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Controversial Reading: Baby Wise

It’s the most controversial book since the Bible.

Ok, well, maybe not quite. From my knowledge people don’t burn Baby Wise to prove a point. But if words were fire this book would be up in flames.

It’s a book so many people swear by. In fact I’ve heard more moms say the principals of this book worked wonders for their child more than any other book. Even more so than the Dr. Sears whatevertheheck book. I’ve heard raves from “my baby is so happy now” to “It was a lifesaver.” But I’ve also heard the other end of the spectrum– THIS BOOK WILL KILL YOUR BABY.

Not an exact quote, but close.

I haven’t read Baby Wise or any other baby books for that matter. I swear, the easiest way to make a bunch of money these days is to write a book about baby advice and BOOM! You’re rich! I hate that there are so many books with so many contradicting facts and principals and just decided to skip the whole book thing and learn by trial and error.

Then I went back to work.

And my daughter stopped sleeping 5-6 hours and instead has gone back to waking up every 2 hours. And I am a zombie. And being a zombie with 45+ hours of work to do every week just isn’t good. Especially when you’re operating heavy machinery like cars, or breast pumps.

This has been going on for long enough. Long enough for me to know it’s no longer a growth spurt, or a phase (well maybe it’s a phase to some degree, but I’d rather it not continue for months). My grandmother told me that if there’s something that’s stressing you out either do something about it to fix it or get over it, but there’s no use stressing or complaining about it. So I’ve decided I need to do SOMETHING.

What am I doing? We’re sleeping in the guest bed in her room. She wakes up every two hours and it takes me awhile to go back to sleep. Sometimes she’ll wake back up the moment I set her down and climb back into bed. When I first returned to work I fell asleep with her in bed with me and she nursed throughout the night. Before that she’d sleep 5-6 hours so I’m wondering if that formed some kind of habit, and on top of that, perhaps being in her room is waking her up. If she sleeps with me, I can’t sleep. If she doesn’t, I’m up every two hours and it takes me a good while to fall back asleep, so I’m at an impasse.

The past week and a half I’ve started a new bed time routine where we give her a bath, massage her, get her in her nighttime diaper, read her a story and feed her, but then I’m like ‘What now?’ I usually feed her until she’s asleep then set her in her crib but I think putting her in her crib awake is the trick. So I tried that but then she cries and cries until you pick her up. Then I feed her again and… You get the idea.

I need to try something new to see if it helps. I’m not asking for a full eight hours of sleep. Heck, four hours straight at this point would be nice. It’s effecting my work, and that’s really not good. In fact, it’s very, very bad. So bad that I had the worst live shot experience of my life last week but didn’t dare pull the “but I have a 4-month-old who isn’t sleeping yet” card. But maybe I should have, because I’m sorta on the you-know-what-list right now because of it. And one bad move takes ten good moves to make up for it. So by this time next year, if I’m lucky, I’ll be out of the dog house.

My husband says it’s not the end of the world if she goes to bed late and wakes up all night for the first year, but that’s greatly because he isn’t waking up with her, or going to work after a half-nights sleep.

So, I’m desperate. And I’m considering turning to this raved about/ cursed book for ideas and answers.

I’ve probably read an entire book worth of facts on why I should stay away from the book–given to me by people who haven’t read the book themselves, but hate it anyway. So I think it’s only fair to read the actual book now, with an open mind, to see the other side and form my own opinions of it.

I know the book is about schedules and many are against schedules but truth is, sooner or later my daughter will be starting childcare and the only way someone watching multiple kids can accomplish things I’m sure, is to have some sort of plan. It doesn’t mean I’m going to take the advice as scripture, or put Lil’ J on a strict eating routine we can’t deter from and starve her in the process. It’s just that we’re going to try something new. Because what we’re doing now aint working out. At least not for me. And considering the fact that I provide the food and shelter for all of us right now, I think my opinion rules.

Some people are ok with having their children sleep with them, or wake up through the night for over a year, but I’d rather find out whats working for the other set of the population who have children don’t need that.

I know this may just be a time in life where I have to survive with lack of sleep, but I can’t just go along with that not knowing if I can do something else that can make this situation better for us all.

Besides, I’m pretty sure Lil’ J would be happier with a happy, healthier, well rested mommy.

I just bought the book on Ebay for 99 cents. If it sucks I’ll tell you about it. Then burn it.

Any other books you recommend while I’m at it? A friend from work with her second baby, also a 4-month-old said baby 411 has lots of tips and different routines to try. I think I’ll buy that one too.


tracie says:

Oh man, live shots can be scary in general, that must have been horrifying! Espcially since you are so good on air! Good luck !! 🙂

Glam-O-Mommy says:

Jenn, there’s a difference between establishing a good routine for baby and a schedule. Baby Wise is all about the schedule, and I read one chapter and felt it was a bit harsh and not for me. My friend that gave me the book swore by it though, but she is a stay at home mom who can easily keep her kids on a rigid schedule. I preferred Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, which is about establishing a routine so your baby knows what to expect, but still allows flexibility for you and the baby, which is great when you are a working parent. It seemed more baby friendly to me, and our daughter started sleeping from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. consistently at six weeks because we were following her advice from day one. So, I’d recommend it too. Given what I know of you and your motherhood style from reading your blog, I think Baby Whisperer will appeal to you. Let me know what you think if you check it out!

Katy says:

I know people who rave about BabyWise, but as a mom, I just can’t fathom letting my baby CIO, I am just not built for that. We started with No Cry Sleep Solution, and what I read sounded great, but my daughter was too old for it, and I need the toddler version. I also decided that having to give up sleep in the middle of the night to soothe her in some way other than just giving her a boob was more than I could handle. I’m sure sometime soon I’ll reach my breaking point, when I’d give up sleep to get her to stay in her bed all night, but I’m not there yet.

Good Luck!

Karen says:

“The No Cry Sleep Solution” is considered the opposite of “Baby Wise,” and many moms swear by it. It’s definitely worth checking out. Good luck!

I read The Book (because a friend LOVED it) & we loosely followed the schedule with JD as a sort of goal. The sample schedules really answered a lot of the questions I had as a new mom. It helped me keep track of his natural schedule, and I don’t see how it can hurt as long as you continue to follow your instincts and do what is best for your family. Granted, JD didn’t sleep through the night until I was already pregnant with Baby O, so I am certainly no expert on nighttime sleep, but it did help me plan out our days better. Good luck!

Ryan STTN (8-9 hours) until he was about 3 months old. Then suddenly he stopped and was up all the time. And we were NOT co-sleeping then so it’s not like that started it. No idea why…. anyway, it does get better.

And the book I recommend is by the Sleep Lady (good night, sleep tight): http://www.sleeplady.com/

[ker-AND-uh] says:

We didn’t read Baby Wise or any other sleep training book, but we started a nighttime routine with Aus to get him to sleep longer. This was a few weeks after I started going back to school full time and we realized he didn’t need to eat overnight/every time he woke up in the middle of the night. What we did was:

1)not let him sleep past 4pm no matter how tired he was. lol
2) around the time we wanted him to go to bed, he’d get a nice long relaxing bath either alone or with mommy.
3) baby massages with lotion and get him all bundled up in something warm to sleep in [to prevent night-waking from being cold]
4) read him a book or watch the pajanimals on sprout for “the lullaby song”
5)nurse and rock him to sleep in his crib.

if and when he woke up, i sent my husband in first. if he couldn’t get him to sleep within 20-30 minutes by comforting him, i’d feed him then hand him back over once his belly was full again.

it took around 2-2.5 hours from start to finish, but he went from every 2hrs to sleeping 4-5 hour stretches. and nowadays he’s sleeping through the night. i, nor my husband, haven’t had to wake up at all with him in a week. needless to say, he feels secure bc we still answer his cries, but all of us are getting the rest we need because he’s learning that nighttime is for sleeping and he has a plethora of options for going back to sleep…not just mommy all of the time.

i hope it all works out for you! i know how you feel!!!
ps. sorry for the novel comment.

UAN says:

Hi there. I’ve read the baby wise book and I rate it as 3.5/5. I think it will work for some and not for others. I used it for my son but I didn’t take all the advice because I didn’t like leaving my son to cry. The book advises that if your baby learns to fall asleep without help, he’ll sleep back on his own in the middle of the night. What I did was to drop him in bed before he fell asleep and if he started crying, I’d pick him up then put him back. Eventually, he’d get tired and fall asleep on his own. (I got this idea from Elizabeth Pantley’s No-cry sleep solution). It was difficult though but after a week or two, he was falling asleep on his own without crying and sleeping for at least 6 hours at night.
I liked the book’s scheduling tips because it helped to give my son a routine and I think this helped both of us a lot:I made an effort to feed him more often during the day.
Hope this helps.

@[ker-AND-uh] thanks! I forgot to add that we’re doing a sleep routine right now. It starts just like yours, a warm bath with mommy, massage, reading a story… But then I don’t know where to go from there. Set her in her crib before she falls asleep? Feed her until she falls asleep? This is where I get confused.

Mama B says:

Sorry for the no sleeping 🙁

Lucas did the same thing. Would sleep 7 hour strechtes around 2 months old but then stopped and resorted back to waking up 2-3 times a night around 4 months old. I do not believe in CIO, especially with a baby as young as Lil’ J, the risks outweigh the benefits, IMO.

Reverse cycling is very common when mamas go back to work. Lil’ J misses you and wants to nurse all night. Lucas did the exact same thing.

It’s hard, but they eventually DO sleep, I promise! It does get better!

melifaif says:

Wow, bring on the advice! Cool. The Happiest Baby on the Block helped us a lot….yet, my 3 year old still wakes every night. AND she has been on a “schedule”…forever! So, I don’t think I can give good advice. LOL.

http://www.happiestbaby.com/

[ker-AND-uh] says:

A hated his crib and still does unless he’s sleeping in it. I nurse him to tank up his belly for overnight then once he’s done eating, I hand him over to dad to rock him to sleep. I didn’t want him to associate the boob with going to bed because that’s where he nursed all night which was irritating for me [and the boobs.] Try that?

@[ker-AND-uh] Thank you! Yes!! I will try that! I think it’s time to get Daddy more involved!

Kara says:

My friend used healthy sleep habits, happy child and swears by it. My daughters pediatrician at two months told me it was time to let her learn how to soothe herself to sleep. Instead of feeding her until she fell asleep, you put her down in her bed when she’s sleepy but still awake. That way she doesn’t get used to being fed to sleep. If that makes sense. She’s been a great sleeper ever since. Every child is different too, so good luck!

Katie says:

Why isn’t your husband getting up with her? He’s the SAHD. I never expect Christopher to get up with Austin because he works. I can take naps with Austin, and he can not. Just a thought! 🙂

April says:

Jenn, our baby girls are a little less than 2 weeks apart. I am bfing too and was co-sleeping. This worked great, like it did with you.. 5-6 sometimes 7 hours of sleep! Then about 3 weeks ago she started the same thing as Lil’ J, 2 hours or LESS! AHHHHHHHHH!!!
I talked to a sleep specialist here, and she said when bfing moms co-sleep, babies tend to start to wake up on purpose once they know they can nurse at will. At this age, babies should be able to go 6-8 without nursing. She told me if she wakes up at night I should not nurse her. It was hard.. for about 2-3 nights, especially when you are tired and you know that nursing is just easier. Now, after a week and a bit, she has been sleeping by herself 7-8 hours, nurses (usually in bed with me..)and if I’m still awake I’ll put her back down in the crib and she sleeps another 3-4.
If you want to know what little tips the specialist gave me to see if it will work, let me know and I’ll share.. don’t want to write a book here! It’s a cross between the cry it out and no cry method.. no real schedule.. worked great for me and it sounds like we are going through the same thing
Either way, good luck!!

There are so many books and its hard to find one that works fo ryou. We used the Baby Whisperer Solves All your Problems and her ‘pu/pd’ method when the boy was about 5 months old and its been a lifesaver ever since.

Its all about getting your baby into bed when he/she is still awake (it helps them learn to go back to sleep in the night too)…but it allows you to go ina nd comfort your child when she cries, but you only pick her up until she stops crying then put her back down…the first day took 45 minutes, then we sat at 25-30 minutes for about 2 weeks then we started decreasing and within about a month I was putting the boy down and leaving the room promptly.

Good luck, I hope you find a method that resonates with you and lil J. Keep fighting Momma, you’ll find your way!
Amber 🙂

@katie Yes, I need to get him to do this. I just always thought she was hungry, and for him to get up and make a bottle with her screaming would just take SO much longer and I wouldn’t sleep through it. But maybe he can sleep in the room with her and I’ll go in the other room, and he can bounce her back to sleep!

@April I’d LOVE those tips! But that’s a good point! I should just have my husband get up with her. She doesn’t need to eat. She just wants to be comforted, but maybe after he does it a few night she’ll just sleep through the night!

stumbull says:

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth worked great for us!! The advice given in the book was not just his random ideas, it is backed by lots and lots of solid research (which I like). I was a little skeptical that it would work but after 1 night my now 6 month old has slept through the night every night since we followed his instructions. He also gives a lot of variable ways to go about helping your child sleep, so it is not just one set kind of advice. I would highly recommend that book! I also gave the book to my neighbor and it worked for her 5 month old.

Jennifer says:

Oh girl. I can talk to you all you want about babies and sleeping. Based on my experience it is pretty much child led. We tried the whole CIO thing and I could just never do it. So I didn’t sleep for nine months. I dozed, but I never really slept. With Bud he was completely different. By six months he didn’t want to be in bed with me. Put him in his crib and never (barely) looked back. It still took some time for him to sleep through the night, but it was a lot better than him being in bed with us. Especially because Baby Girl was still there.

April says:

Baby Whisperer. Part Babywise part attachment parenting. It also has some ways to help with crying that isn’t CIO. Chronicles of a Babywise Mother is a great blog resource for babywise and other ideas. I also liked the Super Nanny baby care book.

As far as a schedule, babies in the NICU are put on schedules. It is good for the most fragile of infants it can’t be that bad for healthy infants. So don’t feel bad about that.

If April wouldn’t mind sharing those tips as a comment I would be really interested as well!! I really like the idea of using a cross method of Baby Wise and the no cry method. Both have really good things to offer to bring peace!

Hmm I’ve never heard of this baby wise book, but I do think it would be…ahem…wise…of you to check out some baby books and see what other techniques you can learn.
Good Luck!!

Katie says:

RE:
I totally know what you mean. I had C get up with Austin one night and Austin wouldn’t take the bottle and went right back to sleep! WHAT?! He is just nursing because he can 🙁
But a breastmilk bottle is okay to sit out for 6 hours, so y’all just take a bottle out of the fridge when you go to bed and he can just grab it and not worry about making it. and When he does that he can take another one out. And if she doesn’t drink it all, if he IMMEDIATELY puts it back in the fridge, it will be okay to use again.

I work full-time as a pre-k teacher, but every afternoon I work for two hours in an infant room. From what I’ve seen, scheduling is the way to go! We have paperwork we have to fill out, but it’s so great to be able to check a chart and know, “Oh, it’s been (insert hours) since you had a diaper change.” Or whatever. If your beautiful girl IS going to child care, I’d try a schedule because the child care workers will use one too!

I know that I’m inserting my advice and I have no children, so maybe what I’m saying is.. good luck!! 🙂

PVDela says:

I really liked “Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Karp, my sister did the “Baby Wise” sleep part but not much of anything else.

I say, go to the bookstore and read a bit from several chapters of several different books and go with the one, or few, that best speaks to you. You are the mom and you know what’s best for you and your baby and family, no one thing works for everyone so don’t let anyone else’s criticism deter you from doing what you feel in your heart is best for your particular situation.

I’m sure you’ll figure it out and do great.

Mrs. D says:

I read SO many books while I was pregnant… and while I don’t strictly adhere to any one specific book, BabyWise and Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child (the latter most especially!!) books were the ones I found most useful. We started off just recording Dustin’s eating times and how much he ate, and realized he was eating in about 3 hour cycles. Then after reading HSHHC, we started recording in a notebook his sleeping habits (what time he would be sleeping, then we kept track of how many hours he was sleeping a day)… the amazing thing is that over time, babies are really pretty predictable and you can spot patterns and plan your scheduling around that, which has worked wonders for us. Dustin goes to bed around 7 every night (but it varies within about an hour) and sleeps till 2 or 3am, eats and (within 20 minutes) is back to bad till 6, eats and then sleeps till 8. Its wonderful. And while I’m not a strict Babywiser, I do like how they emphasize Parent-directed feeding/sleeping, where its not 100% schedule or on-demand, its something inbetween. And as far as HSHHC goes, his claim is that sleeping for babies is not an option, its a necessity for their happiness. It took us a few days to get Dustin adjusted to sleeping in his crib (and some really painful crying), he now goes to bed awake and is able to soothe himself to sleep. Its totally worth it to have a few nights of crying and then the whole last month has been heaven because I have been able to get 6 to 7 hours of sleep at a time.

take or leave the advice, but I hope you find whatever works for you and you can finally get some beloved sleep!!

Courtney says:

I feel your pain. My daughter did the exact same thing at 4 months. I suffered through it for a while- doing like you’re doing- and then got a new job that I would start when she was 7 months old. I knew I would be useless at this new job (which would be our only income as hubby would be quitting his job to be a stay at home dad) if I didn’t do something.

I didn’t read any books, but I read a few things on the internet and decided to try CIO (cry it out). My husband is a softie, so I started the ‘sleep training’ while away for a long weekend at my parents.

I went through the bedtime routine and laid her in her in her crib awake. She cried for 45min. It was hard to ignore, but I did (except for 2 visits in to shush her and reassure her without picking her up). After 45min, she passed out asleep.

The next night, it took 30min. By the third or fourth night, it was down to 10-15min.

We also did this kind of thing during the night (we also share a bedroom, since we’re in a 1BR apt)- shush and reassure, but don’t pick her up.

She’s now 10 months old, and she goes to bed anytime between 7:30 and 9pm, sleep through until 5 or 6am, nurses, and goes back down until 7 or 7:30am. Occasionally she fights going to sleep and cries for a few minutes or wakes in the night- dirty diaper, gas, etc. But by and large, she’s goes down without a fuss and sleeps through.

It’s hard to let them cry, but I think it must be done. Babies need to learn to put themselves to sleep- not be nursed to sleep- so if they wake up in the night they can get back to sleep without help from mom+boob.

Good luck.

Cindy says:

I’ve never tried scheduling in a strict way, but as long as the schedule puts baby first and not mama (she’s little, ya know), I don’t see why not! My advice (and it’s worth every dime you’re paying for it) would be to co-sleep for a few months until she’s ready to sleep longer. I keep mine in the bed with me, and have as much sleep as a mom with a baby who does sleep through. (My 2 child wasn’t so easy. He wanted to sleep alone from a very young age, so I had to get up for him. That was haaard. I remember the zombie days, and never want to do that again.

When I want my bed back to myself (like about 3 months or so) I do let my kids cry it out for reasonable amounts of time if I know they’re just sleepy. Yours is old enough, I’m certain. So far, they’re all good sleepers, and they don’t think I don’t love them just because I let them CIO.

Laura says:

My daughter did the exact same thing at exactly the same age–it is rough! I read Babywise, and it was way too strict for me, but the thing I got out of it the most was to not use nursing or a bottle as a means to get a baby to go to sleep every night. I thought “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” was much more helpful because it was not so rigid, but it still allowed us to teach our daughter that nighttime is for sleeping, not playing or eating. I have read probably all the major sleep books though 🙂 Babywise was my least favorite, but I just couldn’t be that rigid about a routine.

Alex says:

Everyone is different. What works for one person might not work for you. I heard so much stuff against CIO and was like “I will NEVER go there” but my son was 8 months old and he was still waking up in the middle of the night, we still had to swaddle him & do this crazy rock bounce thing for him to fall asleep. That’s when I turned to the CIO method & The Secrets of the Baby whisperer.

Good luck and do whatever fits YOU best.

heather says:

I’ve wondered about this book. But you have to do what is best for lil J. Since she will be in childcare a routine is good for them…eventually kids need a type of schedule when they get older. Then they know what to expect and are well behaved. I’m just talking from experience. But since I do stay at home when they are babies I don’t really mind when they don’t have a routine. I hope that you find what works for you though. Since you are working you need sleep. Good luck.

Becca says:

Everyone I know loves Babywise and swears by it, minus some stuff I’ve read on blogs. I plan to read it before the wee one arrives and decide if I want to try it. I’ve been so impressed hanging around babywise babies because the always seem happy and content, never tired or stressed. Good luck!

Beffy says:

Routines are fine imo, as long as you’re not you know starving your baby or anything. We had this woman at the daycare I work out, who had her 6 month old eating the same amount she had been eating since she was a month old…and that just doesn’t work, the poor baby was skinny as a bird.

Chantel says:

I feel your pain! The only great sleeper in our bunch is our daughter. She LOVES sleep. She started sleeping through the night at 6 months old and has been sleeping like a dream ever since. She loved her naps, she loves bedtime. She no longer naps. She’s decided that naps are no longer for her. The big thing for her though was she needed music and still does to get to sleep. She had a mobile that played lullabies for 15 minutes and projected stars onto the ceiling. She was usually asleep by the end of the 15 minutes. She now has a leapfrog toy named Tad that plays lullabies for 10 minutes that she can restart on her own. She cuddles with it until she falls asleep.

Then, I have Grayson, who is now a year old and is still waking up to eat. I am exhausted. I need sleep. I can’t function. I’m a SAHM and there is always something to clean or pick up, especially with two toddlers running around, but I’m always so tired that I never have a lot of energy to get everything done. So, I’m reading books to find a solution. So far, I’ve really like the No Cry Sleep Solution and I’m getting ready to read The Baby Whisperer. I’m not a fan of CIO. I just can’t do it. Hopefully something else will work, otherwise I might have to turn to CIO as a last resort.

Seana says:

Have you started her on rice cereal yet?? My son (born July 6th)who was sleeping 8-10 hours at 2 months old suddenly around 3 1/2 months was waking every 3 hours again. As soon as he turned 4 months I started cereal after his dinner time nursing session and he has been sleeping about 7 hours since then. Perhaps she just needs a lil something to stick with her a little longer than breast milk alone? Just a thought 🙂 Good luck!

Alicia says:

I can’t believe your husband makes you get up with her, when you’re the one who has to go to work in the morning! You shouldn’t have to be responsible for everything. Not cool.

I’ve had the Baby Wise book for over 4 years and NEVER picked it up to read it. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones whose children (all 3 so far, pregnant w/ #4) slept through the night at 6-8 weeks old. Maybe that is the reason I haven’t read it yet. I have always had a schedule for all my babies, the key to my kids sleeping through night is getting them on a routine and sticking to it. I always laid my baby down awake, somewhat drowsy and let them go to sleep on their own! I hope #4 is like all my other babies. Good luck!

Curious… why have I never heard of this book. Now I want to know all about it. LOL

April says:

Alright.. I’m sure this is similar to a method out there in a book, but this is what she told me, with my own little twist that worked. A tad long and a lot of info kinda cut short and crammed (from a 10 page pdf file..).. but this worked well for me..
A big thing.. no falling asleep while eating before putting her down.. Abby used to do that all the time.. don’t know if Lil’ J does or not…and no nursing right after waking up from sleep/naps. Then, pick a time that works best for your family to go to sleep/wake up in about an 11 hour time frame.. so if you want her to wake up for the day around 8am, put her down at 9pmish… She suggested to have a “lovey” (toy/blanket) that is only used for naps and to use white noise. I use a blanket for now but will probably have a “bed toy” and I downloaded a free sample of white noise from http://infantwhitenoise.com/free.html and burned it onto a cd and have it on repeat..
So the routine I use is..I turn the noise on, give her the blanket and nurse her, burp her, sing her the same good night song and then say my little good night saying. You can pick whatever you want, just keep it the same every night she said. If she was just whining a bit, I left her.. if she actually cried I waited until it was at least a minute of crying without signs of calming, then went in and put my hand on her chest and bent down but no pick up.. then walk out of sight and basically repeat until she sleeps. Do the same for naps during the day too.. She suggested no soother, but I used one. Not for the initial falling asleep, but when she woke up during the night repeatedly. I figured she was so used to nursing that she could use the soother and get used to not eating. After 6-7 hours if she wakes up, nurse her and put her back down.. no talking. Then, don’t get up until the designated “wake time”.. last hour or so was the hardest I found. I have no idea if this makes sense.. I’m all choppy and mommy brained..
Basically, there is a “schedule” it is just flexible based on your baby and you.
The first night was SO hard because she was up (like she had been) every 1 1/2-2 hours and I wanted to just cave and nurse/co-sleep to get my sleep.. By the third night she did 6 solid hours with no waking and then another 4 after I nursed her. Night 4 on (I’m on night 8) it was 7 1/2-8 hours then 3-4 after nursing and if she wakes up she puts herself back to sleep without the suckie or anything. I think it would be great if Dad did the visits.. I didn’t have that option, but you’d get your sleep! She also said if you want to continue co-sleeping try passing the cuddle over to Dad after nursing so she isn’t right beside her favorite things in the world.. your boobs!
She also got me to change my nap patterns. Same routine to sleep, and first one is around 2 hours after she first wakes up then 2-4 hours after that for the rest of the day depending on her cues.
I don’t know if this will work for you.. I just know it worked so well for me and it really sounds like you are going through the same thing I just did.. and it is SO frustrating when you had a baby who was a good night sleeper and then she just changes back to a newborn.. plus.. if Lil’ J is being like Abby, your “girls” are taking a beating from all the late night snacks.. lol
Hope whatever you choose to do, you get more sleep!!

dixora5 says:

I have my 9 month old on a routine and have for awhile now. She sleeps through the night but OCCASIONALLY she wakes up in the middle of the night for either a bottle or a paci. I get off work at 5 so here is our routine:

Play
Bath
Eat
Change into pj’s
Story
Bottle
Bed

I have a friend that does eat first…that kinda makes sense, but my baby has reflux so I can’t feed her then try and put her in the tub, the moving around makes her puke. I have to feed her and let her sit in her high chair for like, 3o minutes.

Most nights she is down by 8 pm. Sometimes if she hasn’t had many naps. And she sleeps right through til 7 or 8 the next morning. ITS WONDERFUL.

Lee says:

Well, we loved babywise with both of our kids. We used it to establish a routine and schedule. Things are meant to move toward a routine, not just start out with a harsh routine/schedule from day one. And a little crying it out is ok. Use your instincts and know when the crying is excessive. You will know if she’s just used to crying to get her way or if she’s crying for a reason. And that’s what scheduling is about: helping you and her know when she needs to eat, sleep, play, all of it.

MarfMom says:

i’d recommend the NAPS program. Unlike Babywise, the AAP hasn’t come out against it (yah, AAP put out another notice about their investigation of Babywise last week). NAPS worked well for us but isn’t a strict schedule and didn’t affect my supply. Good luck!

RainSplats says:

talk to your pediatrician – he’ll tell you how many times per night she needs to eat or when she can go without.

don’t let her nap after 4pm

give her a binky 😛

try letting her sleep in the swing for part of the night – with you in the room sleeping, of course.

Kathryn says:

I read Babywise before I had my baby and I was very glad I did. I also wrote a blog post about it and I had a lot of people tell me I was going to abuse my baby. You have to read the entire book through before you judge it, and you have to remember each book is not law they are suggestions to be used at the mom’s discretion.

My baby, Adam fell into a three hour eating schedule on his own, and we kept to it. I liked it because I knew when he was going to eat and I could plan around it. If he was hungry before the three hours I would feed him. I would not starve him, like some people in the reviews suggest. The book even says if you baby is hungry listen to him, not the clock. The purpose of the schedule is to help know that hey if it’s around this time and you usually feed your baby around this time then the crying probably means they are hungry. It is also to show that just because a baby cries does not mean he/she is hungry. Babies cry for tons of various different reasons, and so having a schedule you know not to just run out and feed your baby the second he or she cries but to find out what the problem is and then deal with it whether they want to be picked up or need a changed diaper or whatever.

As far as the sleeping suggestions the book has, I have to say wow what a life saver! I don’t know how these other mom’s do it and stay up 4-5 hours a night with their baby. In the beginning obviously that is going to happen but as you get them used to things it shouldn’t. People also judge about this method the book suggests, saying my baby’s eyes bled and all kinds of ridiculous stuff that I cannot even believe. Obviously if you baby’s eyes are bleeding there is something wrong and your baby should be picked up. You need to use you God-given sense here!! Here is what we did. Once Adam was 6-8 weeks old we started implementing what they said at bedtime. We picked a time- 7pm and we decided that would be his bedtime every night. You start your routine like you said, bath, story, whatever you want, and you put your baby down. We play the mobile and then we have a lullaby cd that we leave on for an hour. At first Adam screamed and screamed. And like the book said I would go up every 15 minutes and comfort him. The big thing is to not pick them up. They have to learn that it is bedtime. I would rub his head, rub his tummy, talk soothing to him for a few minutes and leave again. Crying would commence, and 15 minutes later I would do it again. And go up every 15 minutes until he went to sleep for the night. Now obviously if we thought he was hungry or needed a diaper change we feed him and changed him and then put him back down and try again, but usually he wasn’t because he had a feeding schedule and it wasn’t time. Let me tell you it was so hard listening to him cry for 15 minutes over the monitor and waiting to go back up and calm him down. After what seemed like forever I would look at the clock and it would be 3 minutes had passed! But in the end it all paid off. After a week, he would only cry for a few 15 minutes intervals, then just one and he would be asleep, and then none, NONE he does not cry at all to go to sleep now. He knows his routine, he learned to soothe himself, and when we put him down he knows it’s bedtime. He may gurgle and talk to himself or sometimes he may cry for a second and then with int a minute or two he is out, but since doing that we have never had a problem geting him to sleep. Now like I said before you have to use common sense and intuition. If you think something is seriously wrong then by all means go and pick up your baby. Adam always went right to sleep and one night he screamed and screamed. He had had his shots that day and I knew something was wrong, I went up and gave him some baby tylenol, and snuggled him and he went right to sleep. That is what he needed that night. So you do what you know. I hope this helps, it has been a tremendous help for us. You take what you read and apply it how and where you want. 🙂 Good luck!

Karen says:

Up late after a feeding so I’ll make this quick.

Bought Baby 411 because it was the highest ranked book on Amazon. After my daughter was born my hospital and pediatrician both also recommended it. It’s a great book.

Dianne says:

Unlike the Bible, every word of Baby Wise isn’t God breathed! My advice would be to read the book…Eat the meat and spit out the bones :0)

Brooke says:

I have not read baby wise. I have to admit I was very anti cry it out method. I have been proven wrong. I honestly felt like I would damage him somehow if I let him cry himself to sleep. The book I would recommend is “Healthy sleep habits happy child” This book is pretty no nonsense and is also pretty boring to tell you the truth but the principles worked! We were doing the same exact thing you are doing by the way. Here is the gist. Do everything you are doing with your routine and then lay her down awake like you said. If she crys try to give her at least 10 min it will seem like forever but you might be surprised how quickly she will fall asleep. I would suggest sending the husband in if possible so she doesn’t think she needs a boobie. Basically you don’t feed her unless its been more then 4 hours. The first night we did this lil man only woke up twice and cried for less then 20 minutes total. It only lasted about two nights and he now puts himself to sleep quite well. He sleeps 11 hours and usually only wakes up once a night to nurse. I think you will probably be able to use some of the baby wise stuff but the whole idea is sleep begets sleep. Establish a nap routine and she will sleep better at night. An overly tired child is not a good napper or nighttime sleeper. Good luck I hope you get some rest.

mo mcd says:

One thing that has helped my sanity and my boys’ sleep is if it hasn’t been 3-4 hours (depending on how often you think sweet baby needs to eat) my hubby gets up, grabs the baby and a paci, and rocks in the living room. It gives me a longer stretch of sleep and teaches baby that you don’t get to eat every 2 hours at night. Its so hard to function when they get up every couple hours! Good luck!

Jenna says:

Man, gurrrl. I’m so sorry. I haven’t had to use any books because my babies just sleep through the night early on. Though Carson hasn’t been that great for the past month. He’s been teething so he’s up all night. Thank the Lord for Tylenol. (Me and him.)

My advice is to read all you can and implement what you feel is right for your baby. “Happiest Baby on the Block” is supposed to be a good one, too. I did implement some of Baby Wise for my kids and it did work for us.

Best of luck to you … I’m so sorry!

Anonymous says:

Babywise did save my life. My first daughter never took a nap during the day and therefore, I could not either. I think a lot of people misunderstand the philosophy behind the book. It’s about a flexible, not rigid schedule. They recommend a 2 1/2 to 3 hour feeding schedule but they don’t say you can’t feed the child before then. It’s about assessing the child to see if he or she is really hungry. My daughter didn’t fit into that time period right away. We worked up to it. And she is absolutely healthy and extremely bright and she is a great sleeper. I understand the hesitation of some mothers with this philosophy but this is just what worked for me.

Brittany says:

I also suggest you look into The Baby Whisperer! It is great, and doesn’t do CIO (something I couldn’t bring myself to do). There is even a forum of people who can help you implement this method and get your little girl sleeping better. It is http://www.babywhispererforums.com….seriously, this site has helped me a TON.

I haven’t read Baby Wise, but know there are a lot of really great things in it. I used to read the Chronicles of the baby-wise women blog, and was impressed with her children’s discipline.

Hopefully you find something that works for you so you can get some sleep!

Jennifer says:

Wow…based on the comments I guess you have LOTS of reading to do. 😛

I’m no expert and haven’t read the books, but I’ve had my share of sleeps issues (my daughter was harder than my son is so far). You have to do what works for you. I couldn’t CIO (as in lay them down let them cry for however long it takes). With DD we did eventually (when she was a little older) have to let her cry, but we were still checking on her every so many minutes. Heck I did it today…she’s 3. It was way past nap and she was throwing a fit not wanting to take a nap, so I picked her up put her in her bed and let her cry for a few minutes. I went back to ask if she was wanted to get ready for nap (potty, story ,etc) she was fine then.

I do a schedule, but it’s not rigid. It helps for pumping etc. I could understand opposition if it was a forced schedule with no flexibility.

I wonder if it is like April said…she’s eating because she can and she’s gotten used to it (ie it’s part of her schedule now). If she’s eating enough during the day then she doesn’t need to eat all night. Of course I’m guilty…if my kid acts at all hungry he gets the boob. We use a pacifier and I’d give him a paci when he was acting hungry after only 2 hrs. He actually sleeps better with me not in the room.

Your DH can definitely help. if it hasn’t been 3hrs since last feed she should be good to wait unless she really is acting hungry or starving. I know someone who took turns every other night getting up with the baby or splitting the night in half, so that you each get half a night every night.

Good Luck on all your reads! Even with more sleep (still wake up at least 1x a night I feel like a zombie…actually falling asleep now.

Best of luck to you and I hope you get some sleep.

Jessica says:

As other posts have stated, you absolutely have to do what’s right and works for you and Lil J. That being said, I have to throw my two cents in and (once again) agree with a previous post and your own sentiment: if childcare is in the future, it’s imperative that Lil J be somewhat accustomed to a routine. As a caregiver for 10 one year olds, I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when children who aren’t able to self-soothe start in our classroom. We want more than anything to hold and rock and comfort them, but it’s near impossible when you have so many other children to take care of. Scheduling and CIO isn’t for everyone, but not being dependent on one particular object (i.e. pacifier) or event (like rocking, bfing) to induce sleep will help your child be happier and better adjusted for sure.

Sarah says:

This is not about bragging at all, but my son is almost 2 and has slept through the night since he was about 7-8 weeks with very few exceptions (teething and sick a few times).

The secret? We used baby wise. I am not going to let other moms make me feel guilty about using it because it was awesome, worked for us and I did breast feed my son until 9 months when he self weaned. He was healthy and happy and the routine worked so well for us. I was not overly rigid and that is why it worked. It was a routine but we stayed flexible and I think because of that, to this day he can take a nap just about anywhere without being scared or confused (he just knows it’s nap time).

Also, what people always forget when they bash baby wise is that you have to use common sense. You can’t just read a book and blindly trust everything it says – you have to adapt it to your life while still trying to follow the basics and I guarantee it will work for most people. You can’t take it too literally. Most people don’t want to put in the work that it takes to get a baby into a good routine and I don’t blame them. It was SO hard at first but we eventually got it.

I never assumed my baby was always hungry when he cried so I didn’t ‘demand’ feed him. I didn’t go strictly by the clock either but used it as a reference to see how long it had been since he last ate to help decide if he was fussy because he was hungry or for some other reason. Also, it was so hard in the middle of the night to get him to stay awake to eat to get a full feeding, but I worked so hard at that and we got his hunger metabolism balanced out so he was quickly able to go longer at night without feeding. I was exhausted and overwheled for a while but the minute he slept 8 hours through the night, I was like a whole new person and we never went back! It was the best choice for me and my kiddo and you should look into if you are interested.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

I imagine these comments are loaded with lots of “this worked for us” advice which may drive you around the twist and at the risk of adding to it, I just wanted to share what helped me start to get our peanut in the right direction for sleeping longer. He’s only 3 months and we’re still progressing, but the reason why he’s sleeping better is because we started putting him to bed at 6 p.m. I now it sounds early, ESPECIALLY for a working mom who doesn’t get home much earlier than that and who misses her little girl and who wants to spend time with her, but the reason I started doing it was because of what this woman said in this podcast:

http://newmomsnewbabies.com/how-much-sleep-does-your-baby-really-need/

The message about how much sleep our babies need and what time they actually NEED to be going to bed was hard to accept at first, especially since there’s always a parent who comes home after work who misses out, but biologically she says it’s best for them. They say they wake through the night because they are getting put to bed too late. That said, if your baby biologically wakes up at the same time in the morning (say 7:30), then 12 hours before that is the right bed time.

I dunno if it’s just another piece of advice, but there it is if you’re interested.

Laura says:

I’ve heard of the controversy of the BabyWise book and I can not bring myself to letting my baby CIO (Desperate Housewives did an episode on it too). Around 4-5months, I realized Alex was getting sleepy around 7-730pm so I would put him in his crib with his pacifier and blanket and he would be out in about 10min. The time he wakes up changes (b/c of teething now) and I noticed my nighttime nursing sessions were cut short b/c I would fall asleep (so he would never be full)! I now make sure to nurse on both sides before putting him back in the bed. Now at 6.5months, we eat dinner (babyfood) around 6, nurse at 7, then put him down. I also wanted to mention that the daycare he goes to don’t really put the children on a schedule until after 1year. They let them fall asleep when they feel like it (normally after a bottle) and they keep soft music playing in the crib area (which has helped me a lot…just added music in his nursery this past week and it keeps him sleep longer). He used to wake up at 3am then 6am so I made daddy take the 3am feed (took the bottle out around 12m, when I got into bed)

My lil guy sleeps 8-12 hours now straight. He wakes up sometimes but not usually. Here’s what I do: 1) I never let him sleep past 5. 2)around 7:30 we watch wheel of fortune(this is funny but true and he also knows after wheel of fortune it’s sleep time) 3)at 8:00, I take him a bath with a lavender bath (helps sooth him to sleep) 3)I massage him with warm body oil and give him his bottle with rice cereal, burp him, wait about 15 minutes before putting him to bed, and then put him down in the crib. He is usually out like a light.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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