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Hi! I’m Robyn over at The Robyn’s Nest. Emily and I have been friends for almost 7 years now. One of the biggest things that brought us together? Babywise. We had our babies about 1 month apart, and we both were using the Babywise technique. While this is what we had in common and what initially drew us together, we did have one big difference: I’m a working mom.
I think it’s sometimes a misconception that Babywise is more for a SAHM, or that it’s not possible for a working mom. But it so is! It takes some different planning, and it for sure takes a lot of work (but Babywise does for everyone!), and it might take a little modification, but it is possible!
Here are some things I think you need to consider if you are a working mom and want to do Babywise:
1- Talk to your caregiver
For me, I was very lucky that my mother-in-law kept both of my babies. There was one exception to that. I had my daughter in February, but my mother-in-law (who was a teacher) wasn’t retiring until May. I had to go back to work at the end of March, so we needed childcare just until I got out of work (I’m also a teacher) for the summer at the end of May. We didn’t want to place her in daycare for just two months, so she kind on bounced around to different family members for those 2 months. While we were extremely grateful to our family for helping us out, it was terrible on her schedule. When I got out of school for the summer, my daughter was basically on no schedule any more. I had to spend that entire summer (literally) getting her back on the schedule that she needed to be on. I spent many days that summer in tears (Babywise can be hard!), but it all paid off. By the time I went back to school in August, she was exactly where she needed to be.
That being said, when she started staying with my mother-in-law that August, we had to have a big talk about her schedule, what I really wanted to happen, and why it was important to me. My mother-in-law is a very “go with the flow” type person, and scheduling was not something that she loved. She wanted to just feed her when she was hungry and let her sleep when she slept. And this was not okay with me! We clashed some then (and even again when I had my son a few years later), but I just had to stand my ground. This was my baby. This is what I wanted for her. This is what needed to happy. Remember – you are the only advocate for your child!
I know not everyone is blessed with individual care for their child. I really think that if you do have to go a different route, whether it be a bigger at-home daycare or a traditional daycare, you will have that as a slight advantage on your side. Typically, those types of environments (with multiple children) do so much better if kids are on a schedule. And I think that, for the most part, they would be put on a schedule there anyway. No matter what type of child care you have for your child – make sure your expectations are clear!
2- Decide what is most important to you
For my specific situation, I did have to pick and choose a little when it came to what part of Babywise I wanted to use. Especially since I was already kind of fighting a battle to have a schedule anyway. For me, this meant that I had to really sit down and think about what aspects of Babywise were the most important to me. For my daughter to have the eat-wake-sleep cycle, and to eat and sleep close to the scheduled time was the biggest thing to me. This meant that I had to give up things that I didn’t think were as important (like room time/independent play time). Don’t get me wrong, I think those things are important, but I had to decide what meant the most to me. I would implement those things when I was home for breaks or the summer, but it wasn’t something that I pushed too hard for during the school year.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have the “perfect” Babywise playbook, but you have to be flexible to knowing that the caregiver of your child may not do things exactly like you would if you were home with your baby.
3- Write it out!
When it comes to someone else watching your child, don’t be afraid to literally write out the schedule that you want them to stick by! I did this with both of my children every time that they moved up to a new schedule! I would even detail on the schedule when they were supposed to eat, how much they were supposed to eat, what time they should go down for nap, when they could get up, etc. I literally wrote out everything! I don’t think my mother-in-law loved that, but again, I’m the only advocate for my child! You gotta do what you gotta do!
4- Don’t back down
People may not always agree with your decision to do Babywise. They might think doing things a different way is better, they might have raised their child differently, they might not understand why in the world you would want to do this. My advice? Don’t back down. You don’t have to justify your parenting decisions to anyone. I have had to defend my decision to do Babywise over and over and over. Sometimes to the same person! But I have never changed my mind, and I have never backed down. Because of that, both of my children were successful Babywise babies – even with me working outside of the home.
5- Stick with it.
Ya’ll. There is no way around it. Babywise can be hard! There were times that I have been in tears, that I have been stressed to the max, and that I have had to work hard to make this happen. But it is so worth it. My daughter is 7 now, and my son is almost 4. They both have a consistent bed time, my son still has a consistent nap, and life is just so good. When they were little and they started crying, it was always so nice to have a smaller “trouble shoot” list to go through. I would know if they were tired. I would know when they were hungry. I didn’t have to guess at it. Like most things in life, the things that are hard to accomplish are often the most worth it.
6- It’s okay.
The last thing that I really had to remind myself of during my whole journey was that it was okay. If my kids had an off day and the schedule fell apart, it was okay. If they woke up super early one day and we had to adjust the entire rest of the day, it was okay. Tomorrow is a new day with a new start! Try your best, but don’t get too worked up if things go a little wonky or aren’t working like you want them to. Tomorrow is another day to get it right!