Mar 2, 2012

Is Your Baby Keeping You Awake?

I have lots of friends who have babies. 

We are past that point, (our girls are 8 and 5), but I remember just how hard those days were.

Little sleep, no free time, lots of crying.  And that was a good day.

Often, I find myself encouraging these young moms that even though it seems like this time will never end, it will.

But I know that for those in the thick of it, it is hard to imagine. 

And one of the very hardest things is the lack of sleep.  Simply put, it makes everything ten times worse.  But how do you get around it?  How do you get baby to sleep?

First, let me say that there is no easy solution that will take in one easy step.  It's going to take work.  Both on your part, and on your baby's.

But we did have success.  Addy was sleeping through the night at five weeks and soothing herself back to sleep when she would wake up in the night! 

Here's how we did it:

Someone had given me the 'On Becoming Baby Wise' book when I was pregnant.  I knew it was a controversial book, but decided to read it anyhow.

Basically, the Baby Wise method is one in which parents direct the baby's sleep, eat and play pattern.  For example, baby's generally like to fall asleep while eating.  Once asleep, they wake to either a) eat, or b) play.  Once baby is fed again, he/she will return to sleep.  The problem is that if a baby falls asleep before finishing, they are likely to wake from hunger, which means that they are not getting the amount of sleep they need, which will lead to a fussy baby.

Using the Baby Wise method, a baby would sleep, then when they wake, they would have a feeding time.  You would continue to try and keep the baby awake during the entire feeding time, (even waking them if necessary), and then having play time, (again, keeping them awake).   Once it is time for sleep, the parent would put the baby in the crib AWAKE.  This way, babies learn to put themselves to sleep. 

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "My baby would scream his/her head off".  And you're right.  Most babies don't take well to this in the beginning.  And it's even harder for mom and dad.  But by allowing baby to cry, you teach them to self soothe. 

Now you're beginning to see the controversial part, right?

Please hear me when I say that I know this method is not right for everyone! 

But some moms, (and dad's), are dying from lack of sleep.  And this just might be the answer they're looking for.

And you can't be afraid to take the method and adjust it to make it work for your needs.

Our oldest, Addy, took very quickly to the process.  But Faith was different.  They both shared a room and it was hard for me to allow her to cry for too long because I didn't want her to wake up her sister.  So, instead, I did a modified method.  I would allow her to cry for a little while, (maybe 10 minutes), and then get her up, soothe her, but NOT allow her to fall asleep in my arms, and place her back into her crib awake.  It took longer, but eventually she got it.

And we got sleep.  Much needed sleep.

If you want to know more about the Baby Wise method, you can check out the Parent-Wise Solutions site, or a great blog that helps parents with the method, Chronicles Of A Babywise Mom.

Are you a Mom or Dad struggling to get your baby/toddler to sleep?  Or do you have a great method to share?  Please comment and tell us your story!


  1. You are a brave woman for posting this! However, I am a HUGE believer in Baby Wise. We did it with both kids. Broderick took a lot more work, but in the end it was totally worth it. Carys took to it a little quicker with less crying. I must say that after I had Carys I didn't know how people did it without a schedule. Like you said, there is no easy step process. Mainly because no 2 babies are the same. ONe must know that when they read they book they are going to need to adjust and adapt to their baby. I say though...if you have a small baby or are expecting...READ THE BOOK! And then find people you know who did it and ask for help/support!

    1. Great Advice Amy! I totally agree, and I find that most people who try it, in one form or another, find success!


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