Baby Wise

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After the recommendations of several moms that I know and trust, I decided to On Becoming Baby Wise  about the feed, wake, sleep schedule for babies. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I feel I have learned a lot. My reason for writing about this book, was more to get the opinions of others out there. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Baby Wise

I was very surprised to see some of the reviews of this book on amazon.com. I usually like to read the good and the bad reviews of a book before I read it to get both points of view. However, when reading some of this reviews I was shocked at how vicious people were, and how they misunderstood this book. I did not realize what a controversial book this was!

For those of you who may have not heard of the Baby Wise schedule or read the book, here is a little what it is about:

The Babywise parenting philosophy uses a flexible baby feeding schedule that when combined with nap times and awake times will help baby sleep all night.” – Suite101

Baby Wise is about parent-directed feeding (also called PDF), this is the opposite of feeding on demand. It teaches how to get your baby on a schedule that eventually will lead to goo sleep patterns and a happier baby. The schedule is a feed, wake, sleep pattern for your baby. Feeding your baby every two to three hours, then having a period of wake (play) time before putting baby down for a nap. There is a lot more to it than that, but that is the basis of the book.

I know a lot of people have said that that this is a rigid schedule and that people should not take it so seriously. In the book the author, says over and over that you can be flexible. I think that it just takes prayer and common sense, when it comes to these things. There is nothing wrong with following a schedule and doing the things described in this book, but if something doesn’t feel right then obviously, check your baby and try and get some answers!

I know that I am not officially a parent yet and cannot say for sure that this does or doesn’t work. But I have been babysitting for ten years and I have seen the differences between the families who put these practices into work versus those who did not. I am not saying that those parents who did not do it were bad parents or had bad children, but there are some differences.

I am excited to try this schedule and see where it takes me. I know every baby is different and every situation is different, and like I said before, patience, hard work, common sense, and prayer will get me through!

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  1. Keep in mind, my kids are all grown, but one. I fed on demand, but I did try not to allow them to sleep too long during the day and get their days and nights mixed up, etc. I nursed mine, so it made those night time feedings easier…NO bottles to prepare.

  2. Well, I am no expert, but I do have 2 children that I "brought up" on Baby Wise.
    Just from my own personal experience, I found with both of my children there is no need in trying to get on a schedule until about 6-8 weeks old…again that was just my children. But, by 8 weeks they were both on a great schedule and sleeping in their cribs thru the night. By great schedule, I knew when they would wake, eat, nap, eat, bedtime etc It took a little discpline, but in the end it was so worth it for our family.
    I found that you just have to be a little flexible b/c every child is different. I am glad that I followed the methods in baby wise. It really worked for us. =)

  3. i just ordered that book after reading what you said, i am due in january but my best friend had a similar schedule and her baby was sleeping through the night really early on. and is still on a fantastic schedule.
    i got it on barnes and noble for 2.52! love barnes and noble used books 🙂

  4. man i wish i knew of this book when my youngest was trying to kill me slowly with sleep deprivation!

  5. My sister in law read this book when she was pregnant and followed it. =) By the time my niece was 8 weeks old, she was sleeping through the night. How many parents (who do on demand feeding) can say that?! I have never seen a happier, calmer baby in my life. Some of that may just be her personality, but when she's off her routine she gets cranky and fussy. There's much to be said for routine. I'm not a parent, but when I DO become a parent you can bet that I'll be reading this book. =)

  6. We used it for the first two and a half kids. . . and ditched it. To be honest, it just doesn't go along with how God designed breastfeeding or how God designed infants' needs for nourishment and sleep. I know lots of great moms who have used it — and most of the ones I know say that in retrospect it didn't "work" as great as they thought it did at the time.

    It is only tangentially related to Babywise, but I find this article gives much mommy-encouragement and provides good "balance" for us as mothers when we are sifting through parenting info:

    Grace and hope,

  7. 29 days to go? How exciting! 🙂 I love the new blog look and your baby pictures are so awesome! I'm excited for you!

  8. Personally I equate it as Child abuse and I do NOT say that lightly. I think it's the most revolting thing out there on the market. If you're planning on breastfeeding, don't bother if you use their methods, because nursing is a demand and supply gift from GOD, not a schedule that works because it fits into Mommy/Daddy's schedule. Sorry but this book and methods just absolutely revolt me and the reason you read so many negatives, is because it's UNNATURAL and goes AGAINST everything GOD gave us as Mothers…our INSTINCTS and our babies NEEDS. Listen to your instincts and throw that book in the trash or burn it! But that's just my opinion as a mom of soon to be 5 who all found their own schedule after a few months and are happy, well adjusted children…as GOD intended. Nursing on demand is called NATURAL, forcing your baby to only eat when you've deemed convient is cruel and it doesn't make for a HAPPY baby, it makes for a baby who's been taught at such an early age that Mommy can not be trusted or depended on.

  9. I should tell you btw that all my kids are GREAT sleepers and didn't need some horrid method to "train" them. Maybe you should have your husband create a schedule of when you are allowed to eat and sleep and if you don't stick to it, face the harsh consequences of no eating or no sleeping or ignoring your pleas as your stomach rolls in hunger or stuffs you with food even though you're not hungry, because it works for HIM, or forces you to sleep when you're not tired or to stay awake even though you're EXHAUSTED. That's the same thing. These AUTHORS are NOT GOD and they also claim on their website (well they used to until they were THREATENED by a lawsuit and forced to remove their LIES) that Dr. Dobson supported them, he doesn't and equates it to Child abuse as well. Seek Dr. Sears if you're looking for an EXPERT and an ACTUAL Pediatrian (the most trusted in the Nation).

  10. I can only speak from my own experience, but I found the book helpful as a new mom. I didn't follow every suggestion, but generally followed a schedule and both of my babies slept through the night at an early age. I also believe that no method works perfectly for every family, but Babywise was a great starting point for a nervous new mom with no family close by.

  11. I was cringing as I read this post because I knew you would get some harsh feedback for it.

    I never realized so many women were so… umm… passionate about how to feed and raise children. If you get negative feedback then just let it roll off. You are not sinning if you decide to flexible schedule feed your baby or if you decide to on demand feed your baby. You need to do what is right for your family. I read that book before Maddy came along and implemented most of their suggestions. Like you and the book said… I used common sense. I used the feed/wake/sleep schedule and found it very effective. There were times when I let her sleep a little longer and fed her a little earlier but that's where the flexibility comes in. You use the brain God has given you. The schedule is a guide not a law. Maddy was sleeping through the night around 8 weeks. She definitely wasn't starving, we have a wonderful bond, she was and is a happy baby, and she is very healthy. The schedule worked great for us and if/when baby #2 comes we will do it again. As for the commenter who is very passionate… I am not debating… but we all follow some type of schedule. We eat around the same times and sleep around the same times every day. If we are hungry at 10am we may wait a little closer until lunch time before eating… and even though we are tired at 7pm we may wait a little closer to 9 before going to sleep. I know obviously babies are different and need more frequent meals and a LOT more sleep but I was just saying that in reference to her idea about letting your husband put you on a schedule. Kathryn, you are NOT sinning if you decide to have a flexible schedule for your little one! Also, my milk supply was very generous! In fact, I haven't breastfed Maddy for 5 months and I STILL have milk in there!! 🙂

    Oh… and a very good friend of mine did on demand feeding with her son who was born a month before Maddy. Even though we took two opposite approaches, our children ended up eating and sleeping around the same time as eachother! Both are very healthy, well behaved kids! I always thought that was funny!!

    You are going to be a great mother no matter what method you decide! Nobody should make you feel bad about doing what's right for you and your family.

  12. I know this is my first visit to your blog but maybe it's so I could comment on this post. =) I encourage you to really search out other information about Baby Wise. It was written if I remember correctly by a pastor/clergyman…not a doctor. It is surrounded in controversy. If you are a strict Baby Wise follower, there is such a great risk of having a failure to thrive baby. If you are nursing, the best way to get your supply established is to let baby run the show at least in the beginning. I agree with Jessica, with time, they get on the their own schedule, often without much input from us! =)

    I do agree with Christy that the thought of someone doing Baby Wise literally makes me ill. I'm sure it has some good points in moderation (as do a lot of things).

    I have nursed three little ones and we were completely infant led and fed on demand. You'll know what's best for you and your little one when the time comes. There is so much information out there it can be overwhelming. Seek God's face about what is best for your family. Congratulations and best wishes!

  13. I haven't read the book but I did nanny for someone who follows what sounds like a similar pattern, perhaps?

    The schedule involved making sure that the baby was not overstimulated because it led to problems with sleeping. He would wake around 6am and feed and by 8-830am it was time for his first nap. He generally slept for 2-3 hours and then would eat upon waking and stay awake for no more than 2-3 hours before it was naptime again. The schedule continued throughout the day and he would go down for the night around 10pm and would sleep until 6am.

    It seemed to work very well for them and the mother was a trained medical professional. He was still following the same general pattern from the time I started watching him at 3 months to when I moved just after he turned a year old. As he got older, his awake time was lengthened but he still took more frequent naps than some other children I've know to avoid overstimulation.

    It's all an interesting concept and there so many pros and cons to every option out there. I'm currently reading "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.

    I'm sure whatever method you decide to use for your baby will be perfect for YOU. Let God lead and follow the instincts He gave you.

  14. wow…did not realize you would get such hmmmm passionate comments. =)

    I know that no one method is the answer…trust your God given instincts and seek His guidance. That is exactly what we did…not put complete faith in a book. =)

    I nursed both of my children for 15 months each. We have a wonderful bond. They are healthy well adjusted children.

    You are going to be a great mommy!

  15. I did read baby wise and just would say, they are basically talking about when your child forms a rhythm, which does happen and is natural. I don't like it for the very same reasons that people have stated above. I do believe in on demand feeding (for the most part… still trying to establish a rhythm in that process), especially at the beginning stages. Even now, my children get a snack in the morning and afternoon. They are growing and they may not eat the largest dinner, but I'm not trying to teach them to ever pig out. Anyways, sleeping is something that should be a loving approach. Sometimes there is a need to make the child stay in their crib, but there are many times I'd just go in and rub her back or his and after about 10 or 15 minutes they'd be fast asleep and feeling securely loved. Sure, it isn't the easy, cut and dry method, but that isn't my parenting style at all.

    My daughter is 4 now and has bad dreams about once a week. She'll wander down to our room tell us she was scared and crawl into bed with us. We hug her and let her know she's with us. A few hours later she'll ask me to walk her back to her bed. That is totally not babywise, but it is totally loving your child.

  16. oh gosh, I almost forgot to write the book that helped me when my daughter struggled through her different sleeping routines. It is "Healthy Baby Sleep Habits, Happy Child." You can look up reviews on amazon, there are more reviews on it than babywise and a larger percentage gives it the highest rating. It is written by a baby doctor, which is a bit more encouraging.

    My son never had an issue sleeping, so you may have a scheduled, easy baby to begin with.

    Either way, you are going to be a great momma. 🙂

  17. Yes, there are some very passionate people out there that have very strong opinions about this book. I have heard (rather, read) many debates/opinions over this book on Xanga. I have not read it, so I have no opinion on the book. Lol. I'm glad you enjoyed it and found it beneficial! I have heard a lot of great things about it from women that I would trust, as you said. So I will probably read this someday when I am pregnant. 🙂

  18. Heehehehe… I bought that book with our first one and tried so hard. None of my babies fit in the mold of scheduled/timed feedings… BUT the idea of getting baby setup for correct day and night sleeping is very smart. I am a combo of baby demand and parent demand feedings. 🙂

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