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How To Babywise with Older Children

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A major premise of Babywise is that baby joins a family. This means that life does not revolve around a baby. It also means that the baby is not fully sacrificed for the needs of the rest of the family.

It means that you make an effort to find ways to meet the needs of the full family as a whole. Nothing revolves around just one member. Everyone needs to make sacrifices.

This sounds nice on paper, but it can be hard to put into practice in reality. We easily find ourselves catering to one individual.

So how can you successfully do Babywise with a baby and still allow older children to participate in activities? Here are 8 ideas to get you through.

Babywise: How To Do it and and Be Flexible with Older Children's Activities


Carpool, carpool, carpool. That is my number one go-to for managing activities. This was handy when I had a baby at home, and it is still handy today even without a baby at home. If you can, have your child participate in activities with friends who can carpool. Invite a friend to sign up for dance with your child! Most moms love the carpool idea. The carpool is a great tool to master now because it will also save you when your children are older. If you have more than one child doing things and one parent able to get them to things, it can get difficult quickly. Last spring, we had three children playing a soccer game and one child presenting a project for school all at the same time and in different cities. Carpooling is your friend.


If you are running a child to an activity and it is baby’s naptime, find a babysitter! You might have a neighbor willing to come sit at your house while you drive there and back. This allows your baby to still take a regular nap in his/her crib without being disrupted. You can also ask family to help out if you have family living close by. You might be able to lay baby down for a nap at your mom’s house while you run about. Grandma might be willing to drive to dance while baby’s naps interfere. Think through the help you are able to get and utilize it.

3-Plan Ahead

When I was pregnant with my fourth child, I was very proactive in getting activities scheduled ahead of time so I could make things work. When my second and third children were born, my older children were still young enough that I was okay with cutting back and cutting out as needed. When my fourth was born, the children were older and more involved. There were things we didn’t want to cut. I talked with our piano teacher early on to get the times I could make work best with a baby. I talked with the owner of the dance studio my girls went to find out when classes would be and she got them scheduled so I could work around them. I really wanted the kids’ activities to be workable for one parent so the other parent could stay home with the baby if needed. That took planning ahead so I could get my top choice of times, rather than what was left.

4-Ask For Exceptions

One year, I wanted my daughter to be able to carpool with neighbors for dance class. A couple of us asked if we could have our daughters dance in a class a year older than they were so that the girls in the neighborhood could all go to the same class time slot. They said yes! You never know unless you ask.

5-Remember Sacrifice for All

You will not succeed with Babywise with your baby if your baby is never home for naps. Yes, a younger sibling often has to be more flexible and will miss naps at home, but the sacrifice needs to go both ways. Your older child might give up an activity for baby sister’s first year of life. Your older child might not get out of the house every single day for a few months. It is okay for siblings to make sacrifices for each other.

6-Adjust Baby’s Schedule

While you have to work with a baby’s natural disposition, as a Babywise mom, you know how to adjust your schedule to work for you. That means if you really need your baby’s schedule to shift by 30 minutes so you can pick up older sister from piano without disrupting a nap, you can work to do that.

7-Choose Activities Close to Home

Your preferred dance studio might be 20 miles away while there is an acceptable studio 8 miles away. While you have a young baby, go for acceptable and closer.

An extra 20 minutes of driving in the car can absolutely be a breaking point for your baby getting a good nap. If there are places close to home that will work this year, use those ones.

Are you a babywise mom about welcome a new baby into the family? It is possible to do Babywise with a new baby, without having to stay home all the time. Read on for 8 tips for doing babywise with a new baby and older children's activities
8-Remember, the Baby is a Baby For a Short Time

This sacrifice doesn’t last forever. Baby is not baby for very long. You will be able to be more and more flexible as time goes on.  With some planning ahead, sacrifice, and flexibility, you can successfully have a Babywise baby and still have your older children involved in activities.

Valerie is a mother to four children and blogs at

Find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
You can find me guest posting today at Christine Keys.
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Thursday 14th of January 2021

I love this post. I am curious about the time it takes to get baby to nap, however. When I did babywise with #1 I was completely and totally dedicated to helping her get on schedule and spending time helping her get to sleep in her room (usually). Now since #1 isn't even 2years old, I can't leave her downstairs for 20 min while I focus on baby. #2 is currently napping downstairs in a PnP, not on a schedule but I'd like to start moving in the babywise direction.

Please let me know if you have tips or can point to another post or site that has this covered. Thank you!


Monday 25th of January 2021

Hi, Katie! I just searched through my posts and I swore I had a post about this, but I can't seem to find it.

My son was 2 when our twins were born and this is what we did:

1. We woke up the twins an hour before the toddler woke up. This way, we could feed them and get them back down for a nap and then spend the morning with the toddler and give him good quality time. This morning time really set him up for good behavior throughout the whole day. 2. I made sure that we had a plan every time I needed him to be occupied. For us, this was when I was feeding the babies, since I needed two hands all the time. They were born prematurely, so they were very sleepy and didn't need help falling asleep. So for you, you may need to time this so that his time being occupied is when you're putting the baby to bed. We did T.V. about once a day (Daniel Tiger) and that only held his attention for about 15 minutes. I'd also feed the babies while he was in his high chair eating (but you may not be able to do this if you're putting the baby to bed upstairs! I was in the same room), or in his high chair coloring or doing play doh. One other feeding session was when he was napping. I'd basically make blocks during your day and figure out what the toddler can be doing while you're with the baby and base the baby's schedule off of that! Hope that helps! I will try to get a post out about managing a newborn (or two) and a toddler!

Kellie A Bright Neighborhood

Sunday 13th of August 2017

I'm one of 5! I often say that I have no idea how my mom did it when we were little, but in this regard, I guess we didn't really DO much. We were home schooled and played outside lots and lots, but as far as structured activities and lessons, we didn't do a ton.

My goal is to foster to adopt with my next kids, so who knows what that might bring--a baby or an older child. These tips will be good if it's a baby, when that time comes!

Caitlin @Rogers Party of 5

Tuesday 15th of August 2017

I feel the same way, and it's so true- we have many more options and activities available to us nowadays than I did as a child. This can be both good and bad! But like Valerie said, it is not the end of the world if the older ones miss activities for a short period of time. Baby is only baby for a brief time!

Mae Brian

Saturday 12th of August 2017

These are great ideas and tons of mamas can appreciate this, for sure! We only have one kid for now so we don't have older kids to consider but I still practice some tips you shared, like picking extra curricular activities close to home for the convenience of everyone in the family. Thanks for sharing!

Mae |

Caitlin @Rogers Party of 5

Tuesday 15th of August 2017

Thanks for reading, Mae! That's an excellent point, of doing things that are convenient for the entire family regardless of a new baby or not.


Friday 11th of August 2017

Oh how I wish carpooling had been an option while I had a baby this last year! Poor baby spent half his early life in the car shuffling his brother and sister to school, ballet, and t-ball.

Caitlin @Rogers Party of 5

Tuesday 15th of August 2017

I hear ya! My son was only 2 when my twins were born, so we didn't have to worry about it much, but I can only imagine.

Michelle Alferez

Thursday 10th of August 2017

Nice techniques to manage time in getting all things done for the kids. I'll save this for my future reference once my child will have to participate to some extra curricular activities

Caitlin @Rogers Party of 5

Friday 11th of August 2017

Thanks for reading!

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