Blog Index

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Please NOTE: This index is no longer updated as of 2/2010. For the current index, please see the “Blog Index” link under the banner at the top of any page.

About Me

Baby Stuff I Love:

Baby Summary

Baby Whisperer

Babywise Potpourri (Milestones, Theory, Starting Late…)

Babywise Theory In Depth


Best Things…(Stages)

Best Toys for Baby/Toddler:

Birth Order

Blog Information

Book Recommendations

Breastfeeding (see Nursing below)

Childwise (On Becoming Childwise)





Cry It Out (CIO)




Dream Feed (late evening feeding–typically 10-11 PM):

Dropping Things (Naps, Feedings, Weaning):

Eating: see Feeding and Solids sections below

Feeding: see also Solids and Nursing sections below

Finger Sucking:


Four Hour Schedule

Growth Spurts


The Happiest Baby On The Block

Help A Reader Out Series


In Action

Independent Playtime

Language Development

Learning Development:



Making Babyfood

Mealtime: (see also Solids section below)

Moral Training

More Than Making It:

My Advice:







Parenting Skills:

Playtime (see Waketime below)

Poll Results:

Potty Training



Preterm Babies

Product Reviews

Reader Comments/Questions:

Reading (see also Learning Development above)



Rest Time




Sleep Problems



Thank You

Thumb Sucking (see Finger Sucking above)

Tips & Tricks

Toddlers (see Discipline section above for posts on that topic)

Toddler Summary





Waking Early

Waketime (Playtime)

Wake time (start of day)


Witching Hour

Word to the Weary (pep talks)


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, 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.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. Lindsay
    February 17, 2008 / 5:56 PM

    Wow,…you are SO awesome, this must’v taken FOREVER! SO helpful, thanks!

  2. Plowmanators
    February 17, 2008 / 9:47 PM

    lol! You have no idea how long it took! I have been working on it for a while. I thought it would be really useful, though. I will add each new post to it as I go. It should make finding solutions a lot easier for everyone!

  3. Rob & LeAnna
    February 18, 2008 / 2:57 AM

    Thank you so much for doing this! I am new to your blog, but a day doesn’t go by that I don’t check it out. It is amazing how you seem to say just what I need to hear so that I can work it in with what is going on with my 2 month old. Your blog has really been an asset to me; I sure wish I would have had this 6 years ago when I had my first child, we just had the book Growing Kids God’s Way (our pastors let us borrow theirs). There isn’t a lot of support for the PDF here, but everyone has seen the out come of our PDF children, now 5&6. We get complaments all the time and other kids really look up to our kids because they treat others with kindness and respect. We have started from the beginning with our 3rd as well. But every child is differant and we have run into many differances with our newest member. So once again, thank you!

  4. Plowmanators
    February 18, 2008 / 4:48 PM

    You are welcome! Yes, every child is different. It is a whole new ball game with each one. Some times do come easier, but you still have a learning curve.

  5. annbo
    February 28, 2008 / 3:34 PM

    Your website is really helpful! I think you gave more details and “meat” to the Babywise book, which I read and read and read, but never seems to get it to be “real”. We tried BW on my firstborn and failed terribly. I wasn’t emotionally ready for that. In the end he still slept on his own after 4 months and through the night by 1 year, and he goes to bed on his own (sleeps from 7 to 7)and doesn’t whine alot now that he’s 2. However, it took us MANY months of tiredness, and sleep-deprivation and a sore arm. I wish it’ll be different with my daughter now who is 7 weeks old, esp with the need to take care of my firstborn.Really wish to try BW again, but I’ve so many reservations, mainly if I can stick to it and whether it’ll really work or whether I can withstand a long time of crying…Any advice for a person who’s trying “again”?btw, she’s on a good feeding schedule, and can sleep on good routine, but the BIG problem of sleeping while carried and continues to sleep while carried. I view that as a BIG problem.

  6. Plowmanators
    February 28, 2008 / 5:48 PM

    I find Babywise to be so helpful–especially in the caring for two young children. It has made life much easier than it would have been otherwise.I would suggest you work to phsych yourself up. Take heart from the good experiences of others. Be realistic with yourself. The crying is so hard. I was reduced to tears even with my second, and I had the shining example of my son to know the reason I was doing it. It is never easy to listen to. You have to just decide you are going to do what is best for your baby, and you have to believe that is what is best. I would read the CIO bootcamp so you can be aware of things that make CIO easier. Not easy, but easier. I would also start as soon as you are ready and you are committed (and feel your baby is ready). The sooner you break the habit of sleeping while carried, the easier it will be to do. But don’t start until you are ready to do it. If you start and stop and start and stop, it will just be too confusing for your baby. Though you do need to evaluate your baby’s readiness once you start. I would also recommend joining a BW group. It can be so helpful to have people rooting you on. I really like the group on Maya’s Mom. It is very active, 214 members right now, and everyone is really supportive. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and look for reassurance. Let me know when I can help. Good luck!

  7. annbo
    March 1, 2008 / 7:36 PM

    Thanks, Plowmanators, for your comments on both queries!How do I find a BW group?We are Day 2 CIO and things are looking better! =)

  8. annbo
    March 5, 2008 / 12:44 AM

    Didn’t have time to reply your comments cos we’re in the “heat” of training. =) Things are looking good but we have questions ALL THE TIME.For eg, you said about putting Kaitlyn in a swing to finish her nap. We don’t have a swing, it seems that the only way for her to finish her nap is in our arms, rocking…isn’t that sabotaging the whole CIO process?In the midst of CIO training, do I have to worry about the 45 mins intruder? Or should I continue with CIO? Cos I can’t tell if she’s awake or if she still wants sleep (mostly she still wants sleep) cos she’ll cry at 45 min, leave her, she’ll wake up and she’ll go back and cry and go back and cry and go back. Very short intervals. We’re on Day 5.

  9. Plowmanators
    March 5, 2008 / 5:02 AM

    You will have to watch her and see how it affects her. Some babies would be okay with that. For others, it would make CIO harder. If her naps get worse after you do it, then you know it is not good for her.I wouldn’t worry about the 45 minute thing until she can fall asleep well on her own. Just have her finish it out the same way you do if she won’t fall asleep.

  10. jahanschen
    March 27, 2008 / 5:12 AM

    You’re awesome! I just saw the index (doh!). I love that you’ve already answered sooo many questions so thoroughly–all I have to do is find it on the index and send the link on to my friends. It’s great! (When are writing your book?…and I’m just partially kidding!)

  11. david, blair, and sadie beth
    May 29, 2008 / 6:03 PM

    Hi Valerie, I was wondering if you have done a post about separation anxiety? I quickly looked through the index and didn’t see anything. If not, do you have any thoughts? Did either of your kids deal with this? Sadie Beth is now 8 almost 8.5 months old, and we are dealing with it BIG TIME! It’s the “every time you walk out of the room I’m going to cry” sort of thing and sometimes it is anytime I am more than a foot away from her! I’m trying not to reinforce this and cause her to be spoiled or overly dependent on me, but it also seems to me that she is not trying to manipulate me so I want to meet her need as well….it is very exhausting! I think she is also dealing with it at night and that it might be the cause of some NW and not being able to resettle. Thanks for any direction or ideas you may have.

  12. Kylie
    July 10, 2008 / 11:31 AM

    Hi! I cannot thank you enough for your website… it really fills in a lot of missing pieces to PDF!Quick question… can you give me some direction or refer my to one of your postings that deals with how you start PDF with a newborn?I am due to “pop” any day now and I still feel like I’m not fully sure how to start PDF.Thanks again!

  13. Anonymous
    July 31, 2008 / 10:41 PM

    I’m new here, but we’ve used Babywise for all 8 of our children w/ great success. Would someone be willing to show me where to find answers for a mother I know whose 1 year old wakes/screams to nurse every 1 1/2 hours through the night? She’s completely ignorant of sleep training, and I don’t have the experience to help her . . .Tia for any and all help you can give me!

  14. Plowmanators
    August 3, 2008 / 10:19 PM

    Wow, there are a lot of posts I have missed here.jahanschen, book. Umm..I don’t know 😉

  15. Plowmanators
    August 3, 2008 / 10:19 PM

    Blair,I don’t have any experience with SA. I think I am going to talk to a BW friend about it because there have been many questions.

  16. Plowmanators
    August 3, 2008 / 10:21 PM

    Kylie,You are likely in the middle of it by now. PDF with a newborn is pretty easy–it gets harder as they get older for most (once they wake up on their own). Please don’t hesitate to ask questions as they come up.

  17. Plowmanators
    August 3, 2008 / 10:22 PM

    Schoolsareforfish,Is she doing BW? She needs to help her daughter learn to soothe herself, which is going to be much harder at this age. She also needs to have her daughter eat regular meals in the day with no snacking. The whole BW method would be her solution.

  18. Anonymous
    August 5, 2008 / 4:27 PM

    Thank you! I did get in touch with a contact mom from GFI and found another mom with some experience helping w/ this kind of situation. The mom in need is already seeing good results! Thank the Lord!

  19. Plowmanators
    August 6, 2008 / 5:00 AM

    Glad to hear things are going better for her.

  20. Kristen Appleby Bryant
    September 11, 2008 / 1:37 AM

    Tonight, I am starting BW with my 6 week old son. He wants to be held all the time, for naps and awake time. I find myself unable to do anything during the day, until my husband gets home. I desperately need something to help us! I have a few questions…1) How long do I let him CIO? He has been crying intensely for the past 1.5 hours.2) I am nursing him and don’t know how to get him to feed every 3 hours. He is still nursing every 2 hours. 3) When I return to work, will it be feasible for the day care staff to continue BW? If so, what should I ask them to do while he is in their care?Thanks!

  21. Jessica
    January 29, 2009 / 1:23 AM

    I couldn’t find a “Starting BW Late” section so I will post here.I was first introduced to BW when my daughter was around a month old and not napping, crying all the time, etc. Even just loosely implementing BW I can now tell you what time she will go to bed, wake in the morning, take both of her naps and eat her meals. I owe much of my sanity to BW.I need some help with advising a friend. Her daughter is 6 months old, only naps through one sleep cycle (45 minutes – 1 hour), will sleep for 2-3 hours when first put down for the night but then wakes 3-4 times through the night to eat and will not sleep without her mother for the remainder of the night. Whew, yikes!I feel so bad for my friend. She knows that she has allowed this to happen.Where should she start first? She says that her little girl does not eat at the same times everyday. Should she work on getting her on a 3 hour schedule before tackling CIO at night? She says that her daughter will go down for naps, etc. without fussing but wakes and cannot go back to sleep without her Mommy.I want to help her so badly and want to tell her “hey, let’s sleep train one weekend and I will come over and watch the other girls to you can nap during the day.”Where in the world should she begin?Thanks y’all!

  22. Jodi
    March 30, 2009 / 5:52 PM

    This is the first time that I’ve tried to comment on a blog, so I have no idea if I’m doing it correctly or not. I actually have a question that I want to post, so if I’m posting to the wrong place, please someone let me know.Here is my situation. My 11 week old son is on a very solid 3 hr schedule during the day (wake time is established at 8 am). He has dropped the 10 pm feeding, wakes up between 1-4 am (normally around 2 am but it can range anytime during this time period), takes a mostly full feeding and then goes directly back down. This has been going on for about 3-4 weeks now. Any suggestions for dropping the 2 am feeding? Should I do like the book says and just let him CIO for up to 45 min? How do I know that he’s actually ready to drop this feeding? Also, when is it ok to start moving to a 3.5 to 4 hr schedule during the day? Someone told me to wait until he’s sleeping through the night. Any suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

  23. Plowmanators
    April 16, 2009 / 9:47 PM

    Jodi,There are a few things to consider. One is the number of feedings he has in a day. You want to be sure he has as many as he should for his age. Another is that at 11 weeks, to go 12 hours between feedings isn’t really realistic. So I would first try to get him to take the 10 PM feeding. Then you have to evaluate the 2 AM feeding. Since it ranges so much, it doesn’t sound like he is waking out of habit. Habitual waking is pretty much down to the minute. I would say he is waking out of need since it ranges so much. You don’t want to move to the 4 hour schedule until he is sleeping 10-12 hours at night. See this post:When to Move to a 4 hour Schedule:

  24. Bradley James
    July 1, 2009 / 9:16 PM

    Hello! My son is now close to 8 months and I have a scheduling question. BW says to move to 4 liquid feedings a day, SuperBaby Food recommends 5 liquid feedings a day. Because my son will eat very well whether he is nursing or eating solids, I've chosen to keep nursing him 5 times a day. (Is that OK?) Also- right now I have him on a 3.5 hour schedule, 7:30 pumped 7oz & Solids9:15 nap11:00 pumped 7oz. bottle & solids1:00 nap2:30 nurse6:00 nurse & solids (dinner w/family)7:30 bath, nurse, bedWhen I'm not working, I nurse him, otherwise I pump and offer him a 7oz bottle.Does this seem "OK" to you? Any suggestions?

  25. Plowmanators
    July 24, 2009 / 2:34 AM

    Yes, that is fine. BW actually says that some moms will need to do a 5th liquid feeding to ensure milk supply and that is fine. So no worries :)Does he actually eat well at 7:30? If not, I would nurse him at 5:30 and then 7:30. As he gets more able to go longer between feedings, he can even go down to 4 liquid feedings and you could pump a 5th feeding before bed in order to ensure your milk supply.

  26. Bradley James
    July 24, 2009 / 2:41 AM

    He eats very well at 7:30. Why do you ask? I actually pump at 5:30am before I leave for work.Thanks for your reply!

  27. Bergon Family
    July 28, 2009 / 1:41 AM

    Today has been really hard, my 8 week old is screaming her head off. She keeps waking early out of naps. It takes an hour to feed her and even then I have to supplement. I was going to keep her awake another hour, then put her down for an hour. Well, she started getting fussy and wouldn't play, so I rocked her a little, sang her a song and then put her down. She cried for 4 minutes, then woke out of her nap about 45 minutes into it. I let her cry, changed her diaper and put her back down. Now she has been crying for 15 minutes- not really normal for her. It's been a long hard road with breastfeeding and trying to schedule which I won't expand on now, but is it possible that some babies just don't need as much sleep as others- if I were to pick her up right now she would sooth instantly. I never know if she's hungry because we feed on a 3 hour schedule, but I supplement. The two weeks that I have tried breastmilk only, she was fussy and did not gain weight. I am at my wits end with breastfeeding and BW- particularly trying to get "full meals" in. I am not even sure what that means. What do I do? -Laruren

  28. Plowmanators
    August 10, 2009 / 4:25 AM

    Bradley James, I meant at 7:30 PM. You said you nurse at 6 and then again at 7:30.

  29. Plowmanators
    August 11, 2009 / 3:55 AM

    Lauren,8 weeks is 100% normal to wake 45 minutes into the nap. I would suggest you feed her when she gets up early. At that young of an age, I don't recommend CIO mid-nap. First, try feeding her. If she eats well, you know she was hungry. If she isn't hungry and is just having a hard time transitioning. In that case, you can try a swing or rocking her or something. A full meal means that baby takes all that she can/needs for that meal. To figure out out much she needs per meal, multiply her weight by 2.5. Then divide by the number of feedings in a day.

  30. Bradley James
    August 11, 2009 / 5:01 AM

    I figured that out a little while after I posted, but thank you for the comment. I have been feeding him 4 times a day since he is now 9 months old and didn't seem to nurse well those last 3 feedings. When he wakes up from his afternoon nap I've been giving him a healthy snack, then up-ed his dinner time to 5:15. Also- from another post you suggested to multiply a child's weight by 2.5, then divide that into the number of feedings per day. If I did that, it would mean 10oz at each feeding. Is that right? Or is that for babies before they begin solid foods.

  31. Plowmanators
    August 19, 2009 / 7:48 PM

    That is probably before starting solids. I don't know for sure. At 12 months, I start counting ounces and I know then, baby should have around 24 ounces a day (give or take of course 😉 ). So I woul imagine that a 10 month old should have at least that per day, likely more. It would be a good question for a pediatrition.

  32. Debbie Nash
    October 21, 2009 / 6:51 PM

    Your website is OUTSTANDING! I thank you for what I assume is a tireless upkeep. Just when I become a little frustrated with my BW goals (I'm currently working on switching from a routine to a schedule with my 3 mo old.) I look to your website which each time has provided me with great comfort in knowing others have similar issues and offering good logical suggestions. It is an awesome source for moms and dads (my husband found your site) and we thank you very much. God Bless You.

  33. Plowmanators
    November 23, 2009 / 6:32 PM

    Debbie, you are welcome and thank you for the sincere thanks!

  34. celestevy
    January 2, 2010 / 5:21 PM

    Hello, I hope all is well with you. I can tell my daughter Isabella is in need of a schedule change. She is showing signs that I need to change her nap time to either 12:45 or 1:00. Currently she has been napping from 12:30 to 2/2:30. This past week she has been taking forever to fall asleep and some days not sleeping at all. This has always been an indicator that she is ready for more wake time. As a result of this I am needing to do some tweaking to her am routine of activities. Do you have some sample schedules of you planned your little ones mornings at the age of 2 1/2? I searched your blog for this and couldn't find it. Maybe I was looking in the wrong places. Thank you for your help.

  35. celestevy
    January 13, 2010 / 12:35 PM

    I am starting to read your posts on potty training and I have some questions:Hi Ladies, I have a potty training question. First of all I am not too sure if Isabella is ready to be potty trained. It is something that I have been thinking about for awhile. I tried it back in Sept/Oct. However this was the time that Isabella and I were dealing with health issue then I decided to wait till the end of January when she turns 2 1/2. She will be turning 2 1/2 January 30th. I have the book Potty Training 1,2,3. It talks about 3 different approaches:Progressive Potty Training, the child is potty trained in 1-3 daysCasual Progressive Potty Training which the child is potty trained in 2-4 weeks (this is the approach that I am leaning towards).Relaxed Potty Training – 6 months.The book gives signs of readiness however it does say that not all have to be present. Two signs that I am thinking about and wondering if Isabella is ready is that she cannot tell the difference between wet & dry. I ask her if she is dry when I know she is and she says no. Another sign is waking up dry from naps. She is never dry when she wakes up. Also, I am trying to poop train her, however like your son was it is a total privacy things. She will only do it during independent play time, during her nap or after I put her down for her nap. Normally it is during her nap. So I have been putting her on the potty before her nap for about 10 minutes with a book and nothing. Here is my question. Are these signs strong indicators that she is not ready?

  36. Plowmanators
    January 19, 2010 / 5:37 PM

    celestevy, see the blog label "sample schedules" and scroll down until you find the post 1 and older. Basically, at 2.5 (which is how old Kaitlyn is), we eat, have music time, bath, independent playtime, TV time, learning activity, and lunch time. She then has short sibling playtime.

  37. Plowmanators
    January 19, 2010 / 5:37 PM

    celestevy, see the blog label "sample schedules" and scroll down until you find the post 1 and older. Basically, at 2.5 (which is how old Kaitlyn is), we eat, have music time, bath, independent playtime, TV time, learning activity, and lunch time. She then has short sibling playtime.

  38. Plowmanators
    January 19, 2010 / 5:40 PM

    The wet/dry thing could be a hinderance to the process.The waking from naps wet I don't think is necessarily a problem. For one thing, she might be waking before you get her out of bed. She might be waking up dry, but then peeing when she wakes up. Second, as she gets used to holding her pee in, she might start to wake dry.The poop…that is a hard call that I think you kind of only know once you try potty training and see how it goes. I would go with your gut on this 🙂

  39. Trish
    May 15, 2011 / 11:56 AM

    Hi! I'm new to this blog, but have been using Babywise and am seeing the benefits of a schedule for my almost 4 month old. My daughter is 15 weeks old – she is on a 3 hour routine, starting at 7 a.m. Her nap lengths are usually about 1.5-2 hours. She has naptimes at 8:30, 11:30, 2:30 and a shortened "catnap" at 5:30. She is usually in bed around 7:30. My problem is this: She goes down at 7:30, but wakes up in about 20-30 minutes wide awake. I then let her CIO. Lately she has been crying on and off until her next feeding time. Is she sleeping too much during the day? She still seems to get cranky/tired after 90 minutes of waketime, and goes down for naps pretty easily during the day. I have been letting her CIO at bedtime for about a week, and she shows no signs of relenting. Once she falls asleep however, she only wakes up once to feed again in the middle of the night. Please help! Thank you so much – loooovvvvve your blog.

  40. Plowmanators
    June 1, 2011 / 8:06 PM

    Trish, are you positive she is falling asleep? I ask because McKenna had a spurt where she would make noise 20-30 minutes later, but I realized through video monitor she wasn't going to sleep in the first place.It could be "wonder weeks" (see blog label). It could be teething pain. If she is waking up, she might have too long of a waketime before bed or be too stimulated.If she is just laying there for 20-30 minutes and then crying, then she needs a longer waketime before bed (try dropping the fourth nap).Good luck!

  41. Trish
    June 1, 2011 / 8:28 PM

    Thanks so much for your advice. I did what you said and dropped the last nap, leaving her awake for longer and pushing her bedtime up a bit if needed. Here are a couple more questions for you!(1) Any advice for a very long car trip (16 hours) for a formula fed 4 month old?(2) Suddenly my daughter (4 months) is screaming while I put her down for naps. Her waketime is about 75 minutes, and I always follow her tired cues regardless. She has been pacifier weaned for about 2 weeks and has been sucking on her fingers to self-soothe. Do you find that babies who start teething are more fussy when put down for naps/bed? Also, how much should you stimulate a 4 month old during waketime – I am worried that I am overstimulating her. I usually do 5 minutes of tummy time and then alternate between letting her play by herself on her gym mat or propped upright in her napper with Sophie the Giraffe. Thank you so so much for all your hard work on this blog – you have been such a huge help!

  42. Trish
    June 1, 2011 / 9:15 PM

    Ok sorry I have to edit my previous comment – my 4 month old daughter's waketime is 90 minutes, not 75. Sorry about the mix up!

  43. Plowmanators
    June 20, 2011 / 5:35 PM

    Trish, I haven't ever driven that far with…a child at all. When we do drive with babies, we stop about every 3 hours. Then we can change the diaper and nurse. Since you can feed with a bottle, you might be able to feed without stopping every time, but I would at least to it every other time. You might need to stop for burping, as well. So I would be prepared for that.Make sure you use a lot of diaper cream because stitting in a carseat is hard on the bottom.2-Yes, teething babies are more fussy. She might need more stimulation. Just take things slowly and see how she handles it. I would guess she could handle more than that. Good luck and you are welcome!

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