Babywise is the baby sleep tips that my husband and I chose before our son was born, and we are so glad we did. Our son was a horrible sleeper from birth; awake for what seemed like all. day. long. He was very difficult to get to sleep, and he was very difficult to keep asleep.
We tried it all: swing, wrapping, holding, pacifier, shorter awake time, longer awake time, more stimulation, less stimulation. I could drone on and on about all the things we tried. I was exhausted and in tears, and that’s putting it nicely. I’m so grateful we started the Babywise basics at birth and dove right into sleep training at six weeks because things really did dramatically improve after that.
1. Babywise teaches children to sleep well.
We started some Babywise basics at birth with the first basic thing being the wake, eat, sleep cycle. As soon as he woke up from sleeping, I would feed him, then we would play for a bit, and then he would nap or go down for the night. This cycle really brought predictability, routine and structure to our day, but it also helped get him in a nice sleep rhythm from the get-go. Several weeks into our routine, we decided to start sleep training since we were really struggling with everything in the sleep department.
So at six weeks old, we started laying our son down for naps and bedtime while he was awake, but drowsy. Overtime, he learned how to fall asleep independently. We stuck with the Babywise method and he dropped all night feedings on his own at around the four month mark. Of course night waking and subsequent feedings occur on and off due to growth spurts, teething, illness, etc., but for the most part, they become infrequent.
2. Babywise enables easy nap and bedtime routines.
In a short time, bedtime and naptime may very well become the easiest part of the day. The baby learns that sleep is expected following a pre-nap routine and a pre-bedtime routine. I currently have a five minute nap routine and a 30 minute bedtime routine for our son. I love these quick routines because they allow me to maximize naptime to get things done around the house or take a shower, and I’m able to preserve more time and energy for quality playtime with my son.
3. Babywise keeps children at their best.
Quality sleep is the basic foundation for a wide-array of positive benefits such as improved memory, creativity, attention and learning. Jameson is often complemented on being a good baby, and I truly believe this has more to do with him receiving quality sleep than anything else. You know, why? Because I see the little monster he turns into when he isn’t well rested. I really do think that most babies are naturally good when they are well rested. With quality sleep we consolidate memories or “practice” skills learned while we were awake. In addition to improving memories, the brain reorganizes and restructures them, which may result in more creativity. When kids are well rested, they are better able to focus and absorb information throughout the day. Quality sleep also balances mood, enhances emotional stability and may enable obedience in your child. The benefits of quality sleep are endless really.
4. Babywise helps keep a marriage healthy.
I believe marriage is the foundation of the nuclear family, and a strong foundation helps grow a healthy family. Babywise advocates for an early bedtime, and I couldn’t agree more with this idea. Every night my husband and I enjoy a few coveted hours of time just being adults. Focusing and investing in your spouse for a few uninterrupted hours each day can really help build a stronger relationship. It’s all too easy for children to take over every aspect our lives. Preserving time for each day for our marriage honestly makes all the difference in our relationship.
5. Babywise allows parents to get much needed rest too.
The same benefits of sleep gained by children apply to us as parents. And let’s face it. We are all human. We are not robots. We need rest too. Even as an adult, I truly need about 8 hours a day, which I do regularly try to reach because I really am a better mom when I get enough sleep. With Babywise if we want to sleep longer at night, we can. If we want to sleep shorter at night and get more done around the house while the children sleep, we can.
6. Babywise does enrich a healthy parent/child attachment bond.
I often hear a lot of bad press out there about Babywise, saying it causes attachment disorders. This has not been my experience, not even close, and I do know many parents, who use the Babywise method and enjoy positive experiences. Enjoying enriching experiences together is our everyday normal because time and energy are reserved for actual playtime rather than sleeping battles. I’ve always read that children thrive on routine, structure, boundaries, and this is extremely true of my experience with our son.
The Babywise method offers parents practical tools that enable optimal sleep habits in children. Quality rest, easy bedtime and naptime rituals, and healthy parent-child attachment are all possible. Out of all the parenting styles out there, I know Babywise isn’t the only one, but I do think it’s a great option worth looking into.
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