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Baby Routines, Sleep Schedules, BabyWise& the stylebabyLOG!

I’ve had this post mulling in my head for years. It seems like mamas are either on one side or the other: love BabyWise or think it’s terrible. I’m not going to debate whether it is the right choice for all babies; there is no such thing. What I am here to share is how I successfully used the BabyWise routine (as discussed in the book BabyWise by Gary Ezzo) to raise an exclusively breastfed, 75+%ile, excellent sleeper for a daughter. Whether BabyWise is the right choice for you is something only you can decide for yourself. There is plenty of information both against and in support of the method. I found it to be the single best decision I made for both me AND my baby during her infancy. Well, maybe second best, after choosing to breastfeed. :)

I make no secrets here about my love for order & routine. I like things in their place and schedules calm me. It was no surprise that when picking up BabyWise I was instantly drawn to the promise of the scheduled, sleeping child Ezzo described in the book. Knowing that I’d do 100% of the day & nighttime feedings by myself, I knew I needed something that provided me the structure that I had in the rest of my life, and luckily, for me, it did work out as beautifully as he described. But I approached BabyWise with a flexible mindset. & I think that is why it did work for us. Let me explain.

ROUTINE vs. SCHEDULE

I think the misunderstanding of these two words leads to a lot of criticism of BabyWise. Whether Ezzo meant for there to be a difference or not, my interpretation of BabyWise was heavily based on a routine, not a schedule–at least at first. My understanding:

Routine, to me, means that there is a specific order of events. I operate on routine. As it pertains to BabyWise, routine meant my baby was on an EAT-WAKE-SLEEP cycle. All events were conducted in that order. She ate, we played, she slept. At night, we skipped the playtime. But our routine was solid. This routine started at about 2.5/3 hour cycles, and eventually lengthened over time to 4ish hours each cycle.

Schedule, to me, means that something happens at a specific time during the day. As it pertains to BabyWise (and where I think parents run into big trouble) is when they choose, too early, to set their infant on a rigid schedule. (for example, baby will only eat at 8am, 11am, etc. & eating will not take place before those times) A rigid schedule was not something I was interested in (at first).

With an infant, I did not follow a schedule; I followed a routine.

How it Worked: You can look through my original stylebabyLOG week by week to see how & when my routine shifted into a schedule, but you will also notice that there was a lot of flexibility on any given day. At about 9 weeks, I began shifting towards a “goal” schedule, and you’ll notice that it is written at the top of most pages, something like 8, 11, 2, 5, 8, 11. BUT…my “schedule” always began when the baby woke up in the morning. I did not wake her to start the day. Once she was awake, we started our eat-wake-sleep cycles, which were of duration appropriate for her age. If her naps extended beyond the expected cycle duration, I would wake her up (example–as a newborn she was on 2.5/3 hr cycles, & if her naps took her past the 3 hour mark between feedings, I’d wake her up to nurse). This prevented her from getting too hungry and cranky and kept my milk supply up because we had consistent frequency. It also assured me that she’d go back to sleep the next cycle, because she did not get too much sleep. If she did wake up before the “cycle” was over, we’d play for a bit & I’d try to keep her on track for eating. For me–this worked beautifully.

By 13 weeks or so, we had it down. It was smooth. Looking back at my notes, it looks like I started a really regular schedule at about 6 months old. We never left the house in the morning for about a year–that morning nap was far too precious. It was one thing I insisted stay consistent. She went down at 10 & slept until about noon. Afternoon naps, back then, were a crap shoot. But the morning naps were my sanity. :)

Eventually, at about a year and a half old, she dropped the morning nap and went to a long afternoon nap only. As of now (she is currently 28 months old) she is up at about 8:30am, naps at 1:30/2 for at least 2 hours, and is in bed for the night at 8pm. She is an excellent nighttime sleeper. She always has been. This is why I am so productive–more on my “work hours” & how I balance it all here: mama the nightowl!)

BREASTFEEDING & BABYWISE

Part of the major criticism of BabyWise is from those who practice and believe in on-demand nursing. Don’t get me wrong, I never refused to feed my baby, but I drew a line at the very beginning that I was not to be used as a pacifier. I need boundaries & consistency. I was not one to just offer the boob if she seemed a little fussy. I offered a pacifier & stuck to our routine once I determined all her needs were met. & because of this–I loved nursing. I was completely committed and we made it a whole year without supplementing with formula and my daughter was 75+%ile for height & weight. She weaned herself at about 15 months.

One of my secret weapons, which I credit to at least partially influencing my excellent nighttime sleeper, was the concept of the DreamFeed. I picked this idea up from a book called The Baby Whisperer (which I also recommend–it was a good compliment to BabyWise). Basically, a dreamfeed occurs at 10pm-ish every night. Mama gently arouses the baby from sleep & offers a feeding before she goes to sleep for the night. Once the baby has eaten, the baby goes right back down to bed. No awake time. It’s like topping off the tank for the night. & it worked like a charm. BUT…I tweaked it to suit my schedule.

Since I am such a night owl (and usually go to bed at about 1-2am) I decided to offer a bottle of breastmilk at 10 pm, and add in a pumping session at about midnight every night. This allowed me more time between the last daytime nursing session (about 7pm) and her last feeding (10pm) before I went to sleep for the night. By pumping later than she ate, I also shortened the amount of time between the last nighttime feeding & the first morning feeding, which I think helped keep my milk production up. Despite my problem with excess lipase, I was able to store my fresh milk for about 24 hours before it spoiled.

CRIB TIME

I knew right from the start that I was not born to be a co-sleeper. I couldn’t let go of the worry that I was going to roll over on my baby and that alone kept me from ever being able to get adequate rest while she was laying next to me. I know this is a hot topic too, and there certainly is plenty of research that supports co-sleeping–but it is just not for me. I kept caroline in our room until I finished decorating her nursery, which was about 10 weeks. The transition from pack and play to her crib was seamless (I started with naps) and she spent a lot of time napping in the bugaboo during the first few weeks too.

I was never good at the “sleep when your baby sleeps” idea…so I refused to let myself become a sleep prop for my baby–I needed (and still need!!) that time away from her to recharge my mommy batteries & tackle my own to-do list. She happily went down on her own from a very young age, and still does–in her own bed.

RESPECTING PARENTING CHOICES

The thing that drives me the most nuts about sharing my success with BabyWise is always the “controversy” and criticism. I was recently reading a post from the amazing Tara Whitney (the topic was her special needs child, but the message was perfect) discussing judgment. We all judge. It’s just the way we are. But for some reason, parenting choices seem to bring out the *best* in us. Right? I loved her quote about right & wrong:

Why is is that when something works for us, and it doesn’t work for someone else, we assume they MUST be doing it wrong? The I’m right, you’re wrong mentality is so frustrating to me. & not looking at things as right/wrong or good/bad it is one of the greatest lessons that I have learned since becoming a parent–because every child is different. Who knows, maybe BabyWise will be a total failure on my next baby. I don’t know. So I am not going to judge you because it is what you choose to, or not to do. I’m happy to share what made it work for me–but maybe, just maybe, it was my baby. It was what she needed. Maybe the next won’t respond that way. You are going to get what you get–and on top of all the pressures and comparative thinking that we deal with as mothers, who needs anyone criticizing us for the way we feed/nap/wake our babies?

Each of us is entitled to make whatever parenting choices we want when it comes to our child (assuming, of course, that the child is not in danger). I know my way will not work for everyone, but it worked for me. & as someone who questions EVERYTHING before I believe it, I wanted to get my BabyWise success story out there. So you can look at it. See what might work for you. & create whatever it is that works in your home. I took tidbits from mommies that I admired and made them all part of my way. This is my hope for you–maybe something, a little tidbit or two–will bring you just a little more peace.

NOW…whew…did you make it this far? Well if you did–I want you to know that a big part of my success with BabyWise & what kept me sane was my stylebabyLOG. I created this product out of necessity and while you certainly don’t have to practice BabyWise to find it to be a useful tool in your home, you BabyWise mamas should LOVE the organization of the pages–because it does work so well with the method. SO….I am going to give one away! :)

To enter, leave me a comment with your BEST piece of new mommy advice.

Giveaway has ended.

**UPDATE 2012:

If you are just now reading this post & are struggling because babywise is JUST NOT WORKING, you are not alone. Babywise was a dream for my caroline, but everett was a completely different story. For more, head over to: WHEN BABYWISE FAILS.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

blake weber - routines are so critical to all of us. and we all have slightly different schedules. I love this article on the topic that shows the leading five experts on the topic and shows what they have written. They really all follow the same principles, fun to track their history: http://www.babywisebooks.com/babywise-method/. Blessings.

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Nicole' - Hi Shawna! Needing some Babywise advise :) Our lil’ guy Emmett Cade was the classic Babywise baby from day one until he was a little over 5 months old(now he is 6m). Around 5 months we stopped swaddling, because he was flipping over onto his stomach to sleep. Thought it might not be so good if he couldn’t use his hands if he got in a jam(face down n such)… Ever since, he will wake up during his naps after 20-30 minutes(not the 45 min Babywise intruder…totally different) and scream past our/his 20 minute scream limit. We have no routine and he is constantly cranky, except after he wakes from his night sleep(8pm-7am) which of course then he is his normal happy self…

Do you have any thoughts that would help this new mom(me), who knows no other mom’s using the Babywise method…all alone in this Babywise land that once worked so very well :)

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-shawna- - With my first, I initiated the bottle at about 3 weeks & used a pumped bottle for the dream feed nightly. She was a perfect sleeper, so it was easy to feed her a specific amount regularly. My second is a totally different story. I never bothered to pump and use a bottle (because a: my milk spoils w/in 24h due to excess lipase & b: he was high needs and nursed nearly every two hours for eight months and there was no time or energy to pump.) He never would take a bottle, still won’t! But I’ve only tried a half dozen times because it’s easier for me to just feed him, except I can’t leave him because no one else can feed him. Not awesome.

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tammy c. - Reading your blog makes me feel like I can handle my baby’s eat-sleep schedule… fingers crossed! My question is, when did you start bottle feeding? My baby is at the 3 week mark and while I have introduced the pacifier, I have not done so with the bottle. Also, were your night time feedings on the bottle?

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When BabyWise Fails (and what’s not wrong with my baby) » styleberry BLOG - [...] was awesome. I thought Ezzo was BRILLIANT. I loved his method (more on how I successfully used it here). This mom thing? Cake walk. I was sleeping seven hours straight at seven weeks postpartum. What is [...]

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When BabyWise Fails (and what’s not wrong with my baby) » styleberry BLOG - [...] was awesome. I thought Ezzo was BRILLIANT. I loved his method (more on how I successfully used it here). This mom thing? Cake walk. I was sleeping seven hours straight at seven weeks postpartum. What is [...]

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tania - Wow!!! I felt like i was reading my own journal when reading your post. I feel exactly the same way! I’m on baby #3 and doing babywise for the third time. I love ky children so much but if I hadn’t found babywise with #1 I would have lost my mind!! I NEED the schedule. And both my boys (4,2 yrs) and excellent sleepers. Working on getting baby girl (9wk) there too!!

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-shawna- - absolutely! my second taught me a huge lesson–babywise has NOT worked the second time around! He is just a totally different kid, making me a very different kind of mother!

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Maureen - I agree parents are free to choose. But what I see often is parents choose their philosophy and then attempt to plug their baby into it. If that works-great. But if the family is miserable, and nobody know if the baby is crying due to fatigue or hunger or what then maybe a new approach is in order.

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Project 52 | TWENTY EIGHT » styleberry BLOG - [...] He’s the baby I used to hear other mothers talk about. I used to judge and compare my perfectly scheduled babywised baby. [...]

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Everett the sleep thief (& what is finally working) » styleberry BLOG - [...] the day has also helped. We’re not quite on the perfect babywise eat-wake-sleep routine like last time, but we’re making it work for him. Every baby is sooooo different. [...]

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Haley - We have the exact same babywise story, Avery is even currently on the same schedule!:) we loved it! having a 2nd has definitely been way more difficult even with following a routine but were doing our best…I’m not sure how it’s going to work when myla needs 2 naps because then well be stuck at home all day for kids napping!!! I unfortunately don’t have advice because myla is only 2.5 weeks old and I’m still learning, looking forward to finding out what you’re having and good luck with the rest of the pregnancy!

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-shawna- - GIVEAWAY COMMENTS NOW CLOSED. Advice welcome. :)

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Ara - My best peice of advice is to make other new mommy friends! Most of my friends are single and childless, so the best thing I did was have weekly outings to spend time with new mommies I met at work or la leche league meetings. Having someone to vent about breastfeeding, not getting sleep, and all the other new mommy hurdles is priceless!

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Kimberly Ross - To know things will be messy. Things will get crazy. You might be scared or not know what to do. But as a parent that’s ok. You will always figure it out and do what’s best for YOU and YOUR family. No matter what everyone will tell you. You have to do what’s right for you all. When you look into their eyes, you know that some how it will be ok.

Also know, its ok to cry! Its part of being a mother. Its a healthy way to keep it together.

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Erin - Make sure you AND your partner agree on how to raise the baby. As much as we as moms want complete control all the time, it’s important to stay united as a team. Nothing is worse then sticking up for your views and choices related to be, to find your teammate is playing for another team!

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Katie Greenlaw - My best advice is to follow your inner Mommy voice. I was told that my 3 week old just had horrible reflux….I knew that it was more. I kept hounding the doctors until we were rushed to the ER, diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, and an emergency surgery. If you have that Mommy voice nagging you, follow it. We know best :)

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Carolyn M - Don’t forget about your husband and spend as much time with the little bundle of joy as you can!

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Teresa - My advice is for all the couples :) Both mom and dad get extremely tired those first few months and my advice is to step in un-asked to help out when the other person is clearly starting to wear out, it will be so helpful, appreciated, and the favors will be returned. It definitely helps to keep your relationship happy! :)

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Jami - Oh wow, I hope I win! I am just looking into BabyWise, I’m a little late (she’s 7 weeks old) but I’m hoping it works!Oops! Blame it on the lack of sleep! Best mommy advice, don’t follow anyones plans for you and your baby, sure your baby loved whatever but that doesn’t mean yours will and also NEVER say never.

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Ann - Shawna, thanks for generously sharing what works for you–on so many baby and style topics! Mamas need to share and support, not judge/criticize one another. I’ll be ordering a stylebabyLOG for my administrator who is due this spring. Wish I’d had one when I started 8 months ago :)Oops, forgot to add my advice: remember that “this too shall pass” whenever your little one seems like s/he’s going to cry forever, or never sleep well, or whatever. It really does pass. When you and your partner lose patience with one another, try to remember “we’re both working really hard right now” before you say something hurtful.

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Erin W. - In reading everyone else’s “best mommy advice,” I’ll leave something that doesn’t have to do with BabyWise. :) You will obviously be so tired in those first few months and not always up to cooking something for meals besides the super easy. Starting several months before, double all your recipes and stock your freezer with things you can thaw in the morning and have dinner ready to go that night! You will be so glad you did! :)

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Laura - As many have shared, TRUST your mommy instinct and be DETERMINED! No one in my family or around me had breastfed before, so when i had my son 10 mos. Ago I knew I wanted to brstfed but had no resources. I read alot , ommited the voices of people who judged and told me to just go with formula, its easier. After struggling with the brstfdg for about 3mos. I was determined to make it work somehow so i have been exclusively breastPUMPING and has worked out great! So no matter what people say or you feel judged, you have to trust youself and be eager to want to make it work for you and your family!

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Lani - The best piece of advice – have so far (our first baby is 9 weeks) is to talk and connect with others mammas. This has been my sanity! Even those who are completely and entirely different from you – hearing both the different ways to parent and the similarities in our struggles has been comforting and a joy I did not expect to experience.

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Aja - Great post! I love that you are so upfront and honest with what worked for your family. I wish more mom bloggers did the same! There is nothing like feeling a kinship or just a sense of being normal when experiencing Mommyhood for the first time. My advice? Trust your instincts. You know what’s best for your baby!

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Nicole - At this point, I don’t have much advice to give–my sweet little boy is 3 weeks old!! The one thing I remember most that someone told me was: enjoy each moment. They are only little once. Hold them and snuggle with them as much as you and they want. And that is exactly what I am doing!! I LOVE the newborn age–3am feedings included and I am just trying to soak up every moment. I don’t ever want to forget–the funny faces, the newborn smell, the cuddles, the sweet noises, and all that he does!! I just wish I could freeze time for a while!!

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Nicole - I’m 28 weeks pregnant with my first, so I’m not sure I’m the best person for new mommy advice, but as a special ed. teacher I think one big lesson to learn is that children can feel and sense your mood even if they can’t show it. If you are stressed or angry, it will show in your face and demeanor, even if you think you’re hiding it. Obviously, we can’t be calm all the time, but controlling your emotions is key to working with kids!

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Lauren - The best advice I could offer is to research everything and then decide what is and what is not for you. There is not a “one size fits all” parenting style, so you do what you feel most comfortable with. If you decide to breastfeed, keep the number to your lactation consultant or the La Leche League nearby because you will need support. Also, don’t let other people tell you that you “need to supplement” or “6 months is long enough”. Don’t judge other moms for doing things differently than you do, every mom and every baby are different and it’s amazing what you can learn from other moms.

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Christin - My advise is to make your own decisions about raising your kids, you can listen to everyone else’s opinion and then make a decision on your own. You are the parent!

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Helen - before your first child arrives determine whether you are going to breastfeed or not and stick with it. If you are not sure you want to breastfeed, then you are likely better off to just begin with formula. There is a lot of pressure out there to breastfeed.

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Michele - My best advise is don’t get frazzled if soemthing doesn’t go as planned because there are always hiccups along the way. I still laugh at the laundry list of chores my husband and I were going to get done while he and I were both home with the baby in the first few months. Little did we know that our little guy and my body (low milk supply) had a completely different idea. :)

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Tenille B - This is actually why I started reading your blog. Well that and the beautiful photos. LOL! I loved Babywise and it was refreshing to see someone talk about it intelligently without bashing it. I look at it this way, I created the routine in my house early on with Babywise so she started sleeping thru the night on her own. I find it funny, the people that bash Babywise are the ones that eventually wind up Febering their kids to get them to sleep. Which is much worse having to hear your child scream for hours. My baby slept great and we never had to cry it out. We will be having #2 and I love your organizer idea. I wrote all of the same info down with #1, but on a sheet of paper. Yours is way prettier. Good job mama, it looks beautiful!

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Nikki - My best advice is to do what works for you! You are the momma and dont let others discourage you with their own input if it goes against what is working for you and your baby! Mother instints really over weigh anyone elses opinion!

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Cristin - no two pregnancies or babies are a like, even withing a family. I think you parent for each child, and of course based on your beliefs. My first is 19months old and very one talks about how sweet and wonderful she is…but is is not a sleeper, doesn’t want to miss anything! and has been that way from the moment she arrived. She is in our bed a lot, cause that is what works for her. We never thought we would have a baby in bed, but that is what she needs. I am due very soon with our 2nd and I tease that this one will come out swaddled and sleeping in a crib not wanting us around when he sleeps and sleeping all night, lol. Whatever it is we know that we will know what is best for him, not a stranger that has just met my child on the street. My fav. was a lady who came up to us in target in a baby voice (hate the baby voice, should have seen my little ones face, lol) and said her feet just had to be cold cause she had no socks on and what was her mama thinking and on and on…my Child figured out how to take socks and blankets off at a very early age and I am convinced will always be that way, so why fight it chase her down and put them on if she is safe and warm. I never offer advice to the random mom who is struggling at the store, I have been there…maybe instead help her with her bags or buy her a coffee, lol.

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Meredith Ryncarz - Best advice is to trust your instincts! Our doctor kept telling us not to feed our son to much but he never slept more than an hour or two because he was hungry! I gave birth to an infant that went home wearing 3 month old clothes. His needs were different and I realized VERY quickly that I had to trust my instincts and advocate for the needs of my baby. The doctor may have been well educated on how to treat average kiddos but had to be reminded that ours was much bigger! If your mommy alarm is going off . . Trust it.

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Abby - My best new mommy advce is that YOU are the expert on your child… Not your parents, your friends or even your doctor! God created YOU to be the mother of that child for a reason.

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Krista - As a first time mom of a precious 6 week old boy I have learned that everyone has their opinion and magic success story, but you must do what’s right for you and baby. You may take what they say, smile politely and throw it out the window, adapt it to fit you better or it may really be the perfect piece of advice. All things considered, YOU know best for you and baby!!

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Dana - As a new mom myself, I would say my best advice would be to remember to take care of yourself too. If you don’t take good care of yourself,you can’t take the best care of your little one.

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Mary - laugh. a lot. this is what i always tell new mamas. especially during the rough times. if you can manage to laugh it really makes a huge difference on your mood and babies love it!

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Shanon - My advice is to listen to your own instincts and enjoy it as much as possible. It goes too fast. You can’t spoil your baby or hold them too much.

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Cathy - My best piece of Mommy advice is to always set a good example with your actions. Whether it is always holding the door for others, being friendly and polite when out shopping or the way you show affection to your spouse at home, your children are always watching you and taking it all in. Your children idolize you so always be the “best you” when you are with them :)

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Megan - AWESOME post – I’ve learned so much from watching you raise your beautiful daughter and look forward to all that is ahead with v2. These books are wonderful reads and just like you I was all about routine which led to a schedule in due time. My best advice would be to take time for your self; however that works for you. Having some mommy time is important be it an appointment at the salon or 1am creative time :)
What a wonderful quote – I know often I am too quick to judge – a good reminder that different is just that, different not wrong!

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Tara T - love this post! i didn’t totally babywise my first (but used some of the ideas) but i wholeheartedly agree that what works for one may or may not work for someone else or their baby and each mom has the right to choose and shouldn’t be judged. my best new mom advice – get a great baby carrier/sling/wrap. my baby k’tan saved me many times!

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Amanda - My advice is also to trust your gut. Love your blog and your new business venture!

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Dina - Every. Single. Person. Will. Have. “Useful”. Advice. Listen, take it in and use what works for you in your own way. You can do and be more than you ever thought possible before children. And if you can find them, get yourself an amazing group of mommy friends. There are certain things only another mommy can empathize with and understand.

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Cara - I would say that my best advice is to do what feels right for your family. Some people can’t imagine co-sleeping, but it is the only way I get sleep. Some are okay with letting the baby cry, I can’t do it. Some choose to stay home and others want/need to work. You have to do what works for you and your baby!

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Anna - The best thing my husband and I were told was, when someone is giving their opinion or advice is that it is worth as much as you paid for it…sometimes it is sure nice to remind myself of that when I am out and about and a random person decides to feel so inclined to tell me what I am doing is right or wrong.

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Heather - Loved your post. I too used Babywise much the way you describe with lots of flexibility. I’ve been afraid to admit it most of the time bc of the strong negative reactions I get from so many people.

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Lisa - My best piece of advice is to go easy on yourself. Yes you will have doubts and moments where you feel like you have no clue what you are doing…But dont beat yourself up over it. It is hard enough to deal with the lack of sleep, the roller-coaster hormones, and lets not forget the responsibility of caring for a newborn…dont make it harder by beating yourself up. It does get easier and you do gain more confidence :)
Lisa recently posted..Wind Storms & Power Outages :(

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Meghan - I don’t have any great momma advice – because I’m expecting number 1 in May! But, I’m so excited to get my hands on your baby log – I’ve added it to my online registry already! I’m a definite notetaker and I love that you’ve shared this with us, saving all of us the time of trying to find a system that works!

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Candace - Babywearing! It’s saved my life over and over.

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Alison - I love this article and agree with many, if not all of your points. My best mommy advice was received during my breastfeeding class before my daughter was born. The advice was as a new (or experienced) mother, anyone and everyone will be telling you one thing or another to do or not do. Look at the person’s child(ren) and if you overall would like your child to be like theirs, soak it all in, but if not, just smile and nod :) Of course all children are different, but to me it made a lot of sense!

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Rachel - Treat yourself with the same kindness & compassion you give to your babies. Oh- and for moms of twins… Hang in there!!!!! ;-)

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Ashley - To the mommies: You are a model. You now have the biggest and BEST responsibility you will ever have. Cherish it…and your babies will cherish you.

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Hallie Sneeden - As a new momma to a 4 week old I’m not sure that I have a whole bunch of advice, but the one thing I remind myself of DAILY is to be patient and kind with myself. I don’t have all of the answers all the time and I’m not a perfect momma…but that’s okay.

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Jen P - listen to others advice, but follow your own instincts

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Sarah - Great message. I certainly believe that every child has their own way of needing and doing things–just as we do as adults. I think my advice would be to be present in the moment. If you are playing with your child/children, focus on that. Don’t be worrying about how dusty the table looks, etc. Enjoy that time playing, dust later. That time is such a gift, enjoy it.

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Andrea - The best new mommy advice I can offer is to enjoy each and every moment with that tiny little baby. Eventually you will sleep again, your breasts will go back to normal (somewhat), your constant flow of houseguests will dwindle, the 2 a.m. cries will be silenced by sleep, and that tiny little baby will grow up into a beautiful person. ENJOY this time!

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Kelly - Well said! I read babywise during the late night feeding sessions with my brand new baby. Maybe it was because my husband brought the book home and it wasn’t my idea, but I didn’t like it. I didn’t want a schedule, I’d feed my baby when he was hungry. HA! At 12 weeks neither of us were sleeping, a mama pointed me to The Baby Whisperer and when we found our routine and put in the work of breaking bad habits life was amazing. We both slept so well! I should probably read babywise again for this next baby now that I’m not so jaded ;-).

My best piece of preggo mama advice is to keep exercising. The first time around I sat on the couch and gained 48 lbs. This time around (at 27 weeks) I still crossfit 3 times a week and I’m setting personal records with olympic lifts every week! Just because we are pregnant doesn’t mean we can only walk and swim. :-)
Kelly recently posted..dreaming of fall • Bozeman Family Photographer

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Tammy - As a new mommy to 10 week old twin girls I get tons of advice and opinions almost daily :) The best advice I can give to other new mommies is to be persistent and don’t let other people’s opinions and advice get you down. So many people laughed when I said I planned on breastfeeding and wanting to have the girls on a routine/schedule. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been exactly easy (one baby latched right away and the other took 6 weeks- I had to pump for her) and trying to get the girls to sleep at the same time has been fun, lol. But I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m not giving up on the routine/schedule just yet ;)

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Cindy - I don’t have any mommy advice yet. I’m expecting twin girls any day now. I love rEading about your experiences and great advice. I would love to win one of your baby logs. Hopefully, it will also work for twins.

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Gabi - I will never forget when you came to the house to take Finn’s newborn pictures and you asked me as I looked at my watch if I was doing babywise. The reality was I had NO idea what you were talking about and remember thinking…what in the world is the lady saying. That night I got online and looked it up….I then realized that I was doing babywise in my own way. I made a decision from the start that my type A personality would not work if I could not get in a ROUTINE. I love how you pulled scheduling and Routine apart, they are two very different things. I needed the Routine I needed to know what was going to happen next…if it happened on time great if it didn’t that was ok but I needed to know what was happening next. With all that said the best advice I can give is listen to your gut, listen to people even if you think they are crazy, because you might need that advice later and just remember your not alone. Your not the only one who has pretended that it was not her baby screaming at the top of his lungs disturbing the whole store. (Finn’s favorite thing to do right now)

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Sunray - Thanks for this post Shawna. It came at the right time and I needed to hear it. I think my best advice is to do whatever works for you and enjoy what you doing, even if it’s rocking your baby to sleep or being a human pacifier. They grew up so quickly. Don’t waste time trying to do right by others. It’s between you and your baby.

Good luck with your #2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and encouragement!

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Heather - Best new mommy advice? That YOU were created to be the perfect mother to your child. And YOUR child was created as the perfect child for you. We are perfectly matched! What a gift of confidence to know we are designed for one another…

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Amber - My best new mommy advice is to give cloth diapering a try. We started using cloth diapers with our first in order to save money but 2 years and 2 kids later, I LOVE it for so many other reasons.

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Brandi - Bring the baby tub into the shower with you so you can take a shower and still watch your baby. I recommend getting the shower warm and the water in the tub before you start to undress your baby! Even if they cry for a few minutes, you know they are alive and well and hopefully they’ll learn to love splashing around!

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Hannah C - I used babywise on my daughter as well and it was wonderful! My advice would be to always follow through with what you tell your child and be consistent :)

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Julie - My advice is to be aware that you are constantly learning and just as you figure something out…it changes. It still amazes me how often things change.

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Jenna Walsh - Enjoy every second of it and never take any moment for granted!! Before you know it they are off to school, then driving and college and pretty soon getting married and starting their own family!! (I dont have any kids that age, but just watching my nieces and nephews over the last 9 years, I can promise time flies!)

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Brianna - *breastfed

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Kristin S. - The best advice I have been given is this:

If you don’t agree with the unsolicited parenting advice that is being forced upon you, just “smile and nod, my friend, smile and nod” and then go about your day your OWN way. ;)

P.S. Co-sleeping wasn’t for us either…due to the fact that the prior owners of our house lost their infant to a co-sleeping accident in the very bedroom that DH and I use now (and YES, they were practicing safe co-sleeping!!). I, too, used bits from both Babywise and Baby Whisperer and my 2 yr old sleeps 12 hours too, LOVES her bed, and we EBFed for 16 months! So I encourage you to continue sharing what worked for you, because it sounds like we had similar routines with our babies and we both were successful! It might work for other mamas out there too! Thanks for sharing.

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Emilee - My best piece of Mommy advice is to not worry about what the books or anyone else says–you have to do things the way that works the best for you and your child. You can get ideas from other people, but don’t worry about following a formula if it’s not working for you.

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Ashley - What I always tell people is pretty much what you’ve said… you can get advice and ideas from other moms, but if it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it! Try something else. Do whatever makes you and your babe the happiest.

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Tabitha - Mommy knows best!

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Brianna - Very interesting read! As a mom of two young boys, I believed in educating myself but relying on primarily maternal instincts and routine (exactly as you described above). I really tried avoiding specific “methods” as I noticed that each one, as there were many benefits with each, always seemed to compromise my natural instincts in some way. Funny though, I raised both breasted, happy long sleepers and chunky babes similarly to BabyWise… Who wouldve known?! :) thanks for this post!

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Ash - I love your comment regarding just because someone does it different doesnt mean they are doing it wrong. Such a lesson for so many to learn. I am about to take my first step into the mommy world in June and with twins on the way I am leaving my options open. I am a Type A personality, so organization and schedule is my thing, however my option will be open since I am new to this all. Thank you for always sharing your joys and struggles. You are truly inspiring!!

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Meaghan - My best advice-order diapers on Amazon Mom and use the miracle blanket every night! It worked for us and got our daughter sleeping through the night at 5 weeks old!

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Casey U. - My best piece of advice is to follow your heart because in the end you know what is best for your baby. My son got sick once and barely had a fever but he was miserable. When I took him to the dr. he kind of criticized me because he hadn’t had a fever before I brought him and he told me it was probably just a cold. Turns out it was strep, and I have successfully diagnosed it 2 more times when the dr. thought it was nothing. You know your baby better than anyone else.

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Tessa - I don’t have any advice just yet, I’m due in just a couple of weeks with our first! But, I sure did appreciate and enjoy your advice, and I would LOVE a stylebaby LOG to help get us started on the right track! :)

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Shalini - Best advice : do what works for you and your family. Be flexible, always.

I loved this post, by the way, extremely informative and you just telling what worked for you. I hope I remember how to take care of a newborn, it’s been a couple years!

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Zantia - I love what you said about taking pieces of things and making them work for you and about each child being different. I found that to be so true with my two boys. Advice: look to your child for cues and trust yourself. Take what the books say as guidance not the end all be all. Most importantly know that your plan may change and that’s okay don’t be too hard on yourself. Mama’s got to do what’s best for HERSELF and baby.

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Jessica R. - My best advice…be consistent and as Jennifer said “trust your gut.” People will give you all kinds of unwanted advice and at the end of the day you make the choice for your baby. I wish I had stuck more to the routine of babywise. Instead I let others talk down about the routine and I decided to “please” the “crowd.”
Remember…it’s YOUR baby. Love on it and follow what’s best for YOUR family (even if you are not pleasing others in your family).

Shawna, CONGRATS! This is awesome and I can’t wait to get my hands on one for #2 coming in May!

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Laura - My advice is that you can start fresh tomorrow. That doesn’t mean WAIT until tomorrow…it means you have a DO-OVER tomorrow. It allowed me to give my perfectionistic-self a break.

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Sarah - It’s just a phase. The newborn late-evening crying spells -just a phase. Seeming like baby is hungry all. the. time. – just a phase. Getting teeth and biting you while nursing -even that – just a phase :)

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donya - For new parents (and something I definitely have to remind myself of daily): The challenge you face today/this week/this month, will likely be different tomorrow/next week/next month. Example: The never-ending fight to get your toddler to sleep might be a struggle this week, but next week, it will likely be different. It definitely helped me when I was a new parent, remembering that there are phases and each phase seems to pass quickly, though it doesn’t seem so when you are dealing with it.

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tara - Best Advice: don’t correct how the father does it. When he chooses to be involved, engaged, change a diaper, play, read, feed, whatever and however he does it, appreciate it and thank him for it. He won’t do it your way; he’ll do it his way. That’s why there are two of you. I’ve seen so many women talk about wanting their husbands’ involvement only to correct every move they make. Let’s praise and thank the men in our lives for all they do!

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Chelsea - I loved your post and I am so excited to try out the Stylebaby log with No. 2 (coming in April).

The best advice I received was to wake them from naps during the day (as hard as it is) and let them sleep during the night. Lots of babies get their day and night reversed and I think this is a great way to avoid that. :)

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Alena - First…I absolutely love your blog. I have a 21 month old son and baby #2 on the way and, like you, co-sleeping is just not for me. Our son has never slept with us and he loves sleeping in his bed. In fact, if I stand next to it when I’m holding him, he reaches for it and wants to lay down. :) But my best advice is…do what YOU think is right for YOUR child. Mama (or daddy) always knows best. :) I would LOVE to win a stylebabyLOG!!

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Meghan - I don’t need a log, just to let you know that you’re an amazing mom. I practiced Babywise with both of my kids, they both (to this day) crave the routines that we’ve set in place and have evolved to fit us over the course of 4 years, 2 kids, and starting preschool. I can’t imagine the chaos that would ensue were they (or I) left to my own devices. Congratulations on all your personal and professional accomplishments. There, that’s my allotted sunshine and rainbows for the week!

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Kelley T - The best advice I got was to take care of your relationship with your husband. The best way to be a good mother and father is to be a good husband and wife. I can be so much more for my son when my husband and I are doing great!
Kelley T recently posted..The Little Mister is 2!!!

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Megan - This is a hard question for me. :) But I think as hard as it is, don’t listen to other people when you make your decisions. I had my husband (obviously) and one close friend (whose daughter is 5 weeks older so we were in “it” together) who I would talk to and bounce ideas off of to make decisions and wonder through the journey of parenthood. Anyone other than your close group that you trust is just background noise, so tune them out! Honestly, the lady at Starbucks might know what she is talking about in her realm of parenting but not mine, so that 2 seconds of advice is worthless! :)

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Christina - My best piece of advice for a new mommy would be to enjoy your little one! Like that cheesy country song says, “Let them be little, because they’re only that way for a while.” Sometimes you just need to ignore that pile of laundry and snuggle with your baby!

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Emily W. - Advice: Choose your non-negotiables and hold tight to them. If you are going to exclusively breastfeed, don’t let someone dissuade you, if you want to make your own babyfood, do it, but choose some things that aren’t as important to you that you can let go of. Life is too short to miss time with your little one worrying about things that don’t matter. Make your priorities and stick with those, everything else can wait!

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Jennifer - My best advice- trust your gut. It’s the best weapon you have as a mother. Everyone has an opinion and many of them can cause you to doubt yourself, but you know what is best for your little ones so have confidence in yourself. Oh, and keep the wine handy…never underestimate the value of wine ;)

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