Friday, July 21, 2017

6 Ways Babywise Has Set My Children Up For School Success

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Right now I have all three of my children in school. My oldest is going into 3rd grade, my middle is entering kindergarten and my youngest will be continuing with a second year in a 3 morning a week preschool class. 

Babywise techniques have benefited my family in all areas of our lives but today I specifically want to focus on how Babywise has set my children up for success in a school setting:

They Are Well Rested

Everyone knows that sleep is so important for our children (and ourselves!) to be successful. Having been on schedules since birth, my children arrive to school each day well-rested. We stick to a strict bedtime and the kids who attend a half-day school also nap each day. Our oldest is going into 3rd grade and goes to bed by 7:45 each night with a 6:45 wake up time each morning. 

They Are Obedient 

From birth my children know their place. They do not "rule the roost" and they are not given more freedoms than they can handle at each given age. They are taught to reply with a "yes ma'am" at any instruction they are given and to obey what Mommy says right away. This not only makes home life run smoothly, but makes them model students as well. With a classroom full of kids, teachers are always telling me how wonderful it is that my children obey so well. 

They Are Potty Trained

This obviously is geared more to the younger school age kids but when my barely 2 year old entered preschool it was a huge advantage that she was already potty trained. It makes it easier for the teachers to not have to be changing dirty diapers and having a set schedule of times when they use the potty makes it easy for teachers to know when to take them! 

They Are Good Listeners

My children are taught from early ages to listen to Mommy. We read a lot as a family and attend church regularly where they are expected to sit quietly. They have self-control and are able to sit still and listen without being rambunctious. 

They Are Able To Focus 

Independent playtime has many benefits but a large one I've seen with my children is their ability to sit and focus on a given task. Even my more "busy body" child is a stellar student in the classroom. They all are able to sit and focus without becoming distracted or board or in "need" of constant entertainment. 

They Are Self Reliant

I strive for my children to be independent. They are able to do age-appropriate tasks on their own with minimal help or assistance. They are taught to be helpers and I receive many comments from teachers that they are quick to jump in and be a leader to their peers. 

I am proud of my children and their good choices at school and am thankful that Babywise techniques have really set them up for success! 

Emily blogs over at The Journey of Parenthood. She has three children and is in the process of adopting. She loves a Disney World, can't resist a good deal, and always keeps it real. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Schedules Impact Sleep for the Baby and the Entire Family

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by Elisabeth

During the months leading up to the birth of our first baby, my husband and I received a variety of advice from friends, coworkers, and even people we didn't know regarding how to best prepare for life with a newborn. We generally listened with open ears as we were excited but also a bit apprehensive for what would lie ahead of us. One thing was certain, though: I loved my full night's sleep and was committed to getting our soon-to-arrive baby sleeping long stretches as soon as possible!

How Schedules Impact Sleep for the Baby and the Entire Family
This is where Babywise entered the picture for us. Multiple people recommended reading the Babywise books before our newborn arrived and we are still incredibly grateful for this. Perhaps the most valuable concept that we have gained from these books has been the importance of schedules and how they dramatically influence a baby's (and parents!) quality of sleep well into the years ahead.

We can attest to the slight inconveniences of prioritizing our babies' schedules in order to instill outstanding sleeping habits in them. This predictability has, over the course of time, produced long afternoon naps and 11 to 12 hours of undisturbed nighttime sleep in a nearly two year old and four year old. While there have certainly been minor setbacks due to sleep regressions, baby growth spurts, illnesses, etc., we have noticed that the kids bounce back quickly as their bodies seem to crave the rest they are used to having. The same goes for traveling. If our family loosely adheres to our normal sleep routines while on vacation, the kids adjust well to their new circumstances.

While organizing your day with a baby's schedule in mind can definitely be an adjustment compared to life before a baby, you will find that the predictability and stability have many benefits to you as well. The confidence of knowing that you have established times for your baby to eat and sleep, opportunities to plan your daily outings a bit in advance and, our favorite, a solid, restorative night of sleep for the entire family creates an environment that everyone will enjoy!

Moving Cross Country: A Babywise Success Story

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I've admitted it before, I was a Babywise quitter.  I read about the main ideas when my son was a newborn and started to implement them.  Then I read more online about what a terrible system Babywise was and quit.  Fortunately a few months later I actually read the book and learned so much.  Then we had our twins and I knew Babywise was where it was at.  I've shared that story with Valerie before, and now here we are a year later.  My son is now almost 4 and my twin daughters are almost 18 months old.

Moving Cross Country: A Babywise Success Story


This past year has had some big changes for our family.  The biggest was that we moved!  Not just moved,  we moved 1700 miles away to a place I had never been before.  My husband got a new job and we decided to go for it.  One big catch though.  He had to leave right away to start it, and I was staying behind to pack up our lives.  With three kids under three I should add.

This was a big job, and I'm not going to lie and say I did it completely on my own or without any meltdowns.  But having a schedule to work with made the whole thing so much easier.  To start out with packing with littles is tough.  My daughters were six months old, so they couldn't get into too much trouble, but my son needed to run about and play.  With set independent play times, nap times, and bed times I was able to have dedicated packing time without the kids to worry about.

My girls were only six months old and still nursing during this whole endeavor.  We already had a solid nursing schedule in place, which just made things easier.  I was used to taking time out of the day and planning around this time.  Nursing time was more than just a time to give my girls nutrients, we were able to snuggle and be close to each other.  It was also a time I could sit and talk with Ben.  Basically this time was a chance for us all to sit together, letting me really focus on just my kids.  In the middle of the chaos, we could all have a time of calm.
Moving Cross Country: A Babywise Success Story

Knowing how our day was going to play out meant we could still get out and have fun!  This was so needed.  Kids can feel the stress of moving and packing, even if they aren't doing a lot of the work themselves.  Plus I really wanted to give Ben a chance to say goodbye to some of our favorite places.  With nursing and nap times set we could get out and do all the lasts we wanted to do.  I know this helped Ben out emotionally, as he had the chance to get some closure instead of just never going back some places again.

Once we were packed up and on the road the routine worked for us again.  The girls stopping times for nursing worked out perfectly for the rest of us to stop and stretch our legs.  We had to spend two nights in a hotel during the actual drive, a first for my kids.  I admit I was a bit worried they wouldn't settle down and sleep, meaning I wouldn't sleep.  Not the case.  We did our usual bedtime routine, just in a different place, and the kids were able to settle right down.  Driving all day was so much easier since I was rested as well.

Getting to our new town wasn't the end of our adventure.  We stayed with family for about three weeks before moving into our new place.  All three kids shared a room.  And you know what?  All three slept.  Having a solid bedtime routine means we can do our bedtime anywhere and the kids know it is time to rest their bodies.  We were able to move into our new home and the kids settled in to their new rooms with no problems.

Babywise helped give me the ability to provide structure for my kids in a very chaotic time.  Consistent nap and meal times meant everyone was fed and rested.  That alone makes it easier to handle stress.  My children also knew that their needs would be met.  While they might not consciously realize this, it does provide reassurance.  Having this structure in our days also helped me prioritize what needed to be done when.  Moving isn't easy on anyone, but having a structure in place that we could take with us anywhere made it go pretty smoothly.
 

Kim is the mom of three- a 3 year old son and 17 month old twin daughters. She blogs at Team-Cartwright.com and you can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Babywise, Act 2, Scene 1: What is this?!

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by Ashley Bellis
Two sons ages 4 years (J1) and 1 year (J2)

This time last year I was writing a Babywise success story. I was proud of my accomplishments with my first son. He was well-established in his sleeping and routine. Yes, there were issues. Yes, there were things about Babywise that I wish I had incorporated better. Yes, there were even some things I saw in my personality that were now coming out of my son. But overall, the apple hadn’t fallen far from the tree, and my husband and I were tickled! Our almost three-year-old firstborn was a major success in every way.

How Babywise helped through the second child, postpartum depression, and working.
This time last year I was also pregnant with number two, J2. J2 threw me for a loop from the get go. He wasn’t conceived on time (per my schedule). He wasn’t the gender I expected (I was almost confident that he was a she based on different feelings in pregnancy). He never posed nicely for an ultrasound. He shifted from head down to transverse at 38 weeks. (For those who are curious, that hurt like the dickens. Oh my goodness, I am recalling the major discomfort now.) He shifted from transverse feet up, to transverse feet down, to full-out breech. At 41 weeks, we scheduled the C-section. J2 just wasn’t fitting my mold for how my second child was supposed to go. First child = Norman Rockwell painting (until he became a toddler).

Good news, J2 was delivered safely and healthily exactly one week before J1’s birthday. How awesome is that? Two birthdays within a week. I seriously love that! I also bonded so much faster with him than with J1. Motherly experience? I can’t say, but I felt so much connection with this little person. We came home from the hospital, and life hit. It hit hard. I technically couldn’t pick up J1 due to his size and my C-section lifting restrictions. I couldn’t drive. It was insanely hot and dry outside (early July). And not to mention, all the “fun” of the newborn stage. To any moms out there that are in the newborn stage, I understand your fear, your concern, your frustration, and your tears. My new baby wasn’t textbook. He just didn’t follow the schedule I set out for him! Why not? It worked so well for his brother. It worked out so well for me!

I had him tested for reflux. We took him to a chiropractor at 4 weeks old. I tried this method. I tried that method. I scoured and poured over resources because my baby wasn’t fitting the schedule! He was sweet as could be, but he wasn’t getting the sleep I know he needed. J2 did not have reflux. The chiro confirmed that. And after four weeks of questioning, hearing those words from the chiro himself made me cry tears of joy! And J2 did not need a regimen of appointments as his adjustment held after just two visits. I was so proud of that little baby! He wasn’t sick or in pain, something just wasn’t right in his environment; which put the pressure on me to figure out what.

At 4 weeks post-partum my mom and grandma came to visit and help. I had other friends visit before then, and everyone said, “Ashley, relax. He’s just a baby. He’s gonna cry. He will get over it.” But I, my friend, I couldn’t handle it. I just couldn’t. I had so much guilt if he was crying because he was overtired. Then I felt guilt that J1 wasn’t getting the attention he needed. And heaven forbid I had half an hour to myself. I was losing it. And my mom said, “How about we get you a swing? That might help.” I never had a swing with J1. I viewed it as an unnecessary expense that would result in a sleep aid crutch. Well, my neighbor sold me her used baby swing, and that swing changed everything. When J2 woke early, I would plop him the swing – swaddled and all. When he started breaking swaddles, he would still sleep in the swing. I could be at peace knowing he was at peace.

I returned to part-time work when J2 was 8 weeks old. The transition at the sitter’s was rough. He refused the bottle. He wasn’t comfortable in the environment. But I have been blessed with amazing sitters. My dear friend used various bottles, various nipples, various feeding positions to get J2 to eat. We tried breast milk and formula. He was a stubborn little beastie. Then, one day, the clouds opened and J2 ate his bottle right up. Then he started sleeping better. Then a schedule was falling into place! A schedule at the sitter’s AND at home! What do you know? It takes practice to get a schedule in place. Who knew time was needed?! (Disclaimer: I knew time was needed. But in the newborn phase, I forgot everything.)

I remember reading on the Babywisemom’s blog that life got better at 3 months of age, and then life was golden at 6 months. I kept shooting for that 6-month mark. My son was successful on the schedule, but he was still waking in the middle of the night. And I would feed him, or hold him, or shush him. I only used the swing once or twice during the night. Once we hit the 6-month mark, he started sleeping through the night! I couldn’t believe it! It was happening. There have been a few exceptions since then, mostly due to sickness or teething, but on the almost-eve of J2’s first birthday we are where we want to be at with him.

Something I hesitate to include, but something I feel needs to be said:
During J2’s first year of life, I have really struggled emotionally. Yes, I bonded very well with him. I love him, I love J1, I love everyone. Except myself. Dozens of times during this past year I have felt crazy. Crazy thoughts, crazy fears, crazy dreams, and more persistent crazy obsessions. I never thought about harming my kids ever. My “crazy” (as I hatingly refer to it as) always directed itself at me. After enough episodes and tears and fears, I scheduled an appointment with a therapist. I was 10.5 months post-partum. I have post-partum depression. It is a struggle to this day. I have triggers, one of the biggest being sleep deprivation (surprise surprise). Mommas, if you’re feeling like something is off, if you’re thinking violent thoughts toward yourself or your babies, if you are months into motherhood and can’t grasp reality, seek someone out. I wish I reached out for help MONTHS before I did. I had friends and family members concerned about me. I never told my husband the darkest of my dark thoughts. I could never voice the thoughts out loud (until therapy). I remember carefully selecting answers to a survey my son’s pediatrician gave me at his 2 month visit. I scored just above the “concerned” level, but I really should have placed in the “concerned” level. There is nothing to be ashamed about with post-partum depression. It’s not fake. It’s not “just a phase.” I’ve had depression and anxiety before, and this feels so much different. Confide in someone trained to help mothers. It is best for you, and also best for your family!
And one more piece of advice for the working moms:
A lot of what you read online by the Babywise moms is from a stay-at-home perspective. I love them and I adore their perspectives! Trust me, this is not a slam to them. It is an encouragement to you that your schedule will look different. Your baby will most likely take longer to adapt to a schedule. Your baby will get there. Looking back, I would love to tell myself to allow 2-3 times what other babies are doing. If the baby in the example is sleeping 6 hour stretches at 6 weeks old, it might take your baby until 12 weeks or 18 weeks. Don’t count yourself a failure just because your schedule isn’t matching what you read online. Working through two babies, I feel confident in my advice to you that babies of working moms will adapt to the routine, but it will most likely take extra time. Hang in there!

Despite the hard work, the tears, the frustrations, the times I refused to read anything Babywise because my baby wasn’t adhering, sticking with the schedule was so worth it! We did lots and lots of adjusting. Lots of reevaluating. At almost one year, we have a happy, healthy, bright, fun, curious, and flexible baby. I love him more than I ever thought I could love another baby! This past year was probably the hardest of my life. But it’s also been the most fruitful and fulfilling. I guess it describes life’s paradox at times. Without my Lord, my husband, and my boys, I probably wouldn’t be in any position to write this story. Through its lengthiness, I hope it gives you some hope.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Babywise and Twins: Consistency Wins

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Last year I submitted a Babywise Success Story talking about how I discovered Babywise and the impact it's had on my parenting. At the time I wrote it, my twins were just a few weeks old and we were in the thick of the newborn stage. I wrote:
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.
Babywise and Twins: Consistency Wins
When the season for Babywise Success Stories came around again this year, I thought I might provide a brief update - a little "where are they now?" for those who stumble upon this in the throws of having their own newborns. Hopefully it will serve as an encouragement.

When I was pregnant with my twins, people told me it would be THE WORST. You think I'm joking, but you'd be shocked to hear the things that actually come from the mouths of strangers. Twins get a bad rap, and the general consensus was that caring for a three year old, a one year old, and newborn twins would be a nightmare.

There were hard moments, sure. There were multiple times that all four children were crying at the same time. There were nights I got no sleep. The logistics of grocery shopping were challenging at first. Nursing in public was impossible. Life had to be prioritized and some things fell by the wayside. One time in a Target bathroom I was busy bouncing my twins to keep them from crying while my 3 year old peed and I helplessly watched as my one year old dipped his finger into the toilet and then shoved them into his mouth before I could even scream NO! These are the things that happen when you have too many young children.

Yes, there were hard moments. But looking back on the year, it was overwhelmingly good. It was peaceful in a way you wouldn't think possible with the ages my kids were. There was order to our day. The was a clear routine. There was rest. There was sleep! When I look back on the year, the hard moments make me laugh instead of cry because they were just that, moments.

How did I do this? Babywise.

I am not a sleep guru. I did not study infant sleep, work in a day care, or put a spell on my children. I do not have a magic touch. I just read Babywise and I followed it. I started the eat, wake, sleep cycle with very short wake times in the hospital. I nursed on a schedule, waking the babies to feed them throughout the day. I focused on FULL feedings, which encouraged longer stretches of sleep and established my milk supply. I taught the babies to fall asleep independently and to self-soothe, choosing not to rely on sleep props. I prioritized sleep, turning down outside activities to establish a strong sleep schedule. These are all principles of Babywise and when diligently executed, they result in a well-rested family.

This was my third go-around with Babywise and it was by far the easiest, which I credit both to "practice making perfect" and to the fact that I was more regimented this time. I had to be stricter - there was just no other way to survive four little ones on my own. And the results were impressive. My twins slept through the night at 11 weeks, which was 1-2 months earlier than my other two. They had established and predictable naps very early on. When this happens - when all four of your children sleep through the night and predictably nap from 1-4pm everyday - you are rested enough to take on anything, even twins! As a mother, your outlook changes when you are rested. Things don't seem so terrible. Life doesn't seem so hard.

With four little Babywise success stories running around the house all day, it's impossible for me to conclude anything other than that when the principles of Babywise are applied consistently over time, the result is a well-rested child. This forms a foundation for all other skills and behaviors. Rest is vital for both baby and mom, and Babywise can help parents achieve it. 

Babywise Enables Me to Stay Home

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I have been an avid reader of Chronicles of a Babywise Mom for about 10 months now. I read Babywise when I was pregnant with my beautiful baby girl, Eliana, and it made a lot of sense to me and seemed to fit with my already-scheduled personality. I decided to follow it. However, I ended up having quite a few difficulties implementing it, until I searched online and found Valerie's incredibly helpful website. Here I found so many more specifics that helped me whenever I ran into a problem.
Babywise Enables Me to Stay Home

My now-14-month-old is now a great sleeper who sleeps 12 hours a night and takes two long naps at the same time each day. This actually enables me to work from home as a tutor, which in turn enables me to continue to be a stay-at-home mom. I believe that if it weren't for Babywise, I would not be able to work from home at all.

During the morning, Eliana does independent playtime in her room. She has a big mirror on the wall which I believe helps her feel she has a "friend" there with her. I also play music for her during that time. She is very happy in there for 45 minutes a day. Meanwhile, I clean up the house for the students who are coming over.

Then Eliana and I have time for more playtime together, reading stories, and bath time. When she goes down for her naps, students come to our home for English or Spanish help. They can be here at a regular time because I know when she will be sleeping.

During her awake times, we go shopping or to friends' houses or to the kids' play area at the mall - something that will be fun for her to do.

In the evening, she has just a bit of time to play with Daddy, and then she goes to sleep by 7 p.m. after which I have time for my husband or time to prepare lessons for the next day.

I am so thankful that I can count on her schedule. People are always commenting to me how happy and well-behaved my baby is. Others love babysitting her, too, as they can put her to sleep easily and she falls asleep on her own.

I pass on information about Babywise whenever I can because I believe it can really help others.

Thank you for letting me share and I hope others will also consider trying it out, even if you don't naturally consider yourself a scheduled person - it is so nice to be able to count on what your baby is going to do next!

by Mary B.

His Smile Is My Best Reward

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This is my success story. You may ask, are you sure? My baby is not even 4 months old, he still has never slept through the night. But for me it sure is a success.

His Smile Is My Best Reward Babywise Success


The main thing Babywise has given me is more predictability and certainty. Now I feel what I do meters. Going from one kid to two was easy for me. Now I feel much better, happier, less tired than first time round, when I felt useless and powerless.

My first born is 4 years old and was fed on demand and we co-slept. I knew nothing about eat-activity-sleep cycle which makes all the difference! Basically if I am totally honest he never woke up happy! I nursed him to sleep and than he'd woke up at random time, three hours or 30 minutes later, screaming and I would rush to pic him up. If it wasn't a nap in my lap. I was sad, angry and defeated. It lasted like this for the whole year I nursed.

I live in Ukraine, the book On Becoming Babywise is the only one you can get here translated into Russian (none in Ukrainian at all), other books in original are hard to get, if possible. The title it's published under is Teach your baby to sleep all night which really does no favor is very limited. 

Luckily, I've found your blog! My second son was born, I felt unsatisfied with the way I parented my firstborn so I was desperate to find other way! Nobody talks about Babywise where I live. The thought of schedule repels mothers reminding us of Soviet era, cause rigid schedule was forced on moms back then with all the other intervention of government into private life. So now we are almost exclusively on the wave of attachment parenting. It's common knowledge no breastfed baby STTNs. Nobody even tries.

So. To my success finally. My baby-boy is happy, he's content, he wakes up from his long, predictable nap not crying, but with a smile on his face! He is happy to see me and hear my voice, not just demanding me to pick him up right away and give him all the attention forever. He doesn't need to be constantly held to stay calm, he's curious staring around the room, following me around with his eyes from the playmat, responding to my silly talk to him. I see he is just more happy to be in this world with us, his family. His smile is my best reward

Olga - follow my Instagram

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Babywise Solved Night Sleep Issues

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I read so many conflicting books before Elyana was born, from baby wearing to Babywise.  I was sure for a while we were going to do Babywise but then started thinking I would do more of a combination of methods.  I got the idea that she needed to be close to me with skin time as much as possible after she was born.  So for the first month, every time she slept, she slept on me.  By the end of the month I was exhausted to say the least and borderline depressed.  I didn’t think she would sleep any other way because from the beginning she would always cry when we tried to lay her down. 
Babywise Solved Night Sleep Issues
Some time around the end of the first month I had had enough and re-read Babywise.  I put her down for a nap, she cried for 5 minutes and went to sleep.  I was shocked.  I told my husband “that was so easy!  I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner”.  That turned out to be the easiest nap time ever.  After that she always cried for at least 11 minutes before every sleep, but at least I was now able to get some sleep.
For some reason I began sleeping in her room (we have a twin bed in there too)  I think I was trying to prevent crying so she wouldn’t wake my mother-in-law and husband.  I would hear her wake and fuss every hour or two and so I fed her to keep her from crying.  This became even more exhausting than when she slept on me.  Oh, I remember, she had reflux and that would bother her too.  At three months I talked to some ladies at church who had done Babywise and they set me straight.  By then I had had it again with the exhaustion so I started implementation that night.  I slept in our bed again and only fed her once in the night.  She only cried I think for 10 minutes or so and then slept most of the rest of the night.
She has always had a struggle with going to sleep so naps continued to be difficult.  But night time sleep was great so I could deal with the nap issues.  Your blog and the Babywise google group have been a real help during our journey and I am very grateful.

Natalie

Babywise Makes Life Smoother

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Babywise was recommended by the doctor. 

Babywise Makes Life Smoother

Babywise was suggested to us by our pediatrician at our son's first doctor's appointment.  I read the book and implemented some of it but realized after rereading it I had misunderstood some of the ideas.  I reread it again before the birth of my daughter.  She was the easiest baby ever to get on a schedule.  She was also a very high maintenance baby but having her on a schedule allowed me to quickly figure out the problem (she was a major homebody).  Thanks to Babywise I had the courage to put my babies and toddlers on a pretty strict schedule.  This schedule made it easy to leave my kids with babysitters and be pretty sure things would go smoothly.

by Krysten T, mother to a son (4.5) and daughter (2)

Babywise Bonding With Bottle & Breast

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I have 3 children and have followed babywise with all of them.

Two of my kids were adopted at birth, and the babywise method provided a great vehicle for bonding with them.  

My oldest was adopted and we implemented babywise right away.  She took to it like a champ.  I felt much more relaxed about bonding in those first months because I could tell she knew I would meet her needs (not that there wasn't some crying;), and could see her gaining a sense of when those needs would be met.  

Babywise Bonding With Bottle & Breast
My second was natural and breastfed.  Immediately I started off a little on the wrong foot, and who wouldn't as a first-time nurser?!  I nursed her to sleep when she was fussy on occasion, but mostly stuck to the 2-3 hour feeding mark.  She was much more difficult to teach to self-soothe and put down awake because I allowed those times of nursing to sooth.  I mostly regret that because it made me so exhausted, but also am glad I had the experience to see what it was like.  Nursing is such a powerful mystery!  Still, she was sleeping through the night consistently at 15 weeks.  I've heard a lot from nursing moms about how impossible it is to sleep train and know that it's because of not laying babies down awake, which is so difficult once you've established a nurse to sleep pattern.  I had to break the cycle by holding her through those times I would have nursed, keeping the paci in her mouth until eventually I held her less and less, and eventually was just shushing and patting until she fell asleep (until my arm felt like it'd fall off!).  Eventually she figured it out and I got to sleep!

My third is adopted and I still had milk from my second when she was born, so she is also nursed (amazing!).  Right away I laid her down awake and didn't nurse to sleep.  I knew this time around we'd have plenty of special nursing times and it didn't need to be when she was tired.  She's thirteen weeks and is pretty consistent thru the night.  

With all of my kids, as they get older, I see the HUGE benefits of how much sleep babywise provides them.  So many of their peers don't get nearly as much sleep, especially in that first year.  Mine are mostly well-rested, and we're able to get out of the house for chunks at a time.  My oldest is now 3.5 and needs to be out running around a little every day.  I can skip the occasional nap with my middle child to make that possible for her older sister, knowing that although she'll be tired, her routine allows enough sleep that it's rare for her.  With 3 kids 3 and under, Babywise also really helps syncing their schedules.  Yes, there's a little time each day where they're all resting at the same time!  It doesn't last long (I do still have a 3 month old;), but it allows Mama a breather.  Their routines provide sanity for the whole family, especially Mama!  

The only thing we don't do is room time.  We live in a very small apartment and I don't keep toys in their room, so they're always playing in the same room (our living room).  I don't keep toys out that need supervision, and my oldest has a box of "Table Toys" where we throw anything that's chokable size.  This allows me to go about my chores as needed, or tend to the babies without having to shut down play time.  They've become really independent about it, but of course, are excited to have me join them ;)

I love Babywise and don't know how Mamas survive the first year without it!

by Ellie

Monday, July 17, 2017

Babywise Makes Working Late Possible

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Waitress and mom! Babywise Success.

Babywise Makes Working Late Possible


I have 3 boys ages 6, 4, and 1. I am a full time server at a large brew pub in our neighborhood. I work nights and don't get home until 11ish. My friend recommended babywise when we were pregnant with our first son. I read it and realized we couldn't do life well without babywise systems in place. 

1. I wanted to feel confident going to work at night knowing that my husband would have the easiest time possible putting our children down for the night
2. I need a predictable rest time for myself everyday...and that relies on nap/independent play time
3. I LOVE that on my nights off I can't put all the boys down and spend quality time with my husband!

Flexibility in a Time of Crisis

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Babywise has been a huge blessing to my family! We have one son, Beckett, who will turn 2 in a few weeks. 

I could go on and on about all the ways Babywise has made parenting easy and joyful, but I want to highlight our family's experience of the past couple weeks.
Flexibility in a Time of Crisis

About 12 days ago, I started experiencing some mystery symptoms - nausea and back pain, but only at night. After a few nights of it getting worse and worse, we finally ended up in the ER. I spent 3 days in the hospital getting diagnosed with a failing gallbladder and then having surgery to have the gallbladder removed. I've been recovering at home for 6 days, and I still have 4 days to go until I'm allowed to lift my toddler again.

Babywise is what made this whole ordeal manageable. When my husband decided to drive me to the ER at 1am, my mom was able to come over to be with our son. In all my stress and pain, I didn't have to worry about explaining a ton of information to her. I was able to hand her his printed routine and walk out the door. She was able to go back to bed at our house, because she knew my son would sleep until 7am

The whole time I was in the hospital, I didn't have to worry about explaining what Beckett needed to my mom or my husband. They knew his routine, and so did he! In all the chaos, of course the routine got disrupted frequently. But because we knew when we would be hungry and when he would be tired, it was easy to be prepared while on-the-go. 

Now that I'm home, having a child who is a reliable sleeper has been critical to my recovery. I can easily get a full night's sleep without disruption. I also get plenty of rest during his consistent daily naptime. And if that weren't enough, he does a full hour of independent playtime every morning. When he is awake and not in IPT, he's easy to take care of because of principles we learned from Babywise. He knows how to play by himself. He doesn't constantly ask me for snacks, because they happen at the same time every day. He is obedient 60-70% of the time, because we began correction/training when he started to crawl. He rarely throws fits, and when he does I know how to handle them simply and without stress. I have a happy, independent, well-rested boy who mostly takes care of himself.

Of course, I have been especially blessed by having my mom nearby to help, and by the fact that my husband has been able to work from home to help me with lifting Beckett when I need to. But I would note that all the predictable breaks I mentioned above - naptime, independent playtime - have enabled my husband to have plenty of time to stay connected with work while staying home to help me. 

I think this particular experience - the illness, the hospitalization, the surgery, the recovery - really highlights one of the major misconceptions about Babywise! I have heard people say that would never want to use a schedule/routine with a baby, because it's too rigid! They want their lives - and their kids - to be flexible.I totally understand why people would think that way. But in my experience, having the routine in place makes my child MORE flexible and helps us deal with change and crises much more easily. Like I said before, we know when he will be hungry or tired. We can be prepared for those times. I'm never surprised by a hungry or tired kid. And having the routine has helped my child learn how to care for himself and be independent. When his routine is disrupted, it's easy to explain it to him and he rolls with it.

Thank you, Valerie, for your website! A copy of Babywise is now my standard baby shower gift, and I always include a printed list of the articles I found most helpful from your site during the first year of Beckett's life. Your wisdom was a lifeline for our family. :)

-Stephanie

Babywise Success Stories Week 2017

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It is here! Babywise Success Stories Week! I absolutely love hearing about the success people have with their children and families. Sometimes, it is a huge shift and significantly changes life. I have had those moments. Sometimes it is something so small that it can almost seem like it isn't that big of a deal, but it still makes a positive impact on family life. I have had those moments, too. 

Babywise Success Stories Week 2017
Parenting is never easy. Babywise helps make it easier, but it isn't a magic wand that takes away all difficulty from parenting. There are still bad days. There are still rough naps. There are still sleepless nights at times. Those moments still come. They just come less frequently. Life becomes more manageable. 

I hope you enjoy reading these success stories this week. I hope you see how life has improved for people with their successes. I hope you also see that these are everyday people simply improving life for their families. Every step we can take to simplify the parenting process is a step we can take toward being better parents who have the patience and wherewithal to respond to the difficulties that will come. 

A big thank you to everyone who sent in stories! I love reading them and appreciate the time you have taken to sending them in. If you are reading along and really wish you had sent one, I can add more to what is scheduled, so feel free to email me your story at valplowman@gmail.com.  

If you would like to share success on social media, post it with #BabywiseSuccess . I will re-post anything public. You can also tag me to ensure I see it. 

I can't tell you how many big and little moments I can see in my life as I look back on the last 12 years of parenting. I have gone from no sleep to great sleep. I have managed a reflux baby and actually slept! I have gone through witching hour, gas pains, and growth spurts. I have survived wise in own eyes, backtalk, and the never ending "why." I have gleaned great ideas for prepping my preschoolers for school. I have known how to balance freedoms. I have developed strong relationships with my preteens. 

Something I can't express enough appreciation for is Independent Playtime. This has helped me consistently through my parenting years. Still today, and especially in summer, it is a sanity saver for me. I am able to still have 60 minutes to myself where my train of thought will not get interrupted. It is an hour when I can work on something without being pulled away to help a child with something. Those 60 minutes help me be a more patient mom. That is major success! 

Stay tuned for more stories. We will have several each day this week. Enjoy!

Friday, July 14, 2017

How to Teach Your Children Self Control by Emily Parker

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Teaching a child self-control is not easy. It is easy to expect self-control in others, but I only have to think about chocolate to realize how hard self-control can really be. It is a skill, it does have to be learned. It isn't something you can just say, "Have self-control" and expect it to be so.

How to Teach Your Children Self Control


Emily says:
Self-control is a crucial skill. It is not something we are born with the ability to do. We have to work at it and it takes a conscious effort, even as an adult. Self-control is actually something I'm personally striving to do better with in my own life. Having the self-control to say "no" to that snack I'm craving. The self-control to put down the phone and stop scrolling. The self-control to set aside the time each day to study God's Word. So many of our personal goals relate back to the ability to have self-control in a given situation. Why not train our children from an early age to have this important personal skill? 
Head on over to The Journey of Parenthood today to read all about how to teach your child self control.  I hope you have enjoyed this week learning more about facets of Babywise that are more than "just" sleep related. There is so much to help you through this parenting journey!
Babywise Friendly Blog Network

This week, the ladies of the BFBN will all be posting on various topics from the -wise series. You will find the schedule below. 
  • Monday - How to Correct Your Preteen - Valerie - Chronicles of a Babywise Mom 
  • Monday - How to Solve the "Wise in Their Own Eyes" Problem - Natasha - Let's Be Brave
  • Tuesday - Kimberly - Intentional Parenting: How Our Beliefs and Goals Shape Our Parenting Decisions - Team Cartwright
  • Tuesday - 5 Ways to Teach Children Kindness - Caitlin - Rogers Party of 5
  • Wednesday - How to Give Instructions to Your Toddler & Achieve Successful Results - Katrina - Mama's Organized Chaos
  • Thursday - Self-Control is a Base Virtue - Cole - Twinning Babywise
  • Thursday - Temper Tantrums and the Happy Heart Rug - Carrie - Wiley Adventures
  • Friday - How to Teach Your Children Self Control - Emily - The Journey of Parenthood 
  • Thursday, July 13, 2017

    Temper Tantrums and the Happy Heart Rug by Carrie Wiley

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    When your child has a tantrum, sometimes it is hard to not morph into your own adult version of a tantrum in response. A great way to keep everyone involved calm, cool, and collected is to have a solid tantrum response in place and planned out.

    Temper Tantrums and the Happy Heart Rug by Carrie Wiley


    Carrie says:
    "The book "Toddler Wise" specifically addresses Temper Tantrums in the "Toddler Topic Pool" chapter. It states that "how [a child] controls and expresses his emotions is far more important than the fact he merely controls or expresses himself...... A temper tantrum is a coping mechanism occurring because an individual has not learned how to correctly manage disappointment." This is so important to us because we believe that part of raising adults is teaching our kids that they are responsible for their own emotions and they have a choice and control over how they handle them."
    Carrie has some great ideas for you to help your child (and therefore you!) maintain a happy heart or regain a happy heart after you stop the tantrum. Head over to Wiley adventures to read all about it. For more ideas on tantrums on this blog, check out:


    Babywise Friendly Blog Network

    This week, the ladies of the BFBN will all be posting on various topics from the -wise series. You will find the schedule below. NOTE--These links will only be live on or after the day listed. If you click on anything for Friday today, it will give you a page error. Don't worry, I will remind and send you there each day this week: 


  • Monday - How to Correct Your Preteen - Valerie - Chronicles of a Babywise Mom 
  • Monday - How to Solve the "Wise in Their Own Eyes" Problem - Natasha - Let's Be Brave
  • Tuesday - Kimberly - Intentional Parenting: How Our Beliefs and Goals Shape Our Parenting Decisions - Team Cartwright
  • Tuesday - 5 Ways to Teach Children Kindness - Caitlin - Rogers Party of 5
  • Wednesday - How to Give Instructions to Your Toddler & Achieve Successful Results - Katrina - Mama's Organized Chaos
  • Thursday - Self-Control is a Base Virtue - Cole - Twinning Babywise
  • Thursday - Temper Tantrums and the Happy Heart Rug - Carrie - Wiley Adventures
  • Friday - How to Teach Your Children Self Control - Emily - The Journey of Parenthood 
  • Self-Control is a Base Virtue

    All links to Amazon are affiliate links.
    Oh self-control. That is a virtue that we all really need help mastering, am I right? Who hasn't spent too much time on social media or the Internet lately? Teaching your child to have self-control is a gift that will serve him not only now, but throughout his lifetime.
    Self-Control is a Base Virtue by Cole Ramirez

    Cole is talking about this base virtue and has 3 great ideas to help you teach it. She says:

    "But teaching self-control to our children is of the utmost importance because it is what On Becoming Preschoolwise calls a base virtue. That is, it is the foundation upon which most other virtues are built. Patience, for example, cannot exist without a honed capacity for self-control because human nature is to desire instant gratification.  One cannot show unrelenting goodness, invariable morality, or consistently respectful speech without possessing dominion over their emotions and impulses. Even when looking at things like factors of learning, good students require the self-control to sit still and listen. The wisest decisions often necessitate the self-control to pause, delay judgement, and avoid rash actions."
    Head over to Twinning Babywise to read up on how to teach your children self-control. For more on this blog on self-control and virtues, see:
    Babywise Friendly Blog Network

    This week, the ladies of the BFBN will all be posting on various topics from the -wise series. You will find the schedule below. NOTE--These links will only be live on or after the day listed. If you click on anything Friday today, it will give you a page error. Don't worry, I will remind and send you there each day this week: 

  • Monday - How to Correct Your Preteen - Valerie - Chronicles of a Babywise Mom 
  • Monday - How to Solve the "Wise in Their Own Eyes" Problem - Natasha - Let's Be Brave
  • Tuesday - Kimberly - Intentional Parenting: How Our Beliefs and Goals Shape Our Parenting Decisions - Team Cartwright
  • Tuesday - 5 Ways to Teach Children Kindness - Caitlin - Rogers Party of 5
  • Wednesday - How to Give Instructions to Your Toddler & Achieve Successful Results - Katrina - Mama's Organized Chaos
  • Thursday - Self-Control is a Base Virtue - Cole - Twinning Babywise
  • Thursday - Temper Tantrums and the Happy Heart Rug - Carrie - Wiley Adventures
  • Friday - How to Teach Your Children Self Control - Emily - The Journey of Parenthood 
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