Friday, November 27, 2009

The Blog...Reflections

I am not really one to celebrate "blogiversaries." Not that I am against it at all, it just doesn't really occur to me. I was just thinking that I started this blog in November two years ago. I looked what date my first post was, and I see it was November 20. SO...too late to celebrate on the exact day, but we are within the same month. I thought I would tell you a bit about the beginnings of this blog and take a little trip down memory lane. I know some of you have been around since the beginning, and others just found this blog today. Here is the story...

A little less than 2.5 years ago, I decided to look up information on Babywise online. I have no idea why it never occurred to me to do this before that, but it never had. Kaitlyn was two months old. It started with me searching for information about reflux since she had reflux, but I found that none of it really was applicable to me since I did Babywise. I wasn't having problems like others did out there. So I started looking around for Babywise and reflux.

Boy was I surprised! I basically only found negative information out there! I didn't understand that; I had never had issues with Babywise before. Through all of my searching, however, I did find a Yahoo! group for Babywise moms with babies born about the time of Kaitlyn. I was excited to be able to talk to other moms who did Babywise.

I quickly discovered that I was one of only a few moms who had more than one child, so rather than asking questions, I was answering them. Over the next five months, I started to answer the same questions over and over and over again. Any of you who have spent time in an online community know that is common--whether Babywise or not. I started saving some of the "stock" answers on my computer and would just paste the answers as the questions got asked again.


In the meantime, several of my friends started getting into blogging. They were just doing it to stay connected and keep each other updated on their lives. I thought that looked fun and started doing it, too. I started a family blog. About a month and a half later, it occurred to me one night that I should just create a Babywise blog and publish my "stock" answers on there. That was November 20, 2007. I started with a post about me, then over the next few days compiled and posted basic, common answers. These included information about reflux, swaddling, CIO, consistent schedules, and waketime when baby wakes early.

I put a few posts up, then the holidays came and I got busy with all that entails. About a month later, I remembered about my new little blog and came to check on it. To my surprise, I had some comments on it! As I checked out the comments, I saw most were from a gal I now know to be a Babywise dissenter. She started asking innocent questions, which I answered, and soon discovered she had much to say :). At that point, I decided I had better stick to this blog.

I didn't want all of the information online to be negative. I wanted a positive place for parents to come and find answers to their difficulties. I wanted them to know they were not alone, and that they can get through it. I wanted to help people, because people like Tulipgirl were out there putting forth much energy into bashing Babywise.

So, I started publishing like crazy! I let my Yahoo! group friends know that I had this blog. I then searched out another online community (then known as Mayas Mom) and let them know about it. I fell into a groove of publishing. At first, I tried to just publish things extremely pertinent to Babywise. Over time, the blog has grown into a one-stop location for parents who follow Babywise. I try to cover parenting in all its realms, from diapers, to gas pain, to educating children.

Before I started this blog, when you googled "babywise," you basically found nothing but negative information. Now when you google "babywise," this blog is on the first page! And here we are today, two years later. Funny to think that it really started up thanks to a major Babywise basher. How sad she will be to know that she is what really got this going :) Funny how out of adversity, great things can happen :)

32 comments:

trishconway said...

And thus, a legend is born! :-)

Valerie, I am so grateful to you and all the work you have done on your blog. I can say with certainty that my own BW journey would not have been successful without this invaluable resource. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do!

Emily said...

I think the reason so many negative sites pop up regarding "Babywise" is that many people have genuinely had problems implementing it. They've had trouble implementing it because "Babywise" doesn't seem to allow room for creativity. I found the tone in the books to be very black and white. They can make new parents feel like a failure if their kids aren't behaving exactly as predicted.

I've found your blog to be helpful because it details many different situations and reminds parents that their child is an individual.

MKJH said...

Thanks for all your posts! I have found quite a few tips that have worked wonders for me! I have found most people that bash Babywise just don't understand it - they seem to think it is just about forcing your child on a schedule - when I am using Babywise practices for very different reasons. Ha ha, although I have also found they don't understand why what they are doing isn't working! Thanks again - I love the blog! :)

Carrie Axline said...

I love your blog also, it has been such a help to me with my daughter. She just turned 2 last week, and will be joined by a baby brother next March. I am thankful to be familiar with your older posts so I can re-reference them when the time comes! Thanks for all your efforts. You are appreciated.

Jennifer said...

Yes, your blog is a life saver. I found it a few months after you started when I googled "45 minute intruder". I started with those posts and then found CIO Bootcamp and I was hooked! I recommend your blog to anyone I know who does or is interested in BW. Thanks for everything!

Redheads said...

I found out about your blog while searching and reading articles at the Growing Kids God's Way website. I was desperately trying to find some answers to my questions about scheduling, napping, and CIO! The Babywise book is pretty vague sometimes, and I like that your blog goes in depth of this topics. So, I clicked on a link which took me to Chronicles of a Babywise Mom. From there, I found out about the Yahoo Groups and I quickly joined. I definitely would have gotten discouraged and given up if it hadn't been for this blog and group! Thank you!
Amy

Ben & Rebecca said...

Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this blog! I know it is a blessing to many.

I have a rather long-winded question for you. We started Babywise with my daughter when she was 6 weeks old (CIO included). She is now almost 12 months old and STILL has to CIO before naps. She was not a 'textbook' babe when we first started CIO; she would have cried for hours had we let her. My husband and I have been very consistent with her feedings & waketimes because I feel it is important to do CIO responsibly. For a while (maybe 4-8mo of age) it seemed a little better; she would only cry 10-15min or so when we laid her down. But the past 3 months have been tough--she will talk/fuss/cry for an hour or more at times. I lay her down for naps at the same time every day, and bedtime is the same also (bedtime is the only time she doesn't CIO; just goes right to sleep). Do you have any suggestions? We have tried troubleshooting everything; waketime lengths, etc, but it is so frustrating. I would greatly appreciate any insight or advice. I know she might just be a baby who needs to 'blow off steam' before naps, but for more than an hour? Ack!!

Andrea said...

So glad you kept it up and also review other books! I found that I am more of a Baby Whisperer mama but a lot of the ideas cross over and I like to see the big picture!

Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

I am truly so glad that I stumbled across this blog, it's been a lifesaver! It was just nice to know there was someone else out there doing things the same way as me and with the same goals in mind. I never would have found the babycenter.com babywise group if you hadn't mentioned it on your blog actually. Now I don't know what I'd do without all those ladies to chat with!

Allison said...

I too am glad that I found your "little" blog. I am on my third baby too, born in March of this year. I have done Babywise with all three kids. Not as devoted as you. I have followed it to a degree and done what fits my family to do the rest. But my last kid is still not on a predictable schedule and not sleeping through the night. He started to sleep through the night at 6 months, but then we went to Utah on vacation and he hasn't done it since. I have got to buckle down and get him babywised. I am thinking I will have to do the whole thing with him. I could use some tips on "starting over" at 8 1/2 months.

Manda said...

Thank you for starting this blog and sticking with it. It has helped me so much. I read Babywise but found it vague and somewhat confusing and when my baby was a few weeks old I googled babywise and found your blog. It has helped me so much in implementing Babywise and understanding my baby!

Emily said...

when i read babywise i felt like it was pretty stupid at first! i felt like it was too black and white and not really helpful. I started doing the schedule anyway but didn't get serious with it until I found your blog! the -wise publishers should really pay you something because through your blog I am now a HARDCORE babywise mom who does it all and will do allll the -wise series and blogs to other moms and is getting them to do it as well! all thanks to you we have babywise babies!!!

Kelly Ford said...

Then I am forever grateful for Tulipgirl :-) Your blog and the yahoo group has been a lifesaver (or rather a sanity saver) for me. I love that your answers come from moral grounds as well and that you are not ashamed to give credit to the Lord for all you do. I'm grateful for the Ezzo's and the books they've written, but without your "commentary", i'd be lost :-) Thanks so much and please keep it up!

LC said...

So true about the negative BW back in the day. I had my son in 2002 and immediately started BW. I was so bummed when the vast majority of online info regarding BW was so negative. When I had my second earlier this year I was extremely delighted to find your blog. I think there has been a huge change regarding BW on the web....thanks for doing this...I know how challenging it is to implement BW when there's nothing, but adversity from family, friends and the cyber world.

Jennifer said...

I found your blog 2 months after my baby girl was born this past June. I had ordered the Babywise book (because I knew I wanted to implement some sort of structure to her day), and while I was waiting for it to arrive, I found your blog. I devoured all the past articles and found I knew what to do before I even got the book! There definitely is a lot of negativity out there regarding Babywise, so thanks for dispensing the "real" truth about it. The results speak for themselves, that's all I can say. Everyone who comes into contact with my baby comments on how happy and alert she is, and she's been sleeping 11.5 hours at night since 3 months.

Plowmanators said...

Thank everyone! Thanks for th "warm fuzzies" :)

C. said...

I just have to comment, too--thank you!! I would never have survived more than a few weeks of BW without you. And I love that there is now positive info on the web about it... it's amazing how many people condemn BW without understanding it or trying it.

the monkey's mama said...

I've bookmarked more pages on your blog than any other, that is for sure! I know they will be handy references as soon as baby #2 comes along (10 weeks!)...sometimes I feel like I don't even need to read the book--i can just check my google reader :) Thanks for all you do and write!

TeamOSM said...

Even though we fell into our Babywise groove at around 8 weeks, I still come here to compare newborn weeklies with McKenna. =D She is just a bit older than my Oliver, and it's nice to see what is coming next, you know?

Also, you were a big inspiration for me making Oliver's baby food. I wanted you to know that you're not just a Babywise blogger...you're an awesome mommy blogger! I've said it before and I'll say it again. You're invaluable, Val! Thank you for being here...for all of us to look to. =D

Michael and Natalie said...

I was looking into your posts from 11/07 and 12/07 wasn't able to find the comments from Tulipgirl. I just have this morbid curiosity to see what that rabble rouser was stealthily trying to do :) Did you have to take them down because they were not very nice?

And, yes Valerie, thank you for everything. I know that while Babywise has allowed you a certain amount of "you time" while your little ones nap or rest, it's still very kind of you to use some of that time to keep this blog updated. I appreciate it and feel a certain sense of relief for #2, whenever that happens. I didn't find this blog for a few weeks after my daughter was born and I had months of anxiety because of what those initial weeks were like. I don't feel so alone anymore. Thank you.

B. Morgan C. said...

I decided not to use Babywise before my baby was born. This was due not to misinformation (I read both BW and Prep which my mother-in-law had given me), but because 1) BW did not convince me that following its rules was in the baby's benefit; the focus seemed to be on how much easier it was for the parents 2) I was not about to go against all medical advice and not feed on demand 3) I had read a lot of the negative experiences on the web, and was disturbed that many of the most strident anti-BW people are those who at one time followed it with extreme dedication but came to deeply regret it.

My baby is 9 months old now, and I still don't use BW, nor would I with a second child. HOWEVER, :) I love this blog, and have found it very very helpful. It turns out that I agree with more BW principles that I had thought before. Or at least with the way you implement BW principles. :) You practice BW with far more gentleness, flexibility, patience, and intelligence than one would ever think the book called for.

I have learned a lot, especially about waketime lengths, a detail that I have not seen addressed properly anywhere else (although Weissbluth does in less detail).

Your blog is not just for hardcore BW parents; I think that most moms can find helpful information and common ground. Thank you!

Kelly said...

I am so thankful for this blog and all your hard work Valerie!!! Yay for 2 years!!!

Kelly and Lucas

Melissa Abby said...

My son is 1 1/2 now so I don't have to come here as often but when he was younger I read all the time! He was a very easy baby and the babywise stuff came naturally but I still had some questions and this is always a place where I can find honest answers and advice. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it! Our 2nd is due in June and I'm sure I'll be back plenty.

Becca said...

Thank you for taking time to create such a comprehensive blog for babywise. I had my first child about 14 weeks ago and she is an angel. My best friend did babywise so she's been my "mommy mentor" for BW questions, but you have been a great resource when I need that reassurance that I'm doing things right. Thanks again!! I have told ALL my friends about your blog.

Plowmanators said...

Ben & Rebecca,

I really don't know! An hour is a long time. I have heard of up to five minutes, but not an hour. Does she have a medical condition at all? I would wonder about pain of some sort.

Plowmanators said...

Rebecca, I wanted to tell you that I used your question for the first ever "help a reader out" post. Hopefully you will be able to get some input!

Plowmanators said...

Allison, see the post "starting BW late."

I think that I would start with making sure meals and naps are consistent. Once you have that down, I would introduce independent play if you do that. The rest should just come naturally for you :)

Plowmanators said...

Jennifer,

I agree; the results speak for themselves!

Plowmanators said...

TeamOSM, you are welcome! I am glad that I inspired you to make babyfood. I wish I would have dared do it with Brayden and Kaitlyn! I am glad you started out from the beginning :)

Plowmanators said...

Michael and Natalie,

I took them off the post and put them in their very own :) If you look under "debates" you will find it all.

I know how you feel about anxiety over the first few weeks! We didn't start BW until Brayden was 9 weeks old, and even though I have had two awesome newborn experiences with Kaitlyn and McKenna, I still dread newborn time. First impressions :)

Plowmanators said...

Thank you for your thoughts B. Morgan C.! I am glad you find helpful information here.

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome and thanks to all who thanked since the last time I said thanks :)

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