Before I was pregnant I heard about this amazing ‘program’ called Babywise and its benefits from a close friend. Most of my closest friends know how technical I am and how much I like to plan and organize, so when I found out I was pregnant I definitely harassed her for deets.
Coles notes: Babywise is a routine of activity periods for parent directed feeding. This is probably oversimplified but that’s what I understand it to be.
Pre-baby this sounded great to me. I loved schedules and I loved planning. Post delivery I laughed at the concept of a planned anything for a good seven weeks.
By 2 months I was dying of sleep deprivation and honestly started to become depressed thinking that this little thing was basically going to run my life (laughing now as this hasn’t changed). I picked up Babywise again and this time I also followed a registered nurse married to a pediatric doctor on Instagram @takingcarababies.
The biggest take away from Babywise and from Cara that I took was to TRY to implement routines. Try is the most important word because I was very very very flexible with scheduling. I tried making sure Maya was fed every time she woke but it wasn’t a big deal if she wanted more later. Bedtime routines were probably the most important (dark room, white noise and a sleep sac).
By 3 months Maya was only waking once a night (3am) and by 4 months she was sleeping through the night (12hrs!!) — I’ve had the regular follow up appointments with my doctor who did not freak out when I told her she slept through the night. While some babies can’t or won’t it is completely normal after 4 months to sleep 12hrs straight. The most important thing is that baby has their daily calorie intake fulfilled (this is also the pillar to how Babywise works).
We went on a European holiday and by 5 months Maya reverted back to waking twice a night: 3am and 5am. The last week she had actually started waking at 1am and 4am. And while most parents I talked to said this was normal with babies it was just depressing for me to have gone from a 12hr sleeping baby to one that won’t let me sleep longer than 3hrs at a time.
I was determined to explore ways to help Maya sleep longer – so she (we) can get that deep sleep we all need. I tried a lot of things in the last few weeks but yesterday the most crucial things I felt I did were:
- Filled her day with lots of activity (socially engaging and physically draining).
- Give her a big feed during the last hour she was awake before her bed time. I’m talking baby oatmeal AND a bottle.
- Switched to 12hr diapers for bedtime.
And magically this morning I woke up. I looked at the time. 6:30am. She was still asleep. I honestly felt like I won the lottery. I almost cried.
Anyway, I blog because I know a lot of moms going through the sleep struggle. If I get lucky enough to get Maya back on a nap schedule I can blog later with my Babywise coles notes. But I do recognize that Babywise or routine is not for everyone or every baby. I thank every higher power out there that it works for mine.
I’m also not saying there is only one way to get baby to sleep or that my methods should be followed. No mom shaming here. But this was my journey. Who knows if she’ll even do it again tonight of it was a fluke!