I’m not afraid to admit it. We are a Babywise household. I have already crossed paths with quite a few Babywise opponents, but they aren’t raising my child–I am.
Before I go any further, let me preface this post by saying:
No, I don’t starve my child. If she is hungry, I feed her.
No, I do not let her cry it out for hours on end, nor do I do think that a few minutes of fussing before falling asleep will traumatize her or give her abandonment issues.
No, I do not expect my child to conveniently fit into my life/schedule. But it sure is nice to know approximately what time my child should be hungry so I can plan MY schedule around her!
My daughter had a rough start and spent the first couple weeks of her life in the NICU. I was surprised to realize that life in the NICU closely resembled the schedule described in “On Becoming Babywise.” In fact, it was a much stricter version than what I read about in the book because we could ONLY touch her and feed her every three hours at hands-on time.
As you would expect, my daughter quickly acclimated to this regimen and would start stirring from sleep roughly 5-10 minutes before her next hands-on time. She would start rooting around like clockwork! I even thought to myself, “wow, finally a perk to having a NICU baby–somebody else got my child on a feeding schedule for me!”
But of course, nothing is that easy! When we got her home from the hospital, she was exclusively breastfed (with the help of a nipple shield) and she acted like she was hungry all of the time. She quickly turned into a fussy baby (one Pediatrician even called it colic, but I disagreed) who would nurse for 60-75 minutes per feeding! I promptly threw Babywise to the curb, thinking that my daughter was starving, and fed her on demand. After a few weeks of my daughter nursing for 8+ hours a day without gaining much weight; sleepless nights; and uncontrollable crying if she was anywhere but our arms, I pulled my book out of the drawer and started from scratch.
I quickly realized that my daughter was crying because she was overtired, overstimulated, and in need of a schedule. Within a few days of going back on Babywise, I was not only able to put her down during nap time, but we were also able to get rid of the nipple shield and reduce her nursing time to 20-40 minutes per feeding!
Now that we have a routine, I know what to expect from my daughter–I know what she needs and when she needs it. I know she will be hungry every three hours (except during the night, where she skips a feeding!!); I know that she can tolerate being awake for 60-75 minutes at a time, but if she gets too close to the 90 minute mark, she will have an absolute meltdown; and I know that she will fall asleep within 5-10 minutes of me putting her down (usually without a single tear shed).
I realize Babywise isn’t for everyone, but it sure works for us. I know, without a doubt, that my daughter and I are both happier when we have a routine.
Did you ever try Babywise with your kids? How did it go?
If you don’t use Babywise, what does your daily routine look like?