Last year I practically wrote a white paper on why I love Babywise, so I won't repeat myself too much here. Let's just say, I heart Babywise and can't imagine following any other method because it's all about common sense, consistency, and doing what's best for your family in the long run.
My daughter is now 2 years old (25 mos) and is simply: Delightful. My husband and I often marvel at how clever, happy and nice she is. Of course she's TWO and there are lots of moments, but as I said last year, it's how she handles those moments and how quickly they pass. There are no big tantrums at the store. There are no screams at bedtime. There's no negotiating with a toddler. Babywise taught us the importance of consistent eating and sleeping habits, which led us into consistent expectations with behavior, play, manners, etc., etc. We are still very regular with eating and sleeping that if we are off, that's when we see the crankiness - or when she's sick. It's so nice to be able to tell, no this isn't normal, something's off and realize she has a cold or oops, I should have given her a snack. Following BW gave us the the ability to better know what a cry meant as a baby, and now what certain behavior may mean as a toddler. I can only imagine the approach will help into childhood and beyond.
I really feel that because we have such a steady and reliable routine, that my DD is more alert and available to learn, play on her own, use her imagination, etc. She has remarkable conversational skills and sense of humor for a 2 year old. Of course, we think she's a hilarious genius (LOL) but it's evident that she is developing really well both physically and mentally. She's got a pair of loving parents, lots of healthy food, and a relatively comfortable life which of course make a big difference for a child, but I would suggest following the Babywise approach has made her thrive and has made parenting less stressful and more delightful. That is quite the opposite of what the BW naysayers might predict (failure to thrive). No way, dude, as my daughter would say.
Now I wouldn't say that everything is rainbows and unicorns at our house: it takes work, dedication and sacrifice to not only raise a child, but to follow BW. In the beginning you think you're never going to go anywhere again. Now for me it's a lot better, but I still have a routine to manage, which can be exhausting. Always being "on" is something I find tiring. I think there is less thinking about yourself and more about your child with BW. Not that you put them at the center of the universe (opposite really), but thinking about their needs more upfront, actually makes everyone's schedule and needs in the family get better met in the end. I sometimes get questioned about my schedule (You really have to leave the fun playground/family event/whatever for a nap? She doesn't even look tired...) but I also don't have a screaming child that terrorizes grandma's nick knacks, that won't ever sit at the table, or eat what we eat, or ignores what I say, etc. Going home for a nap is a small price to pay for all that.
Thanks Val for your wonderful blog. It's really helped me better understand the Babywise principles and put them into practice. Without you, I really don't think I would have grasped it as well. Thanks!