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Flexibility in a Time of Crisis

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

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