Monday, May 20, 2013

Sleep. And Book Review: Babywise

Remember my great sleeper?  Well about a week ago, he decided that he can't fall asleep on his own anymore.  Only a couple of times have been really bad, but I'm definitely thinking more about sleep.

Because I don't want to mess anything up.  I don't want to make a mistake that will forever and ever not let Dylan learn how to sleep on his own. (Hyperbole intended...I know one action won't affect a lifetime.)

I'm relatively well-informed and wanted to figure things out on my own and kind of follow my gut, but when I'm in the moment of "ohmylordhowdoimakehimstopcryingsohecansleepbecauseiknowthatswhathewants?," I need to have a plan.

So I looked around the house for all of the sleep books that friends had lent me and had been collecting dust.

Here's what I found:

I decided to start with Babywise because I had heard of it somewhere with what I remember was a positive connotation.

My review: (I skimmed the book over a couple of hours - plenty of time to get all pertinent info.)

I thought Babywise was pretty funny because at least half of the book is devoted to proving why Attachment Parent is wrong.  I know some Attachment Parents and the overall practice is not for me so I didn't need to learn why it was totally ridiculous and unfounded in this author's opinion, but it did make me chuckle.

Basically the book advocates having the baby on a flexible schedule.  It promises that your baby will sleep through the night by 12ish weeks if you follow the system.

Unfortunately, besides following this flexible schedule...there is no system!

So although I learned a little more about baby sleep cycles and I was pleased that there was a section devoted to reflux that essentially said that much of this will have to be even more flexible for a reflux baby, I didn't find this book worth my time.

Dylan is already on a flexible schedule (eating 2-3 hours during the day) and he sleeps through the night.

Overall Rating: C-

I have already started The Happiest Baby Guide and it's not even comparable how much better it is.  Partly why I haven't finished it yet...I'm reading every detail.


  1. I'm due in July, so I have no idea what will work, but we just took a class on the Happiest Baby. They showed the DVD, which we both found very interesting. I know Our library has it, so it's worth checking to see if yours does too. Good luck

  2. Ditto on the Babywise - it felt more like an argument against on-demand feeding and attachment styles of parenting. I'm curious what you think about Happiest Baby - I've skimmed it as well and we've been implementing some of it.

  3. Babywise is a controversial book, actually. Some people feel it's dangerous to babies.

  4. I read Happiest Baby before my daughter was born and my husband and I watched the video together. I would swear by it. Our daughter was swaddled with a noise machine from the day she was born (I'm not exagerating-in the hospital, we used an app on my phone in airplane mode.) She slept so wel, I often had to wake her to feed in those early days to make sure she was gaining enough. I have heard some babies hate the swaddle. I'm positive this could be true as each baby is different, but for us (and many others I know) Happiest Baby was the way to go.

  5. I read Babywise about 11 years ago, so perhaps my memory is failing me....
    But what I got out of the book was to try to get your baby in the cycle of eat/play/sleep/eat/play/sleep. That way you are not conditioning your child to have to have a feeding to fall sleep. The idea is to put your child to bed while still somewhat awake so that they learn the art of falling to sleep on their own. My daughter naturally fell into this cycle and was a great sleeper. My 2nd born needed a little help getting into this cycle, but was then a great sleeper also. My 3rd was colic, had reflux, and was a horrible sleeper. I read every sleep book on the planet and tried tons of different methods. 7 months of no sleep will make a mama try almost anything. I'm just going to say that there are misconceptions about the Ferber method, and for me, he was a lifesaver.

    1. Thanks for the feedback and yes it definitely talks about eat, play, sleep. Our only problem with that is he needs a while to settle before he can "play," because if reflux, but we do follow that during the day.

      I only heard about Ferber last week for the first time, but I definitely think all systems have just depends on your personality and the baby's to see what works.

  6. Try out "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissblith. My first was a nightmare (not sleeping through the night until almost his first birthday) so I read this before I had my second, and my second and third slept through the night (10ish hours) since eight weeks-and both were exclusively breastfed! I'm sure part of it was our inexperince as parents the first time around, but either way it was a lifesaver and very useful. Interesting perspective too...but at any rate, hang in there and good luck :)