Friday, November 16, 2012

Babywise ~ More than Luck!

Looking for this weeks Flashback Friday post? I posted it a day early! You can still link-up all weekend long here :) I'm  SUPER honored that Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom has asked me to be the surprise guest blogger to finish out the Babywise Blog Network Week! I look up to these Babywise parents so much and am thankful for the many times their blogs have helped ME in my personal journey :) 

You can visit each of the bloggers featured this week!
  1. Monday: Valerie Plowman, Chronicles of a Babywise Mom 
  2. Tuesday: Maureen Monfore, Childwise Chat 
  3. Wednesday: Bethany Lynch, The Graceful Mom 
  4. Thursday: Hank Osborne, Daddy Life   
I am the type of person who gets passionate about the things I love. When I find something that works, I stick with it and I love to share my passion about it with others. The Babywise series of books have been THE biggest blessing to my life as a parent. Hands down. I truly believe that every child would benefit from the techniques the Ezzo's teach. I am passionate about it. Anytime I find someone who is pregnant and hasn't already read the book...I mail them a copy (anyone know how to buy them in bulk? Because this little mission of mine ain't cheap haha). 

As a Christian my first goal of parenting is to raise my children up in the Lord and to parent them as He would see fit. In reading all of the -wise books I do believe that the series lines up with what God wants for us as parents. I have often been criticized for using a book to help me as a parent rather than just trusting my "mommy gut."

I have a few things to say about that. One being that we are all called to follow a book for how to live our lives and that's called The Bible. We don't just wander around aimlessly with no purpose or direction. We use His guidance and direction as we are called to do! Secondly the Bible talks about not trusting our hearts (Proverbs 3:5, Jeremiah 17:19, Matthew 15:19). Not letting them be the things that guide us. Yes, I do believe in "mommy gut" and that it is a valid resource when it comes to raising babies (gotta trust your instincts at times for sure!!!) but it shouldn't be the sole resource used in parenting. Lastly, a lot of that "gut" comes from relying back on how we were raised. What if you want to raise your children differently??? For me, I want to raise my children up in a Christian home with parents who have a strong, united marriage. I need a guidebook to help me achieve that goal since my own history is not a reliable source for that.

I was always a "school nerd" growing up. I'd be that kid to over study for tests and who always did every extra credit assignment even when I already secured that A. That's just my personality. I enjoy learning and I believe in studying in order to do my personal best in areas of my life that are important to me. As a stay at home mom, being a parent is my job. I want to be the BEST at my job I can be so I study. Babywise is one of the many parenting tools I use in my daily job as a mother and I'm sure I will continue to find many other useful resources in the future! There's no such thing as a perfect parent...learning and growing is always part of the process :) 

Like so many things in life, implementing Babywise techniques is something that takes hard work and determination but that also has big rewards. I first learned about Babywise when Kye was just 3 weeks old. As a new mom I originally had NO plans to have my baby on any type of scheduling. I was under this grand idea that a baby would be fitting into the life we already had. Feel free to laugh at me ;) Within weeks of implementing the techniques I had a baby who slept through the night! A happy baby! A content baby!

Through Babywise I learned that there is freedom in structure. As a Christian I find freedom in God's Word. His plan for me. His guidebook for life. Babywise has been a similar experience for me. Having our children on a schedule allows us freedoms. We can go and do and KNOW our children will be content. They won't be hungry. They won't be overtired. A baby with a set routine is a happy baby. It's so true. Yes, we may be more limited in our going and doing. But I'd rather go and do less and have positive experiences than have a busy life yet have our children be lacking in the sleep, consistency, and structure that they need to thrive. 

The first few weeks of establishing the Babywise schedule are difficult. It's tough to be consistent. To figure out everything your baby specifically needs and when things don't go as planned, what to tweak in order to get the baby back on track. There were times I did break down and cry. Times I wanted to just throw in the towel. Rock my baby to sleep. Bring him into my bed. Give up on getting him to nap. But I stuck with it. And the pay offs are HUGE. 

With Kye people often said how "lucky" I got. How he's just a good baby/toddler/preschooler. It's just his personality. Luck. 

Luck is a word that I do not like to hear! I firmly believe that few of Kye's traits are based solely on luck. He slept through the night at 8 weeks old because of my hard work. He was (and still is) happy, healthy, content, well-adjusted, well-behaved, etc because of our determination and consistency. It wasn't luck! But it took having Brittlynn to prove that to others, as well as to myself to some extent.

Baby number two has been SO much easier to parent than baby number one. I have been so happy with Kye and all that has resulted from us using the Babywise principles in our parenting. It was a no-brainer that we'd pretty much parent Brittlynn the same exact way (the only thing I have changed in my parenting with her was the way we introduced solids). We started using Babywise techniques from Day 1 with her, even while in the hospital. I'm so thankful I worked as hard as I did with Kye as it all comes so naturally now that I didn't have to re-read the books 1,000 times with Brittlynn. I just know what to do now :)

My sweet babies!
I still faced some tough days. A few days of even getting to the point of crying due to my frustrations. Overall though, it's been amazing to see that doing the same things we did with Kye has resulted in the same outcomes for Brittlynn. She started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks old. She is a phenomenal napper. Always wakes up happy. She is actually an even better sleeper than he ever was (I credit that to us using cry it out with her. Let them cry a little while they are young then they won't do it later as they get older!!!). So much for it all being based on luck, am I right? :)

Now when people hear about Brittlynn they don't say "oh you got lucky!" Instead, they say "that Babywise stuff sure is awesome!" or "I wish I'd done that with my babies" or "I def want to do it when I have kids!" It's SO nice not to hear that 4-letter-word anymore ;) Having two Babywise babies makes ME feel so much more confident as well. I used to worry if I'd be able to have more than one child on a schedule. How it would work. I read blogs like Valerie's and felt encouraged. She has multiple children. All of which have been raised using the -wise series. She is successful in that and after having a successful first year with my second child I'm also confident that I will be able to do the same for our future children. In fact, I think Babywise will only get easier as I have more children. It's just second nature for me now :)
Our family
People often assume that I'm the "hardcore" one in our household. That I'm a stickler for the schedule. I am, it's true, but my husband is actually even more hardcore than I am. He likes uninterrupted sleep :) When I first read Babywise he wasn't quick to jump on board. It was tough for him to wrap his mind around the concept of having a baby on a schedule. But trust me...it didn't take long for him to "get it" and now he will be the one to say "oh my gosh Em we gotta go so we can get them down for naps on time!" 

Babywise has not only given our children the gift of sleep. It has given our entire family so, so much more. It has blessed our lives beyond measure and I am truly thankful to consider myself a Babywise Mama :)  When I had my first child parenthood became my passion. It gave me my wings and Babywise has allowed me to fly!  If you are in the tougher phases of implementing Babywise in your home, do not be discouraged. Do not give up. We have ALL been there. But it gets easier and it's SO worth it!!!
 

9 comments:

Claire Westbrook said...

Loved reading your blog today! I'm a new follower. :) I, too, am a Babywise mom/blogger and have found it to be such a blessing. No, we don't have a perfect child, but we have a happy child with healthy sleep habits and a predictable schedule. It's pretty great!

Tyler and Shea Moses said...

Loved your post today! We are a babywise family 3 times over - and we would not have it any other way. We love the freedom that comes from structure and that we have a firm foundation to lean on when if we ever get set a little off course. Just like in our faith. I love how you used the example of The Bible being our guide to life- and that it's basically in our nature to need to directed in the way which we want go. When people say "oh you are so lucky," I always respond with - well I put a lot of hard work into helping them learn to sleep." I feel implementing these principles is just as important as the food we put into our babies mouth.

You have a new follower in me! :) www.themoseshome.blogspot.com is my little family blog if you are ever bored!

Elisabeth said...

I LOVE Babywise. I know it sometimes gets a bad rap, but I don't think people fully understand the principles the book is based upon. Just this morning I was talking to an exhausted Mom of a 14-month old, who is still up repeatedly (nursing) at night. I cannot imagine! For one thing, I KNOW when something is wrong, because my (19-month old) is so used to routine, good sleep pattens, and respectful behaviour. Our life is far from perfect, and I've made many mistakes, but I haven't once regretted the results of Babywise. It IS hard to implement, but sticking with it bears huge dividends for both your children AND your marriage.


My daughter had a lot of health problems, and is, by nature a pretty horrible sleeper. (she actually didn't STTN until 5 months - quite late by Babywise standards), but I know that her current wonderful sleep and behavior habits have nothing at all to do with luck.



Loved reading your post, and am now following your journey.

Rach said...

Amen Sister! I LOVED finding this blog post! I tried to encourage an overtired mama the other day and it didn't work so well. She claimed that I just had a "perfect baby" and how that must be so nice for me.
He is a good baby but we worked HARD to get him on a great schedule! THANKS for saying what we were all feeling!! :-)

Chrysti Hedding said...

Thanks for sharing your journey, Emily! Popping around from Val's blog. I agree with you about the 'L' word. :) I get it all the time with my 8 month-old. I can't wait to see their reactions when something similar happens once another baby comes along. We do have to make certain that people know that it's been HARD work to get our son the way he is now.

Kristy said...

That's great that your husband is more than on board. :) My husband also liked what I was doing with Babywise the more he learned about it. It's been a blessing in our family just as you described. I am reading a scientific research-based book right now called Raising Happiness. I don't know how I will like it when I am finished, but so far I am surprised by how many of the Babywise principles are in there that have been proven beneficial for children (for example, nurture your marriage first). Nice to "meet" you and your blog!

jennifer goss said...

My son is 4 months old and I need sleep!! Which book should I start to read first?? Any tips? Is it too late to start?

Christina said...

Emily, thank you so much for sharing this! I am a BW mom as well, and I really don't know how I would be as a mother without it.

Rachael_Copponex said...

You got enough Babywise love. ;) I will say I love the pics you posted with it. :) They are my fav

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