Inside: If you are researching babywise and want to know whether to pull the trigger, learn exactly what Babywise and Toddlerwise focus on and how to implement.
What's in this post...
Babywise Book Review
Babywise is a method for training your children to sleep well and to sleep well early.
I have used this method for five children. It works.
It really works.
In fact, I have bought this book for every pregnant friend who’d read it since I have used it.
This book outlines a basic eat, wake, sleep cycle so that by 3 months your baby is sleeping 10-12 hours a night uninterrupted. Sound pie in the sky?
Trust me, it isn’t. Buying this book will be one of the best parenting decisions you’ll make. The basic method involves feeding your baby every 2.5 to 3 hours with a full feed.
You’ll then play with the baby for a short time and put the baby to sleep. According to Babywise, the key is to put the baby to sleep in the crib drowsy but awake.
What Babywise Says About Crying
Babies may cry initially to help put themselves to sleep, but by 3 months will go to sleep without crying and will wake up happily. Well rested children play better, learn better and are generally better behaved.
By having your child follow a flexible routine they will receive the benefits of order and structure and the results will be obvious.
Other Information In The Babywise Book
The authors say that other parents will comment “your child is so sweet” and “your child is so well behaved.”
First time parents will often hear “wait until your second child…”. But having good children is not a coincidence, it is the result of your effort and discipline.
The authors state that baby wise mothers consistently hear how “lucky” they are. It has proven true in my case.
There is a lot more to the book and the benefits are outlined as well as contrasted to other methods of parenting, particularly on demand feeding.
My Early Experience With Babywise
My experience with Babywise coincides with the book very closely. By 3 months both children were sleeping through the night and napping well.
My 16 month old still naps two long naps a day and 12 hours at night, from 7:45pm to 7:45am. I put her down for a nap at the time of my choosing and she sleeps well and wakes up happy.
I put her down in the evenings and she sleeps soundly all night.
She is sweet spirited, well behaved, and other parents always comment on how calm and content she is.
My son, only 3 months, goes down for a nap at a time of my choosing without making a peep about 85% of the time.
He sleeps from 11 to 8 and feeds and naps at regular intervals throughout the day. He is peaceful and content.
I recommend this book if you desire to run an ordered home. My daughter is 16 months and my son is 3 months and nap times, bedtimes, and wake times are predictable and routine.
I am well rested, they are well rested and our house is peaceful.
Go here for tons of information, testimonials, questions, tips and advice on the Babywise method.
Babywise II Book Review
This follows the Babywise series and focuses on babies and toddlers ages approximately 10 to 18 months.
In short, it gives parenting tips on discipline, teaching “no”, instiling manners, and how not to frustrate yourself and your children by granting freedoms they are not yet able to manage.
Very interesting. Very helpful.
Salient points for those of you wondering whether to bite the bullet and buy.
Main Points Included In Babywise II
1) Provides a discipline strategy to foster first time obedience. There is a practical 3 step process on how to teach your baby to obey. Spoiler: it ain’t counting to 3.
2) Manners. Manners training, believe it or not, can begin in the high chair. The book discusses common high chair behaviors that, when used as opportunities for training, provide a platform for teaching your baby to do what is expected of them.
It says that mothers don’t need to pull out the ole inflatable-pool-under-the-high-chair routine to keep the house clean, but must simply teach manners using the 3 step discipline process.
I’ve tried it. It works.
3) Parenting inside the funnel. To shorten a few pages into a few sentences, this concept means granting your child freedoms based on their proven levels of self-control.
- Freedoms greater than level of self-control = developmental confusion
- Freedoms less than self-control = developmental frustration
- Lastly, freedoms equal to self-control = developmental harmony
4) Childishness verses foolishness. This is a very good concept to grab hold of. When a child touches your hot cup of coffee because he doesn’t know any better he’s childish. Childishness requires instruction and training.
When a child touches your hot cup of coffee after you’ve repeatedly told him not to, he’s foolish. Foolishness requires discipline.
5) Credit card parenting. Credit card parenting in action says “I don’t want to bother with that behavior now, we’ll deal with it later.”
This is putting off training until after a bad habit has already been ingrained in the child. Like a credit card, you’ll still have to pay (train), but you’ll do it with interest.
I won’t give any more away, but I heartily suggest this book for any mother who wants to feel more informed.
It will help provide a strategy that will allow for consistent and repetitious training by you so your baby knows what to expect and can act accordingly.
Toddlerwise Book Review
I’ve talked Babywise until everyone is gagging, I know. That’s why I decided to talk Toddlerwise. A respite from your gagging but still giving you good stuff to swallow.
This book is from the same ‘wise’ family and authors but for the young toddlers. The book is good. Really good.
If you are neurotic like me – let’s hope you aren’t – then it can become a bit daunting if you think you must tackle every single thing during the day in perfect order all the time.
If you let go of that and realize, hey, it’s right to shoot high and it’s right to hold a high standard, but it’s necessary to do your best and then let the rest go.
Is Toddlerwise Legalistic?
I’ve heard some say Toddlerwise is legalistic and, if taken to the letter of the law without the right heart, parts definitely read that way.
However, I think it’s been helpful for us and has given me a lot of security and comfort knowing I have a strategy and plan for the things toddler-dom brings along.
Highlights worth noting.
(1) Structuring the day.
This section is intimidating at first, seeing the different types of activities to put into your toddler’s day. But it becomes like second nature.
It basically comes down to …
- a) time you spend with them
- b) time they spend alone
- c) time they spend alone with their siblings
- d) time everyone spends freely together.
In the mornings the kids have independent time while I get the house together and the day in order.
After the afternoon naps while I’m trying to cook I put them both in one of their rooms to play alone together. It’s really just about giving specific times to specific general activities so that the house and day runs smoothly.
(2) Mealtime guidelines.
My daughter used to eat huge amounts of food and now since becoming a toddler, eats like a bird.
Toddlerwise suggests serving them with small amounts of food and drink, only refilling and giving more when they are finished.
This helps prevent wasted food and lots of food power struggles since many times they don’t want to eat because they simply aren’t hungry and the food on their plate that will go to waste is taunting us.
(3) Reasoning well.
Chapter 5 talks about using reason to make parenting decisions. We often read that a certain way works and get it into our heads that we have to do that.
Instead, we need to have some basic strategies in place and then use our reason to make wise decisions. If we are trying one form of discipline that doesn’t work, we can simply choose another strategy and see how that goes.
(4) Disciplinary tools.
The book gives great examples of behavior correction options.
Isolation (time out, essentially), redirection (distracting them, substituting their activity for an acceptable one, or putting them onto another activity), natural consequences (if they throw their plate on the floor, they are done with dinner), loss of privilege (one action leads to the removal of another), and naptime (sometimes they are behaving badly because they are simply tired).
(5) General encouragement.
This book gives clarity and order to the sometime chaotic job of raising children.
It shows that what might seem like a high expectation – i.e., requiring your child to sit with their hands in their lap at the dinner table after they’ve finished eating – is in fact a realistic goal that can be met with patience and some training.
I’m inspired not to get beat down when my toddlers display a strong will. A strong will is going to serve them well when it’s directed in the proper direction.
All in all, just like the other -wise series books, Babywise and Babywise II, it introduces you to many different possible ways of doing things and has given me many helpful tools that have served me well thus far!