etc and I said that I would be following the BabyWise plan. Well, didn't regret it. I was attacked like I've never experienced before. Some came from mothers who had tried in the past to do a similar plan to BabyWise (SOS most often) and had failed; others were just dead against allowing a baby to cry ever; and so, the uncertainty and guilt started to rise up in me. I was convinced that only "lazy", "rigid", "unkind", "evil" mothers who neglect their child did any form of routine or CC. So the book went on the shelf and I tried to figure out how I was going to handle this thing without any kind of schedule.

My son was born and he was perfect, but four weeks in and I was already terribly lost. I was getting possibly 3 hours sleep a night and I was a walking zombie with a whiny unhappy baby. As a highly organised planner, this was terribly hard for me, but I kept being told that a good mother responds to their babies wants and needs; night and day; and the stream of articles continued to come into my inbox about how crying creates anti-social abandoned children, and that crying at length will undoubtedly cause brain damage due to a flood of stress hormones. I was too tired and emotional at the time to check the date of publication and credibility of the authors.

Here is an excerpt of an email I sent to a friend during this time-
"Oh gosh Baby Blues are REAL. I've been sobbing all day. It's uncontrollable. Cannot keep myself relaxed and I'm sure [my son] can feel it. Think I might have a UTI, and I've got blood blisters on both nipples from [him] biting me during feeding. To add to which, he feeds like 3 times in the WHOLE day and 5-6 at night! I cant even try to force him to take more during the day to fill up as he just clamps his little mouth closed or, bites me over and over when he finally latches as he's not hungry and so isn't opening his mouth. This is really really hard *SOB*"

Not long after this I was driving to the shop to get some nappies and I thought about how it might be nice to drive my car into a tree. I thought maybe I could work it so that I could be hurt just enough to have to go to hospital and stay there for a few days so that I could get some sleep, and not have to go home to my baby. The guilt that then resulted from this thought was all encompassing. The next day my dear friend Alice came to the rescue! She invited me to come and stay at her house for three nights with Tucker, and promised that we would get him into the BabyWise eat, play, sleep routine in that short time. Tucker was 5 weeks old at this stage.

So off we went to Alice's house!

The first sleep was hard, Alice sent me off to get a cup of tea at the local cafe after we'd given him a full feed (both sides), as she knew it would be hard. She told me that my baby was going to protest as he had never been put to bed without being rocked and fed to sleep, and we had resorted to co-sleeping to try and get some peace, so being on his own was a new thing. He cried the entire sleep. Alice went in and checked on him every 10mins, and at the end of the hour and a half, we got him up and fed him. We then played with him as long as he could last, he was exhausted. The next sleep he cried 20mins, then slept 1.5hours! I was shocked. 

Over the next three days, we had so much success. The crying varied from 20min, 40min, 10mins, and 1.5hrs (we only ever had him cry this long three times in his life and checked him every 20mins, but would not pick up). He fed well, and started to become really responsive during his awake time. It was like having a new child. We went home after the three day and my husband nearly fell over when he saw me. I had washed my hair, put on some make-up, gotten out of my pj's and his little baby was smiling happily up at him. He was sold on the BabyWise method from that moment on.

Three weeks after we implemented the routine I sent this to a friend- 
"Nearly 3 weeks in and we've had sooooo many fantastic days. He's happy and gorgeous because he's well rested. I'm happier because I've gotten things done and had some time to myself... It's win win. He certainly doesn't sleep perfectly every single sleep, but its more than 50% at the moment, and we are down to ONE wake up at night. We've researched controlled crying and there is no medical experts who actually say its harmful. There are just LOADS of opinions out there from unqualified people who write well. It's certainly not for everyone, but we'd rather be strict and form habits now than negotiate with a 1/2/3yr old who can talk, walk, and climb out of their cot."   

At ten weeks old my son slept through the night. I felt like I had won the lottery! Since this time, we may have woken perhaps 15 nights since- due to a thunder storm, or teething, or a growth spurt. When this happens, I know he just needs a little cuddle (or a short feed during growth spurts), and that he'll go straight back down and sleep for the rest of the night. 

These days, my happy healthy little man is a near perfect sleeper - day and night. When we have to break routine for special occasions he can be flexible and then goes back into routine easily the next day after a full night's sleep. He's a delight in his awake time, and he eats beautifully. 

I am of the belief that BabyWise saved us. I'm very grateful to Alice for helping me to implement it. We will be following the book from birth for our next baby.

As for the mother's group, I am still part of it, and I have had far more good come from it than bad. I stand up for my choice to implement BabyWise and have had so many women come to me privately to ask for help in setting up their own routine. I must admit though, when the women who persecuted me complain about how exhausted they are as their 1, 2 and 3 year old's have never slept a full night in their lives, I smile to myself and feel happy that I stood strong and did what I knew was right for my family.

Obstacles-
Obviously the hearing the crying is hard. When you first start and you are still unsure of what you are doing, and you've got the peanut gallery weighing in with their opinions. I would pace the hallway, eat everything in the pantry, stand under the clothes line outside crying myself and my breasts would BURN! The 45 minute intruder was also a hard one at various times across the past 11 months, but I made a plan and stuck with it through thick and thin. AND, my body grew to hear the difference in his cries. There is no stopping me from running into that room if he's in pain as I know the sound of the cry. Chronicles of a BabyWise Mom blog helped me SO SO many times. Seeing that I wasn't alone, that we would make it over each challenging speed bump and that we would eventually enjoy the gift of night time sleep, all these things helped me to remain consistent. 

I am so glad that we did.

Wendy

Maintaining a Consistent Schedule and Discipline with other Caregivers

I am mom of two fantastic kiddos, age 4.5 and 6.5 (and don't just say "6 years old" to my son"--it is "6 and A HALF" now). They continue to truly amaze and astound me on a daily basis with their remarkable personalities. As much as I hate for them to leave behind some of my favorite ages and stages, I am absolutely enthralled by their growth and understanding. They are great individuals all on their own, but I really do attribute the principles of the -wise series in much of their growth and our parental success. Using Babywise and the core tenants of consistency and first-time obedience really helped my husband and I to parent on the same page and see amazing results in a relatively short amount of time.

On the flip side, we have had a large challenge in all of this from the day I found out I was pregnant with my first. I work full-time. I could write a whole post just on the emotions and challenges I felt during pregnancy while working. In fact, I blog (quite sporadically) about just that and other issues working moms face. There have been many times (sometimes hourly still) where I feel in despair about working...but I am learning that there are equally as many reasons to rejoice over working. 

One of the biggest blessings has been the nannies and caregivers that we have had to rely upon to help us. God has brought some of the most amazing young women into our life and the lives of our children. Keeping our children at home with a caregiver has been quite difficult financially but whether you use a babysitter for date night, grandparents for a weekend, daycare, or a nanny-share I am certain you will face some of the challenges we have...as well as some of the blessings.

The most terrific benefit has been the ability to maintain consistency. I am writing from the perspective of having a consistent caregiver, but much of this success can also be applied to even a teen babysitter. However, there was a time last summer right after our current nanny started working for us where my son thought that he was hot stuff. He point blank admitted she wasn't in charge, he didn't have to respect her, and he wasn't afraid of her consequences....!!!!!!! What?? We truly have done babywise from Day 1 with him. Sometimes we were too strict in our methods. I was appalled and shocked and really had no idea where to go. My sweet little boy. Where did we go wrong?

We had some quick work to do. Here are the steps we took:

1. Evaluate freedoms and consistency.
Even after a short amount of reflection, I realized we had stopped being consistent in a lot of ways. (I know. Shocking that inconsistency was the culprit :) Summer had just started. Our new sitter had just started. We moved. My husband started a new job. Whew. We were so busy we really just left their daily routine to our sitter and assumed they were having so much fun that we wouldn't be too rigid with her. Through no fault of her own, she really did not have many rules and they played.all.day. My kids loved it. It was really about 3 months right about the time my son started Kindergarten when everything came to a halt. You see, his Kindergarten teacher had RULES. Actually, he loved her rules. He loved her and wanted to please her so badly. When he came home after lunch to lack of rules, he balked. His behavior was great at school but then he was downright rebellious at home. Consistency and too much freedom was the bulk of our problem. I know this is touchy when you have family members involved but look for ways you can pick your top 2-3 priorities. Are naps always late? Is your child always choosing the activity?

2. Establish authority and respect.
It didn't take too much brilliance to understand that my son especially did not see our sitter as an authority figure. He clearly stated as much. I tried to follow through with discipline when I got home and it had no effect. We had few issues with him in the evenings but I felt like I spent all my time trying to fix the things that had happened during the time I was gone. My husband and I did make sure that we were maintaining authority consistently, but that did not bring huge improvement at first. We really had to find ways to show the kids that they had to respect anyone charged with their care. Some of this we focused on in times of non-conflict. "How should you answer her when you don't want to get dressed?" Avoid implied consequences or setting them up to fail such as "Don't you yell at her like yesterday unless you want to lose your favorite toy!" We also had to get our sitter on board and teach her how to be authoritative not just fun. We gave her some ways to script things and reviewed what first-time obedience really means to us.

3. Re-evaluate your schedule and discipline plan.
I realized that my kids are still way too young for lack of routine. Again, probably not eye-opening in hindsight. At the time, it seemed like they had so much fun without the busyness of our school routine that we never really enforced even a loose daily schedule that summer. Granted they were only in preschool at the time, there is still a beautiful consistency even going part-time to preschool and a benefit to using daycare. Last summer they swam, went to parks, went to the library, played outside...that all sounded so good. We realized we really had to limit the number of "free play" days. Not that they had to stay home and do independent play time every single day...but there needed to be a consistent balance between more structured activities and all-day-play-every-day. We also had to do re-vamp our discipline plan. We never changed our expectations for first-time obedience but we had to equip our sitter with some ways she could effectively discipline immediately. Swiftness was the key for her. No rationalizing, no coddling...just a simple "you refused to put shoes on so we cannot do x." Again, this can be difficult when grandma refuses to give any consequences but most babysitters and nannies are very glad for instructions on how to handle disobedience. One of the things I did was literally make a list of 20-30 "consequences" she could give right on the spot. If they refused, they were given a second consequence or tell mommy about it for a final consequence. That only happened two times! They were not all logical consequences tied to the action, but that made it interesting as well. They never knew if they would be told to sit on their hands for two minutes or do 10 jumping jacks. Throwing some funny things in there were still effective. It lightened the tension and helped burn energy on all those rainy summer afternoon.

Did it work? Yes!! Almost immediately. As my kids have gotten older, success sometimes feels like it takes longer to achieve but using some of the most basic -wise principles we saw amazing results. My son stopped kicking/pushing/sneaking (I told you it was baddddd!) and went straight from difficult-all-day to happy-and-compliant all day. We stopped spending every afternoon in his room with tearful/heart-broken phone calls to my husband at work to talking about all of the things he was learning and doing with our sitter. We still have rough days and challenges but being a working mom has never been better!

By Bethany Lynch who blogs at The Graceful Mom about working full-time and ways to have grace while doing it. 

More than Sleep Benefits

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I have two children. One 4 1/2 year old boy and one 22 month old girl.

I feel so extremely blessed to know about Babywise and have used it with both children and LOVE it! If I hadn't been introduced to Babywise by a friend I don't know where I/children/ family would be! I hate to think about that:)

I had read the Babywise book 8 years before I even had children and knew that is what I wanted to do. I saw the benefits it had with my friends children and I wanted that! I knew I wouldn't cope well with less sleep and everyone tells you how little sleep you can get when children come along so I really wanted to try Babywise as I knew I would get more sleep if it worked!

When my precious first baby arrived I couldn't wait to start implementing Babywise. I started the techniques while I was in hospital with him as a newborn. He caught on really quickly and before I knew it he was 12 1/2 weeks old and sleeping through the night. Woo hoo! That is when I could really start seeing some of my hard work payoff with being consistent with his feed, wake, sleep cycle. As my baby grew into a toddler then preschooler I realised that Babywise wasn't just great information about how to get your child to sleep but it has been extremely helpful with giving me ideas on how to be a good parent, teaching obedience, self control, patience etc.

When baby 2 came along I started implementing Babywise straight away while she was a newborn in hospital. She also caught on quickly. She started sleeping through the night at around 12 weeks. I have been definitely more relaxed as a mum second time around. If she doesn't have a proper nap for whatever reason I don't stress like I used to with child #1. If we are out and about and she doesn't get to have a nap I know she'll cope and all will be well and she'll catch up on sleep over the next day or so and snap back into routine.

I love how Babywise has given our family peace, structure, routine, happiness!! I get a little stressed when I see friends struggling with sleep deprivation, co-sleeping with baby to get a little bit more sleep, family life strained because of lack of sleep and minimal routine. Every family is different and do things differently. I do believe though that there are easier ways to go about life and Babywise for our family was definitely the best choice we have made. We will be eternally grateful.


Lisa R
Australia:)

Crunchy and Scheduled: Defying Stereotypes

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There is so much to be said in support of Baby Wise, so I thought I would zero-in on my experience as someone who has been labeled "crunchy" or "granola". I don't consider myself a hippie (at all!), but friends have jokingly called my husband and I hippies for several reasons... I gave birth without pain-killers and vaginally, once in a hospital, once at home in a birth tub. I breast feed. We don't vaccinate. I make yogurt. We buy raw milk. I bake things (somebody told me I was crunchy because I make cookies. Haha!!) We let our kids run around barefoot. 

We also do Baby Wise.  

I am not bragging about any of our decisions, (though I do stand by them), I just want to encourage mothers who are looking into a home birth or using a midwife because you likely won't find much support for scheduling in the natural-birth community. 

Midwives (at least all the ones I know), love Attachment Parenting. Before the birth of my first daughter, a few friends recommended Baby Wise to me, and I read the book, loving the information I was reading. I felt confident about pregnancy and delivery, but caring for an infant baffled me! The book gave me a plan to follow and confidence in my own abilities. I mentioned Baby Wise to my midwife, and she told me that, "You are of course free to do what you want, but frankly, it doesn't work. Other moms I know have tried it, and it doesn't work. I find parts of it downright cruel." I listened to her respectfully (she was right about so many other things), but then thought of my friends that use Baby Wise. These women are not cruel! They are loving moms, and their kids are happy, content, well-behaved, and obviously well cared for. I decided to do it anyway. 

We had fantastic results. My daughter slept through the night at 8 weeks. People were amazed at my "easy baby." The church nursery workers loved her and commented that she was the happiest baby in there. We could go on dates, knowing she would easily go to sleep when the babysitter laid her down. She rarely got sick. We took a week long trip without her at 18 months and she did fantastic for her care-givers. We have certainly had some rough patches, but she is 3 years old now, and still sleeps 11-12 hours a night.  

My second daughter is now 9 months, and definitely her own little person! People like to say Baby Wise isn't for every baby, but I think it is. I have had two very different little bundles of joy, and they have both done great with Baby Wise. And my girls are different personality-wise from the kids of other Baby Wise moms I know. They all take to Baby Wise because it uses universal principals. 

Consider this: As parents, we teach our kids how to be good humans. We teach them how to say "please" and "thank you", how to drink from a cup, how to get dressed, how to tie their shoes. No one would argue with this. Why then, do we shy away from teaching them how to sleep and eat at normal times? It's not cruel, it's a service to them. A gift even. And I'm a much happier mamma and productive person when I've had my sleep as well. That makes me a better parent in the long run. (Please know, I do not think I am a better parent than those who do not schedule! What I mean is that I know myself, and I make better parenting decisions when I an well rested versus when I'm sleep deprived.)   

My heart goes out to the new mom at church, who looks tired and haggard with her 3 week-old newborn, but then still tired and haggard with her 3 month old infant. I especially feel for the crunchy mom, who has invested lots of energy into the empowering natural birth she desired. She is then told by the natural-birth community that in order to love your baby well you must sleep with him, feed on demand, wear him, and never let him cry. This is so sad to me! It's too much pressure.

If you are a crunchy mama, and considering Baby Wise, I urge you to read the book, and I double urge you to find a friend who parents this way and pick their brain. A little support goes a long way! Of course you can love your child without scheduling them. Absolutely. But life is so much happier when you do!

Joelle
I have 2 daughters, ages 3 1/2 Years and 9 Months.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Benefits in Travel

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We have just traveled to Italy from Los Angeles. I have two boys. Nico age 3 and Marco 11 months. I did Babywise with both boys however boy #1 adapted perfectly and to this day, is very predictable and totally content with a schedule. Baby number 2, a different story. He has fought me from day 1! Ha ha. But by 4 1/2 months was finally sleeping 6pm to 6:30am. Anyway, I was quite nervous for the journey over here. I am happy to report, my 3 yr old has adapted perfectly and has maintained his same routine as home. Still napping and sleeping through the night. I know I owe this to BW. He is very happy and rested and enjoying his vacation! Now, baby #2, not so much. He's still fighting and I'm going back to the full feedings and routine. He's happy but not as happy as if he were getting his sleep! Since summer is here and vacations are underway, I thought I'd share that having a BW baby makes time changes and changing environments WAY easier. My 3 yr old even slept 8 hours on the airplane. I'm a super fan and am happy we made the decision to BW our kiddos

And an update: baby #2 is now back to sleeping through the night. It took 3-4 nights to adjust

Lauren

From Confused to Confident

The other week while I had family in town there were 12 young children sleeping at my house, four of whom were age one and under.  All of them went to sleep easily and early, and none of them had issues with night wakings. Now, if you’ve been around a lot of young children you know this doesn’t just happen! While each of the parents certainly had their own way of doing things and didn’t keep with everything Babywise, the main ideas of the book were followed.  Sleep isn’t always perfect (because there will always be bumps along the road), but most of the time it is pretty great (for the children AND their parents).

It’s been almost 7 years since I first read Babywise and me and my children (ages 6, 4, and 4 months) have come a long way.  At first, I think Babywise actually made things harder for me. I had a very spirited, colicky baby who did not go ‘by the book’. I lacked confidence and knowledge and was unable to figure out what parenting approach meshed best with me and my family. I also had high expectations and would get upset or stressed when my baby or me wasn’t able to live up to these. In retrospect, I think a lot of my issues were a result of me not implementing Babywise in the best way—something that Valerie’s blog has helped many people to improve upon.

Over time, I’ve learned what kind of parenting approach works best for me (it involves some of the Babywise approach, but not all) and I’ve gotten much better at implementing it. I’m not so cut and dry with my parenting like I used to be (which led to many of my issues early on), my expectations have changed (not necessarily lessened, they’re just different) and I’ve learned to go with the flow much better. If my child takes a short nap, I don’t spend the next hour stressing over what caused the short nap or how I’m going to get my daily schedule back in order. If my child throws a fit I'm not horror stricken. I also realize that it’s OK that some things that work for other people may not always necessarily work or be best for me and my family.

Today, I absolutely love and enjoy taking care of my children. I adore all the quirky things they do and say, and I love watching them learn. Sure, they drive me half insane sometimes, but most of the time I feel like I am thriving rather than surviving. And I think they’d say the same thing about themselves too.  Being a parent is truly an amazing thing. It can take some time and practice and, in my case, a lot of self-reflection, to get to a point where you feel (mostly) confident about how you are doing things, but when you get there, it is an awesome thing.


Rachel Rowell from myBabySleepGuide.com

Twins and Babywise

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When my husband and I brought home our twins last year it was pretty chaotic. Being new parents we were overwhelmed with the thought of taking care of two babies. Everything I read with twins said the key was to get them on the same schedule…. However, I had no clue how to do that. Enter Babywise. We started doing Babywise when they were around 6 or 8 weeks old. My son was in the NICU for 2 weeks after their birth, and they had him on a 3 hour schedule, so we were able to just continue that when we brought him home. Then we gradually got my daughter on that same schedule. We started implementing a regular bedtime (at first it was 7:30, then it got moved up to 7), and did a dreamfeed around 10pm. We only did the dreamfeed for about 2 weeks and at about 10 weeks they started sleeping through the night and have never looked back!  We also worked hard at making sure they had a regular nap routine during the day which I believe helped a lot. Sure, there have been ups and downs-  random night waking here and there, short naps, etc., etc. but we stuck to it and made it through. It’s nice to have a “baseline” to return to. People say we are “lucky” to have such good sleepers. Sure, maybe luck is part of it- but I also know that the hard work we put into it was also a big part of it.  Our son and daughter are now 16 months old and are happy and healthy. Their development is at an 18 month level and they were born a month early!  I recommend Babywise to any of my friends who are expecting and always tell them they can modify it to what they are comfortable with- i.e. I wasn’t comfortable with crying it out longer than 10 minutes. Obviously though, it still worked! If we decide to have a third baby, I’ll be going back to Babywise Book 1 but will start it right after birth this time.

I also want to thank Val for such a great blog. It has been my reference point so many times during the past year!!

 “MK”

Roadmap for Discipline

Babywise helped give me a roadmap for discipline. Instead of just wandering around the house saying "do this, don't do that, stop, no, please stop, noooo!" I felt confident in teaching my children obedience. Also, Babywise gave some basic parameters that helped me determine what expectations were even appropriate. 

The principles of Babywise also helped me realize that while my children have free will, I am the one in charge. I've learned to train and discipline without tyranny or domination, but through the use of consequences and in a healthy mother/child relationship. 

Rachel

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Roomtime Success

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I have a 27 month old girl and a boy due in about a week.

For the first 13 months of DD's life we lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. I did playpen time with her, but it was limited in its effectiveness because she could see me. Still she did fairly well being content to play there. When she was 15 months old and we were settled in our own house where she had her own room, I implemented room time  

I took her into her room and got out some toys. I showed her how to play with them and got her settled. Then I left. I would leave her for 5 minutes, and she would cry at the door the whole time. Then it got to the point where when I would take her to her room and get out the toys she would run out the door and refuse to stay and play even if I was there because she knew what was coming.

I knew I needed a different approach. So I would tell her, "It's time to play in your room now," take her hand, and lead her to the bedroom. She became so much more willing to go and stay with that one little change! I realized I needed to respect her and explain what was going to happen. Then I would show her the toys and ask her to give me a hug goodbye. Then I would tell her I was leaving and tell her when I would be back. Even though she couldn't tell time I would tell her I would be back in 5 minutes. She would still cry at the door but she wouldn't try to run away anymore. Then I upped it to 10 minutes to give her a chance to get over it and play. It seemed 5 minutes wasn't long enough to settle down in. I did this once or twice a day and once she started playing even a little I quickly increased it to 15 then 30 minutes. 

In only a little more than a week she would happily stay for 30 minutes, though she would usually stand by the door near the end of that time waiting to get out. At 17 months old (probably before that--I don't remember exactly when) she wouldn't cry at all and when I would say "it's time to play in your room" she would walk there herself with me. I didn't have to carry her or hold her hand. She gave me a hug goodbye and never even whimpered. 

Around 18 months old we had some trouble again. We had taken a week-long trip, so she hadn't had room time for that week. That could have been part of the problem or it could have just been due to being 18 months old. She would cry and scream and cling to me when I would try to leave. After I would leave she would stop crying before too long but refused to play. She just stood at the door the whole time.  She got to the point where she would stop crying if we told her "no fussy" from outside the door, but that whole time she wouldn't play, just sit beside the door. It was a month before she didn't cry when I would leave. I started leaving a book or a toy right next to the door since I knew she wouldn't leave the door. At least that way she would have something to play with there. I also started playing music for her. I'm not sure if it helped or not, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try.

Things started going better, and at nearly 20 months old there was a real improvement. One day when I told her it was time to play in her room. I went with her and got out her toys. She stood holding the door and said "bye-bye" and as soon as I walked out she shut the door herself! That had never happened. She had a good time playing in there for a long time too. At some point I went up to an hour of room time a day, probably around this age.

Sometimes she still complains about it if I'm not consistent enough, but continuing with room time is so beneficial in many ways. I don't use it as discipline for a bad attitude, but on days where she is cranky I notice a big difference in her attitude after she had room time. It helps her disposition so much to have some time alone playing. Also, I work at home as a medical transcriptionist (you can read about what I do on my website: http://successworkingathome.weebly.com/what-is-medical-transcription.html), and room time is such a nice chunk of time to be able to work uninterrupted for a while!

Janice

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