The -Wise Series and Older Children/Adoption

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The -Wise Series and Older Children/Adoption. Babywise has benefits for older children and adopted children.

The -Wise Series and Older Children/Adoption. Babywise has benefits for older children and adopted children.


While Babywise is often read and implemented by parents with newborns, I think the real genius of it actually comes into play in the older years. 

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I read Babywise before my first son was born and so I have used it with all of my children; however, I wasn’t prepared for how it would help us in welcoming an older child to our family! We fostered, and later adopted, our daughter beginning when she was 11 years old. She came to us after a turbulent childhood with very few rules and nothing she could rely on. In fact, even food was not a given on any particular day or at any particular time. She was not underfed per se, but she truly never knew when, or what kind of, food would be available. 



After getting her settled in at our home, I realized that she was sneaking food and overeating to the point of giving herself heartburn at every meal. This is not at all uncommon behavior for a foster child, so we were not terribly surprised. We talked to her about it, but of course one can intellectually *know* a fact (that food will be given when needed) and yet not truly, deep-down accept it. She needed something more convincing than the promise of two adults she had never known before! 


So, I posted a schedule on the fridge for meals! I pointed to it and assured her that these were our mealtimes and we would always have food at these times. It took some time, but once she saw that we genuinely did *always* eat at those times, haha, she settled in and gradually stopped hoarding food in her bedroom. 


It has been several years and still, we eat at those same times: 7:30am breakfast, 11:30am lunch, 3pm snack, and 5:30/6pm dinner (depending on sports schedules). Our daughter now not only understands our routine, she will now often cheerfully offer to prepare lunch or gently remind a younger sibling that it will not be lunchtime for another half hour. Recently, I went into labor with my youngest much earlier than expected and our babysitters were all out of town or not answering their phones! She was old enough to babysit, but would she be able to handle dinner time without us?? 


The answer was a resounding “yes”!  At 4:30pm we got a text from her at the hospital asking if it was alright if she made chicken tenders and fries for everyone for dinner. She then proceeded to serve dinner right on time, and all the kids had all eaten and cleaned up and, for the younger ones, gotten into their pajamas before our friend got there at 8pm! She was so impressed with how smoothly everything was running in our absence. Honestly, it was due in part to my two oldest children’s maturity and resourcefulness, but also it was because we had a family routine and everyone from the oldest to youngest knew it. Nobody complained about doing the chores because they were done every night. Nobody was confused at being reminded to put on pajamas because they knew that bedtime was the same every night. 


While Babywise is a blessing for families with babies and toddlers, its true genius is often only seen a decade or more later, as the family routine has become a part of the family culture. 


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The -Wise Series and Older Children/Adoption. Babywise has benefits for older children and adopted children.


valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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Babywise and Adoption

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by Elaine – http://www.faithfullyinfertile.com/


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I have 3 children, ages 7, 5 and almost 2 years old. They are all essentially Babywise babies from birth. All of my children were adopted at birth. My youngest was a very unexpected adoption that happened within the span of 2.5 weeks. As in, we went from being a family of 4, starting our first year of homeschooling our then 5 and 3 year old daughters to adopting our first son in a city 2.5 hours away from home!

Our son had a lot of health concerns at birth and spent the first 4 weeks of his life in the NICU. That time in our family was extremely chaotic as we had the stress of the adoption on top of the health concerns with our new son on top of being separated from our daughters for a month while we sat by our son’s side in the NICU.

Once we brought our son home, I was so relieved to finally have all members of our family under one roof, but the chaos did not go away anytime soon. Our son required round-the-lock constant care and attention to the point that it was not possible for me to care for all three of my children on my own. Fortunately, we had help and support from family in those first several months.

The Babywise principles were already ingrained in my older children, so it was not difficult to keep the basics of their routine and schedules in place. Because our lives were turned upside down during that time, I had to just survive off the basics of Babywise and a lot of prayer!

Looking back, it was enough, because my 5 and 3 year olds were at least eating, sleeping and playing in a semi-orderly manner while our family was dealing with the chaos that came from caring for a special needs newborn. I remember specifically thinking during that time, “What if the girls were not sleeping well? I would lose my mind.”

It was about 3 months before I could attempt to manage all 3 kids alone. I had implemented as best I could the basics of Babywise with my son. I was feeding him every 3 hours (or sooner if he was hungry earlier! Surprise! Surprise! Babywise mamas don’t deny their hungry babies food.), attempting a nap after an appropriate waketime and beginning his day at the same time every morning so we could fall into a good routine eventually.

It took many months (actually, over a year) for our family to fall into a good groove with 3 children. I think part of that was just the going from 2 to 3 children transition – for many, apparently, that is the hardest transition. It certainly was for me! Another part of it was our son’s special needs in that first year and him going through surgery at 6 months old. His little body had a lot of healing to do that first year.

When he was 18 months old, I knew we had made it through that rough season. And, for a third time, Babywise had given our children the stability they needed to grow and thrive. Our oldest two children got through that time because they had a good Babywise foundation. The first year of my son’s life, I implemented Babywise as much as I could and when I could. Now at almost 2 years old, he sleeps 12 hours at night and takes a 3 hour nap!

This is a testimony to the fact that holding your baby when they need to be held does not “spoil” them at all. Those first 3 months, he was in my arms more than he was in a crib. He needed me to hold him because he was in pain. Even still, I was working on Babywise with him, little by little, as I could and as he could handle. Little by little, he started sleeping more and more in his crib and because I was doing the foundational principles of Babywise with him (feeding every 3 hours, starting his day at the same time every morning, doing whatever I had to do to get him to sleep when it was sleep time), he is a Babywise baby just like my other two children and our whole family reaps those benefits today!

He had very short waketimes and didn’t drop his morning nap until I forced him to drop it at 21 months old (because we are about to adopt again and I needed to transition him to his new 1 nap schedule before the baby is born!). In other words, he loves his sleep and slept way longer than even the average for a Babywise baby his age. I firmly believe all the sleep he got (and still gets) helped him heal from everything he endured in utero. He has made remarkable progress from a baby that was born blue and nearly died at birth had the hand of God and a team of brave paramedics not come to his rescue on the night he was born.

Babywise works. I think the key is using the brain God gave you to implement it. It is a tool that you can use to bring consistency and predictability to your baby’s life. It is not a rule book that must be followed to a T because every baby is a unique individual.

Babywise has worked 3 times for us and I am excited to once again use these principles to bring stability and predictability to another baby!

valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

Leave a Reply

Babywise and Adoption

Any links to Amazon are affiliate links.

I have two daughters. My oldest is 3 and my youngest is 10 months. They were both adopted at birth. My youngest was born addicted to methadone and she had to go through withdrawals. The main thing that was affected was her digestive system. She had a very sensitive stomach and would writhe in pain after feedings. Over the first several weeks of her life, we learned what would help her: Zantac, ready made similac allimentum formula, Rock n Play sleeper, mylecon and Gripe Water. However, I believe the foundation of all that was Babywise!!


I vowed to start my second child on Babywise from birth – and I did. The first 2-3 months with her were tough as we tried to manage her “reflux-like” symptoms from the drug withdrawal. The stability that Babywise gave us was simply amazing. I know Babywise made all the difference in the world with her. The stability and predictability that Babywise gives was what her little body needed while going through those withdrawals. 

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My daughters are 26 months apart but I never wanted my children 2 years apart (God had other plans, thankfully!). However, this past year with a 2-year-old and baby has really been smooth sailing overall, thanks to Babywise. I pictured chaotic days with both girls needing me at the same time and both girls crying while I feel frazzled and pulled in two different directions. Because of Babywise it is a rare day for me to feel that way at all! We have our daily schedule/routine and the girls know what comes next. 


People are always concerned about bonding when it comes to adoption. I feel that Babywise allowed me to bond and know my baby’s cries and what it meant from a very early age. When my baby is upset and crying I always know exactly what the problem is or, with some troubleshooting, I am able to figure things out pretty quickly. 


Babywise works for my family beautifully. It has given me the ability as a mother to know my children and meet their needs before they even have to ask and it has given my family as a whole stability and consistency, even with two small children. 


-Elaine

Website: http://www.faithfullyinfertile.com/

valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

1 Comment

  1. Britney
    July 25, 2012 / 5:26 AM

    I'm a follower of Elaine's blog. Kudos to you for putting her on here. She is AMAZING!

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