Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What is Babywise?

Babywise -- comes from the book "On Becoming Babywise - Giving your Infant the Gift of Nightime sleep" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucnam. It's what they call a parent directed parenting approach which basically trains your child to fall asleep on their own. My doctor actually told me to start letting Abigail cry herself to sleep at night when she was two weeks old. It was the best (and most difficult) advice I've gotten so far. You let them cry for 20 min., and if they are still crying, you check the basics (diaper, burp, hungry -- you know if they're hungry if they already ate). Abigail doesn't even fuss now when we put her in bed (awake) at night. She's usually asleep within moments. She actually often will smile up at us when we put her in her crib because she wants to sleep. The key is recognizing her "tired" signs...

And now I'm doing the daytime routine, which is eat, play, sleep. I actually just put her down for a nap, and she literally only fussed for about 5 seconds. She's MUCH happier now that I've implemented the full routine. She used to be really fussy in the evenings, and she refused to nap (so I had to let her was well worth the parenting trauma of letting her cry...which is VERY hard at first).

She's such a good sleeper and such a happy baby when she's awake, that if she were to have a fussy day or not sleep well, I would know there was something wrong or out of the ordinary. But our little girl has been healthy so far...

I hear that new teeth, growth spurts and routine busters (traveling etc.) tend to break the routine, but children tend to settle back into the routine within a few days:)

For all moms to be or moms with kids that don't sleep -- I would at least recommend reading the book, even if you want to try the other approach (attachment parenting -- carrying your baby around all the time, nursing baby to sleep, rocking baby to sleep). To each her own:) At least from my perspective, Rodney, Abigail and I are getting great sleep, which makes us better parents (and better husband, wife, etc...).

Critics of Babywise say that it isn't natural to let a baby cry self to sleep. Abigail is even more cuddly now than she was four weeks ago. She loves being held, talked to, sang to, etc. And other critics say that Babywise's approach to feeding (every 2-3 hrs. at first and then every 3-4 hrs) doesn't pay attention to what the baby might really need (what they call "on demand feeding"). The reality is, physiologically, my body won't produce enough milk for her to nurse every hour. However, Babywise would even say that flexibility is "key" and it's okay to break the routine every once in a while. I occasionally do if she's "out of norm" fussy or just appears hungry...She often refuses to eat except when she's hungry.

Anyways. The can of worms has been opened:)

1 comment:

Susanne said...

I did babywise with my son and I am so glad that I did! I also recommend you read a book by Kim West called, Good Night, Sleep Tight. Great Book!