Okay, that might be dramatic. But it did save my sanity.
My husband serves in the U.S. Air Force and, as is common in military life, I gave birth to our first child less than a month after settling into a new duty station far away from family, friends, and any sort of support system that might cater to new moms. To add insult to injury, less than two months after our son was born, my husband was sent away for four months. So there I was, a brand-new, now “single” mother, in the middle of new town with no friends or resources to help me. To say I was a mess was an understatement. Enter Babywise.
I had heard about Babywise from girlfriends at previous bases who had used it for their children. It seemed like some kind of magic that their children were so well-behaved, not fussy, and slept like champions. All of this from a book? I was intrigued. I became even more intrigued after my son was born and I became a walking zombie. Luckily, one of these girlfriends sent me a copy of the book. I read through it in a day and quickly adopted the EWS schedule. Within days, the whirlwind of chaos that had been my life died. My son began sleeping through the night at around 10 weeks. Naptimes were no longer painful. I was able to plan my day with ease, as I knew exactly when he would be eating, sleeping, and awake. I not only survived my husband’s four month absence; my son and I thrived. The astonishment on my husband’s face when he returned at seeing a peaceful mom and baby (as opposed to the mess he had witnessed before he left) was priceless.
That’s not to say that it was without controversy. I had a few people scold me for using Babywise. I even had one person tell me it was “inhumane.” Her exact words. As a new mother who, of course, questions every decision she makes for her child, these criticisms were hard to hear. But all I had to do was take one look at my easy-going, happy child who now, at 10 months, sleeps 12-13 hours a night, to put myself at ease. Babywise was the right choice for me. Babywise WORKS.
During his six-month check-up, I remember sitting in the “well child” waiting room at the doctor’s office, watching the other children. A few of them around my son’s age were fussy, and I watched sympathetically as one mother tried everything to calm her baby. My son, meanwhile, sat quietly and happily on my lap, playing with a toy. A woman sitting next to me smiled and pointed at my son. “You’re so lucky. He’s such a calm, easy baby.” I smiled back and thanked her. But it wasn’t luck. It was Babywise.