What do you think of the babywise method?

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Ashley - posted on 04/29/2009

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I have to say, some of these posts have me in stitches. I swear that most of the people who are knocking Babywise sound so silly, for the reasons they are frowning upon it are addressed IN THE BOOK!! So please people unless you have read the book COVER TO COVER do not comment on this question. Even if you 'know someone who used this method' unless YOU have read the book....not started the book and then put it down...I mean read the entire book, you really should not comment.



Several times throughout the book author Ezzo will quote previous chapters and let you know when to NOT apply what he has previously written. Read the book and then decide if it is for you or not.



It is so true that what may work for one child, may not work for another child even though both children have the same mom and dad. My first born has been such an easy, outstanding baby. I have followed the methods suggested in Babywise, but this does not mean that my next baby may take to this. Of course I will try it, but it doesn't mean that it will work.



Someone earlier said that she did not see how anyone could follow this Gary Ezzo because he was not a an MD, and that we as mothers should seek advice from doctors. Dr. Denmark has a book called "Dr. Denmark Said It." I couldn't get passed the first half of the book...she IS a doctor and some of her methods are just not for me. Yet I have a friend who loves and swears by this Dr. Denmark.



That is just it, everyone has different ways of doing thigs. No way is right no way is wrong, provided you are doing what you feel is best for your child.



So with his being a circle of Christian moms...why pass judgement on another mom's parenting style. We can respectfully disagree with one another, but to put each other down is just sad. To be a circle of Christian moms, I am shocked at some of the posts I read.

Andra - posted on 03/06/2013

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Personally I find it to be rather selfish and mean spirited. Your baby is only a baby once and for such a very short time, why not love on him/her as much as you can while you can? It's not about you getting your sleep and getting on with your life, it's about loving and caring for that baby, cuddling and kissing and holding them as much as you can, soothing and feeding them when they want. You can sleep and live your life as organized as you want later on. Most of the children i know who were raised with this method are kind of robotic in their behavior, displaying almost autistic behavior in fact. Also, do we really believe that people in ancient days, like biblical times, actually used these methods? I think not. Just think about that baby's first day of school and how you will react. Will you say to yourself...Boy i'm sure glad i let him cry it out and never rocked him or held him while he slept or soothed him while he cried so i could live like i didn't have a kid? Probably not. Every fall when my kids start school i get all weepy and i'm so thankful that i held them and carried them and rocked them and loved them as much as i possibly could when they were still tiny. They are so precious! Soak it up and breathe it in as much as you can! When you get overwhelmed, just remember that he/she won't be so small and dependent for very long, they grow up so fast. I became overwhelmed too and tried the cry it out thing with my second child, my oldest was three and it upset him very much to know that his baby sister was crying helplessly in the the next room. When i finally gave in and picked her up, she had a huge burp and a poopy diaper. Two times this happened. I felt terrible and never did it again. My older kids are teenagers now and very independent. I never check on their school work because they have consistently kept up with it themselves and make fabulous grades. They have their own social lives which they arrange themselves, and their friends are great kids. And they are pretty good kids all around and i'm so proud of them!

Ally - posted on 04/30/2009

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Quoting Chantel:

Babies do not have sleep cycles, they have feeding cycles. Newborns to 12 weeks should NOT sleep through the night and should NOT be scheduled...ever!!! Feeding on demand night and day is the most appropriate care for a newborn. At that time most infants will begin to space their feedings out and go between 4-6 hours at night between feedings, but will usually cluster feed in the morning and evening.
This lack of deep sleep is protective and an infant that is fed on demand and not scheduled has a lower risk of SIDS than one that is "trained" to miss feedings, which is exactly what scheduling is, training to miss feedings.

An infants stomach is the size of their fist. Scheduling them to sleep through feedings by ignoring cues creates psychological trust issues and can create detachment disorders and failed bonding.

Expecting your baby under 3-6 months to sleep longer than 6 hours at a time is like telling an adult that they can not eat or drink for 24 hours! You get up and drink and eat when you are hungry, why prevent your infant the same satisfaction?

Your baby wakes through the night because they NEED to wake, and yes those first few weeks and months are completely and totally all about the new baby....it is the natural course of survival!



Great post Chantel! ...it's nice to see a reality infused post once in awhile!

Kelly - posted on 04/29/2009

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I personally would have been elated if my son had slept anywhere near 6 hours in one shot. The problem was the longest he ever slept was an hour and a half even at night. During the day he got at the most 2 45-minute naps on my chest and I was scared to move or even breathe fully for fear that he would wake up. This was the case from about 3-days old until 4 months, when I started putting him on a schedule. I was so tired, I was hallucinating. On the other hand, I believe the parents who say that AP worked for them but it was not good for any of us, especially the baby. Not every baby is the same. Anyone who has more than one child could probably tell you that. It's almost like you never learned anything with your first kid but not quite that bad :).



And, I do believe that at least both my children have/had 40-minute sleep cycles. They always stirred almost on the dot at 40-minutes and if some sort of noise happened at that time, then they would start crying. If I got them up, they would sometimes be happy but for only a short time or just plain upset as they would not be very interested in feeding and still be tired and irritable. If I left them, they would fall back asleep, usually without even fully waking up. After sleeping for about 1.5-2 hours they would be in very good moods, often singing when they woke up and feeding really well.



So, I learned through all this that babies cry a lot and for a variety of reasons. Not every time they cry is a call for mom. In fact, when they are in a nap and cry a bit, giving them attention can actually be the wrong thing because what they need is sleep. Babies often cry as a mechanism to fall asleep.



My children are both very attached to me and I to them. They don't show any signs of fear of neglect, abandonment, etc. They are confident that I love them and I am their favorite person in the world.

Ally - posted on 04/28/2009

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Most doctors will warn against the concept of this book which advocates parents trying to "train" newborns to sleep through the night which has resulted in numerous cases of babies who have developed failure to thrive and suffered dehydration. The author has no medical background and the book and its methods have been denounced by the AAP and the La Leche League. Frequent night wakings are a protective mechanism designed to keep moms milk supply up during the crucial early months when her supply is being regulated to ensure the babies survival. In my opinion as a nurse the methods may seem to produce the desired result but are probably more for moms convenience than for the baby's well being and age appropriated developmental adjustments. I would much more strongly recommend the baby sleep book by dr.sears...like the AAP the book highlights why nursing babies on demand especially early on is so important. Do your research before falling into the babywise nonsense!



http://www.ezzo.info/feeding.htm

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32 Comments

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Teresa - posted on 03/15/2013

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My nine year old was taken off of his 1:30am feeding at about 6 months (he was born 3 months early). The first night he cried for about 15 mins, while my husband and I lay awake telling each other, "he won't remember this" (he doesn't) and "he won't starve" ( he didn't). The next night he cried MAYBE 5 mins. The next night he slept right through. He's a happy well adjusted nine year old that loves to play Scrabble, Skip Bo and go camping. I believe Babywise worked for him.

My 13 month old wakes up about 2;30 or 3:00 and we get him out of his crib, get him a bottle, lay him in between us and we all fall back to sleep. He is my LAST. AND a different baby. He is more like me and wakes up to the drop of a feather. I love nothing more than cuddling him back to sleep.

To each his own and to each BABY his own, but if you are REALLY suffering from those 2:ooam feedings, I would give it a go.

Ashley - posted on 04/29/2009

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Loved it! I read it before I had my daughter and will be refreshing as I am getting closer to the arrival of my little boy! It was amazing and definitely works!

Angie - posted on 04/29/2009

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I have to agree with some of the posters and completely disagree with others. I used the concepts of Babywise. It was wonderful. I have had many friends who used this as well. My doctor recommended it. Most pediatricians I have come in contact with, tell you to never, ever wake a baby during the night. They will wake up if they are hungry. My sister and I were both breast-fed babies the entire time and we came home from the hospital sleeping 6 hours at night. Very shortly after we went to 8 hours. Neither of us had any failure to thrive issues. My own daughter came home from the hospital on a perfect "Babywise" schedule. I didn't have to do it. Yes, I breast-fed her, but because of other factors (not her schedule), we had to start supplementing. Anyway... she slept through the night at 10 weeks old. My doctor said it actually is unnatural if they don't start sleeping. It is quite healthy for a baby to be on a schedule actually. Some babies are quicker to do it that others. From my personal experience and that of many close friends who have used it, the concepts of Babywise are wonderful. I did not follow it exactly, but most certainly followed the basic point. It most definantly makes the baby's life and your life much easier. Anyway... I'm just telling you my experience with it and what my doctor said. Talk to your doctor, but like I said, I have had 4 different doctors (plus a pharmacist and 2 nurses) who all have used it or highly recommend it. And by the way, the pharmacist and 2 nurses always breast-fed their babies. Hope that helps!

[deleted account]

Quoting Chantel:

Babies do not have sleep cycles, they have feeding cycles. Newborns to 12 weeks should NOT sleep through the night and should NOT be scheduled...ever!!! Feeding on demand night and day is the most appropriate care for a newborn. At that time most infants will begin to space their feedings out and go between 4-6 hours at night between feedings, but will usually cluster feed in the morning and evening.
This lack of deep sleep is protective and an infant that is fed on demand and not scheduled has a lower risk of SIDS than one that is "trained" to miss feedings, which is exactly what scheduling is, training to miss feedings.

An infants stomach is the size of their fist. Scheduling them to sleep through feedings by ignoring cues creates psychological trust issues and can create detachment disorders and failed bonding.

Expecting your baby under 3-6 months to sleep longer than 6 hours at a time is like telling an adult that they can not eat or drink for 24 hours! You get up and drink and eat when you are hungry, why prevent your infant the same satisfaction?

Your baby wakes through the night because they NEED to wake, and yes those first few weeks and months are completely and totally all about the new baby....it is the natural course of survival!


Considering that I breastfed twins from birth til they were 15 months old, I respectfully disagree.  They were on a 3 hour feeding schedule right from birth and they thrived wonderfully.  Now my son, on the other hand, was and still is a totally different story, but the point is that all kids are different and what works for one may not work for the other.



If you read the book, he does consider sleeping 6 hours to be 'sleeping through the night' when they are at a young age. 

Chantel - posted on 04/29/2009

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Babies do not have sleep cycles, they have feeding cycles. Newborns to 12 weeks should NOT sleep through the night and should NOT be scheduled...ever!!! Feeding on demand night and day is the most appropriate care for a newborn. At that time most infants will begin to space their feedings out and go between 4-6 hours at night between feedings, but will usually cluster feed in the morning and evening.

This lack of deep sleep is protective and an infant that is fed on demand and not scheduled has a lower risk of SIDS than one that is "trained" to miss feedings, which is exactly what scheduling is, training to miss feedings.



An infants stomach is the size of their fist. Scheduling them to sleep through feedings by ignoring cues creates psychological trust issues and can create detachment disorders and failed bonding.



Expecting your baby under 3-6 months to sleep longer than 6 hours at a time is like telling an adult that they can not eat or drink for 24 hours! You get up and drink and eat when you are hungry, why prevent your infant the same satisfaction?



Your baby wakes through the night because they NEED to wake, and yes those first few weeks and months are completely and totally all about the new baby....it is the natural course of survival!

Kelly - posted on 04/29/2009

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I also want to second that you do what you feel is right for your children. You may learn later on that it wasn't the "right" way for you but raising children is a continual learning process. It's nice if you can have some idea of what you want to do before your baby is born but it's not necessary.



For example, all the reading I did was in the attachment parenting (AP) camp and it all made sense. I even interpreted a lot of people's advice to be geared in that direction so naturally I was confident in my choice. What I heard of babywise and others like it seemed rigid and I wanted to try to see what my baby naturally wanted to do. I am now of the belief that babies know when they're uncomfortable and not much else. They are not capable of knowing what is best for them like their parents. Babywise helps you to guide your baby to do what the book thinks is best for your baby (full feeds, ability to soothe themselves to sleep, longer periods of sleep to get enough rest, etc.) After 4 months of my son get worse and worse with sleeping, feeding, and crying, I tried to look into Babywise since AP wasn't working for us. This was a very good decision for us because my baby was so much happier, cried rarely, stopped having feeding problems, and has continued to have those good traits to this day when he is now 2 1/2.



My friend did Babywise with her first and thought it worked alright and tried it on her second. It didn't seem to work for him and so she stopped it and went with something else that works better for her baby. I get a bit jealous that her baby can sleep anywhere but that's not only because of her method, it's her baby. Mine didn't do that even from birth and I was doing AP.



So if your baby gets enough sleep to be happy and seems to be thriving then I can't imagine that you are "wrong" in your parenting decision. A lot of us parents are very passionate about our methods because so much emotional investment has gone into building them up. I know Babywise helped me immensely and many of my friends swear by it and all of them have thriving, happy children. I think it's still more important that your child is very much loved by his/her parents than is put on a schedule. Most of these children are thriving because they are loved and taken care of in the way their parents know best.

[deleted account]

I read it and agree w/ it... just didn't follow it. I don't see how he can be 'blamed' for babies not thriving or anything. He clearly states that there are times (growth spurts, etc...) when you will need to modify the schedule to fit your child's needs. All that being said, my girls were on a 3 hour feeding schedule right from birth. They thrived on it. I tried to guide my son in that same way, but he would have none of it. He is and always has been a MUCH WORSE sleeper than his sisters were at the same ages.

Ashley - posted on 04/28/2009

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I first heard of this book when I was a nanny for two small children. Their mom had me follow the schedule for them both. I have never seen better children than those. Then a friend at church found out she was having twins. Her children were such good babies. I asked her what her secret was, she said she was following baby wise. A few years later, my sister found out she was having twins. My sister also read the book and followed it. My niece and nephew are also such good babies. They are now 4 years old and continue to be great children. So naturally, with the many success stories mentioned above, when I found out that I was expecting, I read the book. I also have followed it. There are a few things that I did not follow to a "t" but I love the book. My daughter is perfect. I get many compliments on how happy and easy she is. My husband and I attended three birthing classes. The nurse teaching one of the classes asked why I was in the class because it appeared I was an experienced mother. I told her of the many children in my life, but that I was a first time mom. Naturally I told her about the 'baby wise babies" in my life. She immediately frowned on the "baby wise" method. I did not care that she frowned upon it. I followed it anyways and I am so glad that I did. I take offense to the post above mine when Ally quotes babywise and being 'nonsense.' The proof is in the pudding.....all 7 kids mentioned in my reply are good babies, good toddlers, and good children. But you need to go with your gut no matter what that is. A good friend of mine has a completely different way of parenting than I do. While we have different ways, neither one of us 'knocks' the other. We respect one anothers view points and what I like about her is that we don't try to 'sell' our own way as the best or right way. A true good parent does what they feel is best for their child. As long as you are doing that, no one should set out to make you feel that you are doing something bad or wrong.

Kat - posted on 04/28/2009

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I have read the 1st two books & think they are wonderful. My daughter is a dream baby & extremely happy & settled. Sleeping through the night since 3 weeks & improved to 11.5 hour sleeps over night since 4 months. Being on this flexible routine helps me to better know if she is unhappy what the cause might be.

Rebekah - posted on 04/28/2009

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Quoting Lauren:

I've not read the book myself but know the concept of it. I've heard that you have to be very cautious with these methods. Some children are not fed enough with this method.

Both of my boys were sleeping through the night by 2 -3 months. My method was to just not wake them during the night to feed them. During the day, I would wake them every 2 -3 hours to feed them and stopped during the night. It worked for me!


Not necessarily a true statement. You should always make sure you get a prior approval from your doctor BEFORE you try to attempt to get your baby to sleep through the night.  Your doctor needs to make sure that your baby is getting enough to eat and they are gaining weight properly before you do this.  I got the OK after I started supplementing with formula since I couldn't keep up with the breastmilk because of the baby's stress latch! :P

Lauren - posted on 04/27/2009

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I've not read the book myself but know the concept of it. I've heard that you have to be very cautious with these methods. Some children are not fed enough with this method.

Both of my boys were sleeping through the night by 2 -3 months. My method was to just not wake them during the night to feed them. During the day, I would wake them every 2 -3 hours to feed them and stopped during the night. It worked for me!

Chantel - posted on 04/27/2009

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Read Dr. Sears instead, safer, more baby lead and you will all be happier!

Sarah - posted on 04/27/2009

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It works it just depends if that is what you want. I read it with both my kids. I was 21 when my daughter was born and I wanted nothing more then to get her to sleep fast so I could have some "me" time. I was more willing to let her cry it out because I just wanted some freedom I guess. With my son at about 6 months old I thought I was getting to that point. I started the training and said nope not for me anymore. He has a perfect sleep routine without crying himself to sleep. I figure it take me 5 minutes to rock him to sleep why would I give that up. (He sleeps through the night and can self sooth in the night) I have no qualms about the theories in the book I did it but now I just think who cares if I am rocking my baby to sleep he is only a baby for a short time.

Tamara - posted on 04/26/2009

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It seems a little like raising tiny "automatons" or robots! I have friends who swear by it, but I never cherished the ideas he puts forth and my kids seem to be fine and well adjusted. Hope this helps!

Jessica - posted on 04/25/2009

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We also read baby wise with our son who is now 4 months old. We didn't follow the cry it our method because he was a pretty good sleeper on his own from the beginning, but we did follow the idea of scheduling from very early one and it has been wonderful. He slept through the night on his own at 8 weeks and now at 4 months he sleeps 11 hours at night. It has been awesome!

Julia - posted on 04/25/2009

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These same methods are the same that my Grandma used (she had 10 kids) and passed down to my mother and she passed onto me!!!...and my Grandma didn't have the book!! I had to have a chuckle when I found the book my friend had!!!...it was all there written out!!! GO BABYWISE!!!

Sarah - posted on 04/20/2009

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I am a Babywise Mum and can see how it has worked for me. My little boy took a while longer than the book says (slept through consistently at 14 weeks). The thing I have found is that so many people tell me I am "so lucky" to have a baby that sleeps so well and is so happy. It isn't luck at all - it is a good flexible schedule.

Jessica - posted on 04/18/2009

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I have used the concept with all three of my children. With the first two it worked like a charm-my third little one is a "tougher nut to crack" than my others! At a year, he is just now sleeping until 5 or so, having a bottle and going back to sleep for a few hours. I kept him on the same eat/play/sleep schedule as the others and he has always gone to bed awake and put himself to sleep, but still he is a much more active baby than my others were and just hasn't slept as well as they did. I just try to keep in mind that he is still in our room, so we may be stirring or snoring and waking him. Also, he is my third and I have been more sensitive to him crying in the night for fear of waking the other two across the hall who have to get up and go to school in the morning. I am just grateful that he's finally down to waking once instead of twice!

To answer your question (sorry, I was rambling!), yes, I have read it and love all the concepts-especially the "marriage comes first and children feel secure". I really think that is true. And for most babies the sleep/wake patterns really work.

Kelly - posted on 04/18/2009

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I got the book on recommendation from someone in our mission organization before leaving for the field. Our son was 4 months old and waking every 2 hours during the night and 40 min or less during the day. We had immediate improvement, though it didn't work as magically as described at least with him. It took a good 2 months not a week to get him to sleep through the night. Now he is a great sleeper. We started our daughter right away and she is on a solid schedule but she didn't consistently start sleeping through the night (more than 3-4 days) until she was 4 months old. I still swear by it because it helped immensely. Maybe I just have stubborn kids but they're happy and good sleepers for the most part.

Rebekah - posted on 04/18/2009

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I read ALL kinds of books on how to get your baby to sleep through the night while I was pregnant - Babywise, Sleep Tight Good Night, and many others. I've found through all them as long as you stay "consistent" in what you are doing, your baby will adjust. The main thing is to get your child on a sleep/wake/feed schedule, whatever that is for you - if it's on demand, try to do it where it's not putting your child to sleep or they will always want to feed for sleeping (they associate that with sleeping as a baby). I didn't agree with everything in Babywise, but I also didn't agree with everything in every other book I read. I had my baby sleeping through night at 4 weeks and he's a great sleeper now (unless if he's sick or teething), and he's a great napper! The key is consistency - I don't have a set schedule for my son, but I start it the same way and end it the same way (no matter what time he goes to bed). I don't do night feedings anymore, I stopped that around 3 months with the doctor's approval. And I don't feed my son to go to sleep, I do feedings upon wake up, as to not associate a bottle with sleep. Once I stopped feeding him to go to sleep, I realized I had a better eater too. Find what works best for you. I use pacifiers, though most of the books tell you not to. I still rock my baby to sleep, but he knows how to self-settle himself back to sleep throughout the night (we had 1 week where we trained him to do this at 3 weeks old). I don't do the "cry it out" method, only because "me" can't stand hearing him cry and he knows mommy will come and check on him. I don't pick up once I've put him down, unless if he's sick or was startled out his sleep (unfortunately in an apartment with noisy neighbors on the weekends). :P

[deleted account]

I;d be interested in what this is. I had all mine sleeping through the night by 7 weeks old and I always felt it was so good for them. We have never had an issue with bedtime as they have always gone down well. I believe it is from our training of them. Now at ages 8,7,5,3 they all continue to sleep well through the night for about 12 hours a night.

[deleted account]

I have 4 boys, and didn't know about this concept until I was pregnant with my 3rd. I LOVE this book!! I used it with my now 7 year old, and with my 8 month old, and will use it again in a heartbeat. With this schedule, you know what to expect, baby knows what to expect, and the whole family runs so smoothly. I ended up actually taking the classes through my church, and the whole concept just makes so much sense, and fall right in line with God's structure. Everyone is always commenting on how I have the happiest babies, and telling me how "lucky" I am. It is not luck at all, it is this schedule!!!

Maran - posted on 04/17/2009

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Definitely. I wouldn't have stuck to it without my husband reminding me to let my son cry it out for a few minutes. But with my daughter, I was the one insisting we stick to it. It's hard listening to them cry, but well worth the internal agony once they have learned to sleep through the night. And now I get a full night's rest as well!

[deleted account]

My story exactly! my son slept thru the nite at 8wks and my daughter at 7wks. AMAZING! Would you agree Maran,that this "program" would be hard, but not impossible, without the support of your husband?

Maran - posted on 04/17/2009

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I read Babywise a couple times---twice before my son was born and then again before my daughter was born. The philosophy works! My son slept through the night (10 hours) at 8 weeks and my daughter at 7 weeks. The only thing is you have to be willing to let them "cry it out" for about 3-4 nights, but it is soooo worth it! And everyone is constantly telling me what happy kids I have---because they are secure in a flexible schedule (key word is flexible) and get plenty of sleep at night.

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