Poll Results: Evolving Approaches to Babywise


Here are the results to the Evolving Approaches to Babywise poll. This poll was requested by Facebook readers. You can see my own story here: Evolution of Babywise at our House


If you read nothing else, this was my favorite comment from reader kmdhart. Many said something similarly and it summarizes how I feel also:

Practically, nothing really changed in how we implemented Babywise. What did change was my attitude. I had been through it before, and I knew all the hard days would come to an end, and the hard phases would disappear until the next one came around. I knew that we would all be okay if something was a little off. I didn’t expect perfection from DS, and then get upset when I didn’t get it. It was a much more pleasant experience because I was able to shrug things off and let them go.



1-How did your sleep policies change from child to child, if at all?


  • Great question. I have three children and lots of changes were made from 1st (baby Sears baby) to 2nd ( strictly scheduled, but started BW when he was 1yr) to 3rd ( BW from birth).
  • I became more realistic in my expectations. With my oldest, I tried napping him out in the open for the first seven weeks or so to “get him used to sleeping in noise”. I think that was really naive. It didn’t help him learn to sleep through anything. By the time he turned 8 weeks, he wasn’t sleeping during the day hardly at all. It was way too stimulating for him. With YDS I started his naps in a dark quiet room much earlier, and I also paid more attention to his individual needs rather than setting lofty “I’m going to teach him to x y z” goals. Sleep was the priority. 
  • I am still pretty set on sleep time.
  • They didn’t change much at all; we stayed very firm on sleep times for both kids. It helped that they were 14 months apart, so DD was still taking 2 naps. 
  • We did babywise from the beginning with both children, so we are big on good sleep and consistent sleep and nap times.
  • I have gotten more particular and “on target” with my methods with each progressive child.


2-How did your playtime policies change from child to child, if at all?


  • I’ve become more directive with all my children, but also less strict. When my first started room time it was a shock for her and rather upsetting. With my 3rd it’s a natural part of her day. She can handle IPT, even after a long travel break, much easier than her sister could with consist
  • I don’t think they changed much. 
  • I wish I would have started my first with IP from day #1 and also been consistent, trying to do that now, with DS #2.
  • Also didn’t change much. We implemented IP for our son, while keeping it the same for DD.
  • With child 1 we had a lot more one on one playtime and went more with the flow. Adding a second child required getting the 1st child to play more independently. My second child plays more independently than my first did. Now we try to have individual playtime and together playtime built into the day.
  • Kept it the same if not more strict. 


3-How did your nursing/bottlefeeding policies change from child to child, if at all?


  • I was more aware of how feeding needs would change during growth spurts, wonder weeks, etc. with my second and learned to anticipate them and roll with them rather than just react to them. With ODS I also followed his lead for when he needed to extend his schedule. With YDS I had to nudge him along a bit more or he would never have changed anything. Their personalities are quite different.
  • I am a little more relaxed in feeding DS #2 with more formula or food at feeding times if he wants it.
  • I was a lot more relaxed this time around. I didn’t get worried if DS didn’t seem to eat much, or if he spit it all back up. I also didn’t get quite as upset when my milk supply dropped and I had to switch to formula.
  • They did not change. I breastfed and had both children take a bottle occasionally since I work PRN.
  • I breastfed with all, but with my third was more willing to feed immediately upon thinking they were hungry to make sure my milk supply was up. 


4-How did your solid foods policies change from child to child, if at all?


  • I’m stricter at meals with my 3rd than I was with my 1st and 2nd re: manners, cleanliness and trying every food (a bite at each meal).
  • I did BLW with both boys but will not use it for our next child. 
  • Both of my boys were hearty eaters as babies so I am trying to encourage DS #2 with more finger foods and different types of foods instead of just baby foods.
  • We did BLW with DS. It sounded like a fun and easy way to do things, and it was. We all had a very messy blast. It also allowed me to have my hands free to help DD with her meals. 
  • Similar solid food policies. My second has food allergies and difficulty gaining weight, so have to be much more particular about what is offered.
  • Same. 


5-How did your policies vary on consistency from child to child, if at all?

  • It was very easy to be consistent with just one child. Having two was harder. I’ll leave it at that. 
  • With 1 child it was a lot easier, but I am finding I need to be very consistent now with 2.
  • Not much. We’ve always been very consistent.
  • Haven’t changed.
  • Same of heart, but perhaps a tad less consistent in discipline with the second as he wasn’t the only thing I was doing

6-How did your policies vary on flexibility from child to child, if at all?

  • I refined my definition of flexibility with my second child, who falls in the “spirited” end of the personality spectrum and did not handle changes in the routine well. I had to learn where our “flexible” became just “random” and how to keep that balance for his sake. That meant allowing for disruptions one day but then being extra vigilant the next to make sure he was on his routine. It was a sort of planned spontaneity. 
  • I am more flexible with DS #2. It is not the end of the world if we are late on a nap or off schedule a bit.
  • I was able to be more flexible with DS. He’s also an amazing sleeper, so that makes it easier. There were times when we were late with a nap, and we all survived just fine!
  • My flexibility has increased! My second child is also very easy going so that helps.
  • I was more committed to adhering to the schedule, but was more mentally able to relax if things didn’t go to plan. 

7-Is there a general summary on how your approach changed to Babywise from child to child (if at all)?


  • Though my first two werent baby wise babies they were BW toddlers. Biggest changes I e seen are how confident I feel, how happy my kids are (the change with stressful at first as I was trying to get control) and how my youngest asks for things like TT and PNP which my other kids never did. They love the structure. The older ones will now ask what their options are when it comes to playing. Hehe.
  • I became a lot more confident with my second child. With ODS (who is now almost 3) I was more fretful, trying to follow the right formula, trying to teach as many good habits as I could (as misguided as some were–see #1), worrying when we were off our routine due to illness or holidays or unexpected plans, and being baffled by things like growth spurts and witching hour and how they wrecked havoc on our schedule.With YDS I was much more relaxed but also more strict. I didn’t re-read the book but relied on my past experience with ODS and the wisdom of the moms on the BW forum. I started the schedule earlier than I had with ODS. I felt more confident in how my hard work would pay off in the long run, and so was able to roll with the punches in setbacks like a 8-9 week long witching hour run or a bout of pneumonia at 3 months that caused me to have to wake him to feed him in the night so I could give him antibiotics (when he was already STTN.) 
  • I want to implement IP time and more structure with the kids when we are at home together.
  • Practically, nothing really changed in how we implemented Babywise. What did change was my attitude. I had been through it before, and I knew all the hard days would come to an end, and the hard phases would disappear until the next one came around. I knew that we would all be okay if something was a little off. I didn’t expect perfection from DS, and then get upset when I didn’t get it. It was a much more pleasant experience because I was able to shrug things off and let them go.
  • Overall it has remained similar. I think my flexibility for our schedule has increased. I still try to schedule activities around naptime. Implementing it was more of a challenge in terms of helping the second child get back to sleep or down for a nap without interruptions. It also took longer to get to know my second child’s cues.
  • I think I actually began to do Babywise as it was intended. A parent-directed feeding model. The first had me so tied up in knots that we’d all die if a nap was missed. I’d lose sleep and get grey hairs if I had to troubleshoot. With each subsequent child (on 3 currently) I have managed to adhere to the schedule in a way that I view as better with each child, and yet I have been able to be flexible when needed, loosen up mentally when I had to, and just not based my sanity on whether or not the day had great naps. They usually do, but when they don’t, I’m okay now.

Feel free to add your own story on this post!

1 thought on “Poll Results: Evolving Approaches to Babywise”

  1. Hello. I have been following your blog since my first son was born, he is three now. I have learned so much from you and I really like Babywise. With my first he was 4 months before he was regularly taking long naps when I laid him down without a problem…and with my second I thought it would be easier because I "know what I'm doing now." But it has…it has been easier but just because I'm not as stressed about him not sleeping, not because he is sleeping any better. I'm really questioning myself and wondering if I am doing babywise right or if I'm missing something…he has gone through so much crying.Before 4 weeks I thought I must have an angel baby because he hardly cried at all at naptime…but then 4 weeks he got more alert and started crying at every nap. He only cried about 10 mins before a nap and went to sleep, and after a couple of weeks of that he was a much better, more consistent napper. I was thrilled that he was napping even though he was still crying at naptime I figured it wouldn't be long and that would be a think of the past. But at 6 1/2 weeks he just stopped napping, he started taking 30-45 min naps every nap. I have tried darkening his room and that helped one day but the next day he was back to short naps…two days ago he slept 2 good naps, but other than that we have pretty much been only taking short naps for 2 weeks now. Usually 30 mins. He is 8 weeks old now. Past two days he's been crying a lot longer in his bed as well. I have tried extending waketimes, shortening waketimes, cry it out mid nap. I don't think he is hungry because once he gets up he doesn't act hungry and I'm feeding him about every 2 hours because the naps are so short. His weight gain is good. I put him down as soon as he starts yawning, about an hour after he wakes up…He has white noise in his room, it's comfortable. I do the Shh/pat if he's been crying for a while. I don't know what else to do. Is it normal for babywise babies to go through a process like this or is it just my babies? My first baby did just about the exact same thing until one day at 4 months it just clicked. Seems like they have the same temperament, I think they are touchy babies. Although after my first got on a routine I would have classified him as a textbook baby, because he was so perfectly predictable. I don'tknow, I just need somebody to encourage me or tell me what I'm doing wrong. Thought you might have some thoughts. Thanks.


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