11 tips to successfully get started with On Becoming Babywise. These tips will help make it easier for you to transition to a baby schedule.
Yes, it is hard. It is hard to drag your exhausted limbs from your warm bed every few hours to feed a tiny human. It’s hard to say “no” to social engagement because of that tight 3-hour schedule. It’s hard to listen to your baby cry when you put him down awake.
Yes, it’s hard. But it’s also worth it.
It’s worth it when your little one is sleeping 12+ hours through the night at a young age. It’s worth it when you hear that your little one has “such a nice disposition and he never cries” or “you are so lucky” from literally everyone you meet. It’s worth it when you put your little one down to sleep and he’s asleep without a sound in less than five minutes.
Becoming BabyWise is hard, but it’s so worth it.
I am a mama who struggled through BabyWise and came out on top. You can too. Here are a few tips for you if you are not sure all this work is worth the reward.
What Is Babywise?
First let’s talk about what BabyWise actually is.
BabyWise is a parent-led feeding and sleeping schedule. The idea is that your baby is going to thrive on a schedule…and so are you!
BabyWise follows a schedule of feed, wake, sleep. After your little one eats, he enjoys a few minutes of play before his rest. This ensures fuller feedings (because he doesn’t eat himself to sleep) and better sleep (because he is full and energized after his play).
As you follow this routine, your little one will naturally fall into roughly a 3 hour rotation of feed, wake, sleep. Your baby will grow from a newborn eating eight times a day (every three hours) to a one year old eating three meals and a snack and sleeping 12 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day.
Tips for Becoming Babywise
Let me share a few tips that got me through this season of Becoming BabyWise.
- Don’t worry about putting your baby on the three hour schedule. Just follow the feed, wake, sleep cycle and your baby will naturally fall into about a three hour schedule.
- Learn your baby’s hungry and tired cues. A lot of parents get out of the feed, wake, sleep cycle because they assume their baby is hungry when really their baby is tired! If your baby is getting adequate food during his feeding, unless he is going through a growth spurt, he will not be hungry until he wakes up from nap.
- Make sure your baby is getting full feedings. If your little one is only nursing for a few minutes, he will only be getting the foremilk that satisfies thirst but doesn’t have the nutrients he needs to grow.
- Set a specific wake time each morning. Set an alarm each morning so your baby’s first meal happens at the same time each day. This will get your baby into a somewhat consistent routine as he settles into a three hour schedule.
- Follow a before bed and nap time routine. This could include a diaper change, book, turning on white noise, making the room dark, rocking and singing, a goodnight kiss, and then lying him down and talking to him for a few minutes in the crib before making a quiet exit. This reassures your little one of love and care and also gives him a few minutes to calm down and unwind before nap.
- Communicate with your family about BabyWise. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about becoming BabyWise. Any caretakers should be aware as well so random bottles aren’t snuck in before nap time by a concerned family member.
- Don’t compare your baby to other kids. All babies grow at different rates, even within BabyWise! Save yourself a lot of stress by learning about your baby’s milestones from his pediatrician and his pediatrician only. This doctor went to school for years to study your child’s age group and will keep a detailed growth chart on your baby.
- Avoid co-sleeping. Co-sleeping will make sleeping through the night that much harder. While the baby may seem to go to sleep quicker in your bed, the mattress is not good for the forming back, and the sleep will be fitful and not restful for mama or baby. Plus, co-sleeping is dangerous for a newborn and for you! Babies can be suffocated, and Mamas who co-sleep do not get the rest they need, which can lend itself to postpartum depression. It will also negatively affect your sex-life and marriage in general.
- Use sleep times wisely. Use the baby’s sleep time to rest, think, and relax in the way that you need.
- Start BabyWise today! It can be a little harder if you have not followed BabyWise from the beginning, but it is never too late to get started. You will begin to see the results in no time.
- Enjoy the baby stage. He will be a toddler and then a preschooler and then a high school graduate before you know it. I know it’s easy to think about getting everything done in those few minutes of wake time, but remember to spend quality time with your baby.
I hope these tips help you begin your own journey of Becoming BabyWise.
Bio: Hello! I am Rebecca J. Hardy, an aspiring Christian novelist, who loves to write theological compelling stories, especially suspense and romance! I am a young wife to my wonderful husband Steven, mama to an energetic toddler, and a worker at home. I love sunflowers, am left-handed, and enjoy a wide variety of activities including crochet, reading, puzzles, and anything mathematical.
Feel free to follow me on Facebook or Instagram @rebecca.j.hardy.author.
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