Here is what I learned:
- There is no "perfect" science, all babies are different. For example, A + B does not always equal C. I needed to learn my baby. I found that using a combination of scheduling along with following her cues worked best.
- It is okay if you have to supplement. I have been an exclusive breast feeding mommy for 5 months now! Sofia weighs 16lbs. 10 ounces and, well, it was time for her to get more nutrition than what my breast milk could offer. I started her on solids at 4 months because I had started to notice that my breast milk wasn't cutting it, but not until recently did I start supplementing with a bottle of formula as well. I found that one little bottle of formula turned Sofia from a cranky lady to a happy little angel.
- Letting a baby cry for a reasonable amount of time is okay if you know what she is crying for. This means, you need to learn your baby's cries. When your baby cries, you need to stop and listen, analyze and then act. I found that when I was putting Sofia down for her nap she would cry hysterically at first, but I could tell it was an angry cry because it sounded just like my cry when I was a kid who was mad at my mom (yes, I remember the rise and fall of my childhood cry). I also noticed that if I would go in the room and check on her, she would stop the second the door opened and when she realized I wasn't going to pick her up, her cry would escalate. She wasn't getting what she wanted. Plain and simple. I knew she was fed, dry and safe.... most of all I knew she was just throwing a temper tantrum. Yes, a 5 month old can throw a temper tantrum - this was knowledge to me as well. So by our 4th time putting her down for a nap, she had learned that Mommy wasn't going to cave and now she puts herself to sleep quietly. WOW.
- You are always adjusting, there is no science because everything is relative and constantly in motion. My opinion on what is right has changed a million times. I feel like the proof is in the pudding, Sofia is a happy baby and when she was fed on demand she was miserable. Now that she is back on a schedule she is jubilant all the time.
- Keeping baby on a schedule in the beginning is hard work. I'm still feeling the burn. I'm strict about feedings, but reasonable about napping. I know that my baby can go 4 hours from the start of one feeding to the start of another, but I also know that she needs a naps after exactly 2 hours of awake time. Learn your baby.
- It took Sofia 2 days to put herself to sleep quietly; however, we are still working on staying on schedule and sleeping through the night. I am setting a goal of hopefully accomplishing these two things by the end of September.
- If you've read the book and you are implementing the Baby Wise method, but have questions, I have found that Chronicles of a Babywise Mom at www.babywisemom.com is a phenomenal resource. It is a wonderful blog that has millions of question and answers and is so helpful! Thank you Baby Wise Mom!
- This book has given me so much confidence and being a first time mom, it was exactly what I needed. It is definitely not for everyone, some of my closest friends are strong believers in feeding on demand, co-sleeping, etc. My biggest suggestion is that you pick up a copy and read the book before making a decision. Enjoy!