Are you Babywise?

Monday, April 14, 2008

On Becoming Babywise is a frequently discussed book among moms and moms-to-be. When I was pregnant, I overheard several people mentioning it, but since I did not know very much about it, I sort of dismissed it. After suffering through the first two months of Ansleigh’s life, I decided I would see what it was all about.

There are many conflicting opinions on Babywise. Some people love it and sing its praises while other people hate it and think it is ridiculous, while others still, straddle the fence. If you are a new mom or an expecting mom...READ IT! Even if you hate it, it will give you some things to think about.

When I first started reading the book I thought some of the ideas were a bit extreme and some of the statements were a little bold, but with Ansleigh being such a fussy, colicky baby, I was willing to try anything. I put to use the practices that it calls for, and low and behold, it worked! Now, nothing is a miracle worker and she was still fussy, but I saw definite improvements and the fussiness was much more contained (if that makes sense).

Overall, Babywise is about training your child in sleeping and eating habits, but it does SO MUCH more than that. The beginning discusses the differences between babies who are demand-fed (parents feed them at the first bit of noise or movement) and parent-directed feeding (parents deciding with some flexibility the feeding schedule). It also talks about hyper-scheduling baby.

As you move through the book, it addresses issues such as baby needing a family (baby should fit into existing family instead of baby becoming the center of family), sleeping (a section I really agree with!), monitoring baby’s growth, establishing a routine, when baby cries (abnormal cries and normal cries—what to listen for), and basic problem solving.

Some of the main things that I have taken from the book is not to participate in child-centered parenting (which is easy to slip into). This is when the child decides when they want to eat, sleep, play, etc. Typically, this style of parenting leads parents to picking up baby as soon as baby wimpers, never letting baby cry or be upset, forming an unnatural attachment to mom, and a few other bad habits that are hard to break. Instead, YOU decide when it is time for baby to eat (with some flexibility), when it is time for baby to play, and when it is time for baby to nap. By doing this, it shows baby who is in control.

Another thing I have taken from this book is to let Ansleigh cry herself to sleep in her crib. When it is naptime, it is naptime. Crying for 10 or 15 minutes is not going to hurt her. I am teaching her to put herself to sleep and I can see it working already.

The first book is for newborns up to five months. The second book is for “pretoddlers” and covers ages five months through fifteen months. I have already started digging into this book, even though a lot of it doesn’t really apply to my child yet. I’m excited to see what this next phase will hold.

I guess my point is, this book has some pretty interesting information in it, whether you agree or disagree on the parenting style. Try it on and see if it fits. Read it with an open mind but use your brain too. You will know what is right for your family.


forevermoore said...

You're parenting very similar to the way I started - loosely BabyWise. :) You can see how it has worked so far for Abbey. :)

Hugs said...

It sounds amazing. I may have to make it a must read in the near future. That really isn't meant to imply anything....
Have you seen The Business of Being Born? Watch it and give me your feedback.

Carrie said...

I really liked this book and found it totally useful too! I used a lot of the ideas in it and they worked for Faith. My main problem was I tried too hard to be perfect, I should have just given myself some slack and relaxed. No matter how hard you try, life is not like in the books, so just enjoy it and do your best!