On Becoming Babywise: 3 to 6 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.

Oh, and if there are typos or run on sentences in this post, please forgive me. It has taken me over a week to type this up. #momlife #momof3 #daddywentbacktowork

on-becoming-babywise-weeks-three-to-six

Schedule

This is a rough outline of what our routine is during the day. Some feedings are adjusted by 30 minutes if the baby needs to be fed sooner because he is hungry.

Week 3-4
  • 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
  • 6pm: Nap
  • 8pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 11pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 2am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 4am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
Week 5-6
  • 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
  • 6:30pm: Nap
  • 7:30pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 11pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 3am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib

Jesse’s 2am and 4am feeding merged together to become a 3am feeding. Yay! More on this below.

Nursing

Jesse is nursing every 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day and is going 4 hour stretches at night. I am not sure why this time around I having so many issues with nursing but between mastitis and a plugged duct I am overly paranoid about anything that feels somewhat off in my boobs. Now that I got that off my chest…haha…did you catch what I did there? That pun was intended.

Anyway…because I was nursing and pumping and massaging while I had mastitis I created an oversupply of milk which I am still trying to correct. I feel like I might be finally on the verge of getting my supply somewhat adjusted but I know that Jesse will be dropping a feeding soon and I will begin the entire process over. Ice packs have helped as has not pumping or hand expressing to the point of emptying only to the point to relieve engorgement.

My letdown is also super fast and I have to take him off within a minute of latching on and catch the milk into a towel. If I don’t do this it causes Jesse to gag and get sick because it is too much milk coming at him. I am hoping that over the next few weeks this corrects itself as well.

Merge One

During weeks three and four Jesse was nursing 9 times in 24 hours and has since went to 8 feedings during weeks five and six. 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 Merge One by combining his two nighttime feedings into one. YAY!

Most babies start out nursing twice during the night and sometime between weeks three and six they begin to stretch their nighttime sleep from 3 hours up to 4 hours. If you look back at Jesse’s schedule you can see that he was nursing at 2am and 4am and during week five he merged these two feedings together for a 3am feeding.

The most important thing I want to stress is to understand the difference between your infants capacity and ability. I can’t just decide that I am going to drop or change Jesse’s schedule unless he has the physical capacity and ability to make that adjustment. This is something that is stated over and over in the book.

Waketime

Jesse’s waketime is his feeding time and he is starting to extend his waketime slightly after his feedings. I am trying to make sure that I notice his sleepy cues like yawning and becoming agitated. With two other kids to watch I sometimes miss these cues. The majority of the time he is back in his crib within an hour and fifteen minutes after his feeding.

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 last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. If he wakes early he is usually fussy. Sometimes he will make noises for several minutes and fall back asleep. If he continues to cry of the cry escalates to a scream the nap is over and he comes out of his crib until his next feeding.

Night sleep is actually going really well. Since he has merged his two feedings to one I have my alarm set for 3am. If he is not awake when my alarm goes off I hit the snooze button once or twice if I am lucky before he is awake and ready to eat. Most of the time he is already awake and ready to eat at 3am. Once he is fed, changed, and burped he is swaddled and is able to be laid back down in his crib. He is back to sleep within 10 minutes of being laid down.

With his feedings dropping down to twice a night and then to once at 3am I have been able to handle the feedings, diapering, and re-swaddling on my own which has allowed Josh to get the much needed sleep he needs for his job. After being off work for over a month he went back on shift three weeks ago. Which leads me to my last topic for this post…

Family Life

It was amazing having Josh home for so much time. I truly felt like it was needed. This was the most time he had taken off work after any of our babies came home. He was home for two weeks after Caden and Maisie were born. With your first baby you are still able to have some time to yourself during the day when they are napping, with your second you might be lucky to sneak a nap in for yourself during the day if your two kids are sleeping at the same time, and with your third you find yourself at the end of day in the same clothes you woke up and can’t remember when the last time it was that you washed your hair. Basically, I live in pajamas, all day, everyday.

But in all seriousness bringing a new member into your family while amazing is a huge adjustment. For everyone. Parenting is so rewarding and requires an extraordinary amount of selflessness. Marriage and parenting take effort and giving yourself intentionally to each other. Jesse has given us another chance to love more sacrificially and enjoy the miracle of new life. I am not really sure where I am going with this paragraph just to say that I am so thankful that Jesse is part of our family. I can’t imagine him not with us.

Share

On Becoming Babywise: Birth to 2 Weeks

on-becoming-babywise-week-1-2

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 was shocked by the response. To date, it is one of my more popular posts. I know there are many differing opinions on this book but for us it has been one of the best decisions we have made for our family.

We used Babywise with Maisie as well, but because I was dealing with postpartum depression/anxiety and going to counseling it wasn’t a huge priority on my list to be blogging.

I found it very helpful when we started using Babywise with Caden to read posts from other mommy bloggers who had also used Babywise with their children. 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.

Labor & Delivery

I shared Jesse’s Birth Story two weeks ago. I nursed him in the delivery room soon after he was born. He latched on right away and nursed for 40 minutes.

Hospital Stay

We stayed in the hospital for a little over 24 hours and were released to go home the day after he was born. I love that I don’t have to worry about cooking anything while I am in the hospital and can pick up the phone and place an order for a meal I wouldn’t typically eat.

Jesse nursed every two hours while we were at the hospital ranging anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes with each feeding.

Siblings

Caden and Maisie came to the hospital several hours after Jesse was born with my parents to meet their new brother. They only stayed for an hour which was plenty long enough. The postpartum rooms, while very nice at the hospital, aren’t quite big enough to comfortably hold 4 adults, 2 preschoolers, and an infant.

Once Caden got to hold his brother, introduce himself, and give him a kiss he was more interested in finding things to climb on in the room. Maisie was totally enamored with him and wanted to hold him multiple times.

Over the last few weeks both kids have been so great. We have had more tears and needed extra snuggles but honestly that is to be expected. Maisie also had the stomach flu :(. We had to be extra careful in making sure that her and Jesse stayed separated and that Josh and I were extra diligent about washing our hands. Thankfully she is the only one in the house who became ill.

On a sidenote if you have children who are sick and are wanting to try to keep yourself healthy I highly recommend getting a B-comp shot. I got these monthly during my pregnancy and Josh and I both made appointments to get one after Maisie got sick. They are great for boosting your immune system.

Nursing

The first three days Jesse nursed every two hours and averaged 15 minutes each side. Then my milk came in. Once that happened he started to stretch the length between his feedings to 2 1/2 hours during the day for a total of 10 minutes on each side.

I scheduled an appointment with a Lactation Consultant during the first week just to make sure that everything was looking ok with his latch and that I was positioning him correctly. This was my first time meeting with a LC and it was wonderful! I highly recommend schedule an appointment with a LC regardless of how many babies you have had.

Nursing is going well, aside from the leaking and swollen boobs, but I know in a few weeks my supply will adjust itself.  I had typed this post up several days ago and wouldn’t you know it I developed mastitis and I am now on antibiotics 4 times a day for the next week. Sunday night it hit all of a sudden. Sore breast that was painful to touch and by Monday afternoon it was starting to become red and ached whenever I moved. Thankfully I saw my doctor yesterday and I am hopeful that in the next few days I will start to feel better again. If you have never had mastitis be so thankful. I had it once with Caden, didn’t have it with Maisie, and assumed I was in the clear with Jesse. I think my over supply of milk did me in this time, while with Caden I was wearing sports bras that were overly tight.

My next few days will be filled with bedrest, loads of nursing, castor oil packs, hot showers, and baby snuggles. Plus, I am hoping to watch a few Christmas movies with the kids.

Schedule

This is a rough outline of what our routine is during the day. Some feedings are adjusted by 30 minutes if the baby needs to be fed sooner because he is hungry.

Birth – Week 1

Jesse ate every two hours for the first 3 days. After Jesse returned to his birth weight, which happened at 1 week, we were given the go ahead from his pediatrician to allow him to sleep for up to 4 hours during the night without needing to wake him to eat. Over the next several days Jesse gradually began to lengthen the time between feedings from 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Week 2
  • 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, Nap
  • 5pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6pm: Nap
  • 7 pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 9:30pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 12:30am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 4am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib

Waketime

Jesse’s waketime is his feeding time. And even that is a struggle at some feedings because he really just wants to sleep. I can’t say that I blame him either. Labor and delivery are exhausting once the adrenaline burst wears off.

During the first two weeks I tried to have him back in his crib within 50-60 minutes from when he started nursing.

Naps &Night Sleep

Once we were home from the hospital we started using Jesse’s crib in his room for naps and nighttime sleep. He occasionally has napped in his bouncer if he has needed to be inclined after a longer feeding, but at night he sleeps in his crib.

The first two weeks Jesse slept all the time during the day and night. This sounds great in theory but it is really hard sometimes to wake a sleeping infant to eat and keep them awake during the entire feed.

I did lots of skin to skin nursing sessions with him to try and keep him awake. This worked fairly well at keeping him more alert for a full feeding. With Caden and Maisie I sometimes resorted to a cold wash cloth on their feet to keep them awake.

While Jesse slept at night, Josh and I tagged teamed him, with me nursing and Josh burping and swaddling. My husband is a rockstar with this baby swaddling him in his blankets.

If Jesse wakes from sleep during the middle of the night he is fed. I know that Babywise is a controversial book but having read it now multiple times I am not really sure why. Over and over the book clearly says that if your baby is hungry to feed your baby. Schedules and routines are great but especially at this stage it is important to not let them dictate when and how often the baby is fed.

I have been really thankful that Josh has been able to take off so much time from work. It has been a much smoother transition for everyone having daddy home.

Share

On Becoming Babywise

For the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my experiences as a first time mommy and what has worked for our family during this past (very soon to be) year. Sigh. I can’t believe my baby is going to be year old in June. If you are with child or looking for a baby shower gift be sure to check out my Baby Registry Must Haves.

Josh and I decided early on in our pregnancy with Caden that we would be following the schedule outlined in On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep. We know there are many differing opinions on this book but for us it has been one of the best decisions we have made for our family.

If you have never heard of Babywise take a few minutes and google the title. Bloggers and reviewers have devoted entire websites to this book, both for and against. I am not going to debate this book or tell you it is the right choice for all babies, because there is no such thing. What I am going to do is explain how this method worked for me and my family.

The basic principals of the BabyWise Method include:

  • Eat, play, sleep schedule for baby
  • Striving for awake time during and after a feeding
  • Trying for full feedings as opposed to snacks
  • Putting baby to sleep without many props

With Josh being a firefighter sleep is crucial. For our family, deciding to sleep train Caden was a must. After talking with several friends who all had huge success after implementing the suggestions in this book we knew we would be a Babywise family. This method provided us with structure and taught us how to establish a routine for our newborn. We had an open and flexible mindset as we followed this book. If something didn’t seem to work for us we kept trying different variables until we had a positive outcome.

IMG_0478

Our first day home from the hospital was a blur. Putting everything away, finishing the final touches on the nursery, and of course sitting and staring at our new baby. That night as we placed Caden in his crib and made sure his swaddle was snug we quietly walked out of the room and immediately went back to look at him again before gently closing his nursery door. I admit Josh and I were glued to the baby monitor and checked on him multiple times that first night. Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep, maybe 5 hours total after waking up round the clock to feed him. By three months of age Caden was sleeping 8 hours solid at night and at four months he graduated to rockstar status by sleeping 7pm-7am.

The following is an outline of Caden’s nursing and bedtime schedule for the last 11 months.

Birth: Every 2-3 hours for the first two weeks to increase Caden’s weight per doctors orders. After Caden’s weight increased we were given the go ahead from his pediatrician to allow him to sleep during the night without needing to wake him to eat.

Week 3: 4am, 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 6:30pm, 9pm, and 12:30am. Bedtime at 7pm followed by the last two feedings.

Week 7: 5am, 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 6:30pm, and 9:30pm. Bedtime at 7pm followed by a dream feed.

Month 3: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 9:30pm. Bedtime at 7pm followed by a dream feed.

Months 4 – 9: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm. Bedtime at 7pm.

Month 10 – 11: 7am, 11am, 3pm, and 7pm. Bedtime at 7pm.

Nap times were more of a challenge. Three month old Caden was averaging 60-90 minutes of daytime sleep. The Buschel house was not a fun place to be from 5-7pm. We had a very tried, cranky, and screaming baby for 2 hours each day. Up until this point we had been successful with following the book verbatim in regards to attempting to encourage Caden to nap without a sleep aid. My definition of success changed the moment we introduced Caden to the glorious pacifier. Cue sunbeams and choir singing! This was a game changer. We deviated from what the book said, became more flexible, and Caden napped! Yay for sleep aids!

At 11 months old, Caden now takes a morning and afternoon nap for a total time of 3-4 hours. It is amazing! Caden’s nap routine did not change overnight. It took several months of adjusting, using sleep aids, and being patient. The most common response Josh and I hear when we describe Caden’s sleep schedule is some variation of “You are lucky you have such an easy baby.” We agree! Caden is a super sweet kid! We also agree that it took both of us consistently working together in order for Caden to develop healthy sleep habits.

Life is short and time is too precious to waste judging others. I have nothing against feeding on demand or having your baby sleep in the same room with you. Each child is unique and what worked for my baby might not work for yours. I am just sharing what has worked for our family.

If you are thinking of trying BabyWise or using it as a flexible guideline here are my suggestions:

  • Don’t be afraid to deviate from what the book says. Make it work for you and your family.
  • Make sure any caregiver who watches your baby knows your plan and is willing to commit to it also.
  • Give it time. Habits do not form overnight.
  • Your baby’s schedule is constantly changing. Be flexible and ready to adapt.

What has worked for your family? If you don’t have kids, would this be a method you would try? I love to read your comments!

xoxo, Tamara

PS…Want to know what I else I will be blogging about over the next few weeks? Stay tuned for my breastfeeding story, how to make your own baby food, an overview of what we feed Caden, and other random goodness. Happy Wednesday!

Share