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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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.

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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.

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