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In On Becoming Babywise it says to let your schedule serve you, you don’t serve your schedule. In this post, I share my pep talk on the subject along with some examples of how this looks in real life.
It is very easy to get obsessive about the schedule. With my first, I worried over it until his younger sister was born. Then I seemed to mellow out a lot in respect to what he was doing–perhaps it was because I had bigger worries in getting Kaitlyn on schedule (not that she was hard, it was very natural for her, but my worries shifted).
Of course Kaitlyn had bad days. She had reflux, which makes everything harder, but she was also a human baby, and humans have bad days. While Kaitlyn was in her bad days, I would wonder if it would ever get better. My emotions got the best of me even though I logically told myself it would and I knew it would because I had been there before. Never-the-less, I stressed.
While I think it is important to have consistency with your schedule and think you have to make personal sacrifices to make Babywise work, you still have to live a life and allow your other children (and husband) to have fun.
Kaitlyn did have to be more flexible since she has an older brother. Luckily for me, Brayden was still quite young and we had a really big yard, so I did not have to work a lot around the baby schedule. But you can’t quite put the lives of your children on hold like you can your own. I kept Kaitlyn on schedule as much as possible, but she had a lot of naps in the car seat for park visits, pool visits, lake visits…a number of things we just didn’t do when Brayden was that age. If she’d had a lot of disruption, I put getting her back to well-rested and calmed down the priority of the family. We compromised here and there.
Babywise says your schedule is to serve you, you aren’t to serve your schedule. As babies get older they take fewer naps, so there are fewer times of day you have restrictions to work around. At 8
months, Kaitlyn took 3 naps. The last nap (in the evening) was often missed while we go out and do family things.
An example from Brayden’s babyhood is his bedtime. My husband was going to school and working and didn’t get home until after 8 each day and left around 6:30 in the morning. To put Brayden to bed early meant he never saw his Daddy. That is not acceptable to me. So Brayden took a late evening nap for a long time and his bedtime was between 9:30 and 10:00. It was more important to us to have Brayden see his father each day than to have the ideal bedtime. Let your schedule serve you. My husband graduated just before Brayden turned 1 and we worked his bedtime to 8:30, then soon after 7:30. By then my husband was home by 4:30 each day and time could be spent together before bedtime.
My best advice to you would be to continue on the best you can and don’t worry about whether or not things are going exactly by the book. Do the best you can, but just sit back and relax. That is what I eventually did with Brayden. I just said, oh well. This is how it is, I am going to just accept it. I was much happier about it then. I have maintained that outlook and it makes things much less stressful. I thought things through and tried to get Kaitlyn to do what she should, but I don’t sweat it. I have a friend who did the ‘oh well’ thing. “He woke up early from a nap, oh well.” Yes, analyze the situation. Troubleshoot. Try to solve. But don’t stress–move on with your life. Oh, la, la, la, la life goes on!
For information on going out, see this post: Going Out
Other Posts on Flexibility:
- Change Your Strategy
- In Action: Flexibility and Mistakes
- Follow up: In Action–Flexibility and Mistakes
- Fortibus Marketing of Charleston, L.L.C said…
Quick Question. Do I have to feed my son right after he wakes up? Is there a reason BW implements this? Thanks, Dayna
March 2, 2008 12:43 PM
I can’t say for sure, here are my theories.1-The book says the cycle helps baby differentiate night from day. 2-It helps ensure baby takes a full feeding. For this reason, you really want to avoid feeding right before a nap.3-The book also says it helps baby to be more alert and happy during waketime. Baby is full and rested for waketime, so he can focus on learning–his basic needs are met.4-If they have taken a full nap, they are usually really hungry when they wake up.Those are my theories. I will see if I can get more clarification on that. Thanks!
March 2, 2008 9:42 PM
I passed your question on to Anne Marie Ezzo (Gary Ezzo’s wife), and here is what she had to say.She said my theories are all fine. However, depending on the age of your son, you may not need to feed him right after he wakes up. You can wait 10-15 minutes, if he will. Like I said earlier, a lot of babies wake up and are ready to eat right away, but if he is content to wait a few minutes, it will help teach him that the minute he wakes up he doesn’t necessarily need to eat. She said, ” I have shared with mom’s as their baby is on a good routine, got this nursing thing down, milk supply is great etc. and that usually is all in place between 4 – 6 weeks, that it’s probably a good idea to have a short space of time between getting baby up and sitting down to feed, so that baby isn’t ‘conditioned’ to think, as soon as I wake up I need to eat.”If you do that, you just need to make sure you count that as part of the wake time.She also said that she noticed your address is Charleston. If it is SC, there is an active ministry for moms if you want more connection and help. Hope that helps you!
March 3, 2008 9:46 AM
This question is the inspiration for the Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle post: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/eatwakesleep-cycle.html