I am in the closet. In the closet about being a BabyWise mom unless I know – for a fact – that I am among a group of moms who won’t cast judgmental stares my way. It’s really kind of shocking how weird you can be made to feel for raising your baby on a schedule. But when the schedule benefits mom (mentally) and baby (physically) – why the judgement? So I’d like to use my blog to set the record straight on a few things.
I am not starving my child. If Rylan is rooting or showing other signs of hunger before his “scheduled” feeding time, guess what? I feed him! But what BabyWise gives me is the confidence to check for the other needs he may have to have met BEFORE I whip out a boob. Those needs may include a diaper change, burp, change of scenery, or short cry-it-out session.
The schedule does not rule us. The schedule allows us to rule our day/lives. Sure, I may turn down a 10 a.m. coffee date because Rylan feeds at 10 a.m. but – with a lot of confidence – I can suggest meeting at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. instead. I know Rylan will be in a great mood and that he’ll likely stay in that mood before falling asleep for his typical nap windows. Now, before you leave a nasty comment that we’re just lucky and this is all going to change…I know that. I know that as soon as we think we have Rylan scheduled and figured out, he’ll change. But I feel confident that BabyWise’s feed then wake then sleep philosophy will get us back on track during his regressions.
Babies cry, and that’s okay. When Rylan cries my heart breaks. I can’t count the number of times I’ve stood outside his bedroom door biting my nails, resisting every urge to go in and grab him the moment he starts to fuss after being put down. With BabyWise you put your baby down awake or drowsy, but never fully asleep. Why? So they learn how to self-soothe. By self-soothing they can learn how to fall back asleep during their sleep cycles (which switch much more often than adults) and eventually, sleep through the night and for full naps. Alone. In their crib. Without you. Since day one Rylan has needed his “alone time” in a swing or bouncer so we got lucky. When it came to having him nap and sleep in his crib Rylan took to it more quickly than many babies. But luck alone does not raise a good sleeper, so we’ve chosen to focus on getting him to fall sleep on his own. He was also moved out of our room and to the crib full time at night at about four weeks. Too early for some? Of course…and I fully understand that. But as a mom who needs her sleep (whatever I can grab) I urge parents to read about the self-soothe sleep philosophies of BabyWise and then figure out if they may fit into their parenting approach.
BabyWise is very intense. There are days I want to chuck the book and scheduling out a window and just go with the flow. I often envy the moms who never look at a clock and embrace discovering each day’s differences with their little one.
Then our sweet boy blesses us with consistent nights of sleep and I reaffirm my commitment the next morning…dragging my bleary-eyed butt out of bed for our scheduled 7 a.m. wake time. And he smiles at me, and I know that for us, we’re doing what we think is best. That is all that matters.
So the next time I try to conceal my BabyWise passion among a group of new moms I am going to be more vocal and less self conscious. I am going to wear our BabyWise badge with pride, because I am truly passionate about the confidence it has given me as a new mom.