March 1, 2010

On Becoming Baby Wise

Well, things have been a little different around here lately. Ever since reading and incorporating the Baby Wise philosophy into our daily lives, Momma has been happier, baby has been even more content settling into a predictable routine, and Daddy is happy that the family is in harmony :) I have seen the effects that a husband/wife bond has on family life first hand, and really buy into the notion that the core of the family is a healthy, loving spousal relationship, which in turn fosters a healthy parent-child relationship and provides the security and positiive sense of self children require. The best thing we can do for the baby is to provide a solid, loving home - and help baby understand that there is a structure and routine for his life.

As a Type-A personality who thrives on structure and control, the Baby Wise process has given me some peace of mind that there can be a flexible structure amidst the chaos and unpredictability of life with an infant. Ever since about 6 weeks, we have been incorporating a schedule that begins with a feeding at 7:30am, followed by some awake time, followed by a nap, until another feeding ~ 3 hours after the previous one. We repeat this schedule of eat, wake, sleep throughout the day until the "dreamfeed" at 10:30pm, which Ben doesn't really fully wake up for ... he nurses with his eyes closed and goes right back to sleep when he's finished. Then we let baby sleep until he wakes me up at some point in the night. It started that we would only go about 3 hours, then 3.5, then 4. I am usually up with him for about an hour during the middle of the night feeding(s). As he goes longer, it has reduced the number of times I am up with him during the night. We hope the trend of extending nighttime sleep will continue, until eventually he will sleep from his dreamfeed at 10:30pm until his waketime of 7:30am.

Of course every child is different, and every parent has their own opinions about what is best for their life/baby. I don't agree with everything Baby Wise espouses - like letting your baby cry it out - I just can't stand to do that, and for our baby, it works to attend to him and help him not be upset. He hardly ever cries and almost always goes right to sleep, so I know there is probably something he needs help with if he is crying. All in all though, I'm really happy we have found a reference to help provide structure for us and a healthy routine for Ben.

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