Wednesday, May 14

Team {{ BabyWise }}

Let's talk about sleeping babies. And what an absolute joy it is to have both the words, sleep and baby, in the same sentence.

 I've been going back and forth about writing this. Mainly because the last thing I want to do is discredit or make another fellow mom feel bad. These are completely my own thoughts and I definitely don't have any expert background in the area. Just what has worked for me.

That being said, I have had multiple new mommas and friends ask me about the method we used for Will's sleep training. And while I don't usually consider myself profound enough to be giving out advice on the norm, I do feel like I can shed a little light to all of you sleep-deprived women out there.

Let me introduce you to my postpartum goddess:


We used BabyWise. And absolutely loved it. But there are several other sleep training books out there that accomplish the same goal. 

I am a firm (like rock-solid type firm) believer in sleep training your baby. The book goes into more detail about it, but the overall objective is not to be a Hitler mom who makes her baby cry it out so that she can get a couple extra hours of sleep each night.. It is to teach your baby a trait that is absolutely pertinent in his/her life; how to sleep. There are many people out there who believe that their baby will give them cues as to when they need to eat, sleep, etc.. And while I do believe that is true to some degree.... I mostly disagree. To me, it's almost like saying, "My toddler will teach himself how to read. I just need to be patient and wait for his cues when he is ready."

A baby needs to be taught. Not for his mom. Not for his dad. Not because you absolutely cannot drag yourself out of bed one more time in the middle of the night. But because it isn't fair to not teach them how to properly get the rest that they desperately need. 

Many people hear the words, "sleep training," and instantly think of torture. I think it's because so many people relate it to letting a baby, "cry it out." But in a lot of cases, if you stick to your sleep training regimen strictly, that step can be skipped entirely. Will never had to go through that step until well after he was sleeping through the night. And I'll talk about that a little later.

I would highly suggest to buy the book if you want to sleep train your baby. It has so much valuable information and it isn't a long read. But I will quickly go over the basis of the E.A.S.Y program that they use. I started with Will when he was about 4 weeks old, but knowing what I now know, I will probably start all of my future babies when they are 2 weeks. BUT!! Even if your baby is 4, 5, or 6 months old- it isn't too late to start. That's the beauty of the program :)

The EASY Routine
Complete the falling steps in order

E: Eat. Feed your baby. Try your very hardest not to let baby fall asleep while eating. Which is sooooo hard when they are little bitty. I remember every feeding I would take Wills socks off and tickle his feet to keep him awake. And sometimes I would even hold a wet towel on his cheek to keep him alert. There were so many times, when I was so dreadfully tired that I just wanted to let him snuggle in and fall asleep right there, milk drunken and happy. But there is importance in sticking to the regimen.  

A: Activity. I remember reading this and thinking, "What in the world am I going to do with a 4 week old for an activity? Blocks?" The main idea here is to KEEP THEM AWAKE after their feeding is over. Whatever you have to do. Sometimes you'll only be able to hold them off for 15 minutes (and that's okay) and other times it will be an hour. Just keep those eyeballs open. 

S: Sleep. This is where things get a little more complicated. They have several rules here and while I believe they are probably in your best interest, some of them are hard to keep. After they have eaten and played (if you can even call it that), it's nap time. They ask you not to use any "sleep aids," as they are just future bad habits that you are going to have to break. Like sleeping in a swing, rocking your baby to sleep, a white noise machine, etc. The focus here is to let your baby teach himself how to fall asleep without the assistance of mom or props. So that when they wake up in the middle of the night or the middle of a nap, they don't need you to come put them back to sleep. In my opinion, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to teach your baby throughout the whole process. 
Never lay your baby down asleep. They need to be awake or on the verge of falling asleep. This teaches them how to put themselves to sleep. I'm guessing that this is where most people run into trouble. And have to let their babies cry it out. If you start when they are young enough (2-6 weeks) then the chances are that they wont get into a habit of you putting them to sleep and will never have to go through the crying. But if they do.. that's okay too!! (No really, I promise, it is)
{{ Will slept in a swing for the first 3 months of his life.. woops. But I found it acceptable because of his acid reflux. Just mold the plan to fit your lifestyle. }}

Y: You time. The best part of it all. Do something for yourself while your babe is snoozin' away! I won't lie, the first couple months, my time was usually spent sleeping. And I highly suggest it! I was able to rejuvenate and gear myself up for two a.m. feedings. And even now, 10 months later, this is still my most sacred time of day! I don't know when I would ever get my laundry done without nap time.. 

And voila- there you have it! Easy enough, right? But actually.. it's not that easy. There were so many times that I wanted to give up and forget the regimen. But I am so incredibly happy that I stuck it out. We've had our up's and down's with his sleeping, but for the most part, I can't complain at all. Will started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks. When we he about 4 months old, he started waking in the middle of the night for his binky. After two weeks of having to run across the house multiple times a night just to put his binky in, I got a little frustrated. We decided to let him cry it out. The first night he cried for an hour and a half. And it was pure torture for all of us. But the next night he literally cried for less than 5 minutes and then he never cried again. 
We've actually had to instill the cry it out method multiple times, for multiple reasons, which is completely normal. When we stopped swaddling. And after he has gotten better from being sick. (Darn those colds! They totally throw off babies sleeping patterns.)

Let me just quickly touch on the "cry it out" subject. Nothing is harder than listening to your baby scream and scream and screeeeaaaaamm. But do I believe it's going to cause negative psychological effects later on down the road? Absolutely not. I don't want to delve too deep into this because I know there are so many different opinions out there. The only thing that made this possible for me was knowing that I was doing it for him. I was doing it to make his life better. The actual crying part is not fun for him nor you. But you are saving your baby from months and months and maybe even years of unpleasant sleep habits. Those 3 nights of crying won't seem like a thing compared to the alternate option. And I'll leave it at that. 

All in all, I DO believe that every baby has the ability to be a, "good sleeper". Most babies don't come into this world as good sleepers. One of the most frustrating comments I hear is, "You're so lucky to have such a good sleeper." It is not luck, my friends. It was hard work! Every baby can accomplish this trait, it just takes a little discipline on the parents part (and by parents, I mean moms ;) )

Good, good luck!!! 


  1. LOVE this. Totally sending my sis-in-law (expecting her first) to this blog. It answers all her questions in a way I can't. Haha.

  2. We loved baby wise!! Totally worked for us, we have an amazing sleeper now :)


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