Read all about how Valerie Plowman, the Babywise mom, discovered Babywise. What led her to use and love the baby sleep method for her babies.
I was pretty sure I would just wing it. Taking care of a baby wouldn’t be that hard, would it? I wouldn’t need ideas nor help with that. Despite being a major researcher, I felt like my natural instincts would prevail and having a baby would be easy.
Despite being sure I would wing the baby stage, I am an observer, and while at church each Sunday, I observed the parents of toddlers. I noticed there were some who were so well behaved and others who managed to get taken into the hall each week, which always resulted in the child being able to gleefully chase a ball down the hall (I mean, I could see clearly that the child was doing his best to get to that hall and had learned the simple way to get there).
There were families I was overly impressed with and others I was not so much. One day, I asked a mom of one of the families I was impressed with why some of the children were so different than others. What was the difference? What did those certain families do to have such great kids? (this post contains affiliate links)
Her answer was simple.
All of the families I was impressed with at church had this book in common. She ran through the basics and told me all about it. I found it fascinating, but it was several months until my due date, and again, I was sure I could wing it. We moved to a new home and the example of those great families was left to my pregnant memory.
Then came the baby.
About a week after Brayden was born, in the middle of another sleepless night, I wondered to myself, “Why did we ever have a baby?!?” Life had been just fine before the baby came along. Not sleeping for a week can really make you question your life choices. Of course deep down I new why we had a baby, but it was hard to be happy with that choice in that dark moment.
Not only was Brayden not sleeping well, he was not eating well. We spent much time in the first month visiting the lactation consultants. I wasn’t getting answers there.
One day as I drove home from the lactation consultant office with my four week old baby, I passed by my old neighborhood.
Babywise popped back in my memory.
I drove to the apartment of the woman who had told me about Babywise. I was excited and hopeful. I remembered she had a great answer for me.
But she wasn’t home. There was no answer.
Somehow, some way, I was able to pull the name of the book from my memory. That night, my husband and I packed up our non-sleeping, 2 hour nurser (in one feeding session. Even at night) and headed to the book store (those still existed in abundance then). We bought the book.
I read that book in about an hour my first time through. I was so very eager to get things rolling.
I immediately put into practice the simple idea of eating, wake time, nap time. I also tried have naps start so that he could get a 1.5 hour nap in before his next feeding should start. We had a lot of upcoming disruptions to life, so I held off on doing anything more than that. No sleep training or anything. Just eat/wake/sleep and having planned naps.
He immediately went to waking only once a night.
I was sold. When Brayden was 9 weeks old, we started some sleep training. Things improved even more. Naps got longer than 30 minutes. He improved more and more over time. By 12 weeks old, he was eating faster (still long–45 minutes–but compared to two hours? It was a dream).
Things were not Babywise perfect right away. I saw immediate improvement and steady improvement from there. But he wasn’t consistently sleeping through the night nor taking 2 hour naps until he was 6 months old.
But I had had lived life without Babywise, and even when things were not Babywise perfect, they were SO MUCH BETTER than they had been before. Once Brayden reached Babywise perfect, he never looked back.
I experienced parenting with and without Babywise. There was no way I was going to have a baby and NOT have Babywise be a part of it. Of course when I had my second child, a daughter, 22 month after my first was born, Babywise was just part of who I was. I wouldn’t have been able to not do Babywise because it all just made so much sense. As I had my third and fourth children, we easily did Babywise from day one because that was just the way we parented.
Get the Whole Babywise Series
I am a believer that there is more than one correct way to be a parent. I am not a person who runs around giving people unsolicited advice. When I get asked “How?” I answer. I give as many details as people want. But I don’t push. If they need help, they know who they can ask for answers. There are many parents out there happily raising their families without using Babywise at all.
For us, this is the right way to parent. It is the right way for us as parents and for our children. It is what has worked so well for us. It has served us beautifully.
I am so glad I was not able to wing things 12.5 years ago. If I had, I wouldn’t have turned to Babywise. It has been a blessing in our lives.
I found Babywise through the examples of others. As I observed them and the fruits of their efforts, I asked “how.” “The proof is in the pudding” so the saying goes. Sharing through example is such a powerful way to help others seeking answers to find out how things worked for you.
The ladies of the BFBN are all sharing today how they discovered Babywise. Read their stories here:
- Discovering Babywise from Mama’s Organized Chaos
- How I Discovered Babywise from The Journey of Parenthood
- How I Discovered The Remarkable Gift of Babywise from Christine Keys
- How I Discovered Babywise and Why I Followed it Despite the Controversy from Rogers Party of 5
- Why I Quit Babywise from Team Cartwright