Mother rubbing noses with newborn baby girl

Ok, I know this is controversial.  Some women swear by this book/method and others can’t stand it.  I, personally, love Babywise!  I used this method with my first son, who learned how to eat and sleep happily through the night with very few problems, and I intend to use it again with my second son.

When I pulled out my old book recently to freshen up my Babywise techniques, I remembered that I had made “CliffsNotes” for my husband.  Right before our son was born, he was getting crushed at work with no time to read the book, and I wanted us to be on the same page.  (Whatever method you choose, just make sure you and your partner are both on board.)

Anyway, I dug out my notes and thought I would share them with anyone who is interested in learning more about Babywise or just needs a cheat-sheet!  

I fully respect every parent’s decision and am aware this is not for everyone, but these tips and techniques really worked for us:

Chapter One: Right Beginning

  • Creating a loving home
  • Keep your marriage strong
  • Remembering each other and making time for each other
  • Let your children see your love and friendship
  • Assigning house chores so everyone knows his or her responsibilities to help
  • Keep up with date night
  • Have a couch talk each day

Chapter Two: Feeding Philosophies

  • Clock Feeding (i.e. only following the clock): This doesn’t take into account growth spurts, and you have to assume that each feeding is successful.
  • Child-Led Feeding (i.e. waiting for signs from the baby):  Take note that babies who get too hungry may be too sluggish to give you the cues they are hungry.
  • Babywise Parent-Directed Feeding (a combination of both): Hunger cue+ clock+ parent assessment= feeding time.  You are aware of feeding problems, and you can use the clock when the baby gives no cue.

Chapter Three: Babies and Sleep

  • Feed, wake, sleep cycle.  In that order.  Each step has to be good quality.
  • It’s a myth that formula-fed babies sleep better.
  • Don’t nurse or rock your baby to sleep.  Put them down awake right before they are falling asleep so they can learn to sleep on their own.
  • Try not to sleep with your baby.

Chapter Four: Facts on Feeding

  • Parent-Directed Feeding recommends full feedings every 2.5-3hrs, 10-15mins on each breast.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before breast feeding.
  • Use the nipple to stroke down on the lower lip.  This causes reflex for feeding.
  • Babies will want more food during growth spurts, which can last a few days.
  • Burp babies when changing breasts.
  • After the first week, 2-5 yellow stools and 7-9 wet diapers means baby is getting enough milk.

Chapter Five: Managing Your Baby’s Day

  • Follow Feed-Wake-Sleep cycles, not Feed-Sleep
  • You will then merge cycles as the baby grows and can drop feedings.
  • Birth-2wks:   Feeding time/Wake time= 30-50mins, then sleep 1.5-2hrs.
  • 3-5wks: Feeding time/Wake time= 30-60mins, then sleep 1.5-2hrs.
  • 6-12wks: Feeding time=30mins, Wake time=30-50mins, then sleep 1.5-2hrs.
  • See chapter for sample daily schedules.

Chapter Six: Wake Times and Naps

  • It’s good to let baby have “alone” time – monitored time during which they are discovering things on their own.
  • Watch out for the fatigued baby.
  • Healthy sleep has two parts: sleeping through the nap and napping in the crib.
  • Let the baby see the light of day for the first feeding.  This helps with their internal clock.
  • After 12-16 weeks, when baby can lift his head, start tummy time- 30min/day.
  • See chapter for specific sleep challenges and solutions.

Chapter Seven: When Your Baby Cries

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics  says newborns cry 1-4hrs a day and that’s normal.
  • Letting baby cry it out and blocking every cry are both too extreme.
  • Abnormal crying: during feeding, crying immediately after feeding, or in the middle of a sound nap.
  • Abnormal crying usually means there is a problem and you need to respond immediately.
  • Normal crying: before feeding, late afternoon/early evening “fussing time,” or going down for a nap.
  • If the baby cries before nap time longer than 15mins, check on him/her.
  • AAP says some babies have to cry to settle themselves before sleep.  15-20mins of crying does no harm.
  • Crying should not last long before a nap if the child is truly tired.
  • When the baby cries: 1. Think about where he is in his routine; 2. Ask what type of cry is it;  3. Take action.

Chapter Eight: Colic, Reflux, and the Inconsolable Baby

  • Signs of stomach distress: folding of the legs, flailing arms, inconsolable crying, and passing gas
  • Colic is not a digestive problem; it’s nervous system problem.
  • GER, or gastroesophageal reflux consists of asymptomatic spitting up; no medical treatment necessary.
  • GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, causes the baby intense pain and leads to feeding aversion and failure to thrive.  This requires medical attention to decrease acid production in the stomach.
  • Signs of reflux: crying through feedings or waking up in middle of naps crying in pain.
  • Frequent burping and sitting the baby upright helps lessen discomfort.
  • See chapter for tips on how to deal with colic, GER, and GERD.

Chapter Nine: Topic Pool

  • Alphabetized topics to use as a reference.

I hope this was helpful as you figure out the parenting techniques that are right for you and your growing family!  



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