Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time To Get Babywise...Or Not

I don't mind admitting and sharing that when I had my first child back in '06, I was completely unprepared and totally not ready for the change that having a kid would bring to my world.

At 24, I didn't think I was a selfish person.

I was.

I just didn't fully recognize that being a parent was a 24/7 job. And let me tell you, there is a big difference between watching nieces and nephews (even overnight while their parents go on vacations), caring for younger siblings, or being the most used babysitter in the ward to having your own children.

This change of life was so overwhelming at first that in my amateur state, many friends and relatives started offering all kinds of advice. I had all sorts of people telling me what to do, and you know what, I was pretty darned thankful for 90% of the advice. One thing people told me to do repeatedly was to read sleep/eating books about infants.

There was this one:

And this one:

And the mother of them all:

I perused all of these books (the second being my favorite), and you know what, they all helped. I call my first baby my textbook baby because if the book said it, I did it. I had routines for everything. My life seemed to be a lot easier because of it too. I felt like I had licked this parenting thing! (Insert me laughing heartily and rather devilishly at myself!)

Fast forward to '08 when my second baby was born. This wasn't my first rodeo. I knew what to do! I tried to use the methods from the books, but guess what, she didn't take to any of them. Sleeping at night was torture for 2 1/2 months. Not only that, but child #1 wasn't making the nap training any easier with her banging around, playing, and poking the baby (and demanding to be fed and given some attention...the nerve J/K). So I sort of gave up on a lot of it and just went with the flow and enjoyed the baby. And you know what, we all thrived and were happy.

My point?

I don't think there is ONE way to have healthy, happy babies. Advice is good especially if you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the care of your baby, but you and your children need different things at different stages of life, so I don't think these types of books are for everyone all the time.

I'm pretty sure that no child ever became a drug dealer as a direct result of not napping or never learning sign language or being rocked to sleep.

So as I prepare for child #3 will I be a Babywise mom? Not sure if I'll need to be. If I were a betting woman I'd say no.


In doing a little bit of research for this post, I came across some very polarizing views of these books in the form of customer reviews (one of my favorite things to read). Man, people are passionate! Here are some of my favorite exerpts:

"If you are child centered this is not the book for you. However if you would like to teach your child how to be a member of your family (not the center of your family) you will love this book."

(Really, I thought that making your baby's routine the family routine was putting them at the center, but maybe it's just me.)

"I must say, even after just one day of doing the sleep training, Reid slept a solid 7 hours last night!!! I also credit the higher dosage of his Zantac."

(I don't even need to comment.)

"I read this book because I promised my wife I would read it when our first baby was born. It contains some interesting ideas about how to teach your baby to sleep through the night and take naps. It was missing a very important thing: A PLOT"

(Well, I can see who wears the pants in that relationship. If that last part was a joke, let me just say, I don't get you dude.)

"I followed a sample schedule from this book and my son has been sleeping all night since he was 4 weeks old. It also helps teach parents to train their baby not to be so needy. My son is loved more than he can imagine, but he can be happy without being held constantly or entertained constantly."

(You all know that I love a good brag.)

"I guess I'm not really sure yet what to rate this book because I have yet to have my baby."

(Yeah, get back to me in a few months, sweetheart. We'll see what you think.)


  1. I love Babywise. Next to the scriptures it is the place I turn to for guidance.

  2. With child #1, I read several parenting books. I turned to a book for answers to why my child was biting or why he was forcing himself to throw up to get out of bed. Fast forward 10 years, and with child #5, my answer to why the aforementioned things happen is, kids do those things. I haven't touched a parenting book in some 6 years. I will say, however, that Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child taught me some great things which I wish I'd known with the first two.

  3. I was a BW mom... thought it worked great (even when it didn't *L*). By my third, we were very much edging away from it, and tossed it out completely by the fourth.

    But... that's beside the point. *L* I just wanted to say that I TOTALLY laughed and related to your post... I thought I was self-sacrificial... but was selfish. Thought I had this parenting thing down... and still had so much to learn.

    Thank goodness that God's grace and a mother's love cover a multitude of screw ups!