I don’t make a secret that having a newborn really beat the crap out of me. I had some fairly serious anxiety for MONTHS after I had princess P. I have no idea if it’s hormonal or whatnot, but I know that a large part of it is the lack of sleep.
Back in 2000 when I had my first baby (yes, I am a dinosaur) the big sleep book out was “Babywise” and I really clung to it. It was something that showed me there could be some semblence of a schedule. I flounder when I’m without a schedule and Babywise really worked for me. On the first one I followed it fairly strictly and it slowly loosened up with each child, but this is what I wish I would’ve done for baby sleep patterns.
Here are a few things I wish I would’ve done:
1. I love the feed, play, sleep cycle. That is the foundation of Babywise for me. At least, what it bubbled down to, by baby #3. The baby wakes up, you feed them, they play and then you put them down for a nap. The whole day works in those cycles. I think my kids appreciated knowing what was coming next and I appreciated having a routine. I also was grateful that I was never the mom who would put them in the crib and tiptoe out.
2. I wish I could have dropped the balls around me more, and I wish I could have been a better napper. I would get rushes of anxiety after I napped during the day, which would make my problems even worse — so I made the choice to only get my sleep at night and just try to stay active during the day. I guess maybe I wish I had gone on drugs for it. I also couldn’t stop my cleaning routine. I felt compelled to keep up the routine even when I was basically a zombie. I have been using Brain.fm to kind of help me turn my brain off to sleep lately. I think it would’ve helped back in the baby days. Maybe? I also think Owlet would’ve helped a lot. Anxiety always hangs in my back pocket after a new baby.
I think a lot of my baby anxiety could’ve been cured with Owlet Baby Care – check out my post about it!
3. I wish I would’ve picked them up more, and worried about their long term sleep patterns less. Babywise makes it SO important that your kid is getting great sleep. When in reality I maybe just needed to cuddle that baby a little more. However, my babies are not particularly cuddly and I am NOT much of a baby wearer (although I did love my Ergo pack). I will say that all my babies were VERY happy, and I think that comes from #1 and getting good sleep. But every now and then they maybe needed a cuddle I didn’t give.
4. I wish I would’ve clung to the schedule less and listened to the baby more. I was so set into 7, 11, 3, 7. It also kind of ruined my life as those times we HAD to be eating or sleeping or whatnot. I mean, simma down now Hilary. 🙂 Again, I’m a HUGE slave to routine, and I needed it. But, I maybe could’ve been a little looser, in my 6 years 20/20 vision.
5. I wish I would’ve owned my own Otoscope and learned how to use it back then. My oldest had horrible ear infections which made him a poor sleeper and I never knew if it was the infections or him just being a horrible sleeper. I will say I often just turned up the Enya and had a 10 minute cat nap while he whimpered and I don’t think there’s any shame in that.
A lot of friends say the secret to great baby sleep is this or this. What’s your favorite thing to help a baby sleep — tell me in the comments!
Sometimes a baby will only sleep if being held — I really liked this article, all about babies who have to be held — some great tips in there!
The reality is that you’re trying to bend to another person. And you can’t always do that because you are STILL a person. You have to make it work for both of you. I’m sure a lot of moms can’t believe I let babies cry it out. And I did, and I also would pick up. I just wish I hadn’t stressed so much about it. I do think there are moms who don’t stress ENOUGH About it, but I went the other way. What a surprise. 🙂
Hang in there, new moms. I promise that if you keep up good routines and lots of love they WILL sleep someday. And then they’ll be out late like my 15 year old and you won’t sleep again. Actually, on second thought, kiss sleep goodbye, totally overrated. 🙂
If you liked this post, be sure to check out all my pregnancy posts, including newborn care:
And my postpartum posts:
Or, maybe you’re more interested in MomHacker
Love your blog! But FYI the American Academy of Pediatrics has since condemned Babywise as there has been a strong link between using its method and failure to thrive in babies. Just thought I’d throw that out there in case you hadn’t heard. 😉
Give it a minute- they will endorse it as soon as one of those AAP moms actually use it. I used it as my only method for my first- and she is beyond high in both academic and physical charts. I didn’t use it with my second as for some dumb reason I thought feeding on demand (as my different midwife instructed) would be better and fall along the complaints the blogger mentioned- more cuddles, less rigorous. IT DOESN”T WORK. Babies like schedules and they like the BW method.
Mom of three says
Actually, Babywise has been contested by physicians for years now. I had someone recommend it when my oldest was new. And our hospital told us not to use the method as it did not take into account beastfeeding, growth spurts, or any health indications associated with crying. I mean, come on, babies cry when they need something. If you put a baby on a strick schedule you may miss out on cues that something is wrong (like an ear infection).
As I said in the post, you need to modify the basic schedule. Babywise has certainly softened over the years, and it’s helped a lot of moms.
Babywise itself advocates listening for your baby. I never could quite find the balance between “make them learn to fall asleep on their own” and “always feed a hungry baby,” though, because when she’s screaming in the middle of the night, it’s really hard to tell whether she’s actually hungry or just wants to nurse back to sleep. I tried Babywise when my daughter was a newborn, but it just stressed me out because she wouldn’t sleep as much as it insisted she would – even as newborn, three hours later when Babywise said she should have already had a nap and be eating again, she would be just getting sleepy. Even now at 8 months she frequently only takes one nap during the day, but she sleeps most of the night. I just quit stressing about Babywise and did what worked for her – which morphed into nursing right when she wakes up in the morning and before naps and bedtime (and also sometimes unrelated to sleep since she doesn’t sleep that much in the day). She does go to bed awake now. Naps are torture sometimes, especially when I try to make her take an afternoon nap, but I rarely hear a peep out of her when I put her in bed at night.
Uh, baby sleep. You do have to find what works for your baby! Something else I should have put in that post. 🙂
I would like your site but WAY TOO MANY ADS!!!
Awh, I’m sorry to hear that. I’d love to know if you’re on desktop or mobile – feel free to email me at my contact me page ( https://www.pullingcurls.com/contact/) — I am doing an ad overhaul in early January and I really want to know what bugs people (although, ads are a necessary evil in order for me to produce this blog full time).
Was cruising Pinterest and found a link to this article. My boys are 13 & 11 and when they were born I used the Babywise methods. They worked like a charm with my oldest. He loved his routine, was an extremely easy & happy baby and slept! We decided to have a 2nd baby because first was sooo easy, lol! Second son was not having anything to do with Babywise and its routine. Now that they are older, I have learned that my boys just have two completely different personalities and Babywise worked for one just not the other. I say if it works, go with it, if not, don’t sweat it! (BTW I am on a laptop and the ads are a bit excessive!)
Erika, funny you should mention the ads. I am switching companies on Thursday to ones that are less intrusive. Come back then and tell me what you think! I think it’s awn awful lot as well. 🙁 A gal’s gotta make the funds somehow though. 🙂