Friday, July 22, 2016

Babywise Success Stories Week Grand Finale

I have loved reading the different success stories this week! This is one of my favorite weeks of the year--I love hearing from real people who use Babywise and how it has improved their lives. To wrap up the week, here are some comments from my Facebook page this week:

Jerusha said I demand fed my baby girl for 6 weeks and we were both miserable! She cried all the time, she wouldnt sleep, I was feeding her whenever she wanted and she had terrible stomach pains. A nurse came to my home and asked me all sorts of questions about what I was doing and how I was feeding her. I told her I was demand feeding and explained what was happening. The nurse listened and then told me the reason my daughter was in so much pain and crying all the time was because I was demand feeding her and her little tummy wasn't getting a break and time to digest properly. The nurse said I needed to get her on a 3 hourly schedule! I was shocked! This advice was completely opposite to everything I had been told. But I was desperate, and my baby girl was miserable. So I tired it. I remembered my sister inlaw giving me a book called Babywise and it was about scheduling feeds or something. I read the whole book as soon as I could and started to implement the suggestions straight away. It completely made sense. At first I was apprehensive because she had been feeding nearly every hour, so I gradually moved the time between feedings back little by little. My daughter thrived!! She was taking full feedings and went from below the 25th percentile in height and weight to the 90th percentile in six weeks. She had no pain! and was sleeping! I finally got to bond with my precious baby girl and she was so happy, we both were. I have reread babywise countless times since then and have followed the Babywise principles from that day on with my daughter and then my son and we love it!

Kelli saidBabywise was the only way i made it through (and loved) having my 2 kids 15 months apart. When my daughter was born, my son still took 2 naps and did an hour of independent playtime, giving me lots of time to focus on full feeds and getting to know her sleep cues. Now they're 4.5 and 3 and they both do 1 hour independent playtime several times a week, sleep 10-11 hours at night and nap 1.5-2 hours! (My 4.5 doesn't nap every day, usually 3-4 times per week, quiet time in his bed the other days) 
I'm a planner, so I loved having a schedule, and i still love it. :)

Christine said We love Babywise! Our 18 month old now tells us when it's time for bed (6:45 on the dot!), walks himself into his room and puts his arms up to get into his crib. Sleeps a solid 12 hours every night and takes a great afternoon nap. I listen to stories of parents/children who struggle with bedtime/sleeping in solid stretches and always think of how much of a blessing Babywise has been for us. Our evenings are so easy and our son is such a happy toddler!

Rochelle saidWe have 14mo twins and another on the way. Babywise was so hard at first because I didn't know if it would be worth it. It is hard! But I can say it is 100% worth it. My girls are great sleepers, and I know that came from a lot of hard work. It came from consistency, knowing when to let them cry for a bit and when to intervene, routines, and working in a little flexibility. They are generally happy, calm, cooperative, curious, and are able to concentrate on things. It was great for me because I knew when they would need to eat and sleep so we could plan accordingly. It really is a lot of work, but it is so worth it! I am not anxious for this next baby, because I've seen how well babywise works with our twins! They now have independent play in their room for about an hour in the mornings and people are always amazed that they can do that. It gives me time to get ready, do some chores, etc. so that I'm not trying to do everything when they want to be playing with me.

Jolene saidThere have been many times, since we have been doing Babywise (specifically schedule, CIO, and independent play), miscellaneous random challenges were made much easier (flight delays, sickness, surgery...)!! Baby knew what to expect, was so much calmer knowing I would feed him when it was time, was fine playing on his own if I needed him to do extra, etc.)

Natalie saidI have a 3.5 year old and an 11 week old. Babywise absolutely has saved my sanity over the years and I cannot imagine parenting without it! I initially read the book when my first baby was 4 weeks old after a recommendation from a friend who told me her babies slept through the night at 8 weeks thanks to Babywise. While my initial hope was just for an 8 hour stretch of sleep again before my child turned one, I've found over the years that putting your kids on a schedule ASAP truly sets them up for success as far as temperament and behavior. My daughter is and has always been so affable and well-behaved and I truly believe it's because she A) gets enough sleep! and B), always knows what to expect. Children are comforted and reassured by routines and it helps mold them into even-keeled and surprisingly more flexible little humans. 

Implementing Babywise with #2 has looked much different, but I'm determined to see it through because I know what a difference it makes it overall. With time it becomes less about sleeping through the night (though that is a huge plus) and more about creating an environment that allows your children to thrive.

Kat said Babywise success as per usual! 3rd time around!!

Shannon saidStarting my baby on an Eat-Play-Sleep cycle as early as 1 month of age and establishing a consistent start time to our day really set us up for success! Our little one is 8 months old now :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Tale of Two Brothers

by Emily 
We have three boys: 3.5 years, 21 months, and 5 weeks old.

Before our first child was born in 2012, a friend of mine told me about Babywise and how well it had worked for her family. I bought the book, read it, and decided that we were going to give it a try. There were two main reasons why it appealed to me. First, I knew NOTHING about taking care of a newborn and I loved that it gave me a plan and an idea of what my baby would need and should be doing. Also, I have always loved and needed my sleep - and I really really REALLY wanted to get that back as soon as possible after baby arrived! I had heard too many horror stories about post-baby sleep deprivation, and I didn’t want to put us through that if at all possible.

Boy #1 was born, and though it took us some time to figure out HOW to implement Babywise and get him on a schedule (this blog was super helpful then!), he ended up being an easy, happy, mostly-textbook baby. We never had to do CIO and he took almost everything in stride with little or no fussing. Granted, he didn’t STTN till 4 months old, (which is a little late per Babywise) but I believed then - and still do - that it was simply because he was a big, hungry boy and really needed to eat.

Then boy #2 came along, and he was the polar opposite of his brother in every way. He would scream and cry inconsolably for hours on end. He wouldn’t sleep anywhere except in his bouncy seat, and that only after an hour (or more) of us bouncing him. Every little change seemed to bother him. After lots of trial and error we figured out that he was sensitive to dairy, and when I cut that out of my diet he became much happier. But still - he was a chronic 45-minute napper (until past a year old!) and could never seem to roll with the punches like his brother did. It wasn’t until 14 months that I could say with confidence that he was consistently sleeping through the night! And yet - I still consider him to be a Babywise success. Why? Because, though it took much longer than *they* say it should, we taught him, eventually, to self-soothe and to sleep on his own. It took SO much more work than our first child, partially because of his sensitive personality and partially because he just didn’t (and doesn’t) need as much sleep. But even when he was only doing 45 minute naps and not STTN, he still would go down for naps awake, fall asleep on his own, and sleep in his own bed. Those are small successes right there.
And now, at 21 months, he sleeps great. Not as long as some kids, but he goes down happy; it takes us a grand total of about 5 minutes to put him and his brother to bed at night (less, for naptime); he sleeps in his own bed; he wakes up happy; and he still takes one afternoon nap a day. Those are all successes that many people don’t have, and I know he would have been a MUCH harder baby without the routine and consistency that Babywise gave us.

Now we are working on figuring out boy #3, but I am confident that he too will (eventually) learn to sleep well, as his brothers did. :)

My word of advice: don’t be discouraged if your baby doesn’t follow the timelines that Babywise gives. You CAN still use it, and benefit from it, even with a difficult child who seems like he will never *get* it. Let me tell you, STTN late is a whole lot better than never! And later, when they are toddlers, you will be glad you persevered.

Babywise Promotes The Family

To be honest, it is difficult to choose just one story of success for Babywise. I have four kids (8, 5,4, and 19 months) and we were on board with Babywise before we even got pregnant. I had watched several families who kids were so well-rounded and happy and SLEPT so well, that I said “I’m doing what they’re doing.”

One of the things I love most about it, is that Babywise promotes the family as a unit. It talks about how a new baby should fit in and be a part of the family, but the family should not revolve around just one member. Even though at times, other family members may have to may sacrifices for another member (especially a new baby), decisions are made for the good of the whole family. One example of this is school drop-offs and pick-ups. During the school year, I have to adjust nap schedules around school pick-ups.  For us, it means starting baby’s day earlier than I think they would naturally so that I can ultimately start afternoon naps earlierin order to pick up the older kids on time for school.  Another example is Church. We don’t hibernate for months at a time after a baby is born. While we are pretty schedule focused, we have decided for our family that church is a greater priority, and best for the whole family, than a good schedule is on Sundays. So we make that sacrifice.

 Babywise has served our family so well because we decided to make it work for us. We have put in the work and have reaped the benefits. I continue to recommend Babywise to all Mamas and their families because it has been so helpful to us.

Read more from Carrie at .

Babywise Brings Order

by Brooke Arevalo
Mom to Alynne, 2.5 & Fynnlan, 8 months; Husband: Ron

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, I read so many parenting books and
articles. I’ll admit, at first I was just merely trying to see if there was a way to get my future child
to sleep as much as possible. I used to sleep until noon every weekend and getting to work at 9
was a struggle for me! As I began more research, I quickly realized that beyond my selfish
desires to be well rested, there was an actual method, and great benefits, to getting your baby
to sleep through the night early on. I know many people believe children will naturally learn to
fall asleep on their own, and I completely agree. They will certainly do this, but at what age? In
the same way I encouraged and pushed my 2 year old daughter to learn how to use the potty on
her own, I encouraged her as a baby to sleep through the night. Though she was not showing
“signs” of being ready to potty train, I knew she was capable. Within 2 days, she was trained
and hasn’t looked back. Of course, if we hadn’t pushed her, I’m sure she would have figured it
out on her own someday. And the same goes for our babywise efforts. After a week of sleep
training, both of our children have slept 12 hour stretches from 3-4 months on.

With the arrival of our second child, we saw immense benefits of babywise as we learned to
manage life with two. My oldest, was very easy to manage because she had a very predictable
routine and schedule, but until we began our sleep training efforts with our baby, it was a bit
chaotic in our house. As the baby got older, I saw that naturally his sleeping was getting worse.
Ironically, though I love my sleep dearly, I wasn’t concerned with waking up 5+ times a night
with him, the days were worse. During the days, he would wake up mid-nap and need to be
held the rest of the nap. While I did enjoy the cuddles, every time he woke up, it meant screen
time for my oldest while I tried to keep her quiet, or it meant I was working and typing one-
handed while I tried to multitask my workload. We quickly realized this was not sustainable for
anyone in our family. At 12 weeks old, we started sleep training, and after only 2 days of it, he
was taking 1.5+ hour naps and sleeping through the night!

I know there is no one correct way to parent, (and I have plenty of friends who would never
dream of parenting in this fashion!), but we have seen the benefits Babywise has brought to our
home. It might be tough in the beginning, but habits are much easier to fix at 3 months than 3

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Babywise Success in Australia

From Keryn

As a pregnant mother-to-be there came a point when reading and preparing for birth shifted over to reading and preparing for looking after a newborn baby. My sister and cousin had had such great success with Babywise that when the book was passed on to me I was eager and ready to take on board all the advice I could get. I think I read it three times before my son was even born.

Mikhail is now 11 months old and a happy, healthy sleeper who loves nap times and bedtime. When other parents complain about their child’s sleeping difficulties, often with babies who still haven’t had a full night’s unbroken sleep at the age of two, I really feel for them. Mikhail didn’t sleep through until 11 weeks of age, and in that short time the effects of disrupted sleep had a consuming effect on my overall wellbeing. I cannot imagine that scenario continuing for months or years, as it has for many of my friends.

The road to happy healthy sleep seems easy in retrospect, but there were many points at which I had no idea which way to go. The 45 minute intruder! Early wakings; transitioning from 4 to 3 to 2 naps; learning to roll over and not being able to settle. These things came up, and at the time they seem like permanent problems and I would tear my hair out in panic. It was at these points that I found the Babywise Mom blog absolutely invaluable. There were practical, workable options to try, and it was so reassuring that I wasn’t the only one dealing with these sleep interruptions. Most of all, it was a relief to learn that I hadn’t ‘done something wrong’ or created a bad sleeper. And, sure enough, we would work through each problem in a day or two and be back to happy sleep.

That path is not so easy to navigate for a first time mum (no ‘moms’ in Australia!), especially in the first few months when I was reading Babywise alongside other books that advocated highly scheduled 4 hour sleep routines. The blog helped me to let go of those routines, which really didn’t work for Mikhail at all, and feel ok about devising my own routines to suit his development. It saved my sanity, and it worked so much better for him.

Despite what friends post on social media about the detrimental effects of ‘controlled crying’ associated with self-settling, I’ve found that Mikhail has hardly cried much at all. We followed Babywise from the beginning, and he cried for a minute or so before each day sleep until he was 6 weeks old. Now if he’s over-tired he might cry for 30 seconds or a minute, then settle off to a good long sleep.

Some babies have sleepier dispositions than others; Mikhail is not a naturally sleepy baby, so it is our approach to sleep that has created these healthy sleep habits for him. I receive many comments about how lucky I am to have a good sleeper. I have to be careful how I respond to those comments, as I know that it is not luck at all.

Telling people how we have taught him to sleep so well and happily is fraught with difficulty. If people ask me how we’ve done it, I tell them and pass on the book. If they don’t ask, I don’t tell. I believe every parent I know is doing what they believe is best for their family and children, but it does seem that the advocates for never letting a baby cry are quite zealous about their approach, which I find intimidating. Some of the parents I passed on the book to, however, had great success helping their ‘bad sleepers’ learn to sleep well. I tend to recommend that people speak to those friends if their babies are having a lot of trouble and they’re not confident to teach them to self-settle. Because I followed Babywise from the beginning I don’t share a lot of their experiences, and it’s great for them to hear it from people who’ve been in the same position as them.

Now, at 11 months of age, I have a happy, settled baby who loves spending time with different people and happily goes to sleep whether I am there or not. This has enabled me to go back to work without worry, and for him to develop very close bonds with his father and grandmother as well as me. He has a very predictable life with regular meals and naptimes and consistent discipline from all of his carers, making him confident and happy, and able to deal with minor disruptions such as travel because life always goes back to ‘normal’.

I have never joined an online chat or commented on a blog, but I am so grateful to those who have contributed to the Babywise Mom blog and comments, as what I have learnt in that forum has made the difficult role of being a parent and having a baby such a joyful experience. As Mikhail grows and develops I feel reassured knowing the Babywise community is out there with tips to get us through the various stages as we go.

Babywise and Adoption

I have 3 children, ages 7, 5 and almost 2 years old. They are all essentially Babywise babies from birth. All of my children were adopted at birth. My youngest was a very unexpected adoption that happened within the span of 2.5 weeks. As in, we went from being a family of 4, starting our first year of homeschooling our then 5 and 3 year old daughters to adopting our first son in a city 2.5 hours away from home!

Our son had a lot of health concerns at birth and spent the first 4 weeks of his life in the NICU. That time in our family was extremely chaotic as we had the stress of the adoption on top of the health concerns with our new son on top of being separated from our daughters for a month while we sat by our son’s side in the NICU.

Once we brought our son home, I was so relieved to finally have all members of our family under one roof, but the chaos did not go away anytime soon. Our son required round-the-lock constant care and attention to the point that it was not possible for me to care for all three of my children on my own. Fortunately, we had help and support from family in those first several months.

The Babywise principles were already ingrained in my older children, so it was not difficult to keep the basics of their routine and schedules in place. Because our lives were turned upside down during that time, I had to just survive off the basics of Babywise and a lot of prayer!

Looking back, it was enough, because my 5 and 3 year olds were at least eating, sleeping and playing in a semi-orderly manner while our family was dealing with the chaos that came from caring for a special needs newborn. I remember specifically thinking during that time, “What if the girls were not sleeping well? I would lose my mind.”

It was about 3 months before I could attempt to manage all 3 kids alone. I had implemented as best I could the basics of Babywise with my son. I was feeding him every 3 hours (or sooner if he was hungry earlier! Surprise! Surprise! Babywise mamas don’t deny their hungry babies food.), attempting a nap after an appropriate waketime and beginning his day at the same time every morning so we could fall into a good routine eventually.

It took many months (actually, over a year) for our family to fall into a good groove with 3 children. I think part of that was just the going from 2 to 3 children transition - for many, apparently, that is the hardest transition. It certainly was for me! Another part of it was our son’s special needs in that first year and him going through surgery at 6 months old. His little body had a lot of healing to do that first year.

When he was 18 months old, I knew we had made it through that rough season. And, for a third time, Babywise had given our children the stability they needed to grow and thrive. Our oldest two children got through that time because they had a good Babywise foundation. The first year of my son’s life, I implemented Babywise as much as I could and when I could. Now at almost 2 years old, he sleeps 12 hours at night and takes a 3 hour nap!

This is a testimony to the fact that holding your baby when they need to be held does not “spoil” them at all. Those first 3 months, he was in my arms more than he was in a crib. He needed me to hold him because he was in pain. Even still, I was working on Babywise with him, little by little, as I could and as he could handle. Little by little, he started sleeping more and more in his crib and because I was doing the foundational principles of Babywise with him (feeding every 3 hours, starting his day at the same time every morning, doing whatever I had to do to get him to sleep when it was sleep time), he is a Babywise baby just like my other two children and our whole family reaps those benefits today!

He had very short waketimes and didn’t drop his morning nap until I forced him to drop it at 21 months old (because we are about to adopt again and I needed to transition him to his new 1 nap schedule before the baby is born!). In other words, he loves his sleep and slept way longer than even the average for a Babywise baby his age. I firmly believe all the sleep he got (and still gets) helped him heal from everything he endured in utero. He has made remarkable progress from a baby that was born blue and nearly died at birth had the hand of God and a team of brave paramedics not come to his rescue on the night he was born.

Babywise works. I think the key is using the brain God gave you to implement it. It is a tool that you can use to bring consistency and predictability to your baby’s life. It is not a rule book that must be followed to a T because every baby is a unique individual.

Babywise has worked 3 times for us and I am excited to once again use these principles to bring stability and predictability to another baby!

Twinning Babywise

My name is Cole, and I am mom to 4 children: Vera (3.5), Abel (1.5), and twins Mercedes and Samuel (7 weeks).
My sister in law gave me a copy of Babywise before I had my first child. I read it at some point during my pregnancy and it made sense, but truthfully I was more concerned with finishing the nursery than contemplating infant sleep, so by the time I delivered I had completely forgotten about it. Vera arrived and was absolutely the worst-case-scenario newborn. I’m certain that babies like her are the reason they have safe surrender sites. She came out of me screaming and oh my goodness she just never stopped. It was horrible. I remember sobbing after her 2 week doctor’s appointment because he told me that infants needed around 16-19 hours of sleep per day and Vera was getting 6-8 hours maximum. She was content to nurse (a great eater from the start), but otherwise spent 10-12 hours a day crying. She cried in the swing, she cried in the car seat, she cried in my arms. She just cried. All.Day.Long. I wanted to jump out a window! Anyway, at some point I remembered that little old book my sister in law had given me, and I cracked it open and began reading. It changed my life. Within a few weeks of implementing Babywise she was regularly napping during the day and falling asleep after night feedings easily. At five and a half months she slept through the night 7pm-7am. With adequate sleep brought a MUCH happier baby who didn’t cry all the time. It was a revolutionary change!
Vera has turned out to be an extremely strong willed child, presenting all sorts of challenges along the way, and I am absolutely convinced that if I wasn’t able to get her sleep under control, she would still be a mess at age 3. I definitely would not have had any more children, and the life with 4 kids that I now love so much wouldn’t exist! Abel, my second, was naturally an easier baby – but with Babywise he also thrived, adapting easily to the schedule and routine that I already had going with Vera. This made the transition from one child to two very, very easy. 
Four years and four kids after I first read On Becoming Babywise, I am still a huge proponent. There are plenty of sleep methods out there – some work, some probably don’t. Some work for some families but not for others. Because I like structure (and I’d argue that most babies/children do too), Babywise is a good fit for me and my family. Having twins brought with it a lot of unknowns, but I am comforted by the plan, routine, and organization that Babywise gives me. I have the confidence that the twins will eventually sleep through the night (and probably relatively soon!) and that they will fall into a napping schedule just like my other kids did. This phase of tiredness I’m in is just that – a phase – and with Babywise I can rest assured that it will be over soon and I will be back to my normal, well-rested self. What a gift!
Cole blogs at Twinning Babywise.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Babywise Success- 2 year old son and 5 month old twin daughters

by Kimberly

I am a Babywise quitter.  Yep, I said it.  I started with it when my son was born, then quit for a few months.  I was a first time mom looking for a way to learn how to do this parenting thing.  I knew I wanted to have a baby on some sort of schedule, but I didn't know how to make that happen.  I didn't know how much sleep a baby needed.  I didn't know about wake times.  I didn't know overtired babies sleep less.  I googled and started trying some of what I found from Babywise.  (No, I didn't read the book, just websites.)  Then I googled more and saw all the backlash against it.  Seriously, to a sleep deprived first time mom it sounded like I was going to ruin my child.  I backed off right away.  And you know what?  For a few months that was fine.  I had no real routine for my child.  I found some things that worked.  I found if I fed my son at the same time every morning the rest of the day fell into place a bit more.  I learned that a good bedtime routine didn't have to be too long, just consistent.  I noticed my son did well with a good eat, play, sleep pattern.  We still didn't have a solid enough schedule for my taste.  I decided to take another look at Babywise.  I actually read the book this time.

You know what?  The things I found to work best were exactly what Babywise told me to do.  Have a consistent morning wake time.  Use the eat, play, sleep routine.  Look for hunger cues and sleepy cues.  All the things I read about that said Babywise was so terrible just weren't there.  The book never told me not to feed my child if he was hungry.  It never told me to use the clock as my master for my day.  No, it gave me tools to shape our day in a way that benefited my son and my husband and me.  With the suggestions from Babywise I was able to really get nap times down.  (I was blessed with a good nighttime sleeper, so no real issues there.)  My son, who was doing well, did even better!  He was well fed, rested, and happy.  We had a predictable routine which enabled us to get out and do things.

When I got pregnant again I wasn't too worried, I knew I was going to follow the Babywise ideas I had used with Ben.  Then we found out we were having twins.  We heard, "Get those twins on a schedule!"  "You are going to need a solid routine from the start!"  "You are going to need to schedule those babies!" from everyone!  Seriously, it was usually the first thing people told us.  Almost everything I googled about twins said to get the babies on a consistent routine right from the start.  My own doctor said a solid routine would benefit my children.  I found this very interesting.  I mean, it was completely my plan to get my girls into a routine as soon as possible.  I had success with Babywise with my son, and I knew I would use those tools again.  But why is it when people have one baby, the thought of scheduling such a little person is almost frowned upon.  You are told that scheduling feedings will ruin a mom's breast milk supply.  The baby will grow stressed from being taught how to fall asleep on their own.  The baby will be malnourished and dehydrated.  Yet even medical professionals told me to get my twins on a schedule as soon as possible.  The double standard just doesn't make sense to me.   

Another thing we got a lot of was horror stories about having twins, especially since we already had a two year old.  I was a little worried about how things would go.  I assumed sleep would be a thing of the past.  I joked with my husband that someone in our house would always be crying.  I seriously thought the first six months (at least) would be chaos.  You know what?  They haven't been!  It has not been nearly as crazy as I thought it would be.  Part of that is that we have been blessed with babies who are pretty happy and easy going.  But a big part of that is Babywise.

Using the Babywise tools I have been able to build schedules that work for my twin girls and my two year old son.  Consistent wake times let me get my son up before the girls every day.  Starting the day with some one on one time does wonders for his behavior the rest of the day.  My son gets independent play time while the girls have their first nap, giving me a chance to have time to get things done.  All three of my children nap at the same time in the afternoon.  Consistent feeding times means we can get out of the house, knowing my girls won't be needing to eat while we are out.  (Yes, I am able to nurse twins!  Babywise did not hurt my supply at all.)  I am able to spend evenings with my husband, as the children have a good bedtime routine down.  And yes, despite having three kids under three, we sleep.  Everyone does so much better with enough sleep, so the whole family is happier with a consistent routine.

I love the idea that a new baby fits into a family, the family doesn't just revolve around the baby.  Well, in our case two new babies fit into the family.  I feel that the information I have gotten out of Babywise has really helped our family thrive.  It takes effort to get a good schedule going, I'm not going to lie and say everything has been easy.  But here we are, my twins just barely six months old, and we have a real, workable schedule that meets the needs of three children and two adults.  I am so glad that I came back to Babywise.  

Practice, Persistence, and Patience – How the Letter “P” Equals Babywise Success

By Ashley Bellis
Mother to a 3 year old son and a newborn son

Last year I wrote a Babywise success story. It praised the “system” and highlighted the lowlights of sleep training (ie: crying, frustration, my personal crying, and additional frustration.) Yea, those tears and frustrations are short-lived! As I write this in late June, I am just about nine months pregnant. I have gone through the wheel of nausea, pains, sleeplessness, and emotional and energy drains. To say that I have been off my normal game is an understatement! My almost three-year-old toddler has been so patient with my lack of parenting gusto. Part of what has kept me going has been the fact that I get three hours to myself every afternoon, and I know that nighttime will be peaceful (barring illness, of course). I have spoken with and read about other parents whose children have ditched consistent sleeping months ago. My son is still going strong. Why? Here’s the scoop.

I played varsity volleyball in high school and I love the thrill of the game. Practice on the other hand wasn’t as fun. Scrimmages were fun, but drills, repetitive drills, repetitive serving, and repetitive stair climbing were all but fun. But all of that hard work equaled a better-skilled game player. This is so true with Babywise and sleep training! When my son was four months old, in the throes of sleep regression, I was tempted to throw the proverbial book out the window and just survive. We opted to stick with our plan and kept following our practiced routine. We had a written schedule, a goal, a light at the end of the tunnel. We put our games faces on and stuck to it! Keep practicing the goal. Practice winning. Practice every waketime, every feeding, every bed/naptime routine. Practice practicing. Whatever you do, don’t assume the worst just because of one defeat. Keep practicing for victory and victory will come.

This is as much attitude as it is action. It is a sibling of the aforementioned “Practice.” It is necessary for Babywise success. If I gave up every time my son woke early or refused to go to sleep on time, I wouldn’t be writing this. I’m not the most self-controlled person, and being a self-controlled mama is a major challenge for me. Sleep training is hard, even harder than wrangling in a toddler’s temper tantrum. (Stories for another day…) When the night before has been rough, and the first nap is looking flaky, and every living creature in the house is miserably tired, keep forging ahead. I absolutely love the Babywise concept of continuing as you mean to go on. There will be days in Babywise-Land where you have to survive and your idealistic expectations will be broken. But at the beginning of each new eat/wake/sleep cycle, continue as you mean to go on. Adjust if adjustment is necessary, and then continue as you mean to go on. Keep practicing your goal, and keep your attitude persistent. All of us Babywise parents have experienced the exhaustion and frustration, and we all have the persistence to see through these temporary rough patches!

Be patient in your expectations; success will not be immediate. When I was fighting multi-daily battles with the 45-minute intruder and someone said, “One day your son will sleep for three hours every afternoon,” I would have laughed obnoxiously in their face. My son wasn’t even sleeping for an hour, let alone three! But I had unrealistic expectations. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that my newborn/infant/toddler wasn’t an adult. He couldn’t understand why I wanted him to sleep. My expectations were based on scientific research, statistics, others’ success stories, and pictures of happy infants sleeping with smiles on their faces. Apparently my son didn’t have access to those sources while in the womb. Please take it from me, that it is going to take time to get to your ideal. It may take a few weeks to see glimpses of hope. Be patient with yourself. You will make mistakes and unintentionally ruin your child’s chance of good sleep. I just had to adjust when my son went down for nap because he was refusing to sleep. This was due to my slacking off and putting him down too late. Be patient with your child, because your child doesn’t have any degrees in sleep training or any experience with how refreshed they will feel after a good nap. Be patient with the nay-sayers who think you’re crazy for doing Babywise. The success you taste will be oh so sweet! Be patient, dear mama, trying to keep your family’s life together.

As tempting as it is to think Babywise is a science, I have found it to be more of an art. Scientific minds (ie: detail-oriented people) are drawn to it, but there are many fine brushstrokes that need to be adjusted before you see your masterpiece. Practice your masterpiece, develop an attitude of persistence, and be patient as you see the various pieces coming together. You will be surprised by the beauty of your end result.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Babywise Success Can Come in Small Victories

I think we sometimes look at the term "success" and think success is only when we have fully arrived somewhere. We have a perfect sleeping baby. Our days are 100% predictable and never vary. Our children never so much as pout the bottom lip they are so respectful. "Yes mom!" comes every time and we never hear a "I will" or "I know" or "what?" and for sure never silence in response! Success, we believe, means perfection.

But let's be real. Perfection is not a state that is really attainable in this life. We can have moments of perfection. Yes, that perfect nap day exists. Yes, we can have those days everyone is happy and kind toward each other. 

We also, however, have growth spurts. We have bad moods. We have sickness. We have family outings that disrupt routine for a few days. We have time change (grrr...). So while we can have moments of perfection, we do not have constant perfection. No one does. 

And so I want you to keep that in mind when reading success stories. I do this week so we can share with the world that yes, Babywise does have success! Yes we have happy, healthy children who sleep well, grow well, and meet milestones as they should. These success stories are commenting on moments of perfection. Sometimes they are stories about rising from the ashes. Sometimes they are the overall calm that permeates family life (you know, relative calm). Sometimes they are about having the tools to survive difficulties. Sometimes they are celebrating victories! We all still have normal life struggles, but Babywise has given us the tools to manage those struggles with more ease and confidence. 

For me, the biggest success story among my children in my mind is Brayden. And you know what? For the first six months of life, Brayden was my worst sleeper hands down. No contest. We started parenthood without Babywise. After a few weeks of that and our newborn baby fighting and refusing sleep most of the day (seriously, don't newborns sleep like babies?!?), we turned to this book I had heard about while pregnant. 

It was life changing. Almost immediately, he went to actually taking naps throughout each day. Hey, naps may have usually only been 45 minutes long, but the were naps. He slept! He went from waking up several times a night to waking up only once a night. Major success! 

He continued the short naps and once-a-night waking until almost 6 months old. That is pretty old in Babywise years, but I consider it a major success. I was on a different road with him, and I know Babywise is 100% to thank for that turn around. No doubt my girls all slept well because of Babywise, also, but I didn't see the two contrasting roads with them since we were firmly in place from the start. So my biggest success could also be looked at as my biggest failure in a different light. It will forever be, however, my best success story with Babywise. 

My children are now 11, 9, 7, and almost 4. I do not ever, for one second, regret our decision to follow Babywise with our babies. Not even a little bit. I would do it all over again. 

This week, I would love to see your success. Share a post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Hashtag #BabywiseSuccess in your stories. I will be on the lookout for them! 

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Friday, July 15, 2016


Katrina is wrapping up our BFBN stranger safety week talking about simple steps to keep her now roaming toddler safe while out and about. Those little ones do not need to be taught about "strangers" or "tricky people"--whatever your terminology may be. But they do need to be taught boundaries while out to keep them in a safe area. Katrina has four great ideas for helping establish safe habits to help keep her little one safe. 

The ladies of the BFBN are all taking a turn this week to talk about the importance of teaching your children how to stay safe. Here is the schedule:

Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
Tuesday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood 
Wednesday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright AND Natasha at Let's Be Brave
Thursday: Carrie at Wiley Adventures
Friday: Katrina at Mama's Organized Chaos

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Safety Questions To Ask When Your Child Gets Home {BFBN Week}

I feel like asking children a string of questions when they get home from somewhere is pretty standard for parents. Carrie is talking today about being mindful with those questions and making sure you ask the right questions to know if your child is having a positive and safe experience while gone. I love the idea of starting these simple questions while young so that when they are older, you can continue these questions and your child will think of them more as the inevitable and normal than like you don't trust your child to be safe. Read her posts on safety questions here. 

The ladies of the BFBN are all taking a turn this week to talk about the importance of teaching your children how to stay safe. Here is the schedule:

Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
Tuesday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood 
Wednesday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright AND Natasha at Let's Be Brave
Thursday: Carrie at Wiley Adventures
Friday: Katrina at Mama's Organized Chaos

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tricky People and Body Safety {BFBN Week}

The term "Tricky People" is a popular one these days for helping children distinguish between a stranger who is a danger and a stranger they just don't know yet. 

Today's post is from Natasha, who is new to the BFBN! We are so excited to have her join us and offer a new and unique perspective to the BFBN. She is a foster mother who has children who clearly need to rely on strangers often just because of their life situation of being in the foster care system. Natasha shares a funny story of what can happen when you give a very literal child a set of rules to follow. You will want to check that out! Read her post on Tricky People here. 

The ladies of the BFBN are all taking a turn this week to talk about the importance of teaching your children how to stay safe. Here is the schedule:

Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
Tuesday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood 
Wednesday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright AND Natasha at Let's Be Brave
Thursday: Carrie at Wiley Adventures
Friday: Katrina at Mama's Organized Chaos

Teaching Stranger Danger to Two Year Olds {BFBN Week}

Teaching stranger danger to a two year old? How exactly do you go about that in a sane way? Kimberly from Team Cartwright has four simple steps for initiating the ability to talk "strangers" with your children. They are simple and basic. One I like is not forcing the child to hug others if they don't feel comfortable with it. I have seen that idea floating around for a while and I think it is very wise and simple. It is a way to give a young child the tools for safety without having to scare the child into being afraid of the people around him. 

The ladies of the BFBN are all taking a turn this week to talk about the importance of teaching your children how to stay safe. Here is the schedule:

Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
Tuesday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood 
Wednesday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright AND Natasha at Let's Be Brave
Thursday: Carrie at Wiley Adventures
Friday: Katrina at Mama's Organized Chaos

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

“Stranger Danger”: Balancing Awareness without Living in Fear {BFBN Week}

As parents, we want our children to be able to have some freedom but we also want to keep them safe. We want to teach them to be aware without making them scared to ever leave the house. We want them to believe us when we tell them they need to take precautions, but we don't want to give more "why" details than necessary. 

The ladies of the BFBN are all taking on the stranger topic this week. I started us off yesterday with 6 Rules for Keeping Children Safe from Strangers. Today Emily is continuing us on this topic with 6 rules to be able to be aware and be safe without being too scared to do anything. "Stranger Danger" can be paralyzing. Emily finds herself often wary of situations where she will face a stranger, but if you follow her at all, you know she definitely does not let that keep her locked up! She travels like crazy and is often out doing things. She has created these rules and strategies to help set herself up to be safe. That way she can go out with confidence and not be in a constant state of paranoia. 

Emily has had several sketchy run-ins, and she discusses those and why her rules have helped keep her and her children safe from strangers. Go check her post out to get more ideas on keeping your children safe. 

Also, don't forget to check out Prime Day today. This is a day Amazon offers tons of deals for Prime members. If you aren't a member, you can sign up for a free trial today so you can get the deals. (this is an affiliate link)

The ladies of the BFBN are all taking a turn this week to talk about the importance of teaching your children how to stay safe. Here is the schedule:

Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
Tuesday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood 
Wednesday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright AND Natasha at Let's Be Brave
Thursday: Carrie at Wiley Adventures
Friday: Katrina at Mama's Organized Chaos


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