Ok, I know this is controversial. Some women swear by this book/method and others can’t stand it. I, personally, love Babywise! I used this method with my first son, who learned how to eat and sleep happily through the night with very few problems, and I intend to use it again with my second son.
When I pulled out my old book recently to freshen up my Babywise techniques, I remembered that I had made “CliffsNotes” for my husband. Right before our son was born, he was getting crushed at work with no time to read the book, and I wanted us to be on the same page. (Whatever method you choose, just make sure you and your partner are both on board.)
Anyway, I dug out my notes and thought I would share them with anyone who is interested in learning more about Babywise or just needs a cheat-sheet!
I fully respect every parent’s decision and am aware this is not for everyone, but these tips and techniques really worked for us:
Chapter One: Right Beginning
- Creating a loving home
- Keep your marriage strong
- Remembering each other and making time for each other
- Let your children see your love and friendship
- Assigning house chores so everyone knows his or her responsibilities to help
- Keep up with date night
- Have a couch talk each day
Chapter Two: Feeding Philosophies
- Clock Feeding (i.e. only following the clock): This doesn’t take into account growth spurts, and you have to assume that each feeding is successful.
- Child-Led Feeding (i.e. waiting for signs from the baby): Take note that babies who get too hungry may be too sluggish to give you the cues they are hungry.
- Babywise Parent-Directed Feeding (a combination of both): Hunger cue+ clock+ parent assessment= feeding time. You are aware of feeding problems, and you can use the clock when the baby gives no cue.
Chapter Three: Babies and Sleep
- Feed, wake, sleep cycle. In that order. Each step has to be good quality.
- It’s a myth that formula-fed babies sleep better.
- Don’t nurse or rock your baby to sleep. Put them down awake right before they are falling asleep so they can learn to sleep on their own.
- Try not to sleep with your baby.
Chapter Four: Facts on Feeding
- Parent-Directed Feeding recommends full feedings every 2.5-3hrs, 10-15mins on each breast.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before breast feeding.
- Use the nipple to stroke down on the lower lip. This causes reflex for feeding.
- Babies will want more food during growth spurts, which can last a few days.
- Burp babies when changing breasts.
- After the first week, 2-5 yellow stools and 7-9 wet diapers means baby is getting enough milk.
Chapter Five: Managing Your Baby’s Day
- Follow Feed-Wake-Sleep cycles, not Feed-Sleep
- You will then merge cycles as the baby grows and can drop feedings.
- Birth-2wks: Feeding time/Wake time= 30-50mins, then sleep 1.5-2hrs.
- 3-5wks: Feeding time/Wake time= 30-60mins, then sleep 1.5-2hrs.
- 6-12wks: Feeding time=30mins, Wake time=30-50mins, then sleep 1.5-2hrs.
- See chapter for sample daily schedules.
Chapter Six: Wake Times and Naps
- It’s good to let baby have “alone” time – monitored time during which they are discovering things on their own.
- Watch out for the fatigued baby.
- Healthy sleep has two parts: sleeping through the nap and napping in the crib.
- Let the baby see the light of day for the first feeding. This helps with their internal clock.
- After 12-16 weeks, when baby can lift his head, start tummy time- 30min/day.
- See chapter for specific sleep challenges and solutions.
Chapter Seven: When Your Baby Cries
- The American Academy of Pediatrics says newborns cry 1-4hrs a day and that’s normal.
- Letting baby cry it out and blocking every cry are both too extreme.
- Abnormal crying: during feeding, crying immediately after feeding, or in the middle of a sound nap.
- Abnormal crying usually means there is a problem and you need to respond immediately.
- Normal crying: before feeding, late afternoon/early evening “fussing time,” or going down for a nap.
- If the baby cries before nap time longer than 15mins, check on him/her.
- AAP says some babies have to cry to settle themselves before sleep. 15-20mins of crying does no harm.
- Crying should not last long before a nap if the child is truly tired.
- When the baby cries: 1. Think about where he is in his routine; 2. Ask what type of cry is it; 3. Take action.
Chapter Eight: Colic, Reflux, and the Inconsolable Baby
- Signs of stomach distress: folding of the legs, flailing arms, inconsolable crying, and passing gas
- Colic is not a digestive problem; it’s nervous system problem.
- GER, or gastroesophageal reflux consists of asymptomatic spitting up; no medical treatment necessary.
- GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, causes the baby intense pain and leads to feeding aversion and failure to thrive. This requires medical attention to decrease acid production in the stomach.
- Signs of reflux: crying through feedings or waking up in middle of naps crying in pain.
- Frequent burping and sitting the baby upright helps lessen discomfort.
- See chapter for tips on how to deal with colic, GER, and GERD.
Chapter Nine: Topic Pool
- Alphabetized topics to use as a reference.
I hope this was helpful as you figure out the parenting techniques that are right for you and your growing family!