How to Know if the Babywise Method is Right For You
Fact checked by Heather Wallace, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Postpartum Doula, and Positive Parenting Expert.
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When it comes to sleep, no two babies are exactly alike. However, every parent wants one thing: a good night's sleep for both them and baby. That’s why there are tons of popular sleep training methods out there today from Ferber to bedtime fading to co-sleeping, and of course, Babywise.
With so many different sleep resources out there, deciding what is best for your baby and family can be very overwhelming!
There is more than one right way to raise a baby and child. That is the good news.
You simply need to find the method that fits your family dynamic best.
Nearly 17 years ago, my husband and I chose to raise our newborn using the baby sleep management book On Becoming Babywise. The sleep techniques worked so well for him! We used the method with our three daughters who followed and have never looked back!
Babywise Attracts All Types
The Babywise method really attracts all types of parents. You will find moms who cloth diaper and moms who use disposable diapers. You will find breastfeeding moms. full-time pumpers, and formula-feeding moms.
You will find working moms and stay-at-home moms. There are extroverts and introverts. You will find parents from all religious beliefs (and no religious beliefs).
There are homeschooling moms and public schooling moms. There are country-dwellers and city-gals. Type-A's and Type-B's both enjoy this method (for different reasons).
One thing I have noticed over the years that the vast majority of parents attracted to Babywise have in common is that they are kind. They are accepting of differences and supportive to each other.
The Babywise support groups online are wonderful groups to find help in!
While Babywise attracts all types, there are some key things that will make you more compatible with the method. Let's discuss those.
You Want Predictability
If you want predictability from day to day, this method is right for you. Once you have the routine down, your days will be highly predictable. Find out how to be successful with Babywise here.
Your baby will wake up at the same time each day. You will then follow the same eat/wake/sleep pattern throughout each day.
Each day will have the same flow. You will be able to schedule appointments, lunch dates, and trips to the park with confidence.
Bedtime will be at a consistent time each night. You will know what time to plan to be home each evening and will be able to relax after the baby goes to bed.
If you like predictability to your days, this is a great method for you. If you aren't naturally inclined toward predictability but want it, Babywise will help you get it.
You can find sample schedules for the entire first year here.
You Value Sleep
If you value sleep, Babywise is a great method for you. I think everyone likes to sleep and wants to sleep with a baby. I don't just mean you think it would be nice to get sleep.
I mean you have a high value on sleep. You believe it is vital for optimal brain development, physical development, and emotional health.
In Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Weissbluth states, “Providing the growing brain with sufficient sleep is necessary for developing the ability to concentrate and an easier temperament” (page 7).
Babywise takes work, and you have to have a real belief that the sleep you are working for is worth it to the overall health of your baby to really see it through.
You Believe Baby Joins a Family
Some people hold a baby-centered philosophy. Life revolves around the baby.
Babywise is more of a family-centered philosophy. Life revolves around the family. This means everyone makes sacrifices at times.
A baby obviously has very intense and high needs. Typically members of the family make more sacrifices overall than the baby does. But a key principle in Babywise is that baby joins a family.
That means that sometimes a baby's nap might happen on the go because big sister has something going on.
This also means that sometimes the family leaves a party earlier than they would like because the baby needs to go to bed.
You Believe Parents Should Lead
A great phrase in the Babywise books is "Mom, not baby, decides."
This is a philosophy that made sense to me. As an adult, I have better decision-making skills than my newborn, toddler, and even teenager.
The parent takes many factors into consideration when making decisions, but mom decides. The parent leads the family, not the baby.
This does not mean mom ignores baby's cues. Those cues are a huge part of how you decide what to do. If you typically feed baby every three hours, but your baby is showing hunger cues at two hours, then you decide to feed your baby.
The Babywise method focuses on more than sleep and schedules. It really sets you up to raise your children all the way until they move out.
You Struggle Reading Cues
This category certainly doesn't fit every Babywise parent, but if you struggle knowing what to do for your baby, Babywise provides a wonderful roadmap.
With my first baby, I thought it would all be so natural. I would know what he wanted and we would just flow through life in beautiful harmony.
But once he got here, I had no idea what he wanted. He didn't seem to have any idea, either.
He was not a newborn who slept. Ever. He fought sleep like his life depended on it. We had many nights he didn't sleep one minute (and neither did I).
He never seemed hungry and yet always seemed hungry. I was always trying to feed him.
He cried. A lot.
I desperately turned to the Babywise book for guidance.
Once we started Babywise with him, he changed right away. He took naps. He ate. He slept through the night – only waking one time to eat!
It was night and day.
With my three girls, I had more experience and they seemed to know what they wanted, but we still followed Babywise. My second baby had reflux. Her cues could have thrown me off because sometimes cries came from pain. But we got through it all quite well.
With my next two girls, I was able to attend to all of the needs of all of my children because I knew what was going on with my baby. I was not overwhelmed, consumed, or confused.
I knew what to expect and when to expect it. See a full Babywise first-year overview here.
Babywise Can Work For You
No matter your personality type, Babywise can work for you and your family. If this sounds like a great fit for you, be sure to come check out my site. I would love to help you on your Babywise journey!
Valerie Plowman, known as "the Babywise Mom", is the happy mother of four children. She has been helping parents with their parenting concerns since 2007 and loves helping others absolutely love being a parent and blogs at babywisemom.com.