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by Katrina Villegas, mother to 1 (6 months old) named Caroline
Before Caroline came into this world, I was taking every last second to read, read, read. I was reading about how often I should expect to feed my baby, change her diaper, how long her naps should be and how frequent, when she’d be sleeping through the night, and on and on. I was trying to get a glimpse into what my life would be like, and the engineer in me wanted to be prepared. I knew that there would suddenly be a lot of things in my life that I had no control over, so I wanted to have as much insight as I could, and wanted to control the little things- the no brainers.
In my research I came across the eat, wake, sleep cycles in several places. There was a routine to set up and I was finding average wake times, sleep times, etc. I knew this was for me. I was not the type of person to just go with the flow and try and figure out my baby’s cries. I wanted to be prepared and have a leg up on this whole baby thing! Somehow, I hadn’t run into the term ‘babywise’ yet, but it was soon to come. It wasn’t until into my first month as a new mama that I found Babywise .
This concept was nothing new to us, however. We’d been doing eat wake sleep cycles and keeping our baby on a routine since the first hours of her life. Caroline was born at 37 weeks, and while she was plenty big enough (7lbs 6oz), the doctors wanted me feeding her every 2 hours because of her early arrival. So, literally in the hospital we started our routine, and when we finally got home we kept it going.
I have to say that I felt like there was no way I was able to be successful at the eat, wake, sleep cycles in the first few weeks. I was very successful at feeding her on time…and then it was all up in the air. I tried for eat, wake, sleep cycles, but it just didn’t happen. The reality, though, is that in those first weeks, even the first two months really- it is all about establishing day versus night, feeding them on time, and letting the rest fall into place.
I am so glad that we stuck with it. When month 3 rolled around, things were flowing naturally. She was only waking once a night, she never cried out of hunger or tiredness (because I fed her or put her to sleep before it was bothering her), and we had eat, wake, sleep cycles down! Now that we are in month 6 and going strong, I am so very thankful that I became Babywise
I have had the pleasure of helping so many other mamas get through the first few months as well, and it is amazing to see what a difference it makes in the temperament of a baby! Babies that were fussy and feeding every hour on the hour (in the 5th month of their life) were suddenly happy little observers- just like my beautiful, strong baby Caroline!
Babywise fell into my life as a natural piece of my family puzzle. I get to be the process engineer that I always was, and employ this “best practice” right in my very home. Schedules are comfortable to us and to our babies. Mama knows when she can leave the house (and doesn’t get stuck pulling out a boob in public or with a baby that is having a melt down) and baby knows the patterns and routines so well that she is happy and content. Do we still go out and have a baby that cries in public? Sure…but it is so rare. We plan our outings around our schedule and routines, and as a result we are typically not left in an uncomfortable situation.