When I was pregnant with Theo, my first, I joined an online forum for new moms. One of the most frequent conversations was how we were going to survive life with a newborn. There was a book thrown around that was insanely controversial: On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep. Several moms swore up and down that it saved their sanity as new moms. There were also moms who said it was a cruel method of sleep training. The phrase ‘failure to thrive’ was thrown around, and claims were made that the book told you to let your newborn cry themselves to sleep, even if they were hungry. I was horrified, and without reading the book decided that it wasn’t for me. So, how did I discover Babywise and end up following it despite the incredible controversy?
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Fast forward two months, and we were all a mess. We had no order to our lives. I didn’t know how much sleep my baby should be getting, I didn’t know when he would be hungry. When he cried, I just assumed he was hungry because I didn’t know why else he would be crying. I felt paralyzed and as if my days were spent waiting for him to take a nap. He would only take a nap if I nursed him to sleep or drove him around in the car. It. Was. Terrible.
How I Discovered Babywise
Around this time, my sister-in-law came to visit. She offered to bring me a book that helped get her baby on a schedule and sleeping through the night. I could take all the help I could get, so I readily accepted. When she handed me the book I thought “Oh crap, this is the awful book that tells you to let your baby cry!” I decided to actually read the book myself and form my own opinion. There was nothing to lose and frankly, quite a lot to gain.
I read the entire book in one afternoon. My first thought was that the book has been entirely misconstrued by a lot of people who probably didn’t even read the book. I completely understand and respect if doing Babywise isn’t your thing… but the fear mongering and judging without even reading the book has got to stop. Straight up, I could not have survived having twins without following Babywise.
Why I Followed it, Despite the Controversy
- Two weeks after I started following Babywise, Theo went from waking up every 4 hours at night to sleeping 12 hours. TWELVE. HOURS.
- It gives us order to our day. Babywise is all about routine and structure, which is really important for children.
- After starting it, Theo was a much happier baby. He needed that routine and SLEEP.
- Sleep. Can I say it again? We are all happier when we sleep!
I No Longer Have Newborns… Do I Still Follow Babywise?
YES. As my children get older I have learned that there is so much more to Babywise than sleep and schedule. There’s a whole series of books on parenting. The fundamentals of these books have really helped me parent my kiddos. I’m part of a group of bloggers (the Babywise Friendly Blogging Network or BFBN) who all have posts about the topic of Babywise. I love the ladies in the BFBN and following their blogs for parenting advice. We chat back and forth daily and compare parenting struggles and wins. Despite all following Babywise, we’re all drastically different in the choices we make and our parenting styles. The one thing we all have in common is that we have high expectations for our children. We all are raising our children to be kind, responsible, respectful individuals who make good choices. Thanks to the Babywise series, it’s a little easier!
So there you have it. To this day, we continue to thrive being a Babywise family.
Today the ladies of the Babywise Friendly Blogging Network are all writing our stories of how we discovered Babywise. Head on over and read all of the stories via the links below.
Mama’s Organized Chaos: Discovering Babywise
The Journey of Parenthood: How I Discovered Babywise
Christine Keys: How I Discovered the Remarkable Gift of Babywise
Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: How the Babywise Mom Discovered Babywise
Team Cartwright: Why I Quit Babywise
Let’s Be Brave: How I Discovered Babywise