On Becoming Babywise: 7 to 10 Weeks

Josh and I decided early on before our first baby was born that we would be following the schedule outlined in On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep.

I blogged about our Babywise experience with Caden and several weeks ago shared how our experience was going the third time using the Babywise with Jesse. While I am no expert on sleeping babies, we have used Babywise twice before and had great success. If you are curious about Babywise or are using Babywise in your own home I hope you find this post and those that follow equally as helpful.

Recommended Reading: On Becoming Babywise: Birth to 2 Weeks and On Becoming Babywise: 3 to 6 Weeks

I took this picture of Jesse at 7am and he was still sleeping from his last feeding at 10:30pm! Sleeping babes are so cute!

Then I woke him up. He gives me the biggest smiles in the morning. I love his smile!

Schedule

Let me start off by saying these last few weeks have always been the most difficult for me to navigate. Is the baby ready to sleep during the night? If he wakes up, is it because he is hungry or will he settle himself back down? Should I feed him or wait a few minutes? These are the questions that have been playing around in my head over these last several weeks.

Week 7
  • 7am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 8am: Nap
  • 9:30am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 10:30am Nap
  • 12pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 1:00pm: Nap
  • 2:30pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 4pm: Nap
  • 5pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6:30pm: Nap
  • 7:30pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 11pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 3am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
Week 8
  • 7am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 8am: Nap
  • 9:30am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 10:30am Nap
  • 12pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 1:00pm: Nap
  • 2:30pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 4pm: Nap
  • 5pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6:30pm: Nap
  • 7:30pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 11pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 4am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
Week 9
  • 7am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 8am: Nap
  • 9:30am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 10:30am Nap
  • 12pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 1:00pm: Nap
  • 2:30pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 4pm: Nap
  • 5pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6:30pm: Nap
  • 7:30pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 11pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 5am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
Week 10
  • 7am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 8:30am: Nap
  • 9:30am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 10:30am Nap
  • 12pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 1:00pm: Nap
  • 2:30pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 4pm: Nap
  • 5pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6:00pm: Nap
  • 7:00pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 10:30pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib

Weeks 7-9 were very similar, the only difference was that Jesse started to sleep past 3am and make it until 4am and then 5am before waking to eat. Week 10, just this last week, was when I changed his nighttime schedule up and he slept 8 hours without waking up!!!

Nursing

Jesse is nursing every 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day and is now going 8 hour stretches at night! My letdown and engorgement is starting to ease up. It really is amazing how your body starts to adapt to the needs of the baby. The first few days when his nighttime sleep stretched longer were the worst and I would wake up with my bed soaking wet and need to change clothes, but now it is much better. I am still leaking periodically but it is so much better.

Merge Two

During weeks seven, eight, and nine Jesse was nursing 8 times in 24 hours and has since went to 7 feedings during week ten. Babywise helps parents to adapt successfully from one growth stage to the next using the merge principal. In total there are seven merges that happen over the course of the first year. Jesse has successfully completed the Merge One (combining his two nighttime feedings into one) and Merge Two by dropping his middle of the night feeding . YAY!

Most Babywise babies drop their middle of the night feeding sometime between weeks seven and ten and they begin to stretch their nighttime sleep from 4 hours to 8 hours. If you look back at Jesse’s schedule you can see that he was nursing at 3am, which moved to 4am, which moved to 5am and during week ten he dropped this feeding and began sleeping 8 hours.

I want to stress that I didn’t just decide or force Jesse to drop his middle of the night feeding. He did it all on his own.  Keep reading for tips on how to troubleshoot this Merge below.

Waketime

Jesse’s waketime is his feeding time and 30 minutes after he nurses. He is awake anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes before he goes back to his crib for a nap.

During his waketime when he isn’t eating or getting a diaper change he is on his playmat smiling at the overhead toys or the ceiling fan, doing tummy time, or sitting in his bouncer.

Naps & Night Sleep

Jesse’s naps have been going very well. He is sleeping so great and even sleeps with Caden and Maisie playing loudly. His naps are typically taken in his crib and only if absolutely necessary do we wake him early from a nap, run errands during naps, or have him nap in his carseat. I take Maisie to a Parent Tot class once a week and the last three weeks it has landed on Josh’s shift days so Jesse gets to tag along with us. The class happens during his nap so I wear him in my Solly Baby Wrap and he sleeps the entire time, plus my hands are free to help Maisie.

The middle of the night feeding is always the hardest to drop in my opinion. By this stage I am pretty confident in deciphering a hungry cry from a middle of the night talking and making noise whimper, but between the hours of 12am-5am I am pretty out of it and just plain tired. A few nights I went into Jesse’s room before he was actually awake because he was making noise and tired to nurse him only to have him nurse for 3 minutes before he was passed out again. He obviously wasn’t hungry and didn’t take anywhere close to a full feeding.

Here are a few helpful tips to determine if your baby is ready to drop the middle of the night feeding session…

If your baby isn’t taking a full feeding, is falling asleep while eating, or you are having to wake them to eat at this point in your Babywise journey chances are good they are ready to drop the middle of the night feeding.

Another thing to notice is how your baby is eating for the first feeding session of the day. Are they taking a full feeding? If they don’t seem hungry and aren’t interested in eating you can try to drop the middle of the night nursing session.

Once you have determined that your baby is ready to drop the middle of the night feeding you can help them along by stretching out your feeding times. What I did with Jesse was take his 3am feeding, which I was starting to have to wake him up for, and let him sleep until 4am. Then a week later did the same thing and pushed the 4am feeding to 5am.

Once we were at a 5am feeding I started to notice he wasn’t eating as much at 7am. This is when I began to taper off the amount of time he was eating at 5am. He started out nursing for 12 minutes total, the next day he ate for 10 minutes, a few days later he stopped nursing after 8 minutes, and then finally he kept sleeping. If you are breastfeeding this tapering approach is great because it allows your supply to adjust gradually.

The sleep environment is also really important when it comes to ensuring that your baby (and you) get a good night of rest. Jesse sleeps in his room, on his back, swaddled, and in his crib. We have a white noise machine, warm mist humidifier, nightlight, music (we have the sheep), and black out curtains to help create the most comfortable sleep environment for him. It might sound like a lot of “stuff” but I know from our experience with Caden and Maisie that these items help.

I firmly believe that being intentional and consistent with your baby’s schedule and routine plays a huge factor in being able to give your baby, yourself, and your family the rest that is needed for overall health and wellness.

I have lost count on how many times I have read On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep. You would think at this point I would have it memorized but each time I read it I feel more empowered and equipped to parent my baby. Both Josh and I are super thankful for the knowledge this book has given us. I highly recommend Babywise if you have a baby or are currently pregnant!

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