Monday, July 16, 2012

Don't Be Discouraged By A Rough Start

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I always knew I wanted to use Babywise, and when I found out that everyone whose parenting results I admired was also using Babywise, I was doubly convinced!

The first thing I learned is that it's harder than it looks! At least for me it was. I started out sticking very closely to getting full feedings every 3 hours and had pretty good success with that. By the end of the first week, my baby girl had her days and night straight (thankfully!) and would go back to sleep after eating in the night with little trouble. But daytimes were a different story. It seemed nearly impossible to get her to sleep when she was supposed to during the day, though I kept her eating when she was supposed to (I could make her eat, but I couldn't make her sleep!). 

To add to her sleeping difficulty, she seemed to have so much gas pain or some kind of digestive discomfort that prevented her from getting to sleep and woke her up early. Finally I found it was an oversupply problem and the extra foremilk was making her gassy. I was able to solve this with block feeding for a couple weeks (thanks to the great help I got in the Chronicles Google Group!). Sleep slowly got a little better, but it still just never happened the way it was "supposed to" during the day. I realized that I may have read Babywise but my daughter hadn't so I would have to teach her.

We kept working toward getting full naps in at the proper times, and finally when she turned 6 weeks something seemed to click and from that point she would go to sleep on her own and nap well for most naps of the day.  It has been that way ever since. (She is 12 weeks old now.) She is so much more happy and contented than I could have imagined she would be. She never cries except to be a little fussy when she is tired sometimes, and she really cries as soon as she realizes I'm about to feed her. She likes her food! 

For anyone who thinks that Babywise is following someone else's rigid schedule for your baby or is based on crying it out, that is so far from the truth! The beauty of Babywise is allowing the parent (not the baby or a book) to be in charge and direct the day to best meet everyone's needs (including baby's). And I never did crying it out, first because I knew her cries were from pain and crying wouldn't make that go away, and second because since 6 weeks I can put her in her crib and she will go to sleep all by herself without crying. Sometimes she has minimal low-level fussing, sometimes not, and if she does I give her a pacifier and she goes right to sleep. She also sleeps through the night now for 8-10 hour stretches. 

I work at home, so it is imperative that I am well rested at night and that my baby takes good naps and is contented when she is awake without having to be held constantly so I can get my work done. (To learn more about what work I do at home, you can visit my website With Babywise she does all this. Babywise is the best thing that ever happened to us!

I don't believe that it is necessary to follow Babywise strictly to achieve good results, but what it is beneficial for is to provide certain guiding principles that the parent can apply in the way that works best for them, even if it is different than the way Babywise applies these principles. I am thankful to Babywise for the principles of the eat/wake/sleep cycle, feeding is parent-directed not baby-directed, baby can learn to go to sleep on her own (even without crying it out), getting full feedings, and not extending daytime feedings until sleeping through the night.

Even though I don't follow Babywise rigidly, I have used the principles in it to guide us and have achieved the desired result of a baby that sleeps through the night, is well-rested in the day, and is perfectly happy and content, a real joy to have in my life.



Vanessa@Lovin-Life said...

It is so much harder than it sounds. I read that book a couple times before my baby was born last December and it seemed so easy. But it was so much harder. The parent directed feeding was pretty easy. But the crying it out and stuff was way more harder. And we only cried it out for naptimes. I actually used your blog way more than the book (thanks so much for that) for that part because the book does not give enough detail. I liked the book but I definitely found out that sometimes you can't follow it as strictly as it says, and you just have to do what works!

Chrysti Hedding said...

You're right. Babywise is NOT easy! There are certain parts of it that work for us, and others that don't. I've learned that I had to make it work for us and our baby. There have been so many times I've been tempted to throw Babywise out the window, but I'm glad I haven't! We wouldn't be where we are now if it wasn't for the wisdom in this book... or this blog for that matter! :)

Kelly Grant said...

My son is 8 months now (my second) and this sounds so like him!! Maybe it was my oversupply like yours!!! We determined he has a dairy allergy/sensitivity. I ALWAYS knew he has a sweet nature and that somehow was wrong. The doctors said he was just a fussy baby, I knew they were wrong. We pushed ahead working on babywise principles and working to trouble shoot. After a loooong elimination diet we determined he does have a dairy and gluten intolerance. As soon as those were eliminated, he was a dream baby and fell right into a routine--sleeping beautifully and soundly and peacefully. If we hadnt kept working toward a solution and with babywise in mind he wouldn't be happy and healthy and sleeping well today!!!

Lauren said...

We used a combination of Babywise and Baby Whisperer for our first two kids. It worked great, we had bad days, but for the most part, things went smoothly. They're great sleepers and happy kids.

We now have a third (10 weeks old) who is different than her older siblings. She has a gas/burp issue and I'm pretty sure she has reflux (although she doesn't cry with it, she has all the other symptoms). I'm having a hard time because she doesn't take good naps during the day. Mostly 30-40 minutes snoozes. Sometimes she'll put herself to sleep, sometimes not. I've tried CIO, but since she has bad gas/burps, I never know if that's keeping her from sleeping, so I second guess myself. The weird (and wonderful) thing is she sleeps great at night, 10.5+ hours consistently without waking and no need for a feeding. She even puts herself to sleep every night. The daytime nap thing is killing me. Thankfully, she's not cranky, she's pretty easy going. But I know how important sleep is and I don't think she's getting enough during the day. Help, what do I do?


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