I figured I should write an update on how Babywise worked out for us and, being two months since we began the program, what I think about it now.
We started implementing Babywise at the beginning of September when Sofia had just turned 5 months old. We did this because Sofia's 3rd and 4th months made us feel like our baby was out of our control and we didn't like how feeding on demand was turning her into a fussy, demanding baby. On top of that, I was no longer happy to be getting up in the middle of the night and it was starting to effect how I was during the day. Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing.
So, I read Babywise. We talked about it, re-read it and finally decided to implement it. Crying it out is hard, but I think I was to the point where I finally realized I needed to actually be a parent and do the hard thing, which I feel was the best thing for our baby.
Sofia began her first nap (simply putting baby in crib, no bouncing/rocking/soothing to sleep of any kind) by crying for 30 minutes and then falling asleep. She slept for almost two hours. I realized then that she could cry for up to 30 minutes and I didn't need to worry because that is where she had set her bar. The second attempt was exactly 30 minutes as well, followed by a good nap. On the third attempt we saw major progress - she cried for 8 minutes and put herself to sleep. On the fourth attempt she had completely gotten the picture - a small wimper that lasted maybe a minute followed by a good nap.
I feel like this almost instant progress gave me the strength I needed to move forward with the program.
We started moving Sofia to a 4 hour eating schedule right away and began implementing a bedtime routine. Sofia took to both very well. I believe it took me a couple of weeks to get her stomach to the 4 hour schedule and I don't think it was until a month into the program that I really saw progress with the eating schedule. However, two months later I can say that we are on a SOLID 4 hour eating schedule.
I also began with the Dream Feeds, something I had never done before, and they worked well -- allowing me to get some extra sleep before her first night feeding. My initial fear was that she would become dependent on them. She didn't and they were easily eliminated. I dream fed her for about the first 3 weeks and then stopped once I began to see progress with her sleeping.
At about a month and a half into the program Sofia began sleeping through the night, 7:30PM to 7:30AM. Babywise says that the nights follow the days. I strongly believe this to be true. Once Sofia was 100% on her 4 hour feeding schedule (as in she went the 4 hours without any distraction or help from me) I began noticing sleep improvements.
Two months later:
- She sleeps 12 hours straight. wakes up some nights, but never for a feeding and always puts herself back to sleep.
- She eats every 4 hours like clockwork.
- She goes down for naps easily. Some random days involve a bit of crying, never more than 5 minutes. This usually only happens when she is overtired. She typically naps the 1 1/2 hours, some days its less and some its more.
- She has begun eliminating her mid-day nap as of this week, each day it has gotten shorter and shorter. She began this on her own.
- She is a happy, content baby. She only cries when she sees her bottle or is past her nap time.
So, YES, Babywise came to the rescue for me. YES I would do it again and WILL do it again with all of my future children. YES I will start it right away and not wait until they are 5 months old. HA.
Hope this helps! Happy sleeping!!