Thoughts on Babywise type parenting

So I did a post on my thoughts on attachment parenting. And it generated a lot of good discussion. So I think discussing what is often viewed/portrayed as ‘the other side’ may be helpful as well.

Full disclosure: I have not read any of Ezzo’s books. So, while I can speak to my general impressions based on talking with other parents about their different experiences and reading a few blog posts here and there, I am not well versed in ‘the theory’. (Although I did do some extra reading just for this post to try and get acquainted with the main for-against arguments). And I think that is okay. I don’t think I was particularly well versed in AP theory when I wrote that post either. (I had read Sears, but while exhausted with a newborn and devastated over the struggle/loss of nursing… which probably did a number on my reading comprehension.) Like my AP post, I am not outright 100% against these types of theories writ large, just like I am not 100% for any particularly theory writ large. I am just talking about what I think based on my impressions.

You may have other ideas, but I don’t want to get into a discussion about Ezzo’s personality flaws, expertise or lack there of, or the whole messy religion aspect that surrounds the discussion of Babywise. When I started to think about writing this post, I came across a whole lot of debate going on out there. And Wow. I so don’t want to go there.

What I do want to talk about is the concept of scheduling. To be quite frank, I don’t care what Ezzo says or doesn’t say. I know dude wrote the book, but once it’s out there and starts being a ‘theory’ it kinda takes on a mind of its own. There are many voices out there shaping what ‘babywise’ parenting is, what it means, and how it is implemented now. In the bit of research I did I saw a lot of quotes from Ezzo’s book. Some of those quotes seemed to support a very rigid, inflexible and controlled application of the theory. Other quotes seemed to point towards flexibility and malleability of the theory. To be honest readers interpret words and remember different emphasis in text based on their personal experiences and mindset at the time. I think we could probably agree that two different people could read the same thing and believe two fairly diverse variations of what the book is suggesting that they do. Hence why I don’t want to debate “Ezzo”; I would rather focus on the issues. This is not a book review.

Also, I should start by saying that I think most people who turn to ‘scheduling’ type theories, it is all about trying to get some routine and stability in the chaos. They want a plan of action, something they can do to try and make things a little less nuts. And, with all theories, some parents are able to implement in a way that works for their kid and some aren’t.

With that long introduction said, here are my concerns and thoughts re: Babywise parenting.

1) Infant feeding and scheduling

One of the strongest criticisms of Babywise is regarding infant feeding. There are serious concerns out there that Babywise recommends feeding infants on a schedule rather then on demand. Some claim that babywise parenting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feed your infant if they are hungry, just that you should attempt to establish a routine. Others claim that it is strict in it’s approach to ‘parent directed feeding’.

Here is my thinking: for infants, especially during the first 8-12 weeks of establishing a breastfeeding relationship, feeding on demand is really the only way to go. You know the phrase, ‘watch the baby not the clock?’ Yeah, this makes sense.

That being said, can I also say that I think being aware the clock is still called for in some circumstances. For example, my daughter was a sleepy baby. She was dropping weight or not gaining and we were instructed by our lactation consultant that we had to feed her every 1 1/2 to 2 hours at night and more often during the day if necessary. We had the torturous task of setting the alarm all through the night and waking her up to feed her. If we had only fed on demand she wouldn’t have gotten enough because she would rather sleep then eat. My point is just that the clock does come in handy some times and feeding on demand is only part of the picture.

The other piece of this puzzle though is that babies main way to communicate is to cry. And that cry can mean one of a number of different things, one of which is hunger. It makes good sense to try to feed a crying baby. It is something straight forward and proactive you can do that may just be the reason baby is crying. I remember having a list on my fridge of stuff that could be making her cry, so I could go down the list checking to see if ‘that’ was it. Hungry was on the top of the list.

But I do think it is also good sense, particularly with an older baby, to stop and consider why baby is crying before immediately going to feeding. Babies want to be heard and understand and I think there is potential to stifle their ‘voice’ by just feeding (or offering them a soother) them every time they cry. But that is less a critique of scheduling and more a critique of our collective intense fear of babies crying.

Back to the point, I can understand (and echo) the concerns others have about ‘scheduling’ and infant feeding. I don’t think the two go together. Realistically sometimes baby will need to eat more often, sometimes less. That is true of you and me as well. It is completely normal for infants to cluster feed (feeding multiple times really close together, particularly in the evenings). The idea of scheduling feedings for a very young infant doesn’t seem to set the parents up for realistic expectations in my opinion.

One last thing I will say though, is that I completely understand why women may find the idea of scheduling infant feedings appealing. I remember a time when I was feeding Audrey about every 1 1/2 hours during the day. For weeks straight. She had come out of her really sleepy newborn stage and we were having major feeding issues. She was hungry, but not nursing well. I wasn’t producing enough milk. But I also couldn’t continue feeding that often for that long. (Especially because she was taking a good 30-45 minutes to nurse, then I was topping up with formula and then I was pumping… so by the time I got through all that I had to start again). At that point, it was a chicken-egg scenario: IF she was nursing effectively and IF I was producing enough milk, within a week I would have probably gotten up my milk production to meet her demand and she would have started nursing about every 2-3 hours instead of every 1-2 hours (while still sometimes needing to nurse every 1-2 hours occasionally). She was 2ish months old at this point. I started to try and stretch out our feedings and I gave her more top up formula (which we were already doing anyway on lactation consultant orders). I am sure, in retrospect, this didn’t help my milk supply. But to be honest, as I say, (chicken meet egg) continuing to feed every 1-2 hours wasn’t doing my supply any favours either… and if I had continued I am pretty sure I would have 1: gone crazy and 2: still ended up switching 100% to formula by month 4 anyway. Trust me. Anyway, my point is that I get why someone would want to schedule feedings. But if they are in the position I was of feeding that often for weeks on end… what they need is a good lactation consultant and good support, not a feeding schedule.

2) Infant sleep and scheduling

In terms of infant sleep and scheduling… one part of me says HA! and the other part of me says, yeah, I kinda agree. The HA part of me is the part where any parent thinks they can put their baby down at any given time and expect 100% for that child to fall asleep. You can not ‘make’ a baby follow a schedule, trust me, they often have other plans. And you certainly can’t ‘make’ a baby sleep through the night. When babies are first born they don’t have any concept of day and night, and it takes quite a while for them to establish a pattern of sleep. Some older babies may start sleeping through the night, or not. And some babies who usually sleep through the night still occasionally wake up in the middle of the night every so often. Like infant feeding, the idea of ‘scheduling’ seems to me to set someone up for failure and frustration.

Especially because the concept of scheduling doesn’t seem to have any flexibility built in. What if baby wakes up 3 hours earlier one day; by the time you get to ‘scheduled nap #1’ that baby is going to be so over tired that they will have a hard time falling asleep. (Isn’t it a sick irony that an overtired baby is the hardest to get to sleep? It’s like the worst negative cycle ever!) Or they will have fallen asleep on their own way before your ‘scheduled’ time. What if you have a doctors appointment at nap time? What if…. ?? You know?

On the other hand. I do agree with the principal that babies like routine, predictability and consistency. I don’t think scheduled nap and bedtimes work with a 2 month old, but I do think you can do things to encourage a pattern or routine to sleep. Some babies will take to it and some really wont. As long as you accept that it may or may not work for your baby and don’t beat yourself up about it, I don’t see anything wrong with trying.

When I say ‘trying’ here is what I mean. Between about 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 months we worked really hard to establish a routine for naps and bedtime. For naps, we didn’t follow a schedule, but rather this amazing concept of 90minute cycles (from a book called “The 90minute sleep solution”). Audrey would wake up in the morning and we would try put her down for a nap 90 minutes after she woke up. At this point she was 100% rocked or baby carried to sleep. Sometimes she would go down, sometimes she wouldn’t. If she didn’t, we would wait 90 minutes and try again. If she went to sleep, we would try to put her down 90 minutes after she woke up from that nap. Rinse, wash, repeat. No schedule, but routine establishing.

For bedtime we established a ‘we are no fun past 7pm’ rule. We knew we couldn’t make her move her bedtime from 10/11pm to 7pm. But we could provide a very quite, dim, low stimulation, absolutely no fun environment between 7pm and whenever she feel asleep. We took shifts either staying with her in her room, rocking her, feeding her, singing to her or caring her in the sling for a walk or around the house. (Actually, I think the evening sling routine was one we started really really early, like maybe 1 month) Quite. Dark. Calm. Within a month or so she started to go to bed between 7pm-8pm. By 5 months she was the Queen of the early 6pm bedtime. Yes, I know, a lot of babies wouldn’t give in so easily. But I don’t think it hurts to try.

So I guess what I am saying is that I think routines can be a very good thing. I am a big believer in nap times and bedtimes. (By the time Audrey was 6 months or so those 90minute till nap routines turned into 2 naps at roughly similar times with an early bedtime.) (I also recognize that for many families nap times and early bedtimes are nit realistic and/or may not be your preference. Thats cool, I am just saying it is my preference.) But again, I think it is about being realistic, flexible and accepting of the different stages your baby goes through. Teething, growth spurts, travel, day light savings time changes, ect, are all going to throw sleep out of whack.

Overall, that is often my issue with many theories (with the exception of AP theory, which I have to give them credit, do seem to get this more them most): unrealistic expectations and no attention paid to the stages and changes through a babies first year. 1 month olds and 6 months olds and 10 month olds seem like they all came from different planets. A lot of these scheduling type theories don’t seem to get that. They just suggest a schedule as the cure all. Trust me, nothing is a cure all. Lots of times you do something and then things change and you have no idea if what you did ‘worked’ or your baby just grew out of a stage. Other times you think something has been ‘fixed’ for good, only for it to all fall apart (damn you sleep regressions!). So by suggesting that schedule= good baby, I think they set parents up for more frustration, failure and resentment. Not only are you doing everything to take care, love and provide for this baby, you have some unrealistic standard of what a baby is ‘suppose’ to do heaped on top of that. Granted, I am sure that there are many parents who use babywise and effectively adapt it to meet the needs of their baby at different stages, bring flexibility in to the schedule and are realistic about what they expect from their baby. But I do think that scheduling run the risk of making that first year harder, not easier. The last thing anyone needs from any parenting theory is to feel like they are failing at it.

*I know the ‘babywise’ theory is more then just scheduling. I get that. But this post is already way long. So, if you feel that there is another aspect of this theory you would like me to address, have at it in the comments and I will see what I can do about a post addressing it specifically. Okay?

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19 responses to “Thoughts on Babywise type parenting

  1. The Disgruntled Academic September 5, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Nicely said. Just like with any theory, I think you have to be flexible. The biggest problem with all the mom arguing out there is all the uncritical defense that their singular theory should work for everyone. I understand it, parenthood is effing crazy/awesome/overwhelming/fun/contradictory/exhausting et al. and we’re all trying to add some order to our otherwise chaotic lives.

    But you said something that rings so true: “what they need is a good lactation consultant and good support, not a feeding schedule.” Damn right. I think that could be said of all aspects of parenting: all we need is support, not theories. I’ve said it before, theories are tools, not the actual support we need. Which is why the mommy (and daddy) arguing is really quite heartbreaking. We should be supporting each other’s choices, listening, offering up advice (when it’s asked for) and sharing our experiences. I think we have a great community here of folks who already do that and it’s awesome, but so many folks don’t and that’s a loss for all of us and our kids.

    Thank you for making a nice place for us to talk it out (TIO?).

  2. Cheryl September 5, 2010 at 8:57 am

    TIO, nice! And, yes, thanks Kathleen for creating a place to do that.

    I agree with the comment above that support is what we all need, not schedules. A rigid feeding schedule would have been more stressful for me. If I had believed anything I read that said my baby shouldn’t need to nurse every two hours (until he was 5 to 6 months old), I would have had one grumpy, hungry child! Trying to schedule those feedings just made life more difficult for me. When he was older and ready for more routine, that was different. Like you said Kathleen, one month olds and 10 months olds are from different planets.

    I know I have probably said this before but I will repeat myself because I think it’s relevant here: I think the mom arguing/judging/”my way is better” defensiveness always comes from our insecurities. We never really feel like we are doing things exactly right, so we have to “talk up” whatever book/theory/practice it is that makes us feel like we are doing it right. (Don’t ask me what right is …) In doing so, we (intentionally or not) insult people who aren’t doing what we are.

    Even that comes back to support, we need to hear and support each other.

  3. slackerinc September 5, 2010 at 10:26 am

    First, let me note that we are at the opposite extreme from scheduling, like further from it than most AP families. We let our baby eat when she wants to eat, sleep when she wants to sleep. Usually that means she doesn’t go to sleep until midnight or later, and doesn’t get up until around noon. She sleeps a long time at night but doesn’t nap much.

    I get though that this would be hard for most families to deal with. What I don’t get is why it would be desirable for a baby to go to sleep at six p.m.. I could understand like eight p.m., but six? Why?

    I also wanted to point out that I invariably have to chuckle at the time intervals people use to illustrate allegedly frequent eating on the part of their babies. I rather doubt if any of my three kids ever went two hours between meals (or at least snacks) in their first year of life. Even one hour would be fairly rare, I’d say. In Western society, this sounds unusual to the point of being bizarre. But in traditional hunter-gatherer societies that anthropologists like to study to determine what is most “natural” if you will, babies nurse two to four times per hour!

    Source: http://www.parentingscience.com/infant-feeding-schedule.html

    • amoment2think September 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

      Alan,

      In terms of your question about why 6pm is desirable, the best explanation I can give you is that for some babies (not all) an early bedtime does mean more sleep. My daughter rarely sleeps past 6am. No matter what time she goes to bed. And in fact, she often gets up earlier if put to bed later. As a 7 month old, if she was kept up to 8pm it would mean her getting up at 4am. And that would result in a grumpy baby all day. Some parents really do find that there is a correlation between an early bedtime and more sleep for their child and an odd reverse effect of less sleep with later bedtime. Probably because babies sleep better when they are not overtired, which can happen if what they are used to suddenly changes (missed nap, traveling, day light savings change, attempt to move their bedtime later, ect.).

      That being said I know there are babies out there that thrive on later bedtimes or no sleep schedule and that is great. But if someone asked me advice for what to do if their kids gets up at 4am after a 10pm bedtime, I would suggest giving an earlier bedtime a try. It might not work, but for many babies it can help. A lot of people purposely keep their babies up late, trying to tire them out, thinking they will sleep better or sleep later. This sometimes backfires.

      On your nursing frequency point- I get where you are coming from. There are lots of things that use to be normal in our society (and are still normal in other societies) but is not the norm now … co sleeping is an other that comes to mind. There certainly can be benefits of considering trying to do things as they used to be done. But that doesn’t mean that, in the context of our society, we can all follow the way our ancestors did it. Many breastfeeding women need to work, so pumping is the only way to get breastmilk to their babies. This isn’t what societies did historically, but it works in the context of our society. It may be natural for a baby to nurse a couple times an hour and I am sure there are many women for which this would be no big deal and they would be happy doing it. It doesn’t change the fact that I was at my wits end and probably on the brink of PPD. Our society (unfortunately) is not one where women nursing babes spend their day together as a community to support each other. If they did, maybe this would be different, at least for me.

      • slackerinc September 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm

        All good points, Kathleen–and thanks for explaining about the six p.m. bedtime.

        But I think it’s important for parents to know that very frequent nursing does not mean something’s wrong. If that is a problem for them, of course, that’s another issue; but I think a lot of mothers worry that this means there is something wrong with them. their babies, or both–and would be fine with the frequent nursing as long as they knew this was perfectly within the range of normal.

      • amoment2think September 6, 2010 at 11:47 am

        I agree in the sense that generally for babies (children, and all of us really) the ‘range of normal’ is quite broad. And if a infant is gaining weight and has a good number of wet and soiled diapers, then they are likely fine.

        That being said if I had thought that what my daughter was doing was normal and didn’t seek help, it would have put her at risk. As it turned out she was not getting enough milk. Full stop. I think it makes good sense that if your instincts are telling you something isn’t right that seeking help is a good idea. That help needs to be qualified and knowledgeable enough to calm your worries if everything is okay…. but if something is wrong you need to get the help.

      • slackerinc September 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm

        ” I think it makes good sense that if your instincts are telling you something isn’t right that seeking help is a good idea. That help needs to be qualified and knowledgeable enough to calm your worries if everything is okay…. but if something is wrong you need to get the help.”

        I don’t see how anyone could disagree with that! I just hate to see people think that, regardless of diapers etc. (a good indicator, as you point out) “there must be something wrong” if a baby is nursing every hour or whatever. Our six month old has “passed” every well baby checkup with flying colours, has hit most milestones (sitting up unsupported and so on) early, and has steadily gained length and weight. We are now starting solids (earlier than with the older two) because she really does have a ferocious appetite and is bigger than average (90th percentile for length, 75th for weight); but she did make it half a year just on breastmilk, consumed much more frequently than what the guidelines in most books and websites say.

  4. janetlansbury September 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    “The last thing anyone needs from any parenting theory is to feel like they are failing at it.” Kathleen, that is SO true. The point of any parenting advice or theory should be to support parents — help make their lives easier, richer and more rewarding in the short and long term — excite and INSPIRE them. I don’t believe there is a ‘wrong’ way a loving family can raise a child.

    I don’t know anything about Babywise, but I do believe in schedules for babies — not schedules based on time, but flexible ones based on a sequence of events each day that a baby learns he can count on. Babies love to predict what will happen next. It helps them to eat, sleep and play better, when they know, for example, that after they are offered milk or food in the morning and then change diapers they will usually go outside and be free to play; or that after evening bath time they are going to hear a lovely song, be nursed and/or cuddled and eased to sleep. Babies thrive when life is “boring” and routine, because when they have a predictable environment they can begin to trust themselves.

    Babies must first be able to rely on the sensitive care of their parents, but they gain even more security and self-confidence when they can rely on a their environment as well.

    As always, Kathleen, great conversation…

    • amoment2think September 6, 2010 at 11:07 am

      I agree with you Janet. I see what you are suggesting as a routine, not a schedule. Schedule to me implies by the clock. It seems strict and rigid. Routines are flexible and can be modified and shifted as a baby changes. They can also weather changes like traveling, teething, ect. Anyway, I think we are on the same page, just using different language! 🙂

      • janetlansbury September 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm

        🙂 Kathleen, I don’t like the word ‘schedule’ much either… The word I really like is ‘rhythm’, and not something adult-imposed, a rhythm we find together WITH our baby, based on responses to HIS individual needs. Of course it has to be flexible! Everything with babies has to be flexible. But, if you can imagine growing and changing so rapidly that your mom, your bed, your dog, EVERYTHING looks and feels new and different to you almost every day…the comfort of “knowing” what will happen next is profound. Honestly, I think it helps most parents, too. I know it made it easier for me to understand my baby’s cues when we had developed a routine. And I appreciated having some consistencies to rely on (like afternoon naps!) to help me weather the stormier days.

      • amoment2think September 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm

        Janet, I love that way of putting it “a rhythm we find together WITH our baby, based on responses to HIS individual needs.” Brilliant!!

        Also, Thank goodness for naps. Thank goodness. They save my sanity many a day. I am so grateful that Audrey usually is happy to have one!

  5. Perpetua September 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    TIO FTW!

    We have a sort of rotating(?) schedule, where there are certain activities that happen around the same time of the day (e.g. a morning walk), but morning can mean 6 AM or 9 AM. It all depends on when he gets up, when he’s hungry, etc. Also, E won’t nap without pooping first, so that particular part of life, completely beyond my control, has a big impact on our schedule.

    I’d drive myself nuts trying to schedule everything, but I have the relative luxury of being the at-home parent. If we were both working, and if E were in daycare, I think it would be a completely different story.

    • amoment2think September 6, 2010 at 11:08 am

      It is true, daycare/dayhome does push you into even more of a routine. And we find ourselves trying to mimic a similar routine on the weekend to keep things somewhat consistent. And Audrey does seem to be thriving with the arrangement.

  6. kelly @kellynaturally September 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    “But I do think that scheduling run the risk of making that first year harder, not easier. ”

    Absolutely so. Babies, like any human, are not computers, they shouldn’t be programmed. They aren’t necessarily predictable, and in the first year, they grow & change more than any other time in their lives.
    What mothers need in the first year is support, listening ears, comforting hugs, and trust in their own intuition. Not books that tell you what you’re doing wrong & what you should be doing to get baby to “do this or that”.
    Routines are valuable for babies & parents… but even routines need to be loose & changable, because, again, babies change constantly. What works one week just may not the next week. But it might again the following week.

    Now, but because you mentioned him in your post, I really do think it bears mentioning that Ezzo has no background in child development, pediatrics, or breastfeeding, and doesn’t hold a college degree. His parent-directed feeding schedule has been repeatedly criticized as dangerous to baby’s well being & mother’s milk supply, and linked with infant failure to thrive. The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued warnings about his infant feeding advice.

    I HAVE read his book, and as (then) the mother of an infant, it was difficult to read – it seemed so cold & counter to what innately seemed the right way to care for a baby, and certainly was disparaging of the breastfeeding relationship, and of attachment parenting.

    These things bear mentioning because I truly believe his theory isn’t just a parenting book to agree with or disagree with, it’s dangerous.

    So, all that being said…
    I wish new parents could just take it easy.
    Follow their instincts.
    I wish people wouldn’t write baby care books that are so “my way or the highway” or threaten things like if you don’t get your baby sleeping now at this time for this lengh of time, she will have sleeping problems forever, and it will be YOUR FAULT. Books like that are just garbage and serve no scared new parent.
    Babies should be listened to & honored like the actual people they are. Milk should be offered when they start cuing hunger signals (and not waiting for baby to be full-on crying – because then you’ve already missed the message, and when baby has escalated to full crying, she may not even be able to calm for the milk she wanted & needed because she’s so upset), and parents should be connected enough to know when those hunger signals are, and also, attached & aware enough to know when baby has had enough, or doesn’t want milk, and wants something else. Same goes with sleep.

    “what they need is a good lactation consultant and good support, not a feeding schedule.” <– and finally, YES, this.

    • amoment2think September 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

      Kelly, Thanks for your thoughts. I think there are lots of things here we agree on. But I do want to address a few points though.

      I get where you are coming from on the ‘kids shouldn’t be programmed’ train of thought. And part of me agrees in the sense that I do think our expectations as parents regarding both sleeping and eating can be unrealistic and we try to push our kids to do something they really aren’t ready for.

      But. I also do feel that part of our role as parents is to shape our kids behaviour. We parent them to teach them things and part of that teaching is how we sleep and eat and interact with each other. I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to encourage certain behaviours over others. We may just choose to teach our children those things in different ways at different ages. I agree that the last thing any of us needs is a “if you don’t do this X way then your child will be X forever.” But there are lots of different methods for trying to encourage some behaviours and discourage others and I suspect some work better for some kids and not as well on others. I just don’t want to ‘pour out the baby with the bath water’ so to speak; I may not be a fan of strict schedules, but I do think it is reasonable and helpful to try and ‘program’ certain behaviours (when they are realistic and age appropriate). Maybe you didn’t quite mean that we shouldn’t do this, just that we should be sensitive to our children’s needs and realistic in our approach….?

      “I wish new parents could just take it easy.
      Follow their instincts.
      I wish people wouldn’t write baby care books that are so “my way or the highway” or threaten things like if you don’t get your baby sleeping now at this time for this lengh of time, she will have sleeping problems forever, and it will be YOUR FAULT. Books like that are just garbage and serve no scared new parent.” — But this, yes, totally with you on that!!!

      • shasta September 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm

        “But. I also do feel that part of our role as parents is to shape our kids behaviour. We parent them to teach them things and part of that teaching is how we sleep and eat and interact with each other. ”

        Agreed. Our daily lives have specific day and night cycles with associated patterns of behavior, depending on our lifestyles. For my husband and I, we thought it was a good idea to integrate Mittens into our life instead of work our lives around her (except for the first six weeks of life when she was still a confused newborn). Mittens seemed to adapt fairly well, and she’s still pretty good about going with the flow, no matter the group.

  7. Nadia January 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Kat,
    I read you – believe me – since I gave birth LOL, I just did not feel like posting answers from my iPhone since it is quite a job in a tiny display and keyboard. Anyway, I recently read “Baby Wise” because Milla was growing up and I really wanted to gather ideas of how to make the sleep transition much better for her and for me. I started “No-Cry sleep solution” but did not finish it, so I won’t comment on it, but “Baby Wise” was recommended to me by my boss whose two kids were risen with this idea and worked great.

    The book starts by explaining the ‘scheduled’ driven parents and the ‘relaxed’ parents and the “Baby Wise” parent, which is a combination of the two. This last one is something I found myself doing w/o me reading the book btw.

    Something that I applaud in this book is that it makes enfasis in “parent’s judgement”. And as such, my judgement told me to take this book as a guideline or idea to TRY and see if this works for ME, MY FAMILY and most importantly MY BABY.

    So, about the sleeping and the feeding schedule topics these are advised to be done or used combined with “parental judgement”. This is the primary key for anything, in my opinion, to any theory or non-theory stuff.

    As you also said, there are other elements out of the ideal scenario: colicky babies or those with other kind of diseases or health issues. So, again, it comes down to “parental judgement”.

    In my case, it helped to some degree. For starters, I was clueless on baby cycles. I was mostly reacting and guessing (and second guessing) when baby cried.

    Regardless of needing a lactation consultant, I was already succesfully feeding baby after finding out my milk production will not be as much as desired so I am doing both, bottle and breastfeeding. I, still, was underfeeding her w/o me knowing. See, because baby was vomiting (due to overfeeding) I ended up controlling the amount of formula and this ended us being in a so thight cycle – baby feeding every 2 hrs,baby was basically snacking . It sounds like plenty of time, but it wasn’t. Feeding time + nap time, did not give me enough for me napping or even cook or shower.

    So, when I read this book, it helped me understand the scheduling is a guideline to predict the baby pattern w/o being written in stone, allowing flexibility. What I got from the book is to feed my baby well, not snacks. then have some active time and then nap time. See, the book NEVER tells you what is the best time for baby to wake up in the morning nor the best time for baby to go to bed, that is up to you as parent.

    As you said earlier, I guess it all comes down the way we read and get the meaning of a book. In my way it works and I only adapted those things that work for us.

    I did not know the baby could cry while asleep. I thought once baby cried baby was awake and I immediately picked her up. After the book, I did nothing and only observe my baby and guess what, the cry stoped after the first 10 seconds. It is weird, but it kind of help me think to not go by stereotypes.

    Something I havent been able to do tho is to let baby cry for very long (more than 5 min) or hauling. My judgement told me that is not for me, nor for dad so we are not using that principle. However, we are letting baby be able to suit herself as soon as I put her down to sleep – which I still help her to do by rocking her a little. The rest is all her.

    I guess all I want to say is that it all comes downto how we focus on the message too. We sometimes only focus on the things that we disagree on and don’t pay attention to those pieces that can be helpful. It not always need to be the whole message in order to work.

    p.s. I tried today what you are doing (putting baby to sleep earlier) I did it at 7pm tho and baby reacted well so far. I already have the baby wise technique up to a point I am confortable with, I only need to slowly train baby to a different biological clock from 12pm to 12am, to 7pm to ?

    • amoment2think January 29, 2011 at 7:47 am

      Hey Nadia,

      Especially at 3 months I really would totally back you up on not feeling comfortable letting Milla cry- other then for those 30 second cry while asleep things….

      In terms of the putting her to bed early… really, if you want my recommendation the book I found the most helpful when Audrey was Milla’s age is the 90 Minute Sleep Solution. Really. It was awesome and made a big difference!

      Between about 2 months and 4 months Audrey went from ‘going down for the night’ at 12am to 9pm to 7pm to 5:30pm… 5:30 was her bedtime for a long time. Now it is 7pm at almost 2 years. I really believe this works for her and is one of the reasons she is such a good sleeper.

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