2.25.2012

Newborn: Sleeping Through the Night!

I get a lot of requests for newborn sleep advice, so I thought I would write this down and keep it on here before I move on to the next phase and forget! Here are some suggestions I have been successful using for getting my babies to sleep through the night- it is somewhat based on Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I have had all three girls sleep 8 hours through the night at 8 weeks (actually the last two did it at 6 weeks) and the 12 hours through the night at 12-13 weeks. I am blessed with good babies, but I also put in effort from the start to establish a routine for them that encourages them to sleep through the night. I have said it before on here, it doesn't matter what plan you use, but I believe you will be a lot more relaxed and your baby will be a lot happier if you have a plan. It is very rare for my babies to cry- having a routine gives them- and us- security to know what is coming next. I must say before you read this or Baby Wise; you do not need to be rigid with this plan, be flexible and relaxed with it. If you follow the basic idea and do what works for your family, you will be successful. I was a lot more rigid with my firstborn and I am forced to be really flexible with my third- and they both successfully slept through the night! Here are my suggestions based on what worked for me: 
1. Schedule: Baby Wise uses "PDF: Parent Directed Feeding", I assume this is the main "controversy" with this plan- people don't like to wake a sleeping baby. At first you need to wake them up at 3 hours to eat (until the 10pm or night time feeding)- this simply gets their days and nights in the right place- if you let them sleep all day- they will not sleep all night- seems logical to me. I think it also establishes a good expectation from the start- the parent runs the show, not the baby. The hospital and probably the doctor will say to feed the baby when they want to be fed- this is great at first when you are establishing milk (if nursing)- but after the first few weeks until week 12- I am most successful with the 3 hour cycle (of course if your baby is starving at 2 or 2.5 feed them and start fresh at the next cycle): change diaper (to get awake), feed, 1.5 hour from start of feeding is wake time, 1.5 hour nap time: here is a sample- (times vary based on morning wake time) 
{Week 1-12 or 13}
- 7am wake and change diaper (get them really awake with the diaper change)
Feed (they will try to sleep after feeding, lay them down and try to get them awake right after feeding)
- 8:30am nap (if possible lay them down in a bed or somewhere safe- if they are held through the whole sleep it not only gets them used to that for later, it will probably not allow them to wake or sleep "naturally"- they are all snuggled in and don't want to get up! I have had to rip babies out of people's arms to have success with wake time! *Obviously this is flexible- sometimes just hold them and sleep and let others do the same- just not every time.
- 10am wake, change diaper, feed
- 11:30am nap
- 1:00pm wake, change diaper, feed
- 2:30pm nap
- 4:00pm wake, change diaper, feed
- 5:30pm nap
- 7:00pm wake, change diaper, feed
***try to keep awake during this period- give a bath, lay down- if you pick one period to not let them sleep on you or a family member- this is the crucial one- as soon as they get sleepy- feed and put them down-  try to get close to 10pm, but if you need to feed early that is just fine. 
- 10:00pm (or when sleepy) change diaper, feed
*lay down for sleep and do not wake them up, feed when they are truly awake. A lot of babies wake up crying a little but are not actually awake- make sure they are truly awake before getting them up. I always wait 15 or 20 minutes before getting them up to make sure they are truly awake (this is after the 4 week mark, the first 4 weeks they will probably eat every 3-4 hours at night). Most of the time they go back in to the restful sleep and do not need to get up. This is where having them in a room other than your room is helpful. I have even put my girls in the living room outside my room- they can sleep anywhere and through anything as newborns.
{Week 13}: switch to 4 hour schedule- for example: wake/feed 8am, nap 10am, wake/feed 12pm, nap 2pm, wake/feed 4pm, cat nap 6pm (for a couple of months), 8pm feed/bedtime
2. Feeding: I believe a full baby is a happy sleeping baby! If you are nursing- mind your milk! Make sure you are getting enough calories to feed the baby- the theory that you will lose weight immediately when nursing is not necessarily true if you want to mind your milk. I nursed my first two girls for a year each and it wasn't until I stopped nursing that I lost all of the baby weight.  There are a lot of foods that upset babies tummies- dairy, coffee, etc.. so you have to be particular what you eat and you need extra calories to make the milk- frankly you are starving so this isn't a problem! And drink a TON of water! If you cannot or do not want to nurse- don't stress about it- the important thing is that your baby is receiving adequate nutrition and you are enjoying it!! I don't use feeding as my first response to crying, see where they are in the cycle and attend to their needs based on that- lots of times babies act hungry when they are really just tired. 
3. Days and Nights: I said it earlier but getting the days and nights in order is huge at the beginning. I just make sure to wake them at the 3 hour mark and get them REALLY awake to eat and I make them eat a full portion- not snacking. If they fall asleep after feeding and you cannot get them awake- just let them sleep and start over at the next feeding- but really try for a little wake time- probably means laying them down! After a feeding they are all snuggly and warm and just want to sleep with you (at least all 3 of mine did) so I found if I lay them down right away they wake up and if they still sleep, clearly they need sleep. I call it natural sleep vs. artificial sleep- artificial because they are not naturally needing to sleep, they are responding to the snuggly environment!
4. Be flexible: if they wake up early and are hungry or you have somewhere to be and can't feed there- feed them and start the cycle from that feeding point. You can manipulate the schedule based on what works for you! After the 13 week mark, every day should be pretty predictable- wake time at the same time, naps at the same time, feedings at the same time and bed time at the same time- so you can schedule accordingly! Just relax and know that you can always start fresh at the next feeding!
5. Bed: I like to put the baby down in various locations- sometimes in a Pack N Play by a window, sometimes in the crib, sometimes in the bassinet- they will sleep anywhere when they are newborns and this gets them used to sleeping in various spots. I always try to put them down in the crib for at least 1 nap when they are newborns, that way it isn't a transition when they move in there. I move my babies into their crib at 1 month. It is hard (for you, emotionally) because it is a big bed and tiny baby- but you will sleep better and they will not have to adjust to the new place when they are older.
6. Sound Machine: All of my girls sleep with sound machines- Ocean noise to be exact! Crank it up loud- they can sleep anywhere with anyone in the room and with noise- dogs barking, doorbell ringing, siblings crying, etc.. not an issue. And I believe it gives them the constant familiar sound no matter where they are that signals "bed time". (yes, my kids can sleep without it anywhere, yes my 5 and 7 year olds still use them, yes, I use it at naptime and sometimes long car rides (there is a great "white noise" app to use), THIS is my favorite one- ocean to be exact- I think that covers all of the questions!!)
7. First Month: Just enjoy and relax the first month- try to get them awake enough for feeding- but just enjoy the baby and worry about the schedule at 4 weeks! If you want to let them sleep on you or a loved one- go for it! As long as they are having wake time during the day and you wake them up every 3 hours to eat (again, working on days and nights)- just enjoy!
8. Bath: They say to give a bath every other day, I like to give a bath every evening (when it works for my schedule and energy level) with just warm water and a wash cloth. I only soap every other day. My girls had cradle cap and Mustela makes a great foam shampoo for cradle cap, I like to lotion after every bath (again, love Mustela for newborns)- here is an article on baby massage it helps a lot with development and I use this time after bath with lotion to do the massage.
9. Sleep Props: I think blankies (for older kids) and binkies are fine sleep props, if it gives a baby comfort- great! My first daughter loved the binkie and it was no problem to break her of it at 2. I made sure to always leave it in the bed only- no walking around the house with it. (of course airplanes are a different story- bring the binkie), my other two want nothing to do with it- so that is fine (I really wish my 3rd wanted one)! I had a few different blankies the girls slept with, they have their favorites but they are totally fine to sleep with another blankie if their favorite one is in the wash. This comes in handy for school bags later on- you can keep one in there and wash it and not have school germs in their beds. This also works well for travel- they can have their blankie at sleep times but you can wash it or give them a clean one later on when that one has travel germs! Lots of people love swaddling, I do a loose swaddle at the beginning, I like them to have their arms free and legs able to move around- so I loosely swaddle mainly for warmth! I also like the vibrate button on the bassinet to help them settle in to sleep the first month. Again, do what makes you feel comfortable. I like to rock my babies sometimes, I think it is fine to rock them to sleep, just not every single time- don't let it be the only way they fall asleep. But I love a little rocking time once in a while (see #10)!
10. Laying them down: I think it is important to lay them down in their crib completely awake (at nap or bed time of course) and let them sooth themselves to sleep most of the time. Sometimes it is just delightful to rock your baby and snuggle- but most of the time, simply lay them down and let them work themselves into sleep. Baby wise says there is a period of active sleep and restful sleep during each sleep period. Make sure to let them fuss a little to make sure they are awake and not just active.
11. Naps: I wrote my nap thoughts down here- Nap time starts when mom says it starts and ends when mom says it ends. When you have a schedule, you will have the confidence to know when they need naps- you are absolutely meeting their needs by allowing them to sleep at nap time. If they cry at nap time- guess what they need..sleep! 
12. Wake Time: Sing, play, read, mobile, swing- but make sure to let them chill out and discover things around them- too much stimulation is not good for naps. Stimulate after feeding and then chill when nap time is approaching
13. Growth Spurts: If you baby is waking at night and not soothing back to sleep or wanting to eat more often than usual, it is either a growth spurt or you need to "mind the milk"- they go through several growth spurts, so just feed them and they will go back to normal after the growth spurt. I haven't had to adjust my schedule very much for growth spurts.
14. My final word of advice is this, let your baby sleep! Don't jump up every time they are sleeping and cry- make sure they are truly awake- this goes for nap or nighttime sleep. They will usually go back to sleep if they need more sleep. Once you know they CAN sleep 8 hours or 12 hours (nutritionally) it will make you more relaxed to let them cry a little bit and go back to sleep.

This is the plan that has worked for me, Baby Wise has so much helpful information and Baby Wise 2 has a lot of helpful tips on manners, etc.. it really helped me. Finally, sleep training is the first step in the child training process. Keep things like- teaching them self control, obedience and patience in mind from the beginning and you will be grateful you did when they are toddlers!

If you decide to go with this method- check this blog out LINK, she goes week by week on the plan- So much info! At this time, I am retired from sleeping baby help- I cannot physically respond to everyone and I am almost 2 years out of this phase, so it is not as fresh! Of course I always love "success stories" and I am blessed to hear from you all! (Haters, see below- I will hit delete..period..I will not argue with you on MY blog!)

*HERE IS A GOOD ARTICLE ON Crying It Out: LINK
** HERE ARE SOME ANSWERS TO FAQ'S: LINK
*** HERE IS A LITTLE CLARIFICATION: LINK

***I have received a lot of traffic on this post recently- thanks for stopping by- please check out my blog and feel free to follow on FB or Twitter!  I just need to say to those of you who wish to comment negatively- I am not interested in hearing you tell me that this makes you sad and I do not want this to be a place of arguments or division- I have three of the happiest babies I know, I adore my children and I believe that teaching them self-control and allowing them to actually sleep is being the mother God called me to be. If this isn't for you, then please do not read it- I am sure you have a wonderful plan for raising your children and they are wonderful babies. I am simply sharing what worked for my three babies and what worked for ME- because when the mother is relaxed and thriving- so are the kids! God Bless you as you find what works for YOUR family! You know what would be so much more fun than arguing- what if moms join together and support each other and pray for one another and accept each other for the individuals God made us to be! *I will gladly delete and not respond to any "hate mail"  
Just in case you need to know- here are pics of my three babies at 6 months old- pretty sure none of them were starving by not feeding on demand (see rolls below!)- I nursed the first two for a year exclusive of any formula and the third is on month 9 with no formula- no starving children here! 

338 comments:

  1. Just found your blog today. Great directions!!!! After reading Baby Wise, I followed this same methodolgy and have had great success. My son is 12 weeks old and sleeping through the night with ease. My sister in law (daughter born the same week) refuses to believe I have our son on a schedule and does not believe in PDF (part of the problem!). So I just laugh and tell her she's right...he's not sleeping through the night and not on a schedule. ; )

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  2. Thanks for this plan of action! We're not going to try for a baby for another year, but I'm saving this for future reference!

    You're right to ignore the negative comments: haters gon' hate! ;)

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  3. My brother & his wife had their baby almost exactly a year ago & when they did this type of schedule with my nephew, I thought they were silly. However, he is SUPER happy & very healthy. It also made things easier for me when babysitting. It was reassuring to know what he was expecting instead of trying to guess why he was fussy. I will encourage my girls to use your advice when the time comes for them to have babies. It really does give baby a sense of security & contentment.

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  4. My brother & his wife had their baby almost exactly a year ago & when they did this type of schedule with my nephew, I thought they were silly. However, he is SUPER happy & very healthy. It also made things easier for me when babysitting. It was reassuring to know what he was expecting instead of trying to guess why he was fussy. I will encourage my girls to use your advice when the time comes for them to have babies. It really does give baby a sense of security & contentment.

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  5. So what did you do the first 8 weeks after the 10pm feeding? I am almost done reading BabyWise and I'm sure I'll need to go back and re-read several parts! But this post is really helpful to break it down very simply. I just don't quite understand what the schedule looks like after the 10pm-ish feeding for the first 8 weeks since they still need to eat every 3 hours or so.

    Thanks!
    Haley Hill
    haleybethhill@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Haley! Thanks for reading! After the 10pm feeding lay them down for sleep and do not wake them until they wake to eat. Make sure to delay your response in the middle of the night to make sure they are actually awake and not just active- when you know they are awake, feed them and lay them right back down to sleep. Most likely they will wake up around the 3-4 hour mark for a while- but if you practice the "delayed response" from the start it will help later on. Eventually they will keep stretching it until they are sleeping through the night! Let me know if you have any other questions!
      Have a great night!

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    2. When you say you know they are awake is it because it is a clear cry and not just a fussing noise. I get up when I hear to much fussing but I don't know if I should wait. I know every baby is different. I just feel a lot of these sleep scheduling tips are not clear by saying let te baby cry so u know when to feed. Please help I am confused. Thank you!

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    3. My baby #3 is 8 weeks old and this is the schedule that I have been using. I read this when she was just 2 weeks old and have been doing it ever since. I found that for the 1st 4 weeks it was hard for my baby to stay awake for the full 1.5 hours after feeding, but i kept trying. At the 4 week mark... she became a pro. at the schedule and now follow it perfectly. She was sleeping 8 hours by 6 weeks old. And now at 8 weeks old she consistently sleeps from 9:30 pm - 6:30 am. I love it and she is such a happy baby.

      When I was trying to get her to sleep through the night, I really would let her fuss a little and then if I thought her cry meant she was awake then I would check on her. If her eyes were not opening during the cry, i would let her fuss a little more. Sometimes she would go back to sleep and sometimes i would get her up and feed her and then straight back to bed.(nighttime is not a party time - I barely even turn on lights to feed her... and I dont talk at all, so she can learn that it is nighttime.) From week 4-6, I would put her to bed at 10 or 11pm and then she would wake up at 2-3am to eat. This lasted for about 2 weeks and then as I was consistent in keeping the schedule, around 6 weeks she stopped waking up at 3am and would wake up around 5 or 6am. I just cut out a feeding and she would eat a little more in the morning.

      Babies and kids really do adjust to the schedule you put them on. It is important for kids to learn to have a schedule of something... (and it should be flexible)... we all have a schedule. How hard for kids who don't learn a schedule at a young age, and then are forced into one later on in life... they missed out on learning those skills. I believe in preparing kids at a young age to function well in life and learn the skills to be successful.

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  6. Do you have any advice for someone with a baby that does not like to nap? My baby boy is 4.5 weeks old and so far he's not much of a napper. I've never worried about having to wake him for a feeding, since he's practically always awake. He takes the occasional 30 minute snooze, but he rarely sleeps longer, and if he does it's only because I'm holding him. I want to eventually get him into a routine, but I'm finding it difficult to do with his lack of desire to sleep during the day. I would love to hear any advice you have! And thanks for the post, I've been reading BabyWise and I hope to one day get my little guy on a predictable schedule.

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    1. Hi Candace! I wrote down some nap advice on the blog- http://delightfulmomstuff.blogspot.com/2012/01/rock-bye-baby-naptime.html and wrote more thoughts on my FAq article: http://delightfulmomstuff.blogspot.com/2012/10/faq-sleeping-babies.html
      I would start establishing the nap routine in the coming weeks before he figures out that he doesn't have to :)- just lay him down when it is nap time and let it go a little longer every day- he will soothe himself to sleep- babies need naps, so you are absolutely meeting his needs! Just try every day and take 1 nap at a time- if i were you I would establish naps sooner rather than later! Hope that helps a bit!
      Have a great night!

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    2. My mother-in-law (who has 11 children!) sets a "quiet time" from 1 PM - 3 PM every day (Obviously your little guy will need more than that since he's so young.) for everyone in the house - including herself. The older kids have to read or do something with no noise. The younger ones are supposed to nap. However, even if they don't nap she makes them stay in bed and lay down. She babysat my oldest for a year while I was still working and did nap time according to the schedule I had set, but even if my daughter didn't sleep, she had to be in bed during those times. She was put in bed at the time I had set and the rule was "unless the house is on fire or everyone is leaving" she stays in bed until the specified time. This teaches them that it's okay to be alone and that quiet, alone time is necessary.

      If I were you, I'd start now, before he gets much older, setting up a schedule like the one above and then putting him in bed and leaving him there until the schedule says it's time for him to get up. He may not sleep, but he'll learn how to entertain himself. My 8 month old loves stuffed animals. She has several in her bed and I've found her, several times, playing with them when I've gone in to get her up. He'll also learn that just because you don't come the first time he cries, you WILL come back eventually!

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  7. I really wish I had read this before my son was born. I really think this would have helped. We didn't start sleep training until he was 8 months old, and I had been nursing and rocking him to sleep. I think that this caused a lot of problems, and now he does nap and sleep through the night, but it is always a bit of a struggle, because he really wants to nurse and cuddle to sleep, even though he is a year old. I can really see now how structure helps so much, how it keeps things calm, and feeling safe, and how a schedule from the beginning would have been so beneficial. I am really excited to try this method for my next child.

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    1. I am currently at the point where my 8-month-old does not sleep through the night and will only fall asleep when being rocked or fed! What did you start doing differently to help you're sleep better?? I keep reading advice on sleep but it all seems to apply to newborns. Any advice would be great!

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    2. Hi Heidi! Unfortunately All I know to do at the 8 month mark is make sure he is getting REALLY full at feedings, make sure he is getting naps (day time sleep really does help nighttime sleep) and put him to sleep- if he wakes crying, delay your response- a little longer each night- and he will most likely start soothing himself back to sleep. Unfortunately there will probably be a little crying involved, but if you establish this routine you will get to a point of putting him to bed with no tears and waking him up with no tears! Just hang in there!

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  8. As I was reading this I felt like I was reading something I had written! This is almost exactly what I do with my kids and for the same reasons (self-control, patience, etc). I also have 3 daughters (3, 2, 8 months), and I'm pregnant with our first boy - finally!!! I've never read Baby Wise although my sister did give it to me. I just did what seemed natural! I always figured if an adult, teenager, child, preschooler, or toddler can sleep through the night without starving to death, surely an infant can to! My second daughter slept 12 hours the first night we brought her home. That was AMAZING!

    All of that said, what is the reason for beginning with 3 hours and later switching to 4? I have always just started with feeding every 4 hours (9 AM, 1 PM, 5 PM, 9 PM). Does it help ease into sleeping through the night or is that just your preference? I'm willing to try it if that makes the transition easier!

    Oh! I love the pics. Mine have all been 100% formula fed (breastfeeding seemed awkward to me with the first and didn't have the ability with the second and third) and they all look(ed) the same way! Rolly, poly legs! I think the fact that they aren't eating at night just means they make up for it during the day by eating more. Definitely not starving!

    Even though I'm already doing this, it's helpful to hear of others who are doing the same, and that it's working for them. It also helps to know I'm not a "bad" mom since this way of doing things is not the norm and people think they have the right to tell you so! So thank you for being brave enough to share this method!

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    1. Thank you for your comments Melissa!!! I am not sure the "science" of 3 hours vs 4 for the first 13 weeks- I do think it helps get the days and nights in the right place by not letting them go more than 3 hours during the day- And, my babies are always hungry at the 3 hour mark- whatever works for you is fine I think- I have been most successful with 3 hours! I also know from my 7 nephews that boys are always trying to eat- :) so you might want to do 3 hours with a boy- let me know! Blessings to you on your baby BOY- SO exciting!!

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    2. Just a quick note, I really appreciate all the advice, I'm on baby #3 ... with the first 2 I did a lot of these things by instinct, but without a plan, Baby 3 though is going on the plan TODAY and I'm so glad to have it written down. I do breast feed exclusively, and everything I have read about it says that breast fed babies bodies process the milk a little better than formula and therefore want to eat more often, usually every 3 or so hours! Formula fed babies can usually go about 4 hours = )

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    3. I have loved all the advice and comments, thanks, ladies! I'm on baby # 3, and will be putting her on this routine TODAY = ) With my first two I did a lot of the same things, but didn't have a real plan, this helps a lot!
      About the "science" of 3 vs 4 hours, from everything I have read it seems that breast-fed babies process the milk quicker than they process formula, and therefore usually want to eat sooner (about every 3 hours) whereas formula-fed babies can usually go 4 hours from the get-go = )
      Blessings to each of you!!

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    4. My understanding on the 3 vs 4 hr thing is simply that a younger baby/newborn needs more feeds to ensure proper nutrition. I got this info from NICU doctors and our regular ped. Feed the newborn every 3 hrs throughout the day and let them sleep at night. I DID have an under weight baby (born a month premature) who had to reach a certain weight before it was recommended to me to let her sleep through the night. Every bit of info I've read suggests a baby should be fed 8-12 times a day: divided out that is feeding between every 2-3 hrs.

      On the flip side, if your daughters have thrived well on every 4 hrs, then keep on keeping on!! Baby Wise is just giving the 3 hr thing because they want to stick with the medical community on how often a baby should be fed.

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  9. Oh! One more thing! Having them on a schedule helps a LOT when you have older siblings. I have arranged my baby's schedule so that at least one of her naps is the same time as their nap. That way I get a break in the middle of the day! That sounds selfish, but it's exhausting having 3 kids 3 and under and being pregnant all while daddy is gone to work 12-13 hours a day. If mommy is exhausted, she'll be stressed and grumpy, and then everyone else is stressed and grumpy!

    Sorry to have dominated your comment section!

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  10. My first was not on a schedule. I was young and said ill feed her when she wants to eat. Well she never slept at night. My second she was on a 3-4hour schedule and slept great. My third was also a schedule feeding. needless to say i learned my leason. Please carry on your lesson to everyone because i wish i had known this before.

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  11. What white noise sound machine do you suggest using?

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    1. Walmart sells a heart beat bear with between 3-5 different sounds (rain, ocean waves, heartbeat etc.) And a volume control. Is it the fanciest? No but its between $10-15 and works great. Also something as simple as a fan can create enough white noise.

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    2. Hi! I use this one: http://www.amazon.com/HoMedics-SS-2000-Relaxation-Machine-Nature/dp/B000F3QG0U/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1351522180&sr=8-4&keywords=sound+machine Although, I have used a lot of them- this one is my favorite- I don't think it really matters which machine- cheap is fine- the only thing I find is some dont turn up as loud!

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  12. We did BabyWise with our son (now going on 10 months), and he was sleeping 8 hours at night by 6 weeks old. We are constantly complemented on how good of a baby he is. And trust me, it's not that he is simply a good baby, because his strong-willed, hard-headed side shows frequently, yet he is such a great baby and sleeps amazingly! I'm glad to see this post of yours, it's good for other people to see that this schedule really does work! (I'm not knocking all other schedules, I'm sure there are others that work just as well). Thank for sharing!!

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  13. I understand keeping baby awake can work if you lay baby down, but what about when it's naptime and baby cries when put down? My five week old cries within minutes of being placed in his bouncer, swing, crib, etc. He does ok at night when he's tired, but for naptimes it feels like he could cry for hours! How do I get him on the feed, wake, sleep in this case?

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    1. Hi Jessie- it is good to start working on naps early on- you will be glad you did instead of fighting with an 18 month old to nap. Just take one nap at a time- work on feeding every 3 hours, no matter what during the day- and just take 1 nap at a time. As long as he is waking every 3 hours to eat at 5 weeks, it will get the days and nights in the right place. Then just try for naps at the 1.5 hour mark- I would work at getting him in the crib for nap- even if you lay him down for 15 minutes in the crib- or 10 minutes- to start- it will start the routine of- eating, 1.5 hours later napping, etc.. If you try for that routine every day- he will get used to that routine at this young age and it will make it A LOT easier at the 13 week mark when he will take 2, 2 hour naps. Does that make sense? Just take 1 nap at a time- but work on the feeding every 3 hours- NO LONGER during the day!
      Hope that helps a bit!

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  14. I understand keeping baby awake can work if you lay baby down, but what about when it's naptime and baby cries when put down? My five week old cries within minutes of being placed in his bouncer, swing, crib, etc. He does ok at night when he's tired, but for naptimes it feels like he could cry for hours! How do I get him on the feed, wake, sleep in this case?

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  16. I'm glad you found a rhythm that worked for you and allowed your babies to thrive. I don't think you are at all heartless or uninterested in your children's needs by trying to balance your needs with theirs. I was in the same boat when I started having babies 25 years ago. I was given a TON of advice by well meaning women, some of which was bad and counterproductive, but fortunately not taken to extreme by me. I did CIO with my babies because it was that or insanity some days, and they lived to tell about it and are now raising their own kids. My advice has changed somewhat, particularly in light of being a young mother at the dawn of the Internet and being introduced to women who were outside my church circle and didn't know me from the day I was born myself, so my parenting resources expanded exponentially.

    I think what most readers are objecting to in your post is the nod to Babywise and Gary Ezzo. While you have the sense to respond to your babies and only "base" your "child training" on the Ezzo material, there are other mothers who take it much farther than that to a dangerous level. While you can't be held responsible for that, endorsing the Babywise methods as the way to go, leaves no room for people who have babies that are more difficult than yours were/are and adds to a sense of failure when their babies will not comply with the "rules" that parents lay down from day one ( or from what you have written, day 30.) You obviously have yet to raise teenagers, but let me give you a heads up...a lot of "rules" will go out the window when you decide they may not be the hill you want to die on, so to speak. At least they better if you want to forge a good relationship with your teenagers in 10 to 15 years.

    But, I digress.

    The fact that Gary Ezzo is not trained or educated in child development or child psychology seems to escape the attention of his proponents. In reality, he's just a guy who has managed to sell lots of books and seminars on a method that is neither Biblical nor doctor recommended. What it does do, is heap on a pile of steaming hot guilt for parents when they realize his advice is not only NOT godly, but tells them they are essentially ungodly should they choose a different way.

    There is a TON of guilt in the Ezzo material if the method does not work for someone exactly as he says it should, and that does not support each other in any way, shape or form as you stated you would like to have happen.

    Lastly, it dismays me VERY much to read your encouragement for new parents to go against their doctor's advice on feeding a newborn and young infant WITHOUT any other sound research to back that up. Don't get me wrong, I don't think doctors are the be all end all when it comes to following our own path on parenthood, but when it comes to basic advice on nutrition and the ability of infants to adhere to a schedule set by parents, that is designed to, and I am paraphrasing here, "show an infant that they are not in charge from the beginning," then that is a matter of the will and NOT a matter of science. THAT is absolutely designed to go against our God-given instincts and intuition to fulfill all of our baby's needs (not just physical, but emotional as well) by promising some future pay off that is abstract at best and when it comes right down to it, can't really be promised at all by anyone outside our family circles.

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    1. I don't think you are bad mother or person for finding a way that works for you where your children appear to be happy and thriving. We all want that, it's just that there is no one "right" way to get to that goal. I think it's also really important to stress to the parents whose babies are NOT happy and thriving, and parents who are an emotional wreck and can't get anything done, that it does not make them failures as parents. Some babies are just a bit harder and more demanding and some parents have a hard time adjusting and balancing things too.

      Furthermore, if a parent has a baby who is "difficult" then there comes a time when it has to be looked at a bit more closely as to why....and that why is never ever because a baby is willfully disobedient or spoiled or anything of the sort. No, you didn't write that in this post, but Gary Ezzo has in his materials.

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    2. Excellent comment! You brought up all the reasons I don't support Babywise as it is written (lots of parents use some of the advice and do what works for them, that I don't see a problem with). I'm glad that people can put their babies on sleeping and feeding schedules and have thriving babies, but a lot of others can't. I did everything the attachment parenting way with my first, because thats what came naturally, I just wanted to be close, meet all of his needs and so forth, it took a lot out of me and I probably neglected a lot of other things in my life, but we have an amazing bond for it that is obvious to others. He is still nursing at 3.5, while I think a lot of people will say that is a co-dependent relationship, I say thats the end result of meeting all of his needs, I am sure he will look back on it fondly. I have been doing the same with my 4 month old, he has reflux so I do a lot of comforting in the middle of the night and basically all day, I'd probably die of a broken heart if I tried to put him on a schedule because he'd protest big time and I'd feel rotten for not being there for him. I think its all about doing whats best for your child, not necessarily trying to fit a baby into YOUR schedule, if the baby does best by laying him down and letting him fuss to sleep then so be it, but if that baby is protesting every single day and you are forcing him to be independent, then I think that can be damaging to your relationship.

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    3. Thanks for these counter thoughts. I am becoming more open to different ways to parent. I was very AP in the beginning because the mothers I was around were and also, it came naturally. That said, some of these women were quite VERY AP and discouraged any cry it out, formula, etc. That mix of women plus undiagnosed PPD/PPA was not a good mix! Praise God he has given us this amazing duty as mothers and support and information to sift through and pray about! My second child is a tough baby! I parent her differently because she has a much different temperament. She is my "fussy baby" and though she doesn't like the snuggles as much, I am glad that I always responded to my gut to respond to her cries because she ended up being diagnosed with acid reflux and was in pain.

      I think it is wise for the parent discerning PDF or any other delayed response (15 min seems like a lot for a little newbie) to inform themselves about the different reasons for crying, even if they are not common. My DS woke frequently during the night because I didn't have enough milk. I found the phrase "mind your milk" both interesting and ammusing. You caution against minding the milk, but fail to mention how to know if milk supply is low and that feeding the infant on THEIR demand is the first and best way to increase supply (as nursing is a supply and demand game. My first wasn't getting enough milk despite many feedings. I would suggest a footnote stay on your nap schedule but feed on demand. Also, my second had undiagnosed silent reflux until 4 months. That was horrible. A reflux baby would not do good on this schedule, at least an unmedicated one. I hope parents keep these things in mind.

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    4. Thanks so much for your comment! I personally rely on instinctual and natural parenting and have never had my 1 year old on a schedule or let her cry. However, if you have easy babies and a schedule works for the whole family, by all means, use it! I get upset when I see new moms who feel like they are a failure because one particular style of parenting isn't working for them. There is no one size fits all! It just doesn't exist. So if you want to try a schedule, go for it (making sure that your baby is getting plenty of attention, milk, and not crying it out for more than a minute or two). But if it's not working, move on. Try something else. It's okay!

      I really enjoyed this post to help moms who feel like failures after trying Babywise: http://styleberryblog.com/when-babywise-fails-and-whats-not-wrong-with-my-baby

      Also, please know that babies cry for more than just food and warmth. Sometimes they really do just need comfort. I have a lot of infant experience, and have seen babies that don't cry for anything due to their parents never responding to their cues. This is unhealthy and can have lasting results!

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    5. This sums up my thoughts as well. My daughter was a very "high needs" colicky, fussy baby with pretty bad acid reflux, and milk and soy protein problems. This is the method I *wanted* to use, but it was a failure for us. I spent the first few weeks of motherhood feeling like a total failure because my child cried almost constantly, never slept, and so on. I didn't know why, but I thought it was my fault. I had to sleep with her to get any sleep in those early weeks. I was determined not to, but after 3 weeks of almost no sleep (20-30 minutes at a time, if I was lucky, and I was a single Mom), I started sleeping with her. We ended up having to do just what we had to to survive until things got better with her reflux and allergies. We got that sorted out and finally found some formula and meds that worked around 8 months old, after a trip to the GI doctor. We did the "cry it out" method (a bit modified) around 9 months and she did fine with that after a few nights. She's 3 now, happy, healthy, extremely smart, and sleeps through the night most nights in her own bed/room and has for a long time. She still has a very strong personality and is sensitive, cautious, etc. Nothing wrong with doing what works for you; but the temperament and health of some babies doesn't allow for this plan. We had a routine, but I had to be a lot more flexible than this sort of plan allows. She is still on a routine now and loves and needs the predictability of it, but I can't be so rigid even now. Some nights she sleeps 14 hours, some nights it is 10. Some kids do not schedule as well as others. The most important advice I would give a young mother is to be flexible and to let go of expectations. Expectations caused me a LOT of grief as a new mother to a really fussy and difficult baby. I've noticed some people that have easy babies think that difficult ones are made, not born. I can assure you this is untrue. A (terrible and mean and catty) part of me gets a bit excited when someone has an easy baby and then a difficult one and realizes how false that idea was. My daughter was difficult from birth, and it wasn't all the reflux. Some kids are laid back and go with the flow. Others have their own ideas, even as infants. I wouldn't trade my daughter for anything in the world though. :) I wouldn't go back to infancy either though! I do wish I had had an "easy" baby that rarely cried and slept well and followed MY plan, but alas, I did not. Maybe next time...

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  17. I dont mean to sound ignorant but after reading the schedule I didnt understand if after the wake, change, feed the baby remains awake for 1.5hr until the nap...so they only sleep for 1.5hr every hr, is this correct?

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    1. hi! lets say you wake at 7am- wake, feed and play until 8:30am (1.5hours after wake) then wake and feed again at 9am (3 hours after the first feeding) - they sleep 1.5 hours out of every 3 until the nighttime feeding (approx. 10pm) then you leave them to sleep until they wake- it will be longer than 3 hours at night.
      at 13 weeks it switches to 4 hours- so wake/eat at 7am, nap at 9am, wake/eat at 10am
      Does that help a bit?

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  18. No hate mail here, =) but I do want to say, as a mom who raised 3 babies using the Babywise method, who are now 11, 8 and 7, and then 2 babies without those methods, who are now 4 and 21 months, there is possibly more of a difference than could be imagined between Babywise and a more natural response.

    I would have written your post, almost verbatim, when my oldest 3 were little. I had wonderful babies, they were happy, etc and they seemed to gain plenty of weight, etc. And my life was predictable. I breastfed my first for 1 year, and the second for 10 months (got pregnant with #3 when he was 8 months). I was only able to breastfeed the 3rd for almost 2 months due to a diagnosis of cancer and the need to undergo treatment. (Which I thankfully recovered from =) After cancer, as I evaluated my family and did further research, I chose to abandon all the Babywise methods.

    I know, why on earth would you abandon routine for feeding on demand?

    In my case, because I realized that I had missed out with my first 3 in ways that were indescribable and the loss outweighed the benefits of having a predictable routine.

    I lost the closeness that comes from responding to my babies needs, teaching them to not need me and to turn inward for their comfort. This robbed me of the need to comfort and robbed them of the need to cry out for me. Yes, we cuddled and were affectionate during wake times, but there was something missing as they grew up. So many of the little things, like making memories rocking them to sleep, were not part of my memories as a mommy or theirs as babies... I thought I was gaining an orderly home, keeping my sanity and gaining routines of security for my children, instead I was pushing away many of the little things that make motherhood special and circumvented much of the process that causes mother and child to bond so deeply.

    So, when my 4th child was born, I didn't sleep train him as a newborn. I breastfed on demand, co-slept, and learned the art of babywearing. It was like I was a new mom, having my first baby instead of my 4th. It was very different. But it was such a blessing. I didn't stand in the kitchen while my husband held me while I cried, listening to my baby cry and wanting to go to him but 'doing the right thing' and letting him fuss himself to sleep. Later, when he was older, I did teach my son to go to sleep by himself.

    He was my fattest baby, and my milk supply was amazing, never having to even think about whether or not I had enough milk. He was EBF until 9 months, and then I continued to breastfeed until he was 18 months.

    My cycles didn't come back until he was 16 months, so I didn't get pregnant with my #5 until he was 17 months old. Drastically different than my Babywise days, where my cycles returned at 8 weeks- 2 months postpartum. After the birth of my #5 child, my cycle returned at 14 months postpartum.

    My 2 youngest children are very different from my oldest 3 in some key areas. The most important to me, is that there has always been closeness and a deeper level of trust than my first 3. They are happy, obedient kids who are very independent and confident of mommy's love and affection. They have had no trouble fitting into our family routine, and love their naptime and bedtime, but in a much different way than their siblings did. My Babywise babies were so attached to their routine that it made going out hard at times. My Un-Babywised babies have not cried for their bed, if they are with me, they are content to sleep and are not near as apt to be thrown off their routine. This makes life easier than my Babywise days, amazingly easier. =)

    Just wanted to share my experiences as a Babywise mom and a non-Babywiser. =) I would sum up what I have learned by saying, follow your mommy heart. Listen to the warnings that are in there and respond in a way that leads to peace in your heart. If there is turmoil in your heart, there is probably a reason.

    Blessings,
    Nichola

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    1. Hi Nichola- thank you so much for your perspective! When I wrote this I hesitated using the words "baby wise" in the article- I think moms can be way to rigid with it and it obviously comes with a lot of controversy (I feel like I get beat up every day}- but, I also did not want to steal someone else's idea as if it was my own, so I mentioned it. I appreciate your perspective- for me and my personality- I could not do the unknown schedule of feeding on demand, I have horrible back problems- so I cannot imagine "wearing my kids"- plus I cant imagine I would be very effective snuggling with my older kids if I had a baby on me? and out of respect for my marriage- which I have to remember to keep as my top priority- I will not co-sleep. The reason why I chose this "method" was because I know so many- now college-age kids who are AMAZING and their moms used Baby Wise. I am so grateful that God has an individual plan for each of my children and all I can do is get up each day and do the best I know how to do! I am blessed by your KIND response and blessed that others reading can have another perspective. I do not think this is for everyone, I absolutely DO believe in snuggling and loving and meeting your babies needs. Praise God for your cancer healing and blessings to you and your 5 kids- wow, you have been doing "babies" for 11 years- that is awesome!! Thanks again for sharing your perspective!

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    2. With my 1st I was much more, "by the book" than with my next two. Then I just went with the general idea and encouraged my friends to do the same, just following the patterns of eat, wake time, sleep... now I just do a different pattern. =)

      If you haven't tried babywearing, I would encourage you to look into it, it is actually not a back killer if you do your research and get the right kind of carrier...and you don't have to be a "responsive" mom to enjoy babywearing... www.thebabywearer.com is one of my fav sites, the Ergo is my fav structured carrier, and the wraps, such as the Didymos, are very supportive... even in the wakeful state, babywearing is a great way to connect with your little one!

      I am very thankful to have overcome cancer, and to still have my fertility after treatment. I forgot to mention that I am currently expecting baby #6 in Dec...=) (Babies don't get in the way of mommy/daddy time over here, either...=D)

      Blessings,
      Nichola

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    3. Thanks Nichola- it is fun to hear your perspective- congratulations on #6- that is a special gift to be the mom of 6!!! wow! God Bless you!

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    4. Thank you Nichola for your perspective. I too find my baby has created a very strong attachment to me BFing on demand. No her sleep schedule isn't perfect for me, but instead perfect for her. Also after 6mo she is a very happy, heavy, & independent baby. I'm just parenting as it comes natural to me and it just feels right. I've learned how to make a new life fit into mine just as I did when I married my husband & learned to live life with him.

      -Tasha , Bfing, BWing, Co-s, CDing, APing mom and it just works for us

      Sorry Jenica but not responding quickly just doesn't feel right to me. I have learned if I respond to her quickly she generally stays more content all day and hardly ever cries. I try to put myself in her position, as I once was, completely unable to do much of anything for myself. Most important of all though Jenica it sounds as if you raised your children up loving the lord and isnt that what life is really about. Reflecting our great love onto others.

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  19. I hate that you are getting negative attention for this post! I used Babywise with my son and loved it. And I respect other moms who don't use Babywise. You have to do what you think is best for your family. But why do moms have to put other moms down for what they chose to do?

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    1. Thank you- some days I just feel beat up (this being one of them :) so thanks for taking the time to say that. Blessings!

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    2. YES. THANK YOU. AND AMEN! There is no "one right way" to raise YOUR baby when love them and your intentions are to do what is best for them. Every family is different!

      I read BabyWise, and adopted a flexible version of it. I always rocked my son to sleep (and still do most of the time, he is 16 months), but went through different periods where he needed to cry it out. Like around 4 or 5 months and he still would not nap for longer than 45 minutes. I couldn't get anything done! And I knew he needed more sleep, because he would be fussy about 20 minutes after he woke up. He was just having trouble getting over that hump of the "active sleep cycle." So I started letting him cry-it-out when he woke up at the 45 min mark. And after about a week or two, he was taking two 1.5 hour naps and a little cat nap in the evening, every day.

      Our son started sleeping about 8 hours at night after about 8 weeks, and that was just by me letting him sleep as long as he wanted after his 10pm feed. I know that waking him up every 3 hours to feed helped EXTREMELY with his differentiation of day from nights. But I also know that not every baby does this, and don't expect our next to do this. But because I knew he was capable of doing this, when he started waking every 3 hours around the clock again at 3 months when we moved to a new house (first time sleeping in his real crib and first time in new room, etc.) I had an easier time letting him cry-it-out in the middle of the night. And it really only took a couple of day of him crying for 10-15 min to get right back to his norm.

      There were also other times as he got older and would randomly go through spurts where he would wake up in the middle of the night, and of course I would respond to those times by going in to make sure he knew he was safe, and giving him his pacifier back, and then let him get himself back to sleep.

      Don't feel beat up!!!

      To all moms out there - DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY! Don't feel like a failure for letting your child cry-it-out, and also don't feel like a failure if your baby doesn't sleep through the night until he is a year old. YOU KNOW YOUR BABY!

      Thanks for your comment!

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  20. Great post. I used Babywise with both of mine...worked wonderfully. These are great cliff notes, I will pin this to share with new moms! (Also liked your response to neagtive comments.) Blessings on you & your babies!

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  21. My daughter is 14 weeks. I've intuitively done a similar schedule with her and with her older sister who recently turned 3. The oldest is a great sleeper and eater and always has been. She sleeps 11 hours at night and takes a 3 hour nap most every day. And like you, even if she doesn't want to sleep, she has to stay in her room during "nap time". The baby is sleeping and eat well too. She goes to bed at 8pm and will sleep until at least 4am sometimes until 7am. If she wakes up before 6am she eats and goes right back to sleep no problem. She's slept in her crib in her own room since she was born. I can't sleep with a baby in my room and my husband works nights and would disrupt her sleep if she had ever been in with us. She naps well during the day but despite the fact she sleeps in her bed every night, she will not nap in her room. If she does sleep, it's a cat nap, no more than 30 minutes. But if she is in the living room, in her swing or gliding bassinet, she sleeps great. We do have white noise in her room by means of an air filter that runs pretty loud all the time and the fisher price seahorse that plays music and water sounds for 5 minutes to help soothe. I tried putting her in the swing in her room and she still only slept for about a half hour. Do you have any suggestions on how I can transition her to sleeping in her room all the time?

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    1. Hi KatieJo- I am not quite sure of your set up. Have you delayed your response when she wakes at nap 30 minutes in? Does she not wake at all in the living room? If it were me, and I am no expert, I would work to get naps established in the bed now- without the swing. I would start a nap routine and if she wakes 30 minutes in, see if she will fall back asleep. My girls went through a period of crying 30 minutes in- and usually they were sleeping or startled and when right back to sleep for the remainder of the nap. I would try to delay the response (how ever long you feel comfortable with) and take 1 nap at a time- i bet it wont take more than 2 weeks of consistent nap routine to get it established. Hope that helps a bit.

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    2. Yeah I do delay response. She just fusses/cries. I'll get her to calm down and she'll just start back up again. I tried staying in there because I thought maybe she wanted me in there like I would be in the living room. But she just fussed the whole time, she fussed and cried up until she needed to eat again. When she sleeps in the glider or swing in the LR she'd nap for hours if I let her. I guess I just need to bite the bullet and "force" the issue so speak. She just started rolling over this past week so maybe that'll help since she wears herself out more. But she's also slept from 8pm until at least 7am every night this week and I'd hate to lose that but it's probably better to do it now than later. Thanks so much for responding! I appreciate your help!!

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  22. Thank you for this post. I used babywise as a guide with my first (am now in fertility treatments trying for #2) and had great success. Although, I'm pretty sure I didn't follow it exactly and I tended to tune out the parts of the book that got too demeaning. Some of the writing seemed a little harsh to me. That said, I implemented a routine with flexibility based on the feed/play/nap sequence and since I wasn't able to nurse it was crazy easy to take formula anywhere and not disrupt the routine. I often fell asleep next to my baby when I would get up with her during the night and always rocked/sang to her at bedtime. I tried to make sure she was still somewhat aware when I laid her down at night so that she could soothe herself to sleep. My daughter slept through the night at 10 weeks and to this day (she's almost 10) she has always been an amazing sleeper while I have friends who's kids don't sleep through the night at age 4 or older. It could be a coincidence, or it could just be part of her natural rhythm, but many of my friends have used the program with similar results, and it looks to be especially successful with kids who've later been diagnosed with autism. I am a cranky lady when I don't get enough sleep so for us this program helped strengthen our relationship because I was able to be at my best more often. I'm confident that I will use the basic idea of this approach if #2 comes along. I really like hearing about others successes. Thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences, regardless of what approach you used. I love to hear why people choose what they do for their babies, as we all want our babies to feel loved and secure and there are many ways to accomplish that.

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    1. Thanks Micha- Blessings to you as you prepare for #2!

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  24. This post I have visited several times in the last couple of weeks. I have found it very helpful and concise. I have never read BabyWise but have used Preparation for Parenting (a couplel we go to church with gave this to me...it came with cassette tapes!) but it is the same principles. I had two questions, first, naps. She will only sleep about an hour for naps before waking up. Sometimes she will just hang out and fuss, and I will let her until the hour and a half is over then, feed her. Sometimes she wakes up seeming hungry, more intense cry, lip smacking, so I get her up and feed her. It is hard for me to determine if that is her telling me nap time is over or me responding to her need...you see what I am saying, since it is my job to direct when nap time is over? It has just been a challenge to get her to sleep that long during the day, however, she does want to sleep when she is supposed to be awake. Yes after stimulating her, talking to her, playing with her, changing her diaper, even at her 8 weeks she still drifts off. Then when I lay her down she wakes early...frustrating. My other question is bedtime. We have been feeding her and having wake time in the evening, her last feeding i usually 8-8:30 then she goes to bed around 9:30-10...which is later than you I know, but we are kind of night owls here. Three scenarios play out...and I cannot figure the pattern. First, she may lay down and go to sleep, which is what we pray for desperately. Second, she may fuss, fall asleep, fuss, then escalate to crying and continue to escalate in intensity. At her age, my judgment tells me to go in when she reaches such an intensity. But sometimes may take anywhere from 30 mins to 3 hours of 20 min intervals of crying pretty hard. So in that scenario, should I just wait until she falls asleep? She is 8 weeks, and I thought that they were still working on the ability to self soothe...it is a question I am willing to hear the answer to, if I need to let it go on for longer when she is at this high intensity cry I can, in fact we have and she has made herself hoarse. The last is the most boggling. She will sleep for like 45 mins to an hour and wake up, then scenario two might play out for an hour or so before she sleeps. She is my first baby and her sleep gives me much anxiety. Once asleep she sleeps, she has never had her days and nights confused. Last week she slept two nights for 8 hours, then we traveled for the weekend and now she does more like 6 hours. I dont know how to fix that, I figure with time. She has the potential to be a great sleeper, but I would like to equip her at her early age. As I said, this all makes me pretty anxious and I go back to work this week and really would like to be more confident.

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    1. Hi Erica! I am no expert but here is what I would do! ok- at 8 weeks she is really only supposed to take 1.5 hour naps- so if she is sleeping for 1 hour- you are doing pretty good! I would make sure she is getting really awake and full at feedings. Make sure you dont let her go longer than 3 hours during the day without eating. She is still young- the 13 week mark is when they really start to figure it out- but it is great to establish your routine now. Just take 1 feeding at a time- and enjoy her!! Dont let her sleeping/schedule steal your joy during this time- she is still young! SO..focus on the eating every 3 hours during the day. Try to give her a full 1.5 hours of wake time- just take 1 nap at a time and try for 1.5 hours- but if she wakes up at 1 hour- feed her and start fresh for the next period.. again, trying for the nap after 1.5 hours of wake time. At night time- If it is time for her to eat at 8 or 8:30 and you have her go to sleep at 9:30 or 10- feed her again right before you put her down- even if it is just 1.5-2 hours after her feeding- no biggie. I would just make sure to feed her right before sleep for the night. At that age, she really isnt ready for the 8pm bedtime- that will come at 13 weeks. She still needs that 10pm feeding- I would even do her bath between the 8pm and 10pm feeding to get her nice and awake for that last feeding/bedtime. I would really make sure she is getting full at her feedings- especially at night. at 8 weeks you are right to go get her when she is screaming. Just practice delayed response- meaning, make sure she is really awake and not just having active sleep before you get her. But if she is waking up and hungry- feed her and lay her back down and start fresh at the next feeding. I bet it will just start clicking and she will be great. The main thing is for you to be relaxed and enjoying her- you dont ever get this time back- so focus on loving on her- feeding her every 3 hours during the day and putting her down for sleep when it is time...and I bet you will be successful! Hope that helps a bit- you are doing a great job!!

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    2. Thanks so much for your input, it has put me a little at ease, and honestly going to work and letting go of a little control has been good for me (I have an awesome in home caregiver that keeps close track of her eating/playing/sleeping schedule). I have one last clarification question on our end of the day feedings..so, the last 3 hour cycle before the 10pm feeding...does she sleep, then I wake her to feed her that last time and put her back down? or do I keep her awake as long as possible, then feed her and put her down. Neither of these feel entirely natural, so I am curious how you end the day from your 7pm feeding to the 10pm feeding. It seems a little unclear in the post. I am probably overthinking it!!

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    3. hi! From 7pm keep her awake and do bath time, etc.. when she starts to get sleepy- even if i is before 10pm- feed her really well and put her down. Dont worry if it is 9pm- just feed and put her to bed! Hope that helps!

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    4. I have the same question and I am still also a little unclear about the answer.

      Feed at 7pm, then keep awake until 10pm, is that right? Because it seems unreasonable to keep them awake for 3 hours, so I was just wondering.

      Also, we just get our 2-year-old off to bed at 8pm... I can't imagine then dedicating our entire evenings to keeping our infant awake/entertained until 10pm! Say it isn't so.

      I did a cry-it-out method with my now 2-year-old daughter when she was about four months and it worked like a charm. She has since been an amazing sleeper and self-soother (with her thumb and blankie :) I thought maybe I would start to establish a better schedule with my second daughter, who is now 7 weeks, to get her off to a better start so hopefully we will never have to "intervene" with a crying-it-out solution. I think I instinctively let her fuss a bit before I go to her... I would never go right away after the first cry. At night she is currently doing about a 4-hour then 3-hour stretch, but I'd love it to be a bit longer.

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    5. Hi! You dont need to go until 10pm- if you feed at 7pm- give her until 8:30 or when your #1 is in bed- then when you have her in bed, start #2 bedtime routine- bath, etc.. at that time- 9pm or whenever that is- feed and to bed. You do not need to wait 3 full hours between feedings at night time- just give her time after the 7pm feeding and then feed again and bed! Hope that clarifies a bit! I bet her nighttime sleep will fall into place soon- 8-13 weeks is huge for stretching it longer! Hope that helps!

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    6. Love this post! Used Babywise with my first and now doing it again with my second who is 4 weeks old. After I feed her at 7PM, I try to keep her awake but she is so sleepy or not hungry, she will not take a full feeding for her last feeding. What is your advice for this??

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  25. I love this! I'm not a mom yet but I plan to keep this until the time comes. I love schedules and I love the idea of still having time to yourself and definitely sleeping through the night! I just have one question, for a mother that works full time and can not be at home with their child, how do you keep with the schedule when it may be hard for a sitter or daycare to do?

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    1. Hi! I cannot speak on this subject other than to tell you that I have friends who it has worked well for. I have always worked from home and so I am able to keep the girls on their schedules at home. You can be pretty flexible with the schedule and still be successful with sleep- if you establish the schedule at home it should be pretty easy for a sitter or daycare to maintain. I have found that sitters are BIG fans of schedules because they know what to expect. If you tell them naptime is at 10am, and the baby starts to fuss at 9:50am, they will know exactly why the baby is fussing. Without a schedule they are left to guess. Hope that helps!

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  26. Thanks for taking the time to write this, very helpful for moms who dont have the time to read the whole book!

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  27. I'm so glad I found this! But is it to late to start if my baby is 11 weeks? I feel we follow this fairly closely, without even knowing, but her longest sleep is 4-5 hours. I am getting up when she fusses, feed her then she goes back down. And yes I think it is just 'snacking'. Ugh! I hope I'm not starting bad habits!

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  28. Hi Amy- It is not too late to start! Before 13 weeks it is really just establishing the routine and naps. Just start delaying your response at night (and naps if that applies) and make sure she is really awake before getting her- and dont let her go longer than 3 hours during the day without eating and you will set a good foundation. I bet if you delay response- it will just click with her. you are not starting bad habits- just take 1 day at a time and focus on the schedule and delayed response during sleep times!! Around 13 weeks you will switch to 4 hour schedule and that is a great time to really establish your daily routine- longer naps in the crib, bedtime moves up a bit, etc.. Hope that helps a bit- Have a great day and Congratulations on your baby girl!

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    1. Thank you for your quick response! I have to say after I wrote you , I put her down since it was getting to be nap time, awake, with her binki and she went right to sleep! I was so amazed! No fuss, no muss! But I did have one last question I forgot to ask previously, she starts daycare next week, is that going to mess up any progress?

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    2. Hi Amy- it shouldn't mess it up depending on your day care- they will probably appreciate knowing when she will be wanting a nap/food, etc.. Just write it down for them- I bet they will do great. Remember they are "working" for you- so I dont think it is asking too much for them to maintain your routine. :) Good luck!

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  29. Great advice!!! I had followed a simular plan with my three kids and also with great results. People would always ask me how I was lucky enough to have three happy, easy babies and I would tell them it had nothing to do with luck! It was keeping a consitent sleep and wake schedule that allowed them to thrive and learn. Thanks again for posting this!!

    Yvonne

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  30. Absolutely amazing! Thank you so much ! This was my second night if getting a full nights sleep! Did not think it was possible for a 12 week old! You are a life saver! No more bags under my eyes!!!! I love you!! :)

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  31. I followed this schedule, from Baby WIse. Thanks so much for confirming what my friends are jealous of. My now 3 year old still takes a 2.5 hour nap. And has slept 12 hours per night without waking up. She is usually very happy and respectful. The biggest thing I tell people is "babies need alot of sleep and you have to TEACH them how to sleep!

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  32. love your ideas! I'm in the middle of reading baby wise right now. I've also read "bringing up bebe" and very much love that book as well! I have a 2 1/2 week old little girl who is regularly eating 2 1/2 to 3 oz of formula every 3 hours. I feel good about our 3 hour schedule for meals, but her wake/sleep times are totally random! is it too soon to expect her to be awake and asleep on a schedule? Sometimes she sleeps the whole 3 hours in between eating, sometimes she's awake a lot of the time. Also, she tends to get very sleepy right after I feed her. It's impossible to keep her awake haha. just curious your opinion!

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    1. Hi Kendall! First of all- Congratulations! 2.5 weeks is just really all about trying to get those days and nights in the right place- so just focus on not letting her go longer than 3 hours during the day without wake/eating. It is hard to get them awake at first- then you will be trying to make them sleep soon! :) Just enjoy and be mindful of the 3 hour routine with wake time during the day and wake from sleep (during the day) at the 3 hour mark-and I would also focus on letting her sleep in her crib some- that way you wont have to make that adjustment (some of my favorite naps of my life have been that sweet newborn on my chest sleeping away- so dont miss out on that- just make sure she gets some crib time!). Just be mindful of all of that and focus on the schedule in a couple of weeks. She will do great- and she will start waking up more in the next couple of weeks!!! Blessings!

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  34. Thanks for writing this... I believe you are spot on. Don't let the negative comments drag you down! This is well written and informative.

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  35. If you're still feeling beat up about this, I want to offer my encouragement! I have four kids, and I've used this method all four times. Every one of my babies was fat, healthy, and happy, and they all slept 12 uninterrupted hours at night by 12 weeks old (some were younger). People who criticize this method harshly do not truly understand it. I did it without making them go hungry AND without sacrificing snuggle time!! I LOVE holding, smooching, hugging my babies, and I often let them take naps on my or my husband's chest......priceless!! But using these method was our overall pattern, and it worked wonderfully!! Thanks for standing up for something that will help moms. When I see tired, strung-out mommies who are not enjoying their babies because of how exhausted they are, I just want them to know that there's a better, more enjoyable way!! I will start referring people to this site. Hang in there!! :o)

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    1. Thank you so much- it is always a blessing to hear from other moms who had a similar experience! Blessings to you!

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  36. I don't usually participate in blogs, but I just had to say thank you for writing this! My first child was a great sleeper and was sleeping at 8 weeks without a plan, I just let her sleep and fed her when she needed and she made herself a schedule, but then our son came along and at 8 - 10 weeks I was getting up more at night with him than I had been when he was newborn! And then I came across your blog and I saw the light! It makes so much sense! I am not super rigid with it. Since he is 12 weeks now, if he is awake for an extra 1/2 hour or alseep for a bit longer I don't mind, as long as he is not sleeping 3 or 4 hour stretches during the day and as long as he is getting enough to eat every 3 - 4 hours during the day then all is good! The other key is not letting him sleep to late in the evening! After only 4 nights of following your ideas we have slept 8 1/2 hours with no waking!!!

    Also, for all of those haters that thought you were starving your children, I also found in a medical article that once a baby is over 11 lbs, they are able to nutritionally go all night without a feeding. My son was 11 lbs at 7 weeks and my daughter about the same, so your method is totally sound!

    Again, thank you for sharing your wisdom...as moms, we can always learn from each other! God bless!

    From one happy, restful momma! :)

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  37. Hi! I love this post! I have had great success with my baby napping during the day and being on a schedule since reading. I have a problem with her waking up at 4 am every night. When she wakes up crying should I give her a pacifier to try and soothe her? I don't understand why she does so good during the day and doesn't sleep through the night!

    Thanks

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  38. Replies
    1. I would make sure she is really awake at 4am (give her a little time to fall back asleep) and if she doesn't fall back asleep, wake, feed and put back to sleep- I would not get in the habit of putting the binkie back in at night. That 13-14 week mark is when they really sleep 12 hours through the night (although some kids take longer)- you will move to a 4 hour schedule at 13 weeks and you will move bedtime up- at 10 weeks that is awesome you have naps down, just take 1 night at a time and eventually she will just sleep right through that 4am feeding. AND...make sure she is really getting full at that last nighttime feeding- and throughout the day. Hope that helps a bit- you are doing great!

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    2. Thanks! Would you recommend giving her more at the lasting feeding? She seems satisfied with what she is getting now. I currently feed her 4 oz.

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  39. This sounds like an amazing idea/schedule and I'm going to try it out immediately!

    I am a VERY tired new Mommy. My son is 6 weeks old and I've been letting him sleep/eat when he wants. Apparently that doesn't work because now he is in a "grazing" pattern....I feed every two 1-2 hours throughout the night and am loosing my mind! Lol.

    Thank you sooo much for posting this...I'll let you know how it works out. =)

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    1. yes, let me know! hope it goes well for you!

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  41. My daughter is almost 4 months old and when she was 2 months til about 3 months she was sleeping 8 hours, but when i had ro return to work ( i work afternoon shift and don't get off until 1030) she is now back to waking up every 3 to 4 hours. Any advice??

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    1. Hi Chelsea! I posted a reply and then it was deleted somehow- so I am sorry if you get this twice :)
      Give me an idea of her situation- is she is daycare? Babysitter? does she take naps? do you delay your response at night? is she getting really full at feedings? is she having any separation anxiety?
      If you give me some info I would love to help any way I can!

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  42. My daughter was sleeping through the night at about 3 weeks old. I did this schedule thing, but I was pretty flexible with it. Now she's 6 months and we're having troubles. She is super active during the day. She crawls and jumps and pulls herself up by the furniture. She's also started liking to sleep on her tummy. I'm just trying to figure out how I can get her back to sleeping through the night. I don't know if she's just more hungry since she's so active during the day or if it's how she's sleeping. When she's on her stomach and kind of wakes up she kinda crawls in her sleep and gets frustrated once she gets to the wall of her bed and can't go any further. Sometimes too she wakes up with the really loud alomst scared cry. I've tried giving her some rice cereal mixed with fruit for her feeding around dinner time, but that hasn't seemed to help either. She seems to wake up crying in the morning too. She used to be so happy when she woke up and just content to play in her crib until I came to get her. I want to get her a blanket or a stuffed animal to see if that helps. She always has her binky when she goes to sleep though. Please help! I miss the full night sleeping routine!

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    1. Hi Ashley! Are you feeding solids at every feeding? give me an idea of her daily routine and eating and maybe I can give you some ideas. I would make sure she is getting really full at feedings and I would make sure she is taking naps- and I would give a little rice cereal before bed (maybe not fruit- I think just rice cereal before bed for teeth purposes.) let me know her routine and I will see if I have ideas!

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    2. We do the schedule thing. It's not exactly the same times every day but it's usually within 30 minutes. Her naps are usually about half an hour with one nap that's about 1.5 hours in the afternoon. I give her rice and fruit for breakfast and dinner with her nursings. The other feelings are just nursings. I let her drink until she pulls away. I make sure there's still milk coming out and she's not stopping because there's nothing coming out. I don't know how much she is getting though since I'm still nursing her.

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    3. I followed BW2 on the solids and they say: rice and fruit with nursing or formula for breakfast, fruit and veggie for lunch with nursing or formula and rice (or other cereal), veggies and fruit for dinner with nursing/formula- then a nursing/formula right before bedtime. So maybe try to do 3 meals with feedings per day and see if she fills up. I bet she is extra hungry since she is so active!

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  43. Yay for Pinterest! I'm 17 weeks pregnant and excited (and scared!) to be a mother. I'm so glad I found this site. I have 3 great nephews and a beautiful neice, and couldn't be prouder of how my sisters raised them - right from newborn. My older sister read your post and said you're right on. So, thanks for sharing! Glad I found it. God bless as you continue to raise your children!

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    1. Hi Britta! Congratulations! Dont be scared- you will be awesome! So glad if this can help you! Blessings to you and your little one!!

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  44. Thanks so much for this post. I started doing your suggestions (the best that I could) from week three. This is my third and the other two are pretty young still, not even in pre-school, so our house is a little crazy at times. This is my easiest baby by far and my best sleeper.
    When I moved her to the four hour schedule two weeks ago she started to not sleep as well at night. Maybe she was hungrier? So then the last few days I've been trying to do 3 1/2 and it has gotten too confusing and now we're all messed up.
    But my main question is, what do you do when they wake up at 6:45? I usually wake her up at 8, but twice lately she has woken up very hungry at 6:45. She will go back to sleep, but then if I wake her up at 8 the feeding time is off a little. If I keep her up she's so tired she won't make it 2 hours awake at all. Advice please?
    Again, thanks so much.

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    1. hi! I would give her time to fall back asleep at 6:45 and if she wont go back to sleep- feed her and you can really decide what works best for your day- put her back down until 8 or give her as much wake time as she can do. My first two would always go back to sleep when they woke up before 8 (or before the 12 hour mark) they would wake early but when I gave them the chance they would sleep longer. My #3 just isnt having that- they are all so different. SO I just work 1 day at a time trying to push that time back. The best I know is take one day at a time and work to get daytime sleep/eating in place and the nighttime/morning wake time will fall into place- but try to delay response at 6:30 (and dont put her down too early at night)
      Hope that helped a bit :)

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  45. Do you have any suggestions for getting an 18 month old to sleep trough the night ? I tried to apply this method, somewhat..at least making sure she's good and fed, but she still wakes up at 3 am, screaming and crying for me. She gets a one 2 hour nap in the morning and another 1 hour nap late afternoon. She usually goes to bed around 8-830..and doesn't fuss for naps or nighttime. I wish I was aware of this blog 18months ago!

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    1. Hi Amy! The only thing I would know to do at 18 months, is leave her for a period of time at night and give her a chance to fall back to sleep. Maybe stretch the time longer every night- night 1- decide ahead of time how long you are comfortable to leave her and dont go in until that time is up. next night stretch it a bit more- I would bet at the end of 1-2 weeks of delaying your response she will sleep through. Hope that helps a bit!

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  46. Thanks so much for a great Babywise review! We are due with our 5th baby in a few weeks, and we've used a schedule-feeding Babywise method with all of our babies. They all slept through the night within weeks of birth, and all have always been healthy and happy, happy babies. I always love reading or hearing about someone else who uses and loves Babywise! I'm so thankful for the wisdom it provides families, and for the structure and confidence it allows Mommy to have, especially when there are several other children to care for during the day.

    Just wanted to encourage you....thanks again for posting!

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    1. Thank you Lisa, Congratulations!!! You have your hands full- it is a special woman who can have 5 kids!!
      Blessings to you!

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  47. Hi there, quick question, my son is 17 months old and he used to be a decent sleeper. However, due to several recurrent ear infections, teething and a husband that does shift work his schedule no longer exists and I'm not sure how to retrain him at this age. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated!!

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    1. I would just start fresh- you probably have the food thing down now, right? so just make sure he is getting naps- around 18 months they switch to 1 nap a day- I am not sure what your nap situation is like. I have found that daytime sleep really does help nighttime sleep. So without knowing the situation- I would say, work on a time when he can take a nap- 1-3pm? then have a bedtime routine- bath time, book, tuck in bed, sound machine, and make sure he knows that he needs to stay in bed until morning. I am not sure what his nighttime sleep looks like- crying? up several times? I would try to get consistency back in his day and a nap time and bedtime routine. sorry that isnt very helpful- if you give me some additional info I might have some ideas! :)

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    2. Presently he takes a nap generally between 12:30 - 2:30 (he's in daycare). He's a picky eater so on the nights that he really doesn't eat much I give him half a bottle of Pediasure mixed with milk prior to bath time. He goes down without a problem consistently between 7:45-8:30pm. However, he generally wakes up around 1:30am (which is presently the case!) And/or he will wake up around 3-4am. I know that he CAN sleep through the night he just won't.

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    3. Oh and btw when he wakes up he is crying, he will throw his bink out of his crib, he will ask to eat or for some milk.

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  48. I just want to add that sometimes these methods do not work as expected. Instead of feeling as if you have failed, look a little deeper into the actions of your child. Don't allow yourself to be blinded by the schedule and not see a medical issue.

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    1. Absolutely- they do not work for every child or every mother!

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  49. I've been following you schedule for baby since day 1 and I'm exclusively breast pumping. My now 15 week old daughter is on the every 4 hour schedule. She recently has started waking every night at 3:30 and every hour to half hour until her bottle at 8 a.m. My husband and I try turning music back on, giving her pacifier, and even rocking her. What steps can I take to get her back to sleeping through the night? Please help!

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    1. hi! I would make sure she is getting nice and full- I know sometimes your milk can be effected by only pumping, so you might want to supplement with formula- especially at the nighttime feeding. A full baby is a sleeping baby I think! :) once you move to the 4 hour schedule, they eat more food at each feeding- so I am thinking that will solve your problem! Be careful to not get her in the habit of the music, pacifier, etc.. at night- pretty soon she will "require" that :) Do you use a sound machine? I really like that for consistent noise while they sleep. Hope that helps a bit- let me know if that doesnt help and we can come up with other ideas!

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    2. Or take fenugreek to increase supply, add an additional pumping session, talk to an ibclc, contact lll...there are many other solutions than just ”add formula” which will negatively after her supply with 100% certainty.

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    3. We did start supplementing with formula and it seems to have done the trick. She still does grunt and squirm some but that's to be expected. I am looking into the sound machines...any suggestions? Thank you so much for your time and help! :)

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  50. Hi, Jenica-- thanks for outlining this and making it easy to understand. My baby is 2.5 weeks old and typically wakes every 3-4.5 hours during the night to feed. Should I be changing diapers at these nightly intervals or just taking her from bed, feeding her, and putting her back to bed? Thanks for the tips. Bet you didn't think this many people would be turning to you for advice!

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    1. Hi Katelyn! I always change the diaper, then feed then back to sleep- I think changing the diaper wakes them up to get a full feeding- and that way you know that is not why they are waking! Congratulations on your little one!

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  51. I found your article while cruising pinterest, and I want to say thank you for sharing your info!! I'm a daycare teacher and have taken care of children 6 weeks up to 2 years, and the happiest, healthiest babies I've had are the ones that have been sleep trained! It definetly makes my job easier when I can allow them to fall asleep on their own and then they have the ability to amuse themselves and have the patience to wait for me to come get them when they awake. (And before anyone criticizes that sometimes they have to wait, I would like you to take care of 8 babies at one time and see how it goes.) Teaching your infant patience and how to play by themself is oh so helpful in both the parents life and in the caregivers.

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  52. Hi there I have just started this schedule with my 6 weeks old and I was wondering what do you do when you are running errands and you should be waking your baby is it alright to let them sleep while you are out and about or should i be waking him? Sometimes i am out for a few hours and i just let him sleep since it is easier for me to deal with. Also I have been putting him down awake in different places for his naps but at night he ends up falling asleep while nursing so i just put him back to bed, will this cause problems for sleeping later on?

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    1. Hello! It really depends on your baby! Is he stretching the hours at night and seems to have the days and nights in the right place? There are two reasons why I try to wake at the 3 hour mark for the first few months- 1) to make sure they are getting adequate amounts of food and if you are nursing, to stimulate enough to keep the milk and 2) to get the days and nights in the right place. However if you are running around and he seems to be doing well at night and you are nursing well, I bet you are okay. (the days of them sleeping through stores will soon be over, so enjoy now! :) Just take one day at a time and if you need to push through a bit one or two days- go for it! On the night time feeding/sleeping- I dont think this will be an issue, just get him to eat as much as possible and then lay him down in bed to sleep- sounds like you are doing the right thing!

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  53. I read all 3 Babywise books when my 3rd child was 4 months old. I did not have a schedule with my older 2 children but did child-led feeding. What a disaster. My kids ruled our home. It was unbearable. My husband was a minister and worked on his Ph.d at night. He was a mess and so was I.
    As our first 2 grew, we trained them and put them on a schedule. People used to marvel at how well behaved they were. Then baby 3 came and everything went back to chaos. I turned to the Babywise books as a last resort. My 4 month old trained in 2 days and began to nurse better and be a happy baby. My milk supply increase in 24 hours too and I was able to stop supplementary feedings ordered by the pediatrician to help my baby gain weight. My older children stopped being jealous of the new baby because they knew her schedule and I was finally able to get sleep and spend time with them when baby was napping.
    The key is to use the guidelines as guidelines. Not every home or baby can keep the guidelines but with time, a schedule really is the best thing for baby and the family.
    Thank you for sharing this info. I'd almost forgotten it as my children are now 16, 21 and 23. Every blessing, Kelly

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  54. Hi Jenica,

    My 17 month old daughter is a fabulous napper and sleeper- 13 hours at night, and two two hour naps during the day. This is strictly from good luck, but I am due with #2 in a couple months, and am planning on using this method to keep my sanity with 2 kids 19 months apart. My main concern though is actually with breastfeeding- I exclusively pumped with my daughter as she was extremely premature, however I had a bit of an oversupply issue, and cannot fathom going 12 hours without either feeding or pumping...My plan this time is to exclusively breastfeed, but am worried I will be horribly engorged going 12 hours at night and then suddenly switching to 3-4 hours during the day?? Does your body just adjust?

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    1. Hi Elliott! I can speak only from my own experience on this- I am definitely not an expert! I had to exclusively pump while my #2 was in ICU and I had the same oversupply issue- I did find that once we were home my body really did adjust to her feedings. And when we switched to 12 hours of sleep a night I had a few nights of waking up in pain or soaking wet :) but it adjusted rather quickly. I tried to not pump too much unless she was eating so that my body would not produce milk at times she was not eating. I really did find that my body adjusted quickly. I think you will be pleasantly surprised- if you do get a little engorged- (I did on all 3 at times) It always helped me to do a warm shower and massaging it out or warm wash cloths. Hope that helps a bit! Congratulations on #2!

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  55. Question, When you said, " A lot of babies wake up crying a little but are not actually awake- make sure they are truly awake before getting them up. I always wait 15 or 20 minutes before getting them up to make sure they are truly awake (this is after the 4 week mark, the first 4 weeks they will probably eat every 3-4 hours at night)." Does that mean that you let them cry for 15 to 20 minutes to make sure they are awake? I am trying to do this, but my babies are still waking up every 3 1/2 hours at night. Just seeing what I am doing wrong. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Kelli- I do let my babies cry for 15 or so minutes to make sure they are awake- I do listen to the cry and I kind of know if it is a painful, hungry cry or a sleepy cry- for some reason my girls all went through periods where they would cry in the middle of the night- but were not actually awake. So I simply suggest just giving them the 15 or so minutes to make sure they are truly awake. I would say most of the time, when I delay that response they fall back asleep. How old is your baby? Make sure they are really fed well and make sure they are not going longer than 3 hours during the day (depending on how old?)

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  57. Hi Jenica, Thank you for your post! I'm a first time mom and have been overwhelmed with all the information out there and all the advices that I'm receiving. I have a 2.5 week old and during the day I usually wake him every 3 hours and change and feed him. My problem is I can't seem to keep him awake after he nurses. He usually falls asleep right after he eats or towards the end of his feeding. He'll usually stay asleep until the next feeding or he'll wake up about 2.5 hours later. Is he just too little to stay awake right now or any suggestions on getting him to stay awake? If I lay him down or give him a little tummy time after he nurses, he still falls asleep most of the time.
    The bigger problem that I have right now is during the night time, he has been waking up every 2 hours to feed or I've notices some nights he'll cluster feed every hour from 3am to 6am. It seems like he has his day and night mixed up. Any suggestions on what I could do to help fix this or is this just something that babies this young do?

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    1. hi! gosh it is so tough at first to get them to WAKE UP! :) Then it will be so tough to get them to sleep during the day! They are keeping us on our toes for sure! I tried everything- Usually I would change the diaper, feed then lay them on their backs and even try taking off the clothes or whatever it took to get them to wake up after that feeding. It sounds like he does have his days and nights mixed up= so all you can do is take 1 feeding at a time and try your best- really try to get a full feeding- even if you have to feed him with just a diaper on- not snuggled up in Pj's. and just have the schedule in your mind as you go through your day- you will notice that he will just start being awake more during the day and sleeping longer at night. I would make sure he is really awake at night before feeding. It will get easier, just take this time to establish the routine and try for that daytime wake and if you cant get him to wake after trying everything- just let him sleep and start fresh at the next 3 hour mark (and take a nap yourself during those times!! :)
      Hope that helps a bit, hang in there!

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    2. Hi Jenica, my son is now 9.5 weeks and sure enough it is now hard to get him to nap more than 45 minutes. He is pretty much on a schedule during the day time, nursing about every 2.5-3 hours. At night he still wakes every 3 hr to nurse, some days I'll get a 4 hr stretch at night. My problem now is I usually rock him to sleep and I can't put him down. The moment I put him on his back he wakes up. I've tried swaddling and he hates it. Any suggestion on what I can try to get him to sleep on his own and on his back? Right now he sleeps on me or in his swing.

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    3. Hi Jenica, my son is now 9.5 weeks and sure enough he fights his nap time and will usually only nap for about 30-45 minutes. He is pretty much on schedule during the day and nurses every 2.5-3 hours. At night he still nurses every 3 hours with an occasional 4 hour stretch some nights. My problem right now is i've created a monster since I usually rock him to sleep or he falls asleep in the swing. I'm not able to put him down after he falls asleep. I've tried swaddling and he hates it. Minutes after I put him down he's awake. Right now he sleeps on me or in his swing. Any suggestion on how i should transition him to sleep on his own? Please help!

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  58. This is a great post. I'd love to know your thoughts on moving to the four hour schedule. I have a 18 week old and he is still on a three hour schedule and I don't see any signs of him moving to 4 hours. For example, his first feeding of the day is 7:00, and then he's tired by 8-8:15 and then he usually sleeps for an 1.25-1.5 hrs, so if he wakes up at 9:15-9:30 I'm not sure what to do until 10:00 because he'll be tired shortly after he eats and then the schedule gets way off. The other tricky thing right now is that I know he'd be ready to eat every 4 hours, but I can't seem to increase his waketime and naptime. He does seem happy and rested when he wakes up so I don't feel like I should leave him in his crib until 10:00. Any ideas on how to move to a 4 hour shedule? Do you think I should just give him more time to get there? Thankfully he is sleeping 12 hours at night, I'm just trying to figure out how to adjust his days. We've had to work very hard at getting him to nap for even an hour so this is progress to me! I did Babywise with my first baby and he did great, but I know every baby is different. I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have on this and thanks in advance for any wisdom you could share! God bless.

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    1. Hi Stephanie! That is awesome that he has the nighttime down! I am going to honestly admit that i am a little stumped! :) I can only tell you what I would do if that would be the case for me- I would just try my hardest to keep him awake longer after wake time- and really try to get to 9am before nap. Then I would put him down at 9- or as close as I could come and feed again at 11 (of course if he woke a little before 11 that would be find to feed and start the 4 hours from there) I would just take one nap at a time and try to stretch that time out. The other option I would do is just focus on the feeding every 4 hours and when naps fall between there great. But I would try not to feed before that 4 hour mark, even if he falls right asleep- it will at least establish his 4 hour routine!
      sorry I am not more helpful on this- I will keep brainstorming!

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    2. Thanks so much for your reply. Since I posted my question I have been trying to stretch out his awake time with not much luck! I'm not sure what else to do, but maybe just give him more time?? I guess when he's sleeping great at night I have it pretty good! I'll just keep plugging away and see if anything changes. Thanks again! Babies are tricky : )

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  59. My son is 9 weeks old and a horrible sleeper. It seems to be getting worse. I try this schedule, but he will only nap for 20minutes, 40 for a good nap. Any suggestions? What do I do after he only takes that short of a nap, bc I don't think he is Hungry and I don't want to keep feeding him every 2 hours? Thanks

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  60. I think this is a great schedule and my son is right at 8 weeks now. I wanted to start him on a schedule now, but we are having a hard time laying him down for a nap and even bedtime! He's been sleeping in a Rock N Play and for naps it's been either on the couch with one of us or in his swing. When we try to lay him in a Pack N Play or his crib, he doesn't like it and cries and screams. He's been too young for me to let him cry it out, so that's whyu we've been lenient up to this point. Is it time to let him cry when we lay him down? Thanks for any input!

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  61. Great post! My son is 8 weeks old and this is when I really wanted to start him on a schedule. With my first, he got it down without me really having to be strict on a schedule. This one is a little more difficult. He doesn't like to be put down to nap or sleep! We've tried the Pack N Play at night numerous times, but he's been too young to let him cry it out so after several tries at night with a pacifier we would end up getting him to sleep with us and then putting him in his Rock N Play. I'm very adamant about getting him on schedule now, but is he still too young to let him cry it out when we lay him down for naps and bedtime? We really want to transition him into the Pack N Play at the foot of our bed and then the crib once he's got the whole sleeping through the night gig down.

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    1. hi :) i sent in a comment earlier and it isnt showing up yet- it is waiting for approval- i just wanted to tell you to read a book called the baby whisperer by tracy hog. she does a great job explainging how to do this! she is babywise, but doesnt call it babywise- she is a little more relaxed. if crying it out makes you feel uncomfortable, she has great information on how to get your child on a sleep schedule. in my opinion, he is just fine to cry it out for short periods. My babes were sleeping through the night by 7 and 9 weeks of age. i started getting them on the feeding schedule at almost 2 weeks. That is the foundation of a sleep schedule. They need the feeding schedule first. If they dont, they will want to wake up often to eat because they are hungry :) so make sure he is fed and has a clean diaper on. give him a love, tell him it is time for bed and place him in the pack and play by your bed. Let him cry for 5 minutes. go back in, pat his back, tell him is your loving soft voice it is time for bed, letting him know you are there. if that doesnt calm him down, pick him up, give him another love and rock him until he stops crying, and once he is calm, put him back down. go for a little longer like 7 minutes. repeat. soon he will be crying and then just all the sudden stop- he will be fast asleep :) the first night will be he longest, but it will get shorter and shorter each night. soon he will go right down without a peep!

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  62. Hi my name is Annie. My baby girl is almost 5 months and I had to begin sleep training her at around 4 mo when she started sleeping light. Reluctantly I did the "cry it out" method and she cried for 35 min and slept all thru the night and the next night she just went right to sleep! I've been able to put her down at night with no problems, an occasional wake and feed at night. But my problem is daytime naps...she wakes around 7-8 and we feed and play and an hour and a half later she naps and naps for about an hour and a half, but I have to hold her the entire time!!! I've tried laying her down during daytime naps and she either cries forever or sleeps for 30 min and wants up. I was told to not let her cry very long during the day b/c they need their naps. Any advice u could give me would b greatly appreciated, as I'm getting nothing done around our home!:) should I let her cry it out during the day? Btw I have to keep her elevated for 15-20 min after each feeding b/c of reflux, that's why she is used to me holding her:(

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  63. i had a lot to write- so here is part one:

    THANK YOU FOR WRITTING THIS!! first off- i would like to say that i have used babywise for both my children- (27 months and almost 7 months) My children are great sleepers and for that i am so thankful. I get complements after complements about how well behaved and happy my children are. And that is because they know what to expect! Both kids are healthy, love me, and know that I love them. My 2 year old asks me at 1230 EVERYDAY that he is ready for his afternoon nap. HE TELLS ME! People bash on this type of parenting because they think that you cant be flexible and that you are cold hearted and just make your kid cry it out all day long. NOT TRUE. I snuggle my children as much as anyone else. After my 6 month old eats, I play, sit and rock her and love on her! And when it is time for nap, she yawns, and down she goes!! I let my son cry it out for SHORT periods- AFTER i went in and checked on him, picked him up, gave him a love, and as soon as he calmed down, back into the crib he went. But this time around, my daughter shares a wall with him, and so i rarely let her cry at all- i still go in every time- give her a love, and put her down- and she knows that i am near, i love her, but it is time for bed. I have put a lot of time teaching my son to sleep well, and even though he doesnt wake up when she rarely cries in the night, I want him to have quality sleep so that he is ready for the day; and therefore i go in sooner than i did with my son. Because of this, my daughter took a little longer to reach the 12 hour sleep schedule, but she caught right up. I read babywise, and still continue to do so as my son gets older (i have the sequels from the book.) BUT i have also read this book- THE BABY WHISPERER BY TRACY HOG (she has one for toddlers too!)If you are interested or think you would like babywise, read her book. She is not as black and white as babywise, but is still "babywise" if that makes sense. She shows you a great way to be more flexable about it. I refer it to others along with babywise and I like her approach to it very very much. Babywise is good because it has great questions that you want answered and has great sample schedules. But i like how this author goes about with getting your child on routine. Her motto is this- E.A.S.Y. The baby EATS, is AWAKE, goes to SLEEP, and then you have YOU TIME WHILE they sleep. (EX. SLEEP YOURSELF!, CLEAN THE HOUSE, WHATEVER!) The reason to get your baby to become a great sleeper not only to teach them how to sleep, but it is so that you can take care of you. I dont know about you- i know some of you work just fine with no sleep and no breaks- but I dont. (read part two-)

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  64. part two-

    The book teaches that for you to be the BEST mom you can be, you need to make sure you are taking care of YOURSELF. This schedule has helped me be energized and ready to be the mom my kids need me to be when they are awake! My children are on a schedule- my daughter goes down every 1.5 from waking up, which leaves plenty of quality 1 on 1 time with my son and i. When she is awake, i set up an individual play time for him to do while i feed his sister. Once she is done eating, we all play together. AND I set it up where they both go down at the same time in the afternoon- i get an hour and a half to do whatever i want! - rather than me trying to get all my stuff done while they are awake and want to play. People come over and wonder how i get so much stuff done with two little ones - this schedule has been my life saver. I play hard, love my kids, and have fun. Then i get a break, focus on me and get caught up on tasks i need to get done, and back into being the fun mom they need me to be when they wake up. Then lights out by 8pm, and i get quality time with the hubby before bed.(every night!)Then I get plenty of hours of sleep- and start the day over again! Are there days where they are off schedule or we might miss a nap-ABSOLUTELY! The schedule is here to serve YOU. NOT YOU serve the SCHEDULE. ALSO there is another blog- www.chroniclesofababywisemom.blogspot.com that has a TON of information. ALSO- My kids eat like NO OTHER! They LOVE FOOD! They are taking in as much food as an AP child would. I just make sure they eat when they wake up; and not to help them go to bed. Every parent/child is different. And I am not saying this is the ONLY WAY. In fact, some of my greatest friends are AP parents, and teach classes on it. One told me that their child slept with them at a year old and the little boy still woke up every 45 minutes to nurse. She loved that he did that and I am glad! But that just isnt me. I am not saying one is better than the other, just that this method was better for ME. It has worked for many of my other friends- and we are all different and have different types of babies. (in fact the book i mentioned earlier lets you take a little survery to find out what type of baby you have,and how to apply that in your parenting) All in all, thanks for sharing this!

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  65. one more post- sorry! i said this in my earlier post, but PLEASE check out this site- it will answer so many of your questions. i promise!! i said earlier that the website is chroniclesofababywisemom.blogspot.com. well it changed. That is the name of the site, but it isnt blogspot anymore and it is now www.babywisemom.com. There are sample schedules, how to go from a three hour to four hour schedule, what to do when baby wont go down for nap, what to do when the baby wakes up early from the nap, etc. its AWESOME! Jenica, maybe add this site to your post?? it will help with a lot of the questions on here :)

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  66. I have a 7 month old who is waking up to comfort nurse 2-3 times a night. I am a scheduled person. Rewind 6 months: she slept 11 hrs through the night at 5 weeks old. (She's my 4th and this is very similar to my other babies) When she was 3 1/2 months old, we moved to a new state. Around this time she learned to roll over in bed. This is when she began waking up. Not sure which was the catalyst but I have got to figure something out! I'm not opposed to CIO, but having 3 other kids asleep means they could easily wake up at 2am if I let her cry too long. I'm up for any thoughts or ideas. Thanks!

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  67. My daughter is 7 months old and has yet to sleep more than 4 hours at a time! I am lucky on nights when she only wakes 3 times a night. She does suffer with acid reflux and is medicated for it...we have tried to stick with a pretty steady schedule modifying here and there to see if certain changes would help... but to no prevail. I'm up and down so often at night I had to cut my hours at work because I'm constantly exhausted. Please if you have any advice for.me please.help. thank, Reagan's sleepy mommy

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  68. Thank you so much for sharing this. God bless you and your beautiful family!

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  69. On the 1st day of starting the schedule you suggest my 4 week old slept 5 hours that night! The next night 6 and day after that 7! We got off schedule a little yesterday but still went 6 hours with out waking last night. She is happier than ever so whoever these haters are... are just that- haters and shouldnt judge something that is working so well for so many. It has been a lifer saver for me! I was at my wits end earlier this week, and now I have renewed hope and energy to invest in being the best mom I can be for my little girl. I can't thank you enough.

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  70. I read Babywise and had so many questions about it before seeing this. Thank you for simplifying it. I am following the schedule with some flexiibility, such as sometimes my son will have a 2.5 or 3.5 hour feeding instead of a 3 hr feeding and he doesn't always stay up the entire 1.5 hrs as I find he gets really cranky and then will not go down for a nap. He is 5 weeks old. A few questions/concerns I have - the past 2 nights we have done an 11:00 pm feeding and them he sleeps until 5:30 am. (I have enjoyed the extra sleep.). Before this he was waking at 7:30 am for his first feeding of the day. I'd like to continue the 7:30 am feeding for the first feeding. So if he continues to wake at 5:30 am to eat, do I let him go back to sleep and then wake him at 7:30 to eat again? Also, he will not go to sleep on his own, we either have to rock him or put him in his swing, any suggestions?

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  71. I'm a bit confused, so you don't feed your baby at night after 10pm? Isn't a rigid feeding schedule like you described what made the AAP speak out against a system like this because it was causing so many babies to have failure to thrive and some even died? I don't see anything wrong with setting a schedule during the day for naps and all that, but not feeding your baby at night seems dangerous to me.

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  72. Not trying to offend or anything, simply curious. I'm a La Leche League Leader and LLL and many other oganizations highly recommend on demand feeding so I'm just wanting to hear the other side.

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    1. Hi Kasandra! It is not that you DO NOT feed them during the night- it is just that I have found, and a lot of others have found the same thing- that when you establish a daytime routine or schedule, your baby will sleep through the night not wake needing food. If they wake and are hungry (my babies sometimes cry a bit when asleep and I wait to make sure they are awake and hungry and not sleeping or waking because of habit) then absolutely feed them- my 1 year old for some reason woke up at 4am randomly the other night and was starving- so I fed her and put her back to sleep. For me, the daytime routine really helped me- it really helped me meet my babies needs in ways other than just assuming they always need food- but when they are hungry- I absolutely feed them! Hope that helped you clarify a bit!

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    2. So then what about breastfeeding babies that NEED to cluster feed? Cluster feeding is absolutely essential in keeping your supply up during growth spurts. Does this rigid schedule allow for that, or do you encourage everyone to supplement with formula so the schedule is not messed up?

      As someone that works with breastfeeding mothers, I really encourage you to choose your advice carefully because just perusing the comments I've seen a bit of actually bad advice relating to breastfeeding for the sake of the "four hour schedule". I ask you to please keep that in mind because all it takes is one little bit of bad or uneducated advice to really send a mother's nursing relationship downhill and sometimes it's hard to come back up.

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    3. Hi Kasandra- as you will see above- I am not suggesting to be "rigid" with this schedule- if the baby is hungry...I clearly say to feed them. I simply speak from my personal experience and I nursed my first born exclusive of any formula for 12 months, my second (still no formula) for 13 and my 3rd (again, no formula) for 13.5- for me, and a lot of other moms I know- the milk supply is not an issue when following a routine for babies. Maybe read the article again for clarification, I am not sure where you are getting that I am rigid with it! I will also repeat, this is not for everyone or every baby- it simply worked for me 3 times and worked well for a LOT of friends I know!
      Have a great evening, thanks for your feedback- I obviously think breastfeeding is great and milk supply is EXTREMELY important!

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  73. I really like your note at the end for people who leave negative comments. I'm just now reading your plan for the first time but I did similar on my own (baby is 16 mo now) and it works! She has been sleeping through the night since she was born. Literally her birthday night. It's so simple, more food and less sleep during the day equals sleeping through the night. During daytime hours I pretty much let her sleep as long as she wanted but I would wake her to nurse every single hour. So she was always fed and never over tired. She never woke at night for food, and thrived. And my porker never cries either! Keep up the good work mama

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  74. Hi! I am currently reading Baby Wise, and was wondering if you did the merging of your schedules each time your children dropped a feeding? My 6 week old has slept through the night for two days (yay!!) and was wondering if I needed to adjust his schedule or just increase is formula intake during the day?? I was a little confused at that part in the book. Thank you in advance!

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    1. hi- did we "talk" on Facebook? Let me know if that wasn't you :) and you still need help!

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  75. I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for sharing your schedule and what you've done with your babies. I gather that you've gotten a lot of negative feedback, but I just want to say what a help it's been for me and my son. At almost 2 months old, he has not been a good or consistent sleeper, and definitely wasn't getting the amount of sleep he should in a day. Even when he was sleeping, it often was restless sleep from gas issues. So I read this post and tried it with him the very next day. I was shocked when he went down for naps according to schedule! That first night he actually slept for one 5-hour block - a record for him! Last night (after only 3 days of being on a schedule) he slept for almost 8 hours!!! It's not just that he's sleeping more (which is wonderful!), but his awake time is of such a higher quality now. He seems a lot more alert and aware, and we can get smiles out of him all day long instead of just briefly in the morning! I get that this may not be for everyone, and who knows, maybe this is just a fluke with us! Still, I feel very encouraged and so glad that I tried this; it really seems to be what he needed. I would encourage anyone to give this a try!

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  76. I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for this blog post and sharing the schedule and what's worked for you. My son is almost 2 months old and up until recently had never slept for more than 4 hours at a time. He was often cranky, had gas issues and just wasn't sleeping the number of hours that a newborn should in a day. I came across your post through Pinterest and decided to give it a try. I was shocked that he went along so well with my controlling his schedule. It made me feel like that was what he'd been looking for to make him feel more secure. He got a lot more consistent sleep during the day, and then actually slept a good 5-hour block that first night. I was very encouraged. He didn't have such a great night the second night, but last night he slept for almost 8 hours!!! He's been like a different baby the past 3 days. He's so much more alert and aware, and smiles all day long now! I am so glad that I tried this. I gather you've gotten a lot of negative feedback, but people need to stop being so judgmental. This is clearly what my son needed, and while I get that this may not be for everyone, people should stop hating on it. I would encourage anyone that was struggling as we were to try this!!!

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    1. Thank you for saying that- so glad this worked for your little one! Congratulations on your baby boy!

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  77. Im so glad i saw this with my second child wish i would have saw it for my first she is not on a schedule and goes to sleep very late and still wakes up at night and she is twenty months old.my second is 2 1/2 months old now and i just started a few nights ago the three hour schedule and it has worked today I'm starting the for hour schedule and see how that works.thanks

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  78. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  79. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for writing this post! As a new mother of a two-week-old [precious] little girl, I was beginning to get stressed out with learning breastfeeding, trying to make sure my daughter is gaining her weight back, and wondering when I should start working to schedule her. (I've been planning to do Baby Wise since we found out I was pregnant.) Your comment to just enjoy the first month has eased my mind so much! Baby is doing well so far, consistently going 2.5 - 3 hours between feedings. But now I won't feel like I need to push her to get to the 3-hour mark until 4 weeks. Again, thanks for breaking down the Baby Wise system so I can understand what it should look like in practice!

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  80. Hi, i was just wondering what do you do when your baby doesnt nap the whole time they are supposed to, and there for gets tired before they shoukd the next nap

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    1. Hi! Well, I would delay getting them up to make sure they wont fall back asleep. I find my girls will go back to sleep if I let them (if it is not time to wake up) If they will not go back to sleep- wake them up, feed them and start the schedule from there. Make sure they are getting enough exercise and getting enough wake time before the nap! hope that helps!

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  81. Hi, i'm the blessed mother of now 6yr old triplets. They were born ten weeks early. I had ready babywise and the baby whisper. They were fed every three hours in the NICU. WHen we brought them home, they all went four hours on their own. Six weeks after there due date they did 6hrs, two weeks later 8 hrs and another two weeks later 12 hrs. They still sleep 12hrs a night. We did the fed, wake, sleep and it was awesome. We had happy babies that could soothe themselves to sleep. If we were at friends we just followed our routine there. At three they would still have a three hr nap. We had so many comments about how happy they were, that they slept so well and that we didn't look like train wrecks. People couldn't believe that we had time together and that we had a life. I think they thought having triplets meant you lost your life to crying babies and no sleep. Every family is different and you have to do what works for you. But if so many people have such great results, maybe it's worth trying. Besides what have you got to loose if your baby doesn't sleep and you feel so tired. You might get a wondeful surprise. A happy baby makes a happy mummy.

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  82. Great synopsis! We used Babywise with our 1st and like you I was a bit more rigid, but I am looking forward doing being a bit more laid back with #2 in June. :-)

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  83. Hi! I read this post toward the end of my pregnancy and started your method the day my baby turned 4 weeks! It has been so helpful in getting some structure and knowing what she needs when she cries. And I think it is excellent advice to just enjoy those first four weeks before starting any sort of schedule. My question is about milk supply. My baby is now 12 weeks and she is sleeping through the night - yay! (not quite 12 hours, but we are definitely getting there). Will my milk supply stay sufficient even though we are going up to 12 hours without nursing? I imagine that she is taking in more milk than ever now and I want to make sure I have adequate supply. Should I be pumping at some point or does my body just know what to do here? Thank you so much for posting this! I am a new mommy and it has helped light the way for me and my sweet baby girl :)

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    1. Hi! I have never had trouble with my milk supply when my girls started sleeping through the night- I make sure to get good calories during the day- but I never had to pump- your body will adjust perfectly- it is amazing how it works! I have fed all 3 of mine (exclusive of formula- they were strong willed about the bottle :) for 1 year each and never had trouble with supply based on their schedule. I will say- I do make sure I drink A LOT of water and I focus on feeding my body extra calories - Hope that helps- Congratulations!

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  84. Hi! I have a question about pacifiers. My 5-week old was a great sleeper until these past three days. I lay her down drowsy and she'd drift off on her own. Sometimes I give her the paci to help her if she fusses for something to suck. But the past three days, every time it falls out, she wakes. She wasn't waking before whenever she lost it. How did you deal with this issue?

    My first is a thumb sucker and became a great sleeper when she learned to self-soothe, so I never had this issue before.

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    1. hi! you have a choice- go "plug it back in" when it falls out (knowing that this might create an issue of you having to go in), don't give it to her at all, or give it to her and if it falls out- let her learn to self soothe and avoid the habit of "plugging back in". With my first (the only one who used a binkie) I would give her the binkie and if it fell out I would REALLY delay my response- little longer each day- and teach her to self soothe- and then if she didn't fall back asleep, I would go give it to her. Hope that helps a bit!

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  85. Thank you SO much for breaking this down. I read Baby Wise 5 years ago, and I think it is so great, but sometimes when I read the baby wise/childwise books, I feel an information overload! I'm reading child wise right now and I love it. SO much good info, but I feel like I can't retain all of it and I'm having a hard time being able to implement it like I want to. You've relieved some stress for me, because I can use your break down of the baby wise "schedule" when I have my baby in 4 weeks, and I don't have to stress in reading the entire book and forgetting everything I've been reading in "Child wise". Oh boy...sorry I just totally rambled! I just really appreciate this! Thanks! :)

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  86. Thank you SO much! It's been 5 years since I've read baby wise. I'm due in a few weeks and I SHOULD just go read it again, but I've been reading Childwise, and there is just so much good information that I'm having a hard time retaining all of it, and I'll be overwhelmed if I start Baby Wise right now. I'll just use your synopsis for now. THANK YOU! You're AWESOME!

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  87. I have to say I wish that I had found this 2.5 years ago. My son is now 2.5 and he still does not sleep through the night.... he is up at least twice needing more milk at night. Yes I know, you don't all need to jump on me, milk at that age during the night is not good, but he is a little guy and doctor has advised us to keep giving him milk at night, if we don't do milk at night, he screams the whole night long, plus he looses weight and we end up back in the hospital for "failure to thrive." I wish we could have done this schedule that you have laid out in your plan when he was younger, I think it would have greatly helped my sanity. :)

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  88. Found this on Pinterest and have to say thank you. My kidlets are 12 and 8 but I have recently began fostering and received a newborn. I fed my kids on demand and enjoyed every minute of it but now with a family of 6 and a new born that needs a little bit of security I have really appreciated this skeleton of a schedule to help keep a schedule for the rest of the family members.

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  89. What a blessing this site is. I just found you on Pinterest after looking for help with a foster newborn. (My kids are 8 and 12 and I believe I've brained dumped all this little knowledge.)

    Thank you for laying out a schedule and repeatedly saying it's only a skeleton and you have to make it fit you. This has helped me tell other family members that want to help what to expect when.

    God bless

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  90. Hi there! wonderful article. I have a 6 week old and have found the information very helpful. I am the kind of person who started to go crazy at 2 weeks without some sort of plan. We started at around the 3 week mark but I am finding napping is really hard. He stays awake alot sometimes and will scream if I leave him in the bassinet. I leave him screaming for 4min-7min every time but after that, I pick him up because I go crazy myself. Then other times, if we are travelling (car seat) or out shopping, he will sleep almost the entire 2.5 hours after feeding. I find that when I can sooth him to sleep in my arms first, then lay him down, he only sleeps for about 20-30 min and then is up again. Is that normal? (p.s.I do believe he knows night time is night time and day time is day time. He definitely sleeps 3/4 hour incriments throughout the night without feedings.)

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  91. You sound like a wonderful loving mother. I doubt anybody would question that. I am sure the reason you received so many negative responses, (which I actually don't see any) is because Babywise is linked to Failure to Thrive, dehydration and many other issues. It has been discredited by the AAP, la leche and MANY others. A dear friend gave me babywise when I was having trouble getting my newborn to sleep. It was supposed to get my baby sleeping through the night. Who wouldn't want that? I read it cover to cover two times and took notes. I tried it for a week but it wasn't working and it just never felt "right." I did a little research and what I found was alarming.

    As I prayed about it I also felt the Lord reminding me that many orphans are left to cry after they've been fed and changed. All of their physical needs have been met but their emotional needs are not and this causes many problems later in life. As a Christian, it is also important to know that Ezzo, the author, has been excommunicated from his church and his children are no longer speaking to him. I don't feel comfortable taking parenting advice from someone who isn't qualified and has no relationship with his children.

    I am sure you feel like you are doing what is absolutely best for your babies and I will not attack your for that. However, babywise is proven to be dangerous and even if it worked for me I would be hesitant to recommend it to anyone else considering how detrimental it been for so many others. The reason Babywise is so controversial is because it is incredibly dangerous. I encourage you to reconsider recommending it.

    Here is a link to some of the misinformation in the book. http://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby-sleep/babywise-dangers-warnings-parents-need-to-know

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  92. I've done this with my first two, and am currently looking at my eight week old as we try to do this again. I'm curious though--do you recommend keeping them awake after then 7pm feeding? Ideally until 10pm? And if they cannot stay up until 10 and you put them down at 9, do you wake at 10pm to feed again? We've always let them nap after the 7pm feeding the same way we did after other feedings. Thanks!

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    1. hi! I would just feed at 7pm- then do the bed time routine- bath, etc.. and when they are ready for sleep- even if it is 9pm (try to stretch as far as you can), feed them and down for the night. (even if the feeding comes before the 3 hour mark) I find the bath gets them nice and awake to get that last good feeding in before bed. That is what I do- but you do what works for your family!

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    2. thanks! that clears it up. our daughter slept so soundly after her 7pm feeding that i was convinced she thought that was the start of her night, so her eight hour stretch of sleep ended at 3-4am. i tried your technique of keeping her up after the 7pm feeding and she pushed past that 4am waking for the past two nights... so we're up to eight hours in a row, but it now ends at 6am... once i'm convinced it wasn't a fluke :), i'll move the 10pm feeding earlier like i did with our girls. thanks for your advice!

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  93. LOVE THIS! I made a comment on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen's FaceBook page after I'd only skimmed this article. This is EXACTLY the advice I was given by my pediatrician when my son was born in 1968. It worked for me, worked for my friends and had worked for our mothers, aunts, grandmothers. It's our world, our house our well being. Some mothers forget -- if they can't aren't getting enough sleep, they can't take care of baby! Or anyone else. My doctor stressed this: Get enough sleep or you'll fall apart. I was VERY lucky, blessed. My son was sleeping 6 hours a night by 7 days old. (Actually more. I'd put him down at 8 pm then wake him before I went to sleep to feed again -- whatever time that was -- 10:00 pm 11:00 pm or midnight. Also he weighted 7 lbs. 14 oz. when we left the hospital. He gained 3 oz. in 5 days! (Yes, ladies. Back then you stayed in the hospital for five days!) The nurses and doctors all wanted to know how I did it?! I had plenty of milk and he was large enough to eat enough to sleep enough. My niece on the only hand was an entirely different story. She weighted 5 pounds at birth, could only eat small amounts and NEEDED to be fed every two, then three hours round the clock for months. My sister had a team to help her. Me, my mom and a great-aunt. As an adult she is 4 feet 10 inches tall! She was a tiny baby, and grew very slowly. Every baby is different. Good luck to all moms and dads and thanks for such wonderful advice.

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  94. Hello! I love this! I just finished Babywise and this is a PERFECT overview. I was wondering though, when you stretch to the 4 hour feedings; when do you do your bath time? Because of work my schedule would start the day at 6:00am so I would go: 6am feeding 8am nap 10am feeing 12pm nap 2 pm feeding 4pm nap 6pm feeding 8pm Bedtime? So would you bathe after 6pm feeding and then put them down at 8 for bed or do you still keep them awake until close to 10? I looked everywhere in the book and couldn't find what I was looking for and I am hoping you can help. Thank you so much! I am looking forward to my little one sleeping through the night! She is already at 5 hours and she is 5.5 weeks old :)

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    1. hi! OK- you do what works best for you and then stick to it! :) If you feed at 6pm then do a little play time, then bath time, then feed at 8pm then bed time. It doesn't matter on that last one if you feed before the 4 hour mark- just make sure to feed right before bed time. you will notice that they naturally move toward the 4 hours around 13 weeks and it will all fall in line. Congratulations!

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  95. You do not know how much I needed this! My 2 month old is a terrible sleeper and I have been running on fumes. I am so exhausted. At first I felt I had to feed him because he was 5 weeks early, but after a doc visit where he weighed 13lbs I am pretty sure he's healthy enough to sleep longer then 2-3 hour stretches at night. Good grief this momma needs some sleep! THANK YOU so very much. I am starting this today.

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  96. Hi just found this I'm on baby number 3 ! I NEVER had sleeping issues with my first two(boys) but this little lady is a whole diff story , she was 5 wks premature spent 12 days in nicu and is very much stuck on the 3 hrs feeding from hospital routine she is now 4myths n still not much bedtime success where or how should I start this routine being do late
    Thanks

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    1. hi Julia! #3 is just tricky!! I say that because my #3 is 13 months and I cant seem to get her scheduled because I am always ripping her out of bed and never have a consistent nap or bed time because of her sisters! SO, I am not sure how your day looks like with the other two and how available you are to be at home. That being said- I would try to get her to the 4 hour schedule during the day- mainly focusing on feeding every 4 hours and making sure she is getting really full at each feeding. Then I would make sure she is taking naps during the day- my kids always sleep better at night when they have had daytime sleep. I would establish a bed time routine that includes a big, good feeding right before you put her down and then I would really delay response at night before going in. At 4 months she should be nutritionally able to sleep through the night- although you might want to confirm that with your Physician- so once you know that it will help you delay response and allow her to soothe back to sleep- take one day at a time and push that time back and I bet you will find her sleeping through. Hope that helps, blessings to you!

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  97. So I have been attempting with this type of schedule, with the naps after being awake for 1 1/2 hours, my question is about the length of nap...my little one will only sleep typically 15-30 minutes for most of her day time naps. Do I keep trying to put her back down for the hour and half or just putting her back down after she is awake for the hour and half. I do only go in when I am sure she is wide awake, her cry is much different and continuous so I can tell the difference.

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    1. Hi! I am not sure how old your baby is? I would make sure a) she is really full at feedings and b) is she getting enough wake/exercise time- you might want to push the nap back a bit to get additional "exercise" where she is really sleepy at nap time. The catch is, sometimes they can get so awake that they have trouble sleeping. So just play with it and see what works for your little one. My #1 and #2 were like clock work on the 1.5 hour naps- my #3 was at first, then she seemed to need to wait until the 2 hour mark for naps and just do an hour instead of 1.5hrs- every child is different- so just play with the wake time and see what works for you and her. I would definitely make sure she is full at feedings though- that is big! Hope that helps a bit-

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  98. Jenica... My sister-in-law sent me this link, and I'm so happy she did. I am 33 weeks pregnant and I was asking her a whole bunch a question about if I should do a sleeping schedule or not. We talked about it for a little while but that's about it. Yesterday she e-mailed me this. Since my husband me I will be first time parents to a little baby girl named McKenzie we need so helpful tips... I feel that everything that you have said makes a lot of sense and is going to be very helpful to us! I will be a stay at home mom when she is born. I will not be going back to work so I will have the time to be consistent. I feel being consistent is the KEY to success! I am going to try this and I will succeed! Thank you!

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    1. Congratulations Casandra! So excited for you to meet that little one! You will do great- blessings to you!

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  99. I have 7 week old twins. I've been doing my best to keep a 4 hour schedule and over the past week it seems to be very tough to do so. My daughter has been very fussy and tough to keep to the schedule. I wonder if I should have done a 3 hour schedule. I didn't commit to the schedule until I realized they had really done it on their own. Now I'm wondering if they need a hour schedule. Do you think it's too late to do a 3 hour schedule? Please help!

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    1. hi! I will start by saying I have not had twins and Bless you for having two newborns at once! If this were me, I would switch to a 3 hour schedule- I dont think it is ever too late to start- allow yourself two weeks to establish the new routine- just take one feed/sleep at a time and work on it. I bet you will find that it wont be hard to move back to 4 hours around the 13 week mark. Hope that helps! Congratulations!

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  100. Hi! Thank you for the great advice. I was wondering if you could give me more, my baby is almost 4 months and he's still not sleeping through the night. I'll put him to bed around 8 and then he's up at 11:30 and then 2ish and after that it seems like he's up almost every hour until 6 and then he'll sleep until 8.. Could you help me? Thank you so much! Tiffany.

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    1. Hi Tiffany- are you doing breast or bottle? I would guess he is either hungry, getting too much sleep during the day or waking out of habit- If you could give me an idea of his routine- or schedule I can see if I can help you out! If you want to send me a private message on my FB page- that is fine. We will see what we can come up with!

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  101. Hi Jenna! My second baby is 7 weeks old and I would LOVE to try this. I had to hold my 3 year old to nap until she was 6 months old, literally! And obviously I can't hold baby number 2 bc of my 3 year old :) My question is, what do I do if he wakes before his 1.5 hr nap is up? I do keep trying to get him to go back to sleep, but he is usually up by about 30 mins? What do I do? When he is up that long, he can't wait the full 3 hours to eat. I am nursing btw. Thanks so much!

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  102. Hi Jenna, I posted about my 7 week old earlier waking after 30 mins, I read your response to that on the faq, so please disregard, but I want to make sure about naps and night time, do we lay them down awake?? I don't see how that is possible :)

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    1. hi! for me, I have always put them down awake- when you know it is naptime, or bed time- lay them down to sleep :) each child is different, my first liked to be rocked for a little bit before laying down, my #3 fusses a little bit when I lay her down, then falls asleep- so figure out what works best and go with it. If you rock until they are almost asleep and then lay down- that might help you. But I have found with all 3 of mine- we do our routine (song, prayer, sound machine) then I lay them down and they go to sleep- when it is time. I believe they do that because I started laying them down awake from week 4 on. So just take one nap or bed time at a time and practice- lay him down when it is time to sleep and leave the room. if you need to go back in and rock for a bit, that is fine, but just practice each time if that makes it easier for you! Does that help any?

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  103. Thank you so much for this article! I found it on pinterest and need to share it with everyone. My daughter is 4 weeks and 3 days. Last week I felt so tired and frustrated (probably feeding my baby when she was really crying because she was tired) this is our third day of the schedule and it is working like clock work. I slept 2 nights and now that she has a nap schedule I can do laundry, dishes, etc when she is sleeping so that durin her 1.5 hours awake I can just focus on her without multitasking. She is napping right now in her crib while her dad watches the monitor and I am getting a pedicure down the street.

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    1. So glad to hear that! Congratulations on your little one!

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