A Complete Summary of the Babywise Method

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Babywise method summarized. A Complete Summary of the Babywise Method. Everything you need to know about On Becoming Babywise. Learn what it is all about and how to successfully implement it.

A Complete Summary of the Babywise Method. Everything you need to know about On Becoming Babywise. Learn what it is all about and how to successfully implement it.

As you look around at the different parenting options out there, you are probably “Googling” or “Pinteresting” any method you are considering. This may be what brought you here! In this post, I outline what On Becoming Babywise is all about and what you need to know to be able to implement it and get the results you are looking for.

Babywise is About More Than Sleep

The first thing you need to know is that On Becoming Babywise is about more than sleep. Having a baby who sleeps really well is wonderful and beneficial in so many ways to baby, mom, and the family. But Babywise is about so much more than baby sleep. Babywise starts off by talking about the importance of family. Great sleep and a great baby schedule are a means to an end to the family able to be harmonious and a unit.

Babywise Does Not Instruct On Sleep Training Methods

This fact may surprise you since On Becoming Babywise often gets accused of being too harsh in sleep training and cry it out methods. The goal of Babywise is for baby to sleep well, but the methodology is really through scheduling and consistency. Part of what you schedule and are consistent with is sleep. The book mentions that self-soothing and independent sleep are important, but it really isn’t a sleep training book. It is a baby sleep book. Because the Babywise method works so well for having great sleep results, it is part of my Favorite Sleep Training Books, but if you need a step-by-step guide to sleep training, you will want to supplement with some other resources.

Here are some helpful sleep training posts on this blog:

Babywise Encompasses Your Baby’s Whole Day

With the babywise method, you are working to have baby’s days synchronized, predictable, and consistent. Babies are not robots and they have off days. Babies also have many, many growth spurts over time when they need to switch up their frequency of feeding and eat more often than they currently are. Sometimes you will be out and about and need to change up the schedule to accommodate the activities of the day or to help baby make it through that disruption with grace. Baby will get sick and things will need to be done differently. All of those things, and more, happen. When they do, you change things as needed. This is normal, expected, and discussed in the book.

The Babywise Method is Parent Directed

This parenting method is parent-directed. There are guidelines and best practices, but there are no hard and fast rules. You are the parent, you are present, and you will need to make judgement calls on exactly how best to implement the methods of Babywise. You will not find a long list of “if x happens, do y” in the book. You will find guidelines and explanations of the why behind those guidelines. You will find some sample scenarios so you can see how those guidelines might look in real life as well as how you might switch those guidelines up in different circumstances.
You will not find statments or rules telling you that you cannot feed a hungry baby or that you should hyperschedule and ignore baby’s needs. The book literally tells you NOT to hyperschedule. The book also instructs you to Feed Baby When Hungry (click for exact quotes from the book when this is stated). Babywise does not require cry it out, though you can do cry it out if that is your sleep method of choice.
You never abandon your baby’s needs. You always respond to the needs. You just respond to the actual need, not just assume every cry means hunger. Babies cry for more reasons than hunger. You can also feed your baby through any method you want. You can choose to breastfeed, formula feed, or pump and feed your baby and still be successful with the Babywise method.

The Proof is in the End Result

The best advice you can get when deciding whether or not you would like to follow the Babywise parenting method is to observe those who follow the method themselves. This advice is given in the book. Don’t take the word of the promises on the back of the book; observe those using the method. What is life like for them? What is baby’s disposition like? How is the atmosphere in the home? If you don’t know anyone in real life who uses this method, you can observe people online (including me!).  You can see snippets of our lives on Instagram and read through our experiences here on this blog. The best way to know if this method is one you would like is to observe the end results and see if that fits in with your values and goals.

For Help Implementing Babywise, See These Posts:

A Complete Summary of the Babywise Method. Everything you need to know about On Becoming Babywise. Learn what it is all about and how to successfully implement it.


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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