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My name is Cole, and I am mom to 4 children: Vera (3.5), Abel (1.5), and twins Mercedes and Samuel (7 weeks).
My sister in law gave me a copy of Babywise before I had my first child. I read it at some point during my pregnancy and it made sense, but truthfully I was more concerned with finishing the nursery than contemplating infant sleep, so by the time I delivered I had completely forgotten about it. Vera arrived and was absolutely the worst-case-scenario newborn. I’m certain that babies like her are the reason they have safe surrender sites. She came out of me screaming and oh my goodness she just never stopped. It was horrible. I remember sobbing after her 2 week doctor’s appointment because he told me that infants needed around 16-19 hours of sleep per day and Vera was getting 6-8 hours maximum. She was content to nurse (a great eater from the start), but otherwise spent 10-12 hours a day crying. She cried in the swing, she cried in the car seat, she cried in my arms. She just cried. All.Day.Long. I wanted to jump out a window! Anyway, at some point I remembered that little old book my sister in law had given me, and I cracked it open and began reading. It changed my life. Within a few weeks of implementing Babywise she was regularly napping during the day and falling asleep after night feedings easily. At five and a half months she slept through the night 7pm-7am. With adequate sleep brought a MUCH happier baby who didn’t cry all the time. It was a revolutionary change!
Vera has turned out to be an extremely strong willed child, presenting all sorts of challenges along the way, and I am absolutely convinced that if I wasn’t able to get her sleep under control, she would still be a mess at age 3. I definitely would not have had any more children, and the life with 4 kids that I now love so much wouldn’t exist! Abel, my second, was naturally an easier baby – but with Babywise he also thrived, adapting easily to the schedule and routine that I already had going with Vera. This made the transition from one child to two very, very easy.
Four years and four kids after I first read On Becoming Babywise, I am still a huge proponent. There are plenty of sleep methods out there – some work, some probably don’t. Some work for some families but not for others. Because I like structure (and I’d argue that most babies/children do too), Babywise is a good fit for me and my family. Having twins brought with it a lot of unknowns, but I am comforted by the plan, routine, and organization that Babywise gives me. I have the confidence that the twins will eventually sleep through the night (and probably relatively soon!) and that they will fall into a napping schedule just like my other kids did. This phase of tiredness I’m in is just that – a phase – and with Babywise I can rest assured that it will be over soon and I will be back to my normal, well-rested self. What a gift!
Cole blogs at Twinning Babywise.