The Ultimate Guide to Sleep Training: Babywise

I have a lot of people make comments on how lucky I am that O sleeps through the night and that he has since he was 5 weeks old. You read that right, he has slept through the night since he was 5 weeks old.

The truth is, we worked really hard on sleep training. I realize that maybe O boy was an easy baby, but I take full credit for the fact that he is such a good sleeper.

We worked day in and day out, all night long, since day one of O boys life. I remember evenings where we would have to stay right by his crib and comfort him to get him to fall asleep without removing him from his crib

There is one word to answer how I did it…

BABYWISE.

Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam wrote a book entitled On Becoming Babywise: Give Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep. I am going to answer the who, what, where, when, and why behind my use of this book (may contain affiliate links but all opinions are my own).

DISCLAIMER: I realize there is a lot of differing opinions on Babywise. I am only sharing my opinion and experience as a mama.

WHO?

This book is for every new parent that wants to sleep train their child. Trust me, you will thank Ezzo and Bucknam for the tremendous recommendations they make in this book because they work!

Here are some others who rave about the usage of Babywise (found in the first few pages of the book):

“As a practicing pediatrician, husband, and father, I enthusiastically recommend On Becoming Babywise. I found the prinicples contained within to be a sigh of welcome relieve to sleepless, weary parents, and more than an ounce of prevention for those who adopt these concepts from the start. I am convinced that the well-tested principles of Babywise produce confident parents, secure and content infants, and peaceful and orderly homes.” – David Blank, M.D., Longmont

“My husband and I had heard all sorts of horror stories and felt so discouraged and defeated before our baby came. Feeding around the clock, unexplained fussiness, and household chaos was not what we wanted. We were introduced to the Babywise concepts a week before our son was born. How timely! As predicted, our happy, contented baby was sleeping through the night at eight weeks. We so appreciate Dr. Bucknam and Mr. Ezzo’s insights, and thank them for giving us the confidence to do what is best for our son.” – A mother from Denver, CO

WHAT? 

Babywise is jam-packed with so much good information ranging from ideas on feeding, to how to console a colicky baby. I will just give a brief overview of the idea behind Babywise.

Weeks 1-3 of Baby’s Life

Feed them every 2.5 – 3 hours. Whatever your child’s “morning feeding” is, let’s say around 7:00 AM, you feed them when they first wake up. Then, you do any hygiene cares and keep your babe up for minimal wake time. Your child’s feeding and wake time only totals 30-50 minutes. You then put them back down for a nap for between 1.5 – 2 hours.

After this 1.5 – 2 hours, you wake your child up for the next schedule. The key is to feed, play/wake time, followed by sleep.

DISCLAIMER: If you child is acting hungry before the 2.5 – 3 hour mark, feed them!!!! You don’t have to wait until that time frame has passed. You would then do your routine the same and go 2.5 – 3 hours from that time.

Some may argue that if your child is asleep still, why wake them? This is something that was crucial to my success with O boy; I stuck to this schedule as strictly as I could. You have to stick to the schedule or it won’t work

Babywise breaks down each stage for you. They teach you how to drop night time feedings, what do if you like a more flexible schedule, and what to expect from your child in each stage.

WHERE?

This may seem like a weird question about Babywise, but you can do this anywhere. Some would argue that you would never be able to leave your house because you have to stick to the schedule to find success.

What I love about the schedule is that you can plan your day around it. For example, when your baby has wake time, that is when you can go to the grocery store. Or when your baby has sleep time, that is when you can plan for friends to come.

I tried to stick to the schedule as much as possible, but I realize that life gets in the way. Just do the best you can! I am a believer that when you have children it doesn’t mean everything in your whole life has to change and you become some-sort-of prisoner in your home. No, you can still have a life. You just have to fit your baby’s schedule into that life.

WHEN?

Start using Babywise as early as you can with your newborn. It will help you find success faster and lessen the fatigue you experience.

However, if you find this resource late in the game, they do have information in the book on where to start your child in the Babywise progression.

WHY?

First off, as a new mama you have no idea what you are doing! Can I get an amen?!

My sister-in-law gave me the book and suggested I try it out, so I did. I hadn’t heard much about it but I am glad that I chose to give it a shot.

Second, I like structure and order in my life. The Babywise method was good for me because I knew exactly what my day would look like. I could plan based on O boy’s first feeding. A schedule is good for your baby too because then they know what to expect! It helps them transition easier, and helps lessen anxiety as a new mama.

Third, it was something I had control over. Having a new baby is hard because your whole life is different and you feel like you can’t control anything. As much as you want your baby to stop crying or go to sleep, you can’t control that. Babywise helped me get a little bit of control back in my life. I will be forever grateful for that, honestly.

I highly recommend the Babywise method. I also realize that every baby and mama is different. Do what is best for you and your family!

Kaitlyn


Here are some other products that helped us find success regarding sleep with a newborn

(may contain affiliate links but all opinions are my own):

Fisher Price Auto Rock N’ Play Sleeper

Okay this seriously saved our bacon! On rough nights when we couldn’t get O boy to go back to sleep, we could put him in the this and it would rock him automatically. Very convenient when you can barely keep your eyes open!

Carter’s Babysoft Swaddle Blankets (2 pack)

These were the BEST swaddle blankets. The material is stretchy so you can wrap your babe tight enough that they can’t roll out of it.


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26 Comments

  • GiGi Eats Celebrities

    February 7, 2017

    Oh man, when I have a kid, this is going to be a wild adventure, that’s for sure!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 7, 2017

      It definitely is! But it is a great, wild adventure. You will love it!!

      Reply
  • Ana De-Jesus

    February 7, 2017

    It sounds like the methods really work especially when it comes to feeding helping them sleep. Like the idea of sleep training x

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 7, 2017

      I really did love this book. It is just helpful to have them on a schedule! But every mama should do their own thing, whatever they feel is best for them and their baby.

      Reply
  • I like the idea of this book, but I also think new mom’s need to trust their inner voice. Some babies are outside the “norm” and a new mommy can make up her own rules too. xoxo Robin

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 7, 2017

      I completely agree with you Robin! Every baby is different and every mama should do what they feel is best for them and their child. Being a mama automatically lets you make up your own rules ha!!

      Reply
  • Amber

    February 7, 2017

    I started to sleep train when my kids were close to 2. When they were tiny, I always went to them if they cried. But near 2 I felt like they needed to learn to sleep in a bit and it worked! My kids learned to entertain themselves until 8 AM at the age of 2!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      That is so great it worked for you, Amber! It makes such a difference when they start sleeping through the night. You feel much better when you actually get sleep!

      Reply
  • Author Brandi Kennedy

    February 7, 2017

    I didn’t do any sort of sleep training with my two kids – I just followed their natural schedules and sort of studied how they worked. If it was natural for them to get hungry around a certain period of time, or tired, etc – then I just began to notice what their patterns were. I learned to plan around that; I didn’t train my baby, I trained myself. Over time, our schedules meshed and we got more and more able to adapt and adjust to each other, and eventually it all just worked. But then, maybe I just had easy babies.

    Those rocker/bouncer chairs were a miracle for both of my kids though, too. They were amazing!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      I think every mama should do what works best for them and their kiddos. It is hard to only stick to your kiddos schedules, but you are a good mama for doing it. Way to go! The rockers chairs seriously are the best. Can’t deny that!

      Reply
  • Entrepremom

    February 7, 2017

    My kids slept through the night once they reached their second month. On the first month though we were awake all night! We co-sleep by the way 🙂

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      That is awesome! That is when my babe started sleeping through the night as well. How long have you co-slept with your kiddos?

      Reply
  • Elizabeth O.

    February 7, 2017

    I’m sure it’s possible but it would be very challenging when you have twins! My girls would wake each other up every time one of them was awake and the other was sleeping. I think sleep training is a great idea.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      Oh for sure!!! I salute all mamas who have twins. I could not do it! My husband tells me he wants twins but I tell him not to wish that upon me.

      Reply
  • Carol Cassara

    February 7, 2017

    I think sleep training is great for their discipline. Besides, babies live on routines so sleep training them will definitely help with that.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      I agree with you. Helping them have a natural schedule is so good of them because then they know what to expect! At least, that is what I think.

      Reply
  • Sara

    February 8, 2017

    I haven’t children yet..but for sure it will be an adventure with them!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      It always is, Sara! I am sure you will make a great mama someday.

      Reply
  • thecherylf

    February 8, 2017

    I didn’t sleep train my son but I’m so lucky that he never had trouble sleeping. He’s a good sleeper, by the way. He’s now turning 3. This will help with new moms, though.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      I am so glad he is such a good sleeper! It definitely helped me. But, every mama should do what is right for them and their babe.

      Reply
  • Robin Rue

    February 8, 2017

    Sleep training is seriously one of the closest things to being hard in parenting as potty training. Once you get those two things down, you will be golden!

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      Oh good! I am glad I got at least one of the hard things covered ha. I am sure more hard things are thrown at you on they road of parenting though!

      Reply
  • Shirley

    February 8, 2017

    So cute, i love the pic with the baby. Sleep training is great for discipline and one of the assets in parenting.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 8, 2017

      Yes it is! I really loved this because it gave me a schedule and we both knew what to expect. Thanks, it is one of my fav pictures when O was first born!

      Reply
  • Shaundi

    February 14, 2017

    This is super interesting! I have also read that the recommendations in this book can cause breastfeeding failure (because you’re not stimulating milk production several times during the night) distress in creating the mother/baby bond (which happens a lot in the middle of the night), and can encourage mother guilt and ppd. Could you find truth in that? Have you read any research articles that don’t support this method? I’m honestly just curious, and am open minded.

    Reply
    • Kaitlyn Brough

      February 14, 2017

      I actually have read a lot of both sides on this book, honestly. There are a ton of success stores as well as a lot of stories where it didn’t work for people and it is warned against using the Babywise method. For me personally, I this method worked really well because I didn’t get as much anxiety about when my baby would eat and I knew what to expect throughout the day. I didn’t drop night time feedings until O was ready and my pediatrician said it was okay to do so.

      I really believe that every mama should do what is best for them, and I realize that they may mean not using the Babywise method. We should all do what we feel is right and be led by the Spirit to know what that is for our child. I am so grateful this method is what I was led to do, but it won’t be for everyone.

      Reply

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