In Action: Benefits of Babywise

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This past weekend, our little family went camping for a family reunion with my husband’s family. Our kids did so great. They got less sleep. They both woke up about 45 minutes early in the morning, but it was really cold. I wasn’t sleeping well because of the cold, so I was happy they did as well as they did. While we were there, I once again saw evidence of the great benefits of Babywise.

My sister-in-law has a 6 year old and a 3 year old and doesn’t follow any kind of parenting “program.” She is probably most like an attachment parent though. We had decided to let Brayden stay up later to play and visit with his cousins. Then came bedtime. My sister in law left with her 3 year old to put her to bed. She was gone for around 30 minutes, then came out saying she wanted to say goodnight to Daddy. She then took her 6 year old to bed. Both kids were crying and fighting bedtime. Since the cousins were going to bed, I told Bradyen, “In two minutes, it will be time for bed.” He responded, “Okay.” Everyone around the campfire laughed. My husband asked what was so funny and they said, “He is just so obedient.”

It came time for bed. Kaitlyn was already asleep. Brayden told everyone good night then went potty, got in his PJs, and got in bed. He whispered so he wouldn’t wake his sister. We said we loved him and left. We changed our clothes to get ready for a game of capture the flag. We went back to the fire where we were still missing our sister and brother in law. They were still fighting their kids to go to sleep. We waited for about 30-45 minutes more for that to be over. I was so glad our kids have a regular bedtime routine and we could put them down so simply. I couldn’t imagine doing that every night. Apparently, it wasn’t that bad of a night for them.

The next morning, I found out the two girls hadn’t slept through the night; they had woken up crying and mom had to put them back to bed (yes, even the 6 year old). That made my 45 minute early even less bad to me. Kaitlyn took her two naps that day just as usual. We didn’t have Brayden take his nap because he is old enough to not take it on occasion and still be happy. Kaitlyn’s naps went as usual. The 3 year old cousin did take a nap, but Daddy had to lay with her the whole time–which was right in the middle of a huge reunion lunch (though I honestly don’t think he minded it 😉 ).

When it came to meals, it was interesting for me to see what our kids ate in comparison to their kids. My kids ate a little of everything. I was sure to bring veggies and fruits for them to eat (and shared of course). At one meal, my kids were eating their fruits and veggies and the main course while the three year old was eating tortilla chips. That is all she wanted so it is what she got.

I do think their situation is extreme; I don’t think all parents who don’t do schedules have such a hard time with sleeping (though I could be wrong). But after witnessing it for the weekend, I was so glad for our structure and routine. Traveling is hard when you have kids; it throws things off. It can be stressful for a mom who schedules because she worries about the schedule. While my kids got less sleep than usual, the weekend was quite easy. Since coming home, we have had earlier bedtimes and later waketimes to make up for it and they seem to have bounced back with no problems. Our experience was far less stressful than it was for my sister-in-law. So keep up your good and hard work! It is well worth the effort.

January 2009–More Babywise Benefits in Real Life

January 26, 2009

I often have experiences that show me in extreme ways the benefits of Babywise principles. Last Thursday night was another one of those experiences.

Kaitlyn had a fever starting Wednesday night. We were watching her closely. She wasn’t eating well at all. She was very clingy and easily upset all day Thursday, which is extremely uncharacteristic of her. Right before bed Thursday night, her temperature jumped up to 105.9. I immediately called my parents and had them come over with Brayden while we took Kaitlyn to the Emergency Room.

Kaitlyn was not in good shape. Happily for us, one of our relatives is an ER doctor and he was working, so he took Kaitlyn as his patient and was very attentive. Poor Kaitlyn had to have her temperature checked rectally. She later had to have a catheter, and the girl doing it was not very good and had to reinsert it about five times before she finally got it. Kaitlyn shook in pain, but held still, cried, and just said “Ow!” (along with “need to go potty!”). When the girl was done, Kaitlyn told her thank you. The girl told Kaitlyn she was such a good girl and “awesome,” to which Kaitlyn faintly responded “yeah.” She asked every attendant, nurse, and doctor who walked in if she was all done and if she could go home.

I was so amazed by her. She was so polite and patient, even hours past her bedtime and sick. While waiting for test results, I held her and rocked her. She got to be heavy, so I rested my arm on the armrest and she meekly said, “again?” So I rocked her more and got her to fall asleep for about 15 minutes before she was woken up by a nurse. Before we left, she shook the hand of our doctor. Everyone was so amazed by how good and cute she was. She represented herself so well.

Don’t get me wrong, Kaitlyn cried. She was not happy to be at the hospital having these strange people to stranger things to her. But she responded to her parents when we told her that she needed to cooperate. She held still, opened her mouth wide, and did all she could to help the process. She was polite and kind. She trusted that her parents would do what was best for her, even if it wasn’t something she wanted to do. These are attributes that come from principles of Babywise. In my recent medical experiences with my children, it has been interesting to see them trust us when they are asked to do scary things. For their whole lives, we have done and required things of them that might not have been easy for anyone involved (like cry it out for example), but they have always been things that have benefited them in the long run. My children recognize that and trust us in the face of fear.

On a side note, I am really tired of the hospital! Between my pregnancy, Brayden’s surgery (pre-op, surgery, several post-op visits…), and the ER, I am there several times a week. I am hoping February brings with it fewer trips to the hospital!

Also, Kaitlyn is now doing well. By the next morning, despite 3 fewer hours of sleep that night, she woke up much better and much happier. By the next night, you never would have known she had ever been sick.

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Reader Comments:

  • Jordan & Nikki said…
    I see the benefits of Babywise SO often with our 2-year-old. I worked part-time, so it required FIRM commitments by caregivers. Nevertheless, it worked wonderfully & he continues to be a great sleeper & all-around amazing little boy!
    June 9, 2008 2:16 PM
  • Meghan said…
    We have seen the benefits a hundred times over during the last three years. We have a similiar situation, we are structured – relatives are not….My husband’s family(they thought we were being border-line abusive when they found out we were doing Babywise) is continually amazed at how well she sleeps and how quickly and easily she goes down for bedtime/naps – not to mention how much more obediant and calm she is compared to my niece who is the same age and parented with no structure at all. Needless to say, they have changed their minds about Babywise! I’m so glad we stuck with it and persevered. It’s so hard in the beginning when they are babies and crying their heads off to see how this could possibly be a good thing. But I have to say that once you start having 12 solid hours of sleep a night plus naps as the NORM – it makes it all worth it. You start to wonder why everybody doesn’t do Babywise. A well-rested family is a happy family in my opinion! And you are giving your child a gift. They play better, learn better, etc…..OK….I’m stopping….this is starting to be a sermon – I could probably go on forever! The benefits are amazing and well worth the effort in the beginning! By the way, this is such a great blog. It’s so helpful – I wish you’d been around when my three year old was a baby!:) Keep up the good work!
    June 9, 2008 7:41 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Thanks Meghan! Thanks for your added “testament”!
    June 11, 2008 10:17 AM
  • Don & Denise Sullivan said…
    Another great confirmation of why we do what we do. We see the benefits of Toddlerwise at church when other people’s children are running around or being disobedient and Nate is staying put on Blanket Time and happily playing with his toys. We’ve had to discipline him though when people don’t respect his Blanket Time and give in to him if he wanders off the blanket. That sounds harsh but he and the adult both get the picture very quickly and are much more respectful after that. One lady even started instructing him to stay on the blanket when he started edging off. It’s teaching him to respect other adults besides just mom and dad.
    June 9, 2008 8:11 PM
    Don & Denise Sullivan said…
    I forgot to mention that people always comment on how well behaved he is (and he’s only 1-1/2!) It makes you proud as a parent to see that your efforts are paying off and how much happier your child is.
    June 9, 2008 8:14 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Thanks to you Denise! It is great to hear the other success stories of BW.
    June 11, 2008 10:17 AM
  • LEM said: Funny that you post this right now because I am dealing with my 8 month old being sick with a fever for the first time. He had a fever for about 3 or 4 days, had rough nights and rough days. He seemed to be getting better so he went to day care. When I picked him up from day care He was crying, upset, and clingy. SO very unlike him. It looked like he had developed a fever again and again we had a rough night.Since then we are now fever free but he is still congested. The issue is that he is getting so upset over anything these days and I;m not sure if it’s related to the sickness or if he is pushing my buttons. He has been since for a week now so I would think his fussiness cannot be due to sickness but I’m not sure. When he first got sick he was eating normally. For the past 2 days he has been refusing his bottle and solids. I have had to force him a bit to take anything. He has been going down for naps easily but is not happy when he awakens. During the day he will be playing but begin to throw a fit if he doesn’t get his way. Then after that everything makes him cry. It seems the best way to describe it is that he is irritable. Is this just the aftermath of him being sick? I am not sure how to respond to this (lack of eating, crying for no apparent reason, irritable). Any suggestions? I feel like my happy little babywise baby has turned into someone I hardly recognize!

    Plomwanators said: LEM, my guess is that he is still feeling sick, not pushing your buttons. I would comfort him and be patient. I know it can seem like they are just trying to irritate you, but I wouldn’t expect that of Kaitlyn who is 21 months, so definitely not from an 8 month old. See the blog label “sickness” for more thoughts on what to do when they are sick. Hopefully he gets better soon!
  • Rachael said: I am so glad you posted this. It just reinforced for me that I am not just “lucky” as some people imply about my sons personality and that it really is the fruits of the good seeds swen through BW (and a lot of prayer!) My son, who was 10 months at the time, came down with the dreaded stomach flu that blazed across the country in December. He threw up constantly for 6 days and had to be hopitalized for 2 days right before Christmas. Prior to being admitted he spent 6 hours in the ER and had have an IV and a catheter inserted. They made us leave the room while they did it b/c they said it would be better if he did not associate it with us. The nurses were amazed at how well he did.Once we were admitted they asked if we wanted a crib or if he would just sleep in the bed with one of us. Knowing that most BW kids are very attached to their beds i asked them to bring in a crib. I was nervous that he would not be able to sleep with us in the room with him, tv on, lights on, nurses in and out every 4 hours to take vitals. He did great. At first, i think he slept out of exhaustion and sickness, but as he got to feeling better he was still able to sleep. The nurses thought we were so funny to lay him down awake in his bed and leave the room to wait outside whiule he fell asleep on his own. He woke up only when they came to check vitals and then went back to sleep great. I am so thankful for BW!
  • kristenjedwards said: I give babywise the credit for keeping my daughter out of danger when she got very sick with the Rota Virus at 5 months. I was a first time mum and I had no idea how quickly the virus could get dangerous. I kept her routine, regularly waking her up for all her feeds. She was very sick for five days, but the whole time was not dehydrated. Thank goodness for the routine principles of babywise.
  • bradysmom said: Thank you for posting this; and I’m so glad that Kaitlyn is OK now!! I’m sure you are sick of the hospital. We’ll pray for much fewer visits for you in the future!I just wish that more people would understand this. Everyone just keeps telling us that Brady is just good natured, and it’s just his personality; and that we are so lucky. Whenever I say it’s BW, they say ‘well maybe, but most of it is due to who he is.’ Why can’t people understand and accept that we can train/educate/sculpt these little people, and that it’s so much better for them. Oh well.Our prayers are with your family!
  • Mommytobobbysaid: Poor Kaitlyn!! So hard for a mommy and little girl to go through! We have had quite a month with Bobby too–He has been sick with the high fever and congestion, then he had his 1 year check up last week and got all of his vaccinations. The Dr. said that he could now eat peanut butter, so I brought him home and excitedly made him his first peanut butter and jelly sandwich! 3 hours later he was covered in hives, burning up and wheezing!! We took him to the ER and found out that he is allergic to peanuts!!!! UGH!! Anyway, they put him on a steroid and he has become a different child. He screamed for 3 hours straight the other night and could not be consoled. Last night he woke up crying multiple times. He is off of prednisone now, so hopefully it will get better soon. They say it takes a few days for it to fully leave their system. I don’t know if I should just comfort him at night as I have been doing or if I am creating a bad habit. Do you think that I will have to do sleep training again after he is back to normal??? Praying that Kaitlyn and you are feeling better!! Are you pregnant???Tami

    Plowmanators said: Tami, how scary! I luckily have never had an allergic reaction to deal with (knock on wood). I would definitely comfort him while it is needed. As for after, some will need some re-training and others will go on as if nothing happened. I think the older they are, the faster they are at getting back on track. I am pregnant–due in 2.5 months!
  • C-lee said: Yes and it is a beautiful story I actually had tears in my eyes when you said that she thanked the nurse after making her feel uncomfortable. I even send this blog to my mother. Kaitlyn sounds like such a dream. 🙂

    Plowmanators said: Thanks C-lee 🙂 She really is a sweetheart. We all learn so much from her sweet temperment, patience, and willingness to endure difficulty. We recognized from her birth that she would teach us a lot.

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