12 week old Baby Wise questions...

Joy - posted on 04/24/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have been working on the babywise Eat Play Sleep routine with my EBF daughter from day 1. I used this technique with my son and it worked beautifully (though he was a textbook baby). My daughter is more of a touchy or sensitive baby. We are following the routine for the most part, but I'm having trouble navigating her naps and feedings. As of a few days ago she was leading a pretty strict 2 hour schedule. She could only be awake for 45 minutes before giving her sleep cues and then when I put her down for nap she only sleeps for 45-55 minutes. When she wakes up she is almost immediately hungry again (within 10 minutes I see her rooting signs). This was her pattern from weeks 6-11. Now she is more consistently able to stay up an hour and 15 minutes after a nap, but she is still only sleeping for 45-55 minutes. We are currently on a 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hour block routine. I understand from the baby wise book that she should easily be on a 3 hour routine and I should be looking for signs that she is ready to move to a 4 hour routine in the next few weeks.

At night she is consistently giving me a good 6 hour stretch of sleep (7:30-1:30) and then will sleep another 3 1/2 hours (1:30-5) and then wakes for the day at 7:15. She is pretty good at putting herself to sleep and I have been using the shush/pat routine with her. She is also a very efficient eater and will drain a breast in under 10 minutes and be satisfied. She is exclusively breast fed.

My question is, do I push her to stay awake longer between naps (which goes against the books instructions)? Do I push for her feedings to be farther apart (also against what the book instructs)? How can I help her get longer naps during the day so we can be closer to the three hour routine? I think this is the key to a more successful babywise routine, but I'm not sure how to encourage a longer nap. And, when should I look for her to shift to just one nightly feeding?

My son was at one feeding per night right at 10 weeks and was always very consistent. I think I am a patient mother and I am as watchful of her cues as I can be while taking care of her and her 2 year old brother. I also recognize that my daughter needs more of my attention to help her learn good sleeping and eating habits than my son did, I'm just not sure at this point how to push for the ideal 3 hour routine.

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Sarah - posted on 04/24/2013

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I would say she is not ready for a 3 hour routine yet. Each baby is going to be different. My son was on an every 3 hour routine from the minute he was born. My second was on an every 1 hour routine A ROUND THE CLOCK!!! That was exhausting! My third was a 3-4 hour routine from day 1. A nice breather from the second! :) Eventually they all started going longer stretches and taking longer naps. Ironically the one that ate every 3-4 hours was the one that took longer to sleep longer at night. The one that ate every 1 hour was my one that started sleeping longer at night the soonest. Follow your baby's cues she will let you know what she is ready for and when. I am a very routine person and deal better when there is a routine, but I will tell you with my third I was more relaxed and did not follow the clock as much (still liked to have an idea, but was not so focused on it having to be every 3 hrs or such). I enjoyed my time with her SO much more. I was able to just soak in the moments and not worry about the other stuff. The longer spaces between feedings and the longer naps will come, just enjoy where things are at right now. She will let you know when she is ready for the next phase.

Joy - posted on 05/02/2013

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Thank you very much for your feedback here. I want to assure everyone that I am not "following" babywise and I am aware of it's criticism. I am too focused on EBF to try anything that would compromise that. I simple follow it's principles of eat, play, sleep. It makes sense to me and my babies seem to respond to it.

Right after I read these responses, my daughter had four days in a row where she took a 1.5 hour morning nap! She also has thrown in a few days here and there of a 7-8 hour night sleep. However, in the last few days we have reverted back to the 45 minute naps four times a day with a 5-6 hour stretch at night followed by two 3.5 hour stretches. In addition to that, she has stopped putting herself to sleep for naps! I honestly don't know what I'm doing or not doing to help her continue to make progress. It's very frustrating, but I keep reminding myself that she is only 3 months old and this is a phase that will pass all too quickly.

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Jodi - posted on 04/24/2013

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I am not a fan of following any book. Not all babies are the same. In fact, no single baby IS the same. I hate how people follow a book because they believe that's how babies "should" be.

If you are getting 6 hours sleep at night from a breastfed baby, then I am not seeing the problem. That is fantastic. If you think there is a problem with that, I think your expectations are far too high.

Don't get me wrong, my children were great sleepers. But I didn't follow any book to get them like that.

Babywise has been linked to issues including failure to thrive, breastmilk supply failure, dehydration, early weaning, and various other issues.

At 12 weeks old, your baby is NOT learning bad habits.

That is all I have to say.

Michelle - posted on 04/24/2013

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Not every baby is the same and doesn't know what the books say they "should" be doing.

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