Why Babywise Isn’t Working for You: Avoiding Common Babywise Mistakes

An experienced mom walks you through potential sleep problems.

7 months into my pregnancy, I read On Becoming Babywise from cover to cover. I took notes, I made schedules, and I even brought the book to the hospital with me. Needless to say, I felt reasonably sure that I could implement the Babywise method without a hitch. The trouble was, my baby had other ideas.

You name it, she had it: acid reflux, gas, tongue tie, night/day confusion…an absolute abhorrence for any semblance of structure.

Any experienced Babywise mom will tell you that the road to structure and independence can be a long one. If you’re starting to wonder if Babywise isn’t working for you, please don’t feel bad. You’re bound to run into hiccups.

This post will identify a few of the most common Babywise issues that might be plaguing you and, most importantly, how to fix them.

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Why Babywise Isn’t Working for You: Avoiding Common Babywise Issues

Your Schedule is Clock-Directed

Do you feel like the Babywise method is constricting your day? Are you stressed out every time your baby deviates from your 2.5-3 hour schedule?

The true Babywise method is supposed to add focus and predictability to your day, not constrain it.

A clock-directed routine can cause several issues, but the most common are:

  • Stress and apprehension
  • Low milk supply
  • Failure to thrive
  • To avoid a clock-direct routine, keep these two rules in mind: 1. Always feed a hungry baby. And 2., Your schedule should be parent-directed. You have every right to assess your child’s needs and adjust the schedule accordingly.

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    When you’re trying to implement a brand new routine, consistency is king. If you’re not consistent, then your baby (physically) can’t adapt to a feeding schedule.

    Here are just a couple tips I recommend:

  • Choose a desired wake-time and bedtime.
  • Do errands during wake times and limit to once a day.
  • Unless there’s a hunger issue, adjust your baby sleep schedule in 15 minute increments
  • Honor the 30 minute window
  • Ensuring consistency from your baby’s daily caretakers is a little trickier. The best you can do is explain that your routine is very important and you’d like them to adhere to it if they can.

    Your Baby Won’t Put Himself to Sleep

    Depending on your baby’s age, the culprit could be a sleep prop. Sleep props are anything that your baby needs in order to fall asleep or stay asleep, such as you, a pacifier, or a rocking motion. While none of these things are inherently bad for your baby, it’s best to break the habit quickly so he can enjoy independent sleep.

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    If he doesn’t have a sleep prop and still your baby won’t sleep, you might look more closely at your bedtime routine or even external factors, such as sound, temperature, or comfort.

    Practiced correctly, the Babywise method can add much-needed predictability to your life. But, we’re only human. Don’t worry if Babywise isn’t working for you exactly as you had planned. If you continue to focus on caring for your baby’s needs, sticking to a basic eat-wake-sleep routine, and creating a healthy sleep environment, your baby will adjust in time.

    Stay consistent and persevere. You’re doing a great job!

    Erin Artfitch

    Erin Artfitch

    As an Interior Designer, I believed that the key to an amazing design was an equal mix of practicality and creativity. As a mom, I believe we can apply this exact concept to raising babies! My goal is to give you the practical advice you need to plan, prepare, and thrive during your journey as a new Babywise Mom.

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