the great baby wise update.

Disclaimer: This is a total stereotypical mommy blogger type of post. If you’re not a mommy, this will be extremely boring to read. Feel free to exit blog immediately and enjoy some sort of non-mommy activity, like shopping at Target by yourself or getting tipsy at happy hour with friends.

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to try to get Everett on a schedule. It’s been two whole weeks, and I am somewhat shocked to say: I THINK IT’S WORKING.

When I first started reading Baby Wise, I freaked out a little bit. The book stressed the importance of starting this routine from birth, and I was worried that we were too late starting it at eleven weeks. Looking back, I wish I would have started around six weeks. From birth to six weeks, I was perfectly content feeding on demand and letting Everett sleep whenever he wanted to sleep. We were both new to the game (me new to motherhood and him new to….the world), and I can’t imagine enforcing a schedule during that time. I loved the feeling of freedom and flexibility while we established good breastfeeding and got to know each other.

Weeks 6-11 were a little rougher because the sleep deprivation started catching up with me. We had no routine, and there were no “regular” feeding times, especially during the night. Sometimes he got up twice at 1:00 and 4:00, other times he got up at 2:00, 3:30, 5:00, and 6:00. There was no rhyme or reason—every night was a guessing game. Which, to be fair, is pretty expected with a newborn. But after eleven weeks of only sleeping one or two hours at a time (sometimes three if we got lucky), I was ready to try something new.

Enter: Baby Wise. I was hesitant to follow this book wholeheartedly, mostly because it seemed very stressful, so Brett and I agreed to use it as a flexible guideline. We had already been following the eat-play-sleep routine, but immediately implemented the following three elements:

1. Switched from feeding on demand to feeding every three hours. Our goal was to feed eight times a day (7-10-1-4-7-10-1-4).

2. Enforced a nap schedule based on a 60-minute awake time. That is, we are only keeping Everett awake for 60 minutes at a time. After 60 minutes, we put him straight down for a nap.

3. Let him cry it out before every nap and bedtime.

The first day we let Everett cry it out was ROUGH. He screamed all day long, refused to nap, and had me second guessing everything. But the very next day? He was eating every three hours and taking two hour naps. The day after that was somewhere in between, but I noticed a few key changes fairly quickly:

1. Everett cut out the 1:00am and 4:00am feedings. He hasn’t woken up before 3:00am since the third night of Baby Wise, so I knew for sure that the 1:00am feeding was done. After experimenting a bit last week, I realized that if Everett woke up at 3:00am or 4:00am and I didn’t feed him, he was still a) able to fall back asleep, and b) wake up happy between 6:00-7:00am. And just like that, I was done with middle of the night feedings! He now eats six times a day at 7:00am, 10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, and a dream feed at 10:00pm.

2. Out of the fourteen days, Everett has slept through the night three times. Sleeping through the night, in our house, is defined as sleeping from 10:00pm-6:00am without any crying or fussing whatsoever. HALLELUJAH. Three nights ago, we moved Everett into his room and it has made the biggest difference in my sleep (and let’s be honest, overall happiness). Now, he usually wakes up 1-2 times a night, cries for 10 minutes, and puts himself back to sleep. We can watch him on the monitor to make sure he’s okay, and let me just tell you: letting a baby cry in their room versus your room is the difference between being 95% asleep and being 95% awake. I’ll let you guess which one I prefer.

3. Everett stopped crying before bedtime. He doesn’t need to be rocked or swayed or cuddled to death, we just swaddle him (with a Swaddle Me), kiss him goodnight, and set him down in his crib. Sometimes he falls asleep without a peep, other times he babbles for 20 minutes and then falls asleep. He still cries before naps, usually about five-ten minutes, but he goes down for bed at 7:30pm on the dot and doesn’t make a fuss.

Of course, we are still learning and making adjustments as we go along. I think part of implementing any sleep training or scheduling method is figuring out how to make it work for your baby and your family. We live a pretty active lifestyle and are out of the house a lot, so I knew a super rigid schedule would never work for us. I wanted Baby Wise to be more go-with-the-flow for our family. Because of that, a lot of days don’t go according to “plan” and sometimes it can be frustrating to get back on schedule. But, overall, it has definitely added some routine and predictability to our days, which I am really enjoying. It’s nice to know that I can take a shower during his first nap, eat lunch during his second nap, work during his third nap, etc.

If you’re thinking about trying Baby Wise, I found this blog super helpful. Here are my tips (take em or leave em):

-Don’t be OCD about the schedule; you’ll drive yourself crazy.
-It’s totally okay to take a shower or otherwise distract yourself while your baby cries it out before a nap.
-Make sure any caretakers (husband, mom, babysitter) are on board with the plan and willing to stick to it.
-Don’t be scared to try different things and alter your variables. Perfecting your baby’s schedule is a never ending challenge because it’s constantly changing.
-Once your baby starts sleeping through the night, MOVE THEM INTO THEIR OWN BEDROOM. You will sleep so, so much better.
-If you don’t already have one, invest in a video monitor.
-Be patient! (I know, ironic coming from me, but it’s true).

Mommas, did I miss any tips and tricks? Any other advice for new moms trying to put babies on a schedule?

This entry was posted in be and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to the great baby wise update.

  1. Allie says:

    Hey Ashlee! I’ve been stalking your blog for the past couple months since I have a baby boy about a month younger than yours!

    We don’t do babywise per se, but we do eat/wake/sleep and try to keep his periods of wakefulness short. Right now, I’m struggling with when to go out and do errands, meet friends for coffee, etc. since his waketime is so short and he doesn’t nap as well when we are out anymore. What do you do?

    P.S. The dream feed has been a-mazing for us. Whoever invented that deserves a prize 🙂

    • Ashlee says:

      Ah, the how/when to leave the house question. We are still figuring this out, and I am sure there are better solutions than what I am going to tell you, but I try to do one of three things;

      1) If I know we need to leave for something quick, like a stop at Target, etc, I plan the outing for his awake time. I get everything ready for us to leave the house while he’s still napping, feed him when he wakes up, and then leave right after that. We are usually back in the car by naptime, and then he goes straight into his crib when we get home.

      2) If I know we need to leave for something longer, I plan the outing during nap time, and wear him in the Moby or Ergo because 90% of the time he sleeps well that way. Example: Twice a week I meet my friend at the park to walk a few miles. Everett naps from 8-10, so we get in the car at 8:00 (he usually falls asleep on the way there), and then I wear him in the Ergo while we walk for an hour, and we’re usually home by 9:45, which is perfect because he eats at 10:00.

      3) If I know I want Everett to be awake for an outing (ie, baby yoga or a play date), sometimes I’ll (gulp) wake him up from his nap early so we can ARRIVE at our destination at feeding time, and he’ll be awake for playing after that.

      Like I said, we are still figuring this out. Some days I have to be places at certain times or errands run longer than usual and everything gets messed up. I am pretty strict about feeding times, and more flexible on naps, since those are somewhat different every day. Everett rarely sleeps the entire two hours, so I am still trying to perfect his ideal awake time. I’m sure as soon as I think I have figured it out, it will change the week after that. 😉

      Congrats on your baby boy!

  2. Kate says:

    I {respectfully} disagree with your disclaimer. I’m not a mama yet but I found this very interesting! (But maybe that’s because I have a teensy bit of baby fever!) I really enjoyed reading about your experience and I’m filing it away for when the time comes!

    • Ashlee says:

      Glad you found this interesting, despite my disclaimer. We need to meet up at the farmer’s market soon! Maybe when it’s not 103 degrees? I want you to meet Ev!

  3. Natalie says:

    Ashlee! I just wanted to say that this experienced nanny is so excited for you! I am always thrilled when parents are following some sort of schedule because a.)I have only seen it work (though I know that’s not every baby), b.)you must be feeling so much better and c.) it makes it WAY easier for the nanny to follow. So, for what it’s worth, your future childcare will thank you and I’ve always thought to follow something similar when we have kids, so it is always helpful (even for us non-mommies) to read experience and wisdom. Keep up the great work, Mama!
    Natalie´s last blog post ..OK, U.K.

  4. kelsey says:

    I’m so glad you’ve had some success with your schedule! The predictability it gave us was exactly what I needed. Roo is 5 months and while she slept for 12 hours without making a sound for a couple months, she now has a harder time going to sleep and getting back to sleep (the newborn sleepiness has worn off!). So we are back to square one, and I just love reading mommy posts! Keep sharing! 🙂
    kelsey´s last blog post ..The Cost of Staying in Debt

    • Ashlee says:

      Oh dear! Is she teething? Do you have to soothe her to get her back to sleep, or does she go back to sleep on her own? I’m scared that as soon as we get into a groove with Everett, he’ll revert back. And, I might cry. Ha.

  5. Lesley says:

    Hallelujah!! 🙂 So happy to read that you are getting good sleep, my friend! I don’t know if you’ve read that Baby Whisperer book yet, but I would classify Everett as an Angel baby based on this post. 🙂 Cause, I’ll be honest…we started Babywise at 3ish weeks and it took Anna a good 1-2 months before she was falling asleep on her own, without a lot of crying and prodding from us. The sleeping through the night seemed to come very easy for her, but the nap times did not. Some of that I chalk up to her reflux, but some of it, I think, was just her personality. (Or maybe we were inept…I guess that’s possible too.) My advice for other parents is to not lose hope if their child doesn’t respond as quickly to Babywise. For some it clicks really well, and others will take a little more time. The three month age is really a sweet spot when things seemed to come together. But, stick with it! It’s sooooo worth it!
    Lesley´s last blog post ..Thursday Thoughts: Lovey Dovey Friendship

    • Ashlee says:

      I wonder if Everett is responding so well because we waited so long to start? I feel like some babies crave a routine and some babies don’t, and Everett is definitely the first (it seems). Like I said, I would have liked to start at 6 weeks, and probably will with baby #2, but I guess that won’t really be a fair comparison because each baby is different. And, I still need to read the Baby Whisperer! I have been distracted by my latest Kindle download….(sheepish grin)…..Becoming Sister Wives. Don’t worry, I’ll totally let you borrow it.

  6. I’m so glad you’re finding a way to parent that makes you and Everett happy! 🙂 Being on a schedule stresses me out more than helps me; it’s just not for me. I actually miss the months where we could have no schedule and do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted! Now Gabe HAS to sleep between 12:30 and 3:30 and go to bed by 7:30. It’s so limiting! I bend it sometimes for fun things (family parties!), so I pay for it later.

    I’ve heard great things about Baby Wise, though, so I’m happy you are finding it helpful!
    Ashley//Our Little Apartment´s last blog post ..Buying Stuff Doesn’t Make Me Happy and Other Things I Must Remind Myself.

    • Ashlee says:

      I totally hear you. It’s weird because I think putting Everett on a schedule has been freeing and limiting at the same time. It’s freeing for me to know when I can do things, but definitely more limiting on our out-of-the-house activities. Although, Everett is still so little that he can sleep almost anywhere so I can take him out during nap time if I want to. He usually sleeps fine in his carseat, stroller, moby, ergo, etc. It will be sad when that’s not the case anymore!

  7. Jasmine says:

    This sounds amazing and gives me so much hope!!! I am not okay without sleep. I fall apart. I know that after the initial six weeks of madness, I’m gonna need my baby to start sleeping for longer stretches of time. I’m so happy it’s working for you guys! 🙂

    • Ashlee says:

      I know Baby Wise isn’t for everyone, but it definitely worked for us. He cut out the 1:00am feeding on the third night! It’s amazing what 4-5 hours of consecutive sleep can do for a new momma 😉

  8. SushiMama says:

    So happy to hear it’s going well! My type A personality craves schedule! I’ve been hesitant to put E on any daytime schedule because her nights have been going so well, but I know I need to, and this post may have given me the encouragement to do so!
    SushiMama´s last blog post ..Dear Emersyn: Three Months

    • Ashlee says:

      Well, had Everett’s nights been going well, I don’t know if I would have stressed about a schedule. Haha. It is nice though being on a consistent three hour feeding schedule! Makes leaving the house much easier when I know ahead of time whether or not I’ll need to feed him when we’re out.

  9. Mandy says:

    Yay! I’m so glad it’s all working out for you guys! This gives me hope that in about 7 months we’ll have a little newborn on his/her way to becoming a sleeping champion! It took 5 months with our first baby. We kind of just winged it with him but actually did a lot of what babywise says without ever having read it which makes me think it’s the way to go. I bet your little one will stop waking up at all in the night soon. 🙂 yay!

  10. Lillian says:

    I love this post! I am due in Novemember with our first and I really worry about finding time for my husband and I, exercising, cleaning and work, since I likely will have to get back into a lot sooner than anyone would like. I am waiting until the book store opens and I’m heading there right away. I understand that this won’t work for everyone and all babies are different but reading such positive reviews here, and your very adorable tweets about sleeping through the night makes really happy and feel very hopeful. Thank you for all of the wonderful baby feed back, us Mama’s and Mama’s to be REALLY appreciate it, or this one does at the very least.

    Now to figure out what this dream feed thing is… haha.

    • Ashlee says:

      Another book that was recommended to me by a few people was “The Baby Whisperer”….good luck!!

      A dream feed is basically a last feed before YOUR bedtime (at least, that’s how we do it). We put Everett down for bed at 7:30pm and then intentionally wake him up at 10:00pm to change him and feed him one last time before we go to bed. It keeps his tummy full so he can sleep longer! 😉

  11. Kelli Breton says:

    I am not a mommy but I like to read about your experience anyway! Very happy that you and Everett have a good routine down and sleep is more of an option now! I can only imagine how challenging/rewarding/tiresome/exciting mommyhood can be and it sounds like you are doing great! 🙂 I will definitely keep Baby Wise in mind for when my time comes! Lol.

  12. Sally says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time and really respected how you treated your loved ones and your basic approach to life. But to let a three month old CIO?? You aren’t supposed to start that until 6 months of age, if ever. I can’t respect you as a mother or a person any longer. I’ll no longer be following your blog.

    • Ashlee says:

      Hi Sally. Making the decision to let Everett cry it out was one of many, many personal parenting decisions that Brett and I will make in the span of Everett’s childhood. I’m not sure what method you’re referring to when you say “you aren’t supposed to start that until 6 months of age, if ever.” This post was based on my experience with Baby Wise, which says to start CIO at one week. We started at eleven weeks with one goal in mind: we wanted Everett to learn how to put himself to sleep. Within three days he was sleeping from 7:30pm-4:30am, and now, two and a half weeks later, he is sleeping from 7:30pm-7:00am (and napping much better!). I say this not to defend myself, but to let you know (as well as anyone else reading this) that our goal was achieved. When it comes to a subject like sleep training, I don’t believe any method is black and white, 100% right or 100% wrong. Every parent is different, and every baby is different. I’m sorry that you feel you cannot respect me as a mother or person simply because my parenting style and beliefs are not exactly the same as yours.

    • Brett says:

      Thank you for respecting my wife as a person and a mother for the time that you did … it meant a lot to us. We’re sorry to see you go.

      • Heather says:

        Awesome Brett! I’ve got a lot of respect for you and Ashlee puttin it all put there. Kudos to you for being brave enough to share the good, the bad and the plain honest. Lots and lots of respect from this reader!!

  13. Christy Lollar says:

    I am sorry some people are so incredibly rude sometimes, Ashlee! I adore your parenting posts and find them inspirational! I hope I am as good a Mother as you are, and as kind. 🙂

    P.S. Brett, haha! Way to be.

  14. Holly C. says:

    Hi Ashlee! I was just talking to a girlfriend the other day about baby wise and she had nothing but great things to say about her experiences using the methods in the book to help out with getting her children on a schedule. She has a three year old and a two month old & she’s seen a lot of success with both of their schedules because of that book! She also says that their family is a lot happier because everyone gets more sleep… And her kids are an ansolute joy to be around 🙂 I say keep doing what you’re doing & what works best for you! 🙂

  15. Saskia says:

    Dear Ashlee,

    As we could never let our daughter CIO – of cause I would have loved to read that you also found an alternative way to share with us. In Germany there is a big movement against the original book by Dr. Ferber. I’m sure you did all the research before starting baby wise and know about the controversy – but I understand that all parents have their limits when it comes to sleepless nights and I think no one has the right to judge or disrespect you!

    Saskia´s last blog post ..DIY Mobile.

    • Ashlee says:

      Thanks Saskia. I am familiar with the controversy surrounding the book, which is why we a) waited until eleven weeks to start, and b) used it as a loose guideline for sleep training Everett. We used CIO with one goal in mind: to teach Everett how to self-soothe and put himself back to sleep. And it just so happened to work for us. We never would have let Everett CIO for days on end if we weren’t seeing any progress!

  16. Valeria Hummel says:

    Hi Ashlee!

    I found your blog just a few weeks ago as I was going through the same sleep deprivation stage as you around week 12 and was ready to give CIO a try. I had been doing baby wise without CIO, but the erratic night wakings made me decide to let him cry. It has made suche a big difference. We are on week 3 of CIO and he still cries for most of his naps and sometimes bedtime. He wakes sometimes around 5 AM cries for 5-10 minutes and puts himself back to sleep!!! I have my life back … his naps are not as long as baby wise states, but I am happy with where we are at.
    Could you give an update of how things continued? When did he stop crying at all before naps? When did he stop crying in the middle of the night? Thank you!

    • Ashlee says:

      Hi! Everett still occasionally cries before naps, but it’s kind of like light fussing until he finds his thumb. If he cries longer than 10 minutes, I usually just get him up and try to put down for a nap half an hour later. He never ever cries in the middle of the night, and I’m not sure when that stopped completely….probably a couple weeks after we started baby wise? Now he sleeps from 7-7 (give or take a half hour). We stopped the dream feed at 4 months and he did fine without it, right away. Good luck!!!

  17. Keshia says:

    Hey Ashlee!
    I was googling Babywise after I had been doing it for about a week now and came across your blog! I loved reading the book and found it facinating that my baby was already on the 3 hour schedule of feed/wake/sleep 7,10,1,4,7, and 9:30-10:00. but nightime is a struggle. I started my 11 almost 12 week old on it and love the method but am having trouble with nightime, he is still waking around twice a night! I am not sure if I just let him cry will it just work itself out or if he is still needing nightime feedings?? Lately I’ve been putting him down around7:30- 8:00 and he still wakes around 11:30 and 3 to eat. Do I curb that waking with the “Dream Feed” around 10 still? One other question I had was I also swaddle my little guy, he seems to sleep better but when he’s fussing at night he seems to squirm out of it. At that point do I just let him go back to sleep unswaddled or swaddle him back up? I would love your input as i’m trying to get my little one on a more balanced schedule!! 🙂

    • Ashlee says:

      Hi Keshia! I am by no means an expert so I can only tell you what worked for us and Everett. Once he had slept through the night a few times, I completely cut out the nighttime feedings. If he woke up during the night, we would give him a pacifier, or rock him for a few minutes, or (usually) let him cry it out. Once I knew he COULD sleep through the night without eating, I basically “closed the milk shop” from 10pm-7:00am. If he’s waking up unswaddled and crying, I would try re-swaddling him and putting him back down without feeding him to see if he can go back to sleep without eating. Everett was pretty much sleeping through the night consistently around 13 weeks, so you might just need a little more time! I hope that helps!

  18. Kathleen says:

    Dear Ashlee,
    So I’ve been sleep training my daughter for 5 days now. I am seeing some results but I’m desperate for her to a)take longer naps and b) sleep for longer stretches at night. I have not read Babywise as I read several other no cry books before realizing that I had to let her cry some so she could figure out how to self sooth. That’s when I began reading Mom blogs and found yours. So I’m curious when Everett woke during a nap did you let him cry and try to get him to go back to sleep or did you get him up and hope the next nap would be longer? My daughter is three months old- I believe about the same age Everett was when you began sleep training. Also did you choose his 7-7 bedtime routine based on your life style or was that recommended in the book? I’ve been trying to establish an 8-8 routine. Oh, and… what does the book say about pacifiers? Did you find you were constantly putting it back in his mouth? I know , I know I should just go get the book but I’m a student as well as a first time Mom and I simply don’t have time to read ANOTHER sleep book right now.

    • Ashlee says:

      Hi Kathleen! Do you have a video monitor? If not, I highly recommend getting one! I used the monitor to decipher whether or not to get Everett up from a nap. If he was fussing lightly and still had his eyes closed, I would leave him alone. If he put his head up and was looking around, crying, I would usually get him up. We chose the 7-7 routine based on what Everett adhered to naturally, and around 5 months, he switched to 6:30-6:30 (ugh!). I would have LOVED to get him on a 7:30-7:30 schedule, but no matter what time we put him down, he always woke up at 6:30. Now, at 8 months, he is more flexible….if we keep him up later, he will sleep later, but that wasn’t always the case.

      We used a pacifier for a few months until Everett switched to sucking his thumb (which I prefer since he always has his thumb with him ;)). Once we cut out the middle-of-the-night feedings, I would put the paci in his mouth when he woke up, which helped him go back to sleep. We only did that for a couple weeks though, and then we just let him fuss a little if he woke up in the middle of the night. I hope that helps! Honestly, the Baby Wise book is VERY light reading, and it’s short. You can even skim it.

      I hope that helps!

  19. Jan says:

    Hi Ashlee,
    I feel like I’m kind of at the same starting point as you were with your son when you decided to implement a routine, but am having a hard time shifting from a 2 hour schedule to an even 2 1/2 to 3 hour schedule with my little one. Did this just happen for you or was there any training involved with this? He doesn’t nap the best, so I don’t know if I sometimes am too quick to assume he’s hungry and feed him which usually ends up being around every two hours. I am trying to figure out his ideal wake time, yet it’s hard to do with a 2 hour schedule because sometimes I feel like it won’t allow any awake time for him. I know he can go longer between feeds as he can go 4-6 hour stretches at night for the most part, but don’t know if that is because he is so tired from not napping well in the day. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you!

  20. Courtney says:

    I have been using Babywise since the beginning with my second and would not change a thing. The book is unclear on letting your child go 3.5 hours between feedings. I have been waking him at the 3.5 time, but have a hard time waking him at the 3 hour mark. Advice?

  21. Julie says:

    Hi Ashlee!

    I have an almost 8 week old son. While he sleeps pretty well at night (waking once usually with some 2 times) and his longest stretch is between 5 and 6.5 hours (he did one 7.5 hour a few nights ago but not since), my concern is his napping. He does nap for 1.5 to 2 hours each time, but only when I am carrying him in the Ergo, walking in the stroller, or sleeping on my chest. This has been going on for the past 3 weeks.

    I am trying to get him on a eat, play, sleep schedule (although the times aren’t consistent each day, just the length of cycle). He does have GER and I suspect a milk allergy. I nursing him and have eliminated dairy again because when I introduced it slightly, he started spitting up more.

    I will be going back to work in 4 weeks and would like to have him on a schedule, as well as have him napping in his crib.

    At night he sleeps in his Rock and Play sleeper next to our bed for his reflux and we swaddle him. We tried having him sleep in his Arms Reach Co-Sleeper next to our bed, but he didn’t sleep well in it and would wake after 20 minutes (his bed at the hospital had to be inclined as well). When he goes to bed, he is sleepy and is able to fall asleep on his own (well with white noise).

    Until he is consistently sleeping through the night, he will stay in our room at night and ideally, sleep in the crib for naps (then just the crib for both).

    Here are my questions:

    1. How do I get him to nap in his crib and not on me?
    2. When I go back to work, I have to leave at 6:45. Should his feeding time be 6 and should I start waking him up at this time now to get him on the same eat, play, sleep schedule each day?

    Thanks so much for your input!

  22. Susie says:

    As a postpartum doula, I’m often asked about “sleep training”, “schedules”, “feeding philosophy”, and other similar parenting ideas. Regardless of how I personally feel, it is my job to provide comprehensive, relevant information to my clients so that they can make an informed decision that works for their family. Typically, the information boils down to a value that has nothing to do with infant sleeping, eating, or schedules. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll depict the value as a question: “[As a parent], do you mostly see infancy/toddlerhood/childhood as something to be managed in a way that fits into an existing routine or family system?”. Another way to post the question: “How important is it to you that a new baby doesn’t completely change the existing family dynamic and or significantly disrupt important routines that are already in place” Most parents know (and look forward to) the “disruption” to daily life that a new baby causes, but how they want to address the “disruption” can vary. The Parentwise website, which is run by the publishers of the Babywise series, describes the most recent edition of their book in this way: “….the infant management plan offered by Gary Ezzo and Dr. Robert Bucknam successfully and naturally helps infants synchronize their feeding time, waketime and nighttime cycles…..this plan will not leave mom ragged at the end of the day or in bondage to her child, and dad will not be excluded from his duties”. I would add that, like the author of this blog, Babywise proponents are results-oriented. The parent-related results one might anticipate through the use of Babywsie 1) feelings of being in control 2) reassurance that your baby isn’t manipulating you 3) if you have an especially babywise-compliant baby, bragging rights to how early your baby “slept through the night” (which is also a reflection of your competency in implementing and maintaining the plan), and perhaps the most coveted result of any new parent 4) plenty of sleep for yourself at night so you can focus on implementing the plan during the day. The child-related results one might anticipate with Babywise 1) very early independence with regard to falling to sleep 2) an early understanding that the world is an orderly place that can’t usually be influenced 3) predictability that cycles will be synchronized and basic needs will be met, and eventually 4) reassurance that (child’s) presence causes minimal disruption to his/her family. If these values resonate with a client of mine, Babywise or something similar (e.g. The Baby Whisperer) will typically give them the outcome they are hoping for as new parents.

  23. Lili says:

    Such a great & hopeful blog! Our son (first baby) is almost 7 weeks old and has NO schedule at all – its whatever he wants whenever he wants. But as mentioned, the sleep deprivation is catching up.
    Question – did your son nap in his bassinet/crib or somewhere different than where he slept at night? Did you swaddle him for naps?
    Tx, Lili

  24. Lisa says:

    We started baby wise today with our 4 week old. How did u handle the letting your son cry it out when laying him down? He cried and so did I. 🙁

  25. Tracy says:

    I have a family member who is using baby wise, something I’d not heard of until several months ago. It was only told to me bc the baby was crying & tired, closing his little eyes only to be bounced, talked to & kept awake until it was the “okay time” for his nap-I was so disturbed by just what I saw & then hearing a brief of what baby wise entails that I began to look into it. DO MOTHERS & FATHERS DO THIS RESEARCH BEFORE USING THIS AUTHORS IDEAS-(they are only ideas, they have no physiological, psychological nor Biblical research, studies, or proof that this is a healthy, nurturing thing to do. I’m not criticizing, I’m just praying EVERY SINGLE MOTHER AND FATHER READS THE LITERATURE AVAILABLE ABOUT THIS MAN, THE FOUNDATION HE STARTED, HIS EDUCATION(or lack of), THE MANY PED DR’S, PSYCHOLOGIST & CHURCH’S THAT DO NOT SUPORT HIM OR HIS BOOK, NOT TO MENTION-how many children have been physically ill dt use of this method.
    This baby wise had been dropped by first publishing company, it has been updated, version after version after the educated & competent critics call him & his book out.
    As mothers we do the very best we possibly know how, I believe that regardless of what, where, when we parent our children.

  26. sonia says:

    I enjoyed your post. My baby is six weeks old and I am trying to implement baby wise. He has been on a three hour schedule since he was born and that has worked great but I’m having a hard time getting him to nap without being rocked. He will sometimes cry all day (i usually go in every 10-20 min. And calm him down. Two questions: how long should his naps be and how long did you let your son cry?

  27. Kasey says:

    Hi Ashlee,

    We have been trying to implement babywise and aren’t sure how to handle the every 3 hour timetable?!?! Do you wake baby up to keep them on that schedule or let them sleep until they wake up and are hungry? What do you do if baby falls asleep while eating? We try diaper change tickling feet and stripping her down but sometimes she’s down for the count and won’t eat more. We are finally realizing she was up too long during wake times because she wanted to be but we were holding her and not putting her down. Laying her down to cry it out was hard but I think this is going to help. Any other tips you can offer would be great!

  28. Brittany W. says:

    Hi Ashlee! I found your blog while doing a Google search about Baby Wise. We are starting our son today at four weeks {he’s currently crying it out in his crib as I type…}. He is currently waking up every three hours — none of which are the same day to day — to eat. So, my question is, when you started Baby Wise and Everett started to cry in the middle of the night for his typical middle of the night feeding, did you just let him cry it out the first night? I’m so worried we will feed him at 10 p.m. and he won’t make it to the 6 or 7 a.m. feeding.

    Thank you so much in advance for your help! 🙂

    Brittany W.´s last blog post ..Favorite Baby Products: One Month Edition

  29. Blake Weber says:

    Dear friends at Where My Heart Resides:

    I am contacting you on behalf of best selling authors, Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam, M.D., authors of On Becoming Babywise. 24 Years ago On Becoming Babywise began helping mothers and their new babies. Today, more than 3 million have enjoyed these timeless principles. I am the President of Hawksflight & Associates, Inc and hold the world wide distribution rights for their book and best selling series. I work closely with Gary Ezzo.

    It has become increasingly clear to us that your site and many of your young moms enjoy and share the principles of our authors. We are grateful. And we have chosen to recently link our website to your your articles so young moms can navigate themselves through those difficult times late at night where they need support and yearn to connect with other moms and their experiences. If you are of the same spirit, we would like to ask if your site would be willing to make a link to our website at to continue to make it easy for young moms who want to read about these principles and the truth our authors have to share. We are working hard to make sure our site displays the truth about these principles and the medical support (as well as millions of new moms) for them. Many new mothers are finding it difficult to find the truth from the other. We would like to make it more simple today than ever before. We would love your support.

    I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience. Please know that our authors are incredibly grateful for your support.

    Thank you for your consideration, and thank you for all you do for young moms and their new babies.

    Blake Weber, President
    Hawksflight & Associates, Inc.

  30. “We were both new to the game (me new to motherhood and him new to….the world)” hahaha!! Definitely bookmarking this one.
    Stephanie Loudmouth´s last blog post ..Launch ::,, + an Indiegogo Campaign!

  31. Darcy says:

    My son will be 11 weeks this Friday. We have been implementing babywise, to an extent, since he was 7 weeks. I say, to an extent, because crying it out just doesn’t work for him. Believe me, we’ve tried, and all we got was a baby who cried for hours and hours – 9 to be exact – with no sleep, and I have tried this several days. Anyways, we know how to get him to sleep now, he’s eating well and is now on zantac to control his GERD which was an issue. After I was more strict with his schedule starting at 7 weeks he dropped his 2 middle of the night feedings (around 1am and 4am) down to 1 (3am) within days. AWESOME! He was sleeping 4-5 hour stretches every night. HOWEVER, over the past week and a half or so, he has reverted back to waking up about 2am and 5am to eat. I can’t get him to sleep longer than 2.5-3 hours at night and for the past few weeks it has been a struggle to get him to nap longer than 30 minutes. As soon as he wakes, I feed and I start his naptime ‘routine’ after he’s been awake for an hour. He finally konks out and goes down about 15 -20 minutes later, but then wakes up 30 minutes in. It’s not every time, but it seems like it’s hit or miss. Most of the time it’s only 30 minutes, but sometimes, on a rare occasion, we get up to 2 hours out of him. I am going nuts! Any advice!?!? He should be sleeping much longer stretches at night (he has done it before and is capable to sleep 8 hours at this age!) and for his naps. What should I do?!?!?! My husband thinks it’s because he’s such a big boy and needs more food and is set on starting him on rice cereal (which I say NO to because it’s WAY TOO SOON). He is definitely getting full feeds – even did a measured/bottle feed last night for his 11pm to see if that helped (4.5oz!) and it didn’t. HELP!!!!!!!!

    • Katie says:

      There is a growth spurt around that age that would explain your son’s more frequent night waking. While I follow a eat/wake/sleep routine and let my 3rd little one fuss a bit as she fall’s asleep (max 15 min and never all out crying or I get her), I would really discourage letting a small baby, as young as 7 weeks cry for anything over 30-45 minutes. If after that time he or she hasn’t fallen asleep it would be best to get him/her up and do something else to sooth her and reset, perhaps feeding him/her and trying to put her down again in a little while.

  32. Rachel hooper says:


    Two years later (well more than!) and I am loving this post! I have a nearly 8 week old baby boy and was feeling lost! Read about all these theories on sleep and schedules and didn’t want to be married to one, but started a flexible babywise schedule just yesterday, and I know it’s too early to really say this, but it’s been a game changer so far! 😉 any additional tips for sticking to schedule when traveling and/or out and about?! How do mamas go on vacation with their littles and still enjoy it lol!?!

  33. Jen says:

    Hi Ashlee,

    I know you posted this blog post a LONG time ago, but I’m looking for a little BW advice. We just started using BW with my 9 week old daughter. We are not being very rigid and just using it to give our day some much needed structure. My question is, would you wake your baby from a 2+ hour nap just to keep her on schedule? I’ve had a couple of days when she has been sleeping almost 2.5 hours and I have chosen to wake her up because I know that if I don’t, we likely won’t get in the “optimal” number of feedings in during the course of the day (i.e she might only eat 6 times rather than 7 just because of the number of hours in the day). After waking her up she tends to seem sleepy and doesn’t eat as well, so I’m left with either skipping a feeding for the day or waking up my baby and getting in what I consider more of a snack than a meal.

    Thoughts? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge