Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Flexible Can I Be?

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The great unknown. Whether you are a mother for the first time or you just have your fifth baby, you will have to get to know just how flexible your new little baby can be.

Every child has his or her own tolerance level on flexibility. Some easily roll with whatever you throw at them while others lose it at the slightest change to normal.

Some of this is dependent on personality. Some personalities just deal with change better than others.

Some of this is dependent on life experience. If a child has a personality equipped to handle change often, then the more used to change a child gets, the easier she can handle it. 

Some of this is dependent on the parent's ability to compensate for disruptions. Over time, you learn to put down for naps earlier or just how short a nap can be cut. You learn what to do if you are going to be out late that night or if yesterday was a no-nap day.

But first and foremost, I think the ability to be flexible falls in a single category. How well rested is that baby?

"Slightly overtired children are more easily thrown off balance and take longer to recover [from disruptions]. Well-rested children tend to be more adaptable and take occasional changes of routine in stride" (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, page 57). 

When I first read this line, there was a little bell in my head ringing "ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!"

This was Brayden. As a baby, he never handled disruptions well. If he was more than 15 minutes late for bed, he was crying. If he was late for a nap, he was crying. Missing a nap was just not an option for baby Brayden. If we had a vacation, it took a week or two to get back into the swing of things. 

When he was 2.5 and Kaitlyn was 6 months old, she was better able to miss naps than he was at that same moment. 

Brayden was also my 45 minute sleeper until he was 6.5 months old. He just was not well-rested enough to handle any disruption to his sleep schedule. This  has earned him a reputation in our home as someone who doesn't handle change well, when in fact, he handles change just fine. He probably handles it better than either of the girls. The statement by Weissbluth in Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child makes a lot of sense. It was that he was inflexible, it was that he was slightly overly tired. 

Contrast that with the girls who could/can miss naps, go to bed late, go down for naps early or late, etc. without much of an issue. These things are not a guarantee that we will have a nice tantrum explode later. Coming home from vacation? No big deal. They rarely take any time at all to get back to normal. These two girls are sleepers. They are very well rested; therefore, they can handle sleep disruptions without batting an eye.

"Missing a nap here and there will probably cause no harm. But if this becomes habit, you can expect your child to lag further and further behind in his sleep and become increasingly difficult to handle in this over-fatigued state" (page 24).

So how flexible can you be with sleep? As flexible as your child is well-rested. You will have more ability for flexibility if you allow your child to get the sleep she needs on a regular basis. 

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Increasing Our Capacity

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A few days ago, as my children and I were taking a bike ride through the streets of our town, a woman a few years younger than I walked outside. She just had her first baby, a boy, and he is about 6 weeks old. This means he was born around the time of year Brayden was born. She came out in her pajamas and was calling her dog who was barking at us as we rode by.

I smiled as I thought back to those days with my first child. I remembered making it to the end of the day and realizing I hadn't yet had a chance to brush my teeth. I couldn't help but wonder what she thought as I rode by with my three children, all of us showered and dressed. I hoped she didn't feel discouraged. I wondered if she thought, "Some day, it will get easier." 

Then I thought about the fact that it does not get easier per say, just different. My mind then led to when Kaitlyn was a newborn. When she was a newborn, I was showered, dressed, and teeth brushed all in the morning. When McKenna came along it was the same story. So why could I manage to get ready with three children, one being a newborn, but not with just one child?

My mind immediately jumped to a quote I had recently read. I had just taught a lesson in church on developing talents, and this quote was in the lesson:

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased” -Heber J. Grant

This quote is from a man who overcame weakness after weakness to turn those weaknesses into talents. It hit me. Motherhood doesn't get easier because the nature of motherhood changes as our children get older. It gets easier because we have persisted, grown in our knowledge, and our power to be a mother has increased. 

What power that realization has with it! I have talked a lot about enjoying the moment and finding things to appreciate now--because you will miss them some day. But with this quote applied to motherhood, it means that we don't need to wish away our time with our young children--them getting older isn't what makes life easier. Us getting to be better and more capable mothers is what makes it easier. 

That is why women can accomplish more with 3 children--one being a newborn--than they could when they had only one child who was a newborn. Our capacity increases. Our talent for motherhood has grown. 

Think of the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25. If you aren't familiar with it, I will briefly summarize. 3 men were given talents of different number by their master. The first was given five. He then went out and worked to increase it, gaining five more. The second was given two. Like the first, he worked and gained two more. The third was given one. He was afraid of the repercussions in possibly losing his talent, so he hid it.

When the master returned, he was please with the first two and displeased with the last. The conclusion to the parable is essentially that when you use what  you have, you will be given more. When you don't, what you have will be taken away.

How can we apply this to ourselves as mothers? When we merely survive life, waiting for that blessed day in the future when things will get easier, which servant are we being like? The unprofitable servant. We are not increasing our capacity to be a mother in the least. 

What about when we do our best to improve each day? When we do our best to enjoy what is before us? That is when we become profitable servants. That is when we increase our capacity to do what we are doing. Then we are making life easier for ourselves rather than waiting for it to magically happen one day.

Do not be discouraged. I don't intend to push you further than you can go. Being a new mom is hard. There are times you feel you are barely treading water. Do not try to do more than you can do. Just do the best with what you have. Your best is enough, and you know if you are giving it or not. Do not sit and wish away your months until life will be "easier." Move forward, enjoying each day as much as you can. Just put one foot in front of the other and you will improve your capacity. 

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Toddler Summary: 27 Months Old

McKenna blowing bubbles


This is a summary of McKenna from 26-27 months old--so just over two years old.

What a fun month! Following the rough 26th month, I am so glad to say month 27 was very fun. 

EATING
McKenna still eats a lot and still eats pretty much anything and everything. She seems to have decided she doesn't love mustard and will sometimes not eat much of something if it has mustard on it. 

She has a funny quirk with eating, though. She will not eat unless someone else is sitting and eating with her. Even for breakfast--she waits until I am sitting with her and I start eating before she starts. How polite of her! Ha! I don't think she is practicing her manners. I have no idea why, but it is what she does.

She is really good for waiting for the prayer most of the time before she starts to eat. We used to have to leave her food away from her until the prayer was said, but she will usually wait now--though not always.

PLAYING
Playtime is great. She is having a great time with her siblings. She loves to play and play hard, which leads me to...

LIFE OF PARTY
This is McKenna. The life of the party. If I were to tell you about McKenna, I would have to tell you about how much fun she is. McKenna always has fun, no matter where she is or what she is doing. It is a great quality. She is always happy and always entertaining herself. Some children in the same situation would whine, some would cry, some would sit bored...McKenna will be finding a way to have fun--and not in a mischievous way (most of the time). She is able to sit and fully entertain herself with nothing but herself. Everyone loves McKenna because she brings with her a good time. Not just content, not just happy--she is full of joy. At church, you can hear several children in the 5 and younger crowd yelling out, "Look! There's Kenna! Hi Kenna!" or "Where's McKenna? I can't see her?!"

SLEEP
Sleep is all normal. She still takes a long time to fall asleep some nights, and she sometimes plays 1.5 hours into her nap. Sometimes I go in and tell her to go to sleep, and she does.

The next big thing in her life with sleep will be the big girl bed. Both of my older two were in a big kid bed long before this point in life, but I don't have a baby in need of the crib so I am fine waiting. I do feel like it is getting to be time, though. I feel like by the end of August, we will be moved over or will do so in September. 

I think I want to move over to a twin bed even though we already own a toddler bed. I think since twin beds are higher up than toddler beds, the child will be more likely to stay in bed. So I will have to buy a bed first.

MIMIC 
Anyone with a toddler with older siblings can probably related to the total mimic that she is of her siblings. She follows them around everywhere trying to do exactly what they do in every way. It is so cute to watch. It also reaffirms to me how much value there is in working to train the older siblings correctly because if the oldest has undesirable habits, every subsequent child will copy that.

SUMMER EVENTS
We are having a very fun and very busy summer. I am trying to soak up what I am viewing as the last summer of innocence--Brayden starts full day school this fall. Next summer, he will be 7 and moving on to the next phase of life--a more mature phase. So we are taking advantage of every moment. Anyway, she does great with disruptions. She can stay up late, go down for a nap late, etc. and stay her happy self. I am, however, very respectful of her sleep. I don't often interrupt it. I let her get it in--it isn't much time. It is easy to do. 

LANGUAGE
McKenna is talking so well. So very well. She communicates well and talks well. Several months ago, she was not above average in any way in talking. She was pretty much on average, but she has really exploded.

And this girl is obsessed with books. Totally in love with books. 

SMARTY-PANTS
McKenna is also very smart. She is super ahead on things like colors--she knows all of the basics and all of the harder shades. She also knows all of her shapes--even things like diamonds that usually trip even 4 year olds up. 

She is also "street smart" and good at figuring things out on her own. She is a great problem solver. I attribute a lot of that ability to her being the third child in our house. I can't always help her immediately, so she usually just figures it out. Add her independent two year old spirit in there and even if I offer to help she says, "No, I do it." And she does. 

DISCIPLINE
Her discipline is so great. She has been so good. She says things like "Yes Mommy, I coming" and "okay Mommy" and "I sorry." These are not things I have ever had to sit her down and teacher her--they are again product of her paying close attention to her siblings and how things work. A great benefit of working hard with the older children!

I think our predictable daily schedule has been very beneficial with this. Even with our disruptions, our "normal" days are so incredibly consistent that she knows what to expect. And when we have disruptions, I make sure the rest of the day is consistent. 

OUR SCHEDULE
Here is our summer schedule for cool weather. So far, summer has been cool weather for us. 

8:00--Wake up and eat breakfast
8:30--Music time/learning time review
9:00--Get ready
9:30--Chores
10:00--Walk or bike ride
10:30--Independent Play
11:30--Learning Activity
12:00--Lunch
12:30--Outside play
1:30--Nap
4:00 or 4:30--Get up--or free play. Sometimes TV time, but rare.
5:30--Dinner
6:00--Family Activities
7:30--Get ready for bed
8:00--Bedtime

Monday, June 27, 2011

Snack Time

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On Becoming Pre-Toddlerwise has some great tips on snacks. Snacks are something I think are often very different from home to home, even among homes where parenting styles are similar. This is just fine; a snack is used when you need it, and the need for it varies from home to home.

Remember to start as you mean to go on. Before you start "snack time," be sure you think through what you want snack time to be. Pre-toddlerwise says "The best snacks will be low in sugar and salt" (page 59). I agree with that. Healthy snacks are the way to go.

Snack Definition
"A snack is a snack" (page 60). A snack is not lunch nor is it dinner. It is not a meal. This means it is not large. You don't want the snack so large that the child will not eat the next meal. If your child isn't eating well for the meal following a snack, this does not mean that your child does not need a snack. It simply means your child needs a smaller snack.

Snack Time(s)
This is really where "snack time" differs from household to household. For some, snacks happen in the morning between breakfast and lunch. For others, in the afternoon right after the afternoon nap. For still others, it happens at both times.

For us, snack time is in the morning. This is our longest stretch between meals. In the afternoon, the younger children wake up from nap and we eat dinner soon after.

If you have a late breakfast, you might not do a morning snack. You also most likely wouldn't do a morning snack if your child still takes a morning nap (mine didn't snack when taking a morning nap).

If you have dinner late, you will need to do an afternoon snack. We have dinner between 5-5:30, so it is easy to make it there for the children, especially since most of the afternoon is spent sleeping. 

Do snack time when your child needs it. And keep in mind, this time will change over the years. It can be mornings at one age, afternoons at another, and after school at another.

Snack Rules
Here are some rules to consider with snacks from Pre-toddlerwise (page 60).

1-Use in moderation (discussed above)
2-Do not use food to influence behavior. Though I must say, sometimes this is what we do. In church, for example, when we have a child with us for 3 hours straight, we let the child eat as desired. This is done in consideration of the context. In order to help the child be as pleasant as possible for the benefit of others (and of course ourselves!), we let the child eat snacks.
3-Do not use food to pacify sad emotions. 
4-Keep snacking place consistent. A highchair/booster/table is wise.
5-Do not let your child wander the house eating food.
6-Offer snacks in the afternoon after nap (as a general suggestion)

Snack Ideas
Snacks are different from treats. Here are just some ideas to get your mind rolling on what to serve for snacks:
  • Cheese
  • Whole-grain cereals
  • Graham crackers
  • Fruit
  • Veggies
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Timeless Toys


Bethany of http://thegracefulmom.com/  Bethany is doing a giveaway today--an Amazon gift card! Be sure to go visit. She asked me to share my top five favorite toys in conjunction with her giveaway today...which is super, super hard for me to choose just five. Never-the-less, I made this list in about 10 seconds. These are toys I have seen used by my children at various ages, so I call them timeless.

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table
We first got this table when my oldest child was 7 months old. This is the number one most played with toy we have ever owned--except the kitchen. See that below. Every child has LOVED this toy, and the children love it for a long, long time. If a parent were able to only buy five toys in the first five years of the child's life, this should be on their list. 






Playskool Explore and Grow Busy Ball PopperWe got this toy a little over a year ago at the recommendation of my blog readers. So many of them said their child and children loved it, and that they loved it for years, so I thought I had better try this out. My readers were right (of course)! This is one of those toys that produces giggles like crazy, and it is a fun toy that an older sibling can play with a younger sibling. All three of my kids sit around this toy and laugh and laugh. This is another one of those "so worth it" toys.




Manhattan Toy Stella DollThis was another reader recommendation. Readers suggested I get this for my youngest for her first birthday. I then did a bunch of research and saw how well this rated on Amazon. So we got it. I must say, this is the perfect doll for the young ones! It is soft and it is safe. I love Baby Stella so much that it is my automatic gift to any one year old girl. There are also lots of fun accessories. 




Deluxe Wooden Railway Set by Melissa & Doug
This is going to be a sneaky way for me to get more than five toys in this post. Anything made by Melissa and Doug is fabulous. We own a whole lot of Melissa and Doug toys, from puzzles, to wooden paper dolls, to train stuff, to kitchen food. You can not go wrong with Melissa and Doug. When Brayden (my oldest) was 2.5, we got him a Thomas the Train figure 8 wooden railway set. It is nice, of course. When he was 3.5, we wanted to expand the set for Christmas. We went to our locally owned toystore. There, a worker told us we should consider Melissa and Doug. He said the quality was excellent and the price was even better. To compare, the Thomas Figure 8 set was $40, while this entire set, trains and all, you see in the picture here is $90. Pretty much a no-brainer. Over the years, we have purchased Thomas destinations and Thomas trains, but have this basic kit that gives you all the track you could ever want. (do you like how I worked in Thomas stuff too? I am tricky). I must add, this is something all three of my children love to play with together. Very popular.

Step2 LifeStyle Custom KitchenA toy kitchen would definitely be on my list of must-have toys (obviously...here it is). We purchased our toy kitchen when our oldest was 18 months old. He loved it from the first moment, and it gets played with constantly. This is our number one most played with toy. The children all play with it together, and it grows with them and their imagination. You also can easily add to it over the years as they mature. A shopping cart, food, dishes, other accessories...it just never gets old. At least not yet. My children 2-6 play with this daily. There are a lot of kitchen options out there. Everyone will have their own preferences depending on desire for wooden, plastic, size, cost, look, etc. Don't feel like you need to spend a fortune to get your kitchen. My parents still have my old kitchen that is comparable to a $30-50 kitchen today and my kids love it. Kids just love kitchens.

Okay...one more....

Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm
I just couldn't leave this one out. Last but not least. When I was a child, I loved Little People. When my husband was a child, he loved Little People. All three of my children have loved Little People. Just today, my three children made a Little People City and were playing together. There are all sorts of toys available based on interest. I chose to highlight this barn because it has been popular with both genders. My girls have also had a special love for the pet shop and the house, while my son has loved the airport and garage. 

Reader Dreamfeed Questions

Reader Questions:
  • Catherine said...
    Hi Valerie,Thank you so much for this blog. It has helped me and my son tremendously!I am needing some help on understanding bedtime and the DF and wondering if I can get your thoughts.I am struggling to see the bedtime feed (last feed before DF, right?)as a true bedtime. This is because after this feed my son will wake up after 3-3.5 hours if I just let him go as long as he wants to. However, he will go anywhere from 5-8 hrs. (we are making SUCH good progress!) after the DF. Is the purpose of establishing a bedtime routine for the future when we eventually drop the DF? Also, I was wondering about the DF. Is it ok to put baby to bed totally awake after the DF? Sometimes my son eats, falls asleep, and stays asleep once I put him in bed. Other times he eats, pulls off, and wakes up when he does. Then he goes into the crib awake. Is either ok?I also wanted to tell you an exciting update. My son, at 7 weeks, was making good progress to sttn. He had slept one night a week since 6 weeks 5+ hours. Then he would go back down to waking 2-3 times in the night. Once he stopped eating his first feeding of the morning well I decided to try what you recommended about decreasing the amount of food. At 7 weeks I did this for the first time. When he wakes he usually sucks well for 2-3, sometimes 5-6 min. then "comfort sucks" and I can definitely tell the difference. I started taking him off once he switched into comfort sucking. He wasn't too happy at first but didn't cry longer than a couple minutes the first night.Then, that week, we had 3 times where he slept 7.5 hours and one time 8!!! The very next night I heard him wake up, cry for about one minute softly, then suck his thumb back to sleep. He never did that before. I feel like decreasing the comfort sucking at night really helped him get the memo to self soothe! Thank you! This was great because it involves no night crying. :)
    March 26, 2008 6:20 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Catharine,I just found your question as I was cleaning up the comments...I was never notified via email about it like I usually am, so I am sorry about the delay.I am glad to hear about your great success! That is exciting!Yes, you want to establish a routine before bedtime for future dropping of dreamfeed. For the dreamfeed, you want it to look like a middle of the night feed. You get him, feed him, possibly change his diaper, and then put him right back down to go back to sleep. But you want to have a routine where you do hugs, kisses, stories, prayers if you are so inclined, etc. And it is perfectly okay for your baby to be either awake or asleep after the dreamfeed when he goes back in the bed. Some babies do one or the other, and some do both. Once again, I am glad to hear of your success!
    March 31, 2008 3:50 PM
  • Amy said...
    Valerie, Congratulations on the news of a baby girl! How wonderful!

    This question does not have to do with baby toys, but I thought I should post here to make sure you get it. I would like to know if I should drop my dreamfeed now. Max will be 15 weeks tomorrow and still eats 6 times a day (3 hour schedule) on formula. I'd like to know if you consider him STTN if his last feeding is at 10:30 and he wakes up at 7:30 (when we wake him up). The only catch is he usually stirs and makes some noise around 5:30ish and I sometimes have to give him his paci, sometimes not. Do you think that's still STTN or no?If you think he's ready to drop the dreamfeed, do I put another ounce in his bottle at the other feedings to help him drop that last one or no? Thank you for your help!
    December 3, 2008 10:58 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Amy, I do consider that STTN--he is going 8 hours. As a side note, I would watch the paci and make sure that doesn't become a necessary habit for him; it does get that way for some.I breastfeed, so I am not sure about adding more to other feedings. A breastfed baby will either drop the dreamfeed cold turkey, or will move it back slowly. One thing for a breastfed baby is that mom will have more milk in the morning since the DF was skipped. So I would definitely add some more in the morning. It couldn't hurt to add and see how he takes it. Sorry I am not much help with that. Be sure to see the many dreamfeed posts (you can click on the blog label "dreamfeed").
    December 5, 2008 12:00 PM

  • boysrus said...

    Hello,
    I just had my third son on Dec 1st and have him on a three hour schedule which he does great with. My question is the night time feeding. I feed him at 11:3 pm and then again at 2:3am. After that feeding we let him go and he usually wakes three hours later at around 5:30am. Should I feed him at 11:30 pm and let him go or do I continue as I am? Or should I feed him at 2:30am and then if he wakes at 5:30 am try to sooth him, holding him off as long as possible?? I can remember what I did with my first two, but I know they both slept through at eight weeks....any hel is appreciated since I'm very tired :).
    Thanks so much, Tina

    Plowmanators said...

    Boysrus,

    I would feed at 11:30 then let him go. After that feeding, let him go again. Be sure to start him at the same time each morning for his morning waketime. I wouldn't hold him off at 4 weeks (or 5) of age. Good luck!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Speaking All Five Love Languages

The Five Love Languages of Children

The Five Love Languages of Children encourages parents to speak all five love languages even if parents are sure they know a child's primary love language. Why is that? There are a few reasons.

1-Your child will learn to show love in all five languages
Just think of how valuable this will be. If your child is adept at showing love in all five languages, think of what a great friend your child will be. Think of what a great parent your child will someday. And most of all, think of what a great spouse your child will be someday. 

You will have taught your child who to show love to others in every way, thus helping him know how to fill the love tanks of all of those around them. 

2-Your child will learn to understand and recognize all five love languages
I think one of the most frustrating things in a marriage is when one person shows love in one way and the other person doesn't recognize that as love. If your child is able to recognize love in all five forms, your child will be much happier in friendships, work relationships, parenthood, and marriage. 

3-It takes years to recognize what your child's primary love language is
Your child's primary love language cannot be deciphered until the age of five, and even then, it can take a lot of time to really know what it is. If you think your child's love language is Words of Affirmation while it is really Quality Time and you go around focusing on Words of Affirmation for years, you will have a child who is slightly insecure in your love.

Conclusion
So why bother even finding out primary love language if you need to speak all five? Because in certain moments, your child's primary love language will be of utmost importance. It will be the most effective way to show your child you love him. It will go straight to his heart. 

Work to learn your child's primary love language, but also be sure to show your child all five love languages. An added bonus is as you do so, you will be better at showing and receiving all five love languages, thus enhancing all of your relationships!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Blog Header and Design



I am sure most of you have noticed the new blog look by now! I have to give a big thank you to my friend Tracy. I met Tracy through this blog and one of the online groups I frequent. She is just starting up this business. I think she did a fabulous job! Thanks so much Tracy!

Here is Tracy's info. 

Design by
 Tracy
WEB - http://designbytracy.com
FACEBOOK - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Design-by-Tracy/228680877142356
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/designbytracy
EMAIL - info@designbytracy.com

New Poll Up

I wanted to bring your attention to the new poll. I know it isn't right at the top anymore so you don't see it as much. The question is: 

WHEN YOU FED SOLIDS, WHEN DID YOU FEED MILK?


I think it will be interesting to see the answers!

Poll Results: How would you feel about a Chronicles App?

Love it! I would buy
  88 (51%)
 
Eh. Wouldn't buy
  52 (30%)
 
Undecided
  31 (18%)
 

Votes so far: 171 

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Reminder: You can leave comments on poll results posts if you would like to add to the poll after it has closed. This would be helpful for those who have more than one child, those whose children have reached certain ages after a poll closed, and those who didn't visit the blog while that poll was open. To find closed polls, click on the poll results link above

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Working Outside the Home

image source


I have had lots of requests from moms to share information on how to implement Babywise while working outside the home. Since I have no experience with that, I turned to my friend Bethany. Bethany even went so far as to create a blog for Moms who work outside the home! Be sure to check her out here: http://thegracefulmom.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My husband and I both work full-time.  We have two energetic children, 3 years old and 18 months old.  Without Babywise, I cannot imagine how we would manage.  I think I appreciate it more even now than I did with a newborn.
We first heard about Babywise from my step-sister and my sister-in-law.  We witnessed firsthand the success that they had with their newborns, and it truly complimented our parenting style and philosophies.  To this day, we are strong advocates of sleep, routine, and first-time obedience.
I think the biggest things that makes it hard to incorporate Babywise as a working parent is that you are not always physically there to implement it.  I was quite naive about daycare and shocked to realize that much of the effort I put in during my 12 weeks of maternity leave could be lost in a matter of days.  I was also blown away by how hard it would be to return to work.
The best advice I can give to any working mother, especially if you are trying to incorporate Babywise principles, is to find a high quality childcare provider.  If you are not satisfied with your provider, you will probably be constantly torn and conflicted about working.  Changing childcare providers was probably one of the most important contributors to being at peace with returning to work.  It was not easy, and it took months to find another solution.  Ultimately, we hired our own sitter/nanny, and it is one of the best decisions we have made.
I have been blessed beyond belief to find nannies that are even better at incorporating Babywise than I am, in some aspects.  We have still been able to add structured Babywise activities, such as independent play.  My kids are with their sibling all day, and they get to nap in their own bed for a full nap every day.  That does not mean that my priorities have to be your priorities, by any means.  Daycare can also be very structured in the older toddler rooms, but I truly appreciate the control and the close interaction with my caregiver that we have. 
No matter which kind of caregiver you choose, make sure that you communicate closely and effectively.  I would encourage you to use some sort of daily log so that you still have an idea of your child's daily activities and meals.  Our log has even helped me determine whether diaper rashes are from a recent dirty diaper versus not being changed enough.  Talk often with your provider and be open to their suggestions as well.
Realize that you cannot do everything.  Chances are you will not be able to incorporate all of the Babywise principles.  We have not done blanket time consistently (or often at all).  We have had nannies that are better at routine and structured learning than others. 
No matter what, make the most of the time you have with your children.  Live in the present with the time you do have.  PLAY, and play HARD.  Know that it does get easier in many aspects.  Your baby will stay awake longer and often have very little trouble with separation anxiety.  Babywise has given us the routine and structure to keep us and our kids well-rested and happy. 

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