On Becoming Babywise
By Gary Ezzo, M.A. and Robert Bucknam, M.D.
Great Marriages produce great parents. A healthy husband-wife relationship is essential to the emotional health of children in the home. When there is harmony in the marriage, there is an infused stability within the family. Healthy, loving marriages create a sense of certainty for children. To improve the quality of the parent-child relationship, parents first must continue to evaluate the quality of their relationship with each other. Would it stand alone without the baby? Too often when a child enters a family, parents leave their first love: each other. The spotlight shifts to illuminate the children, and marriage gits lost in space. (Child-centered parenting. Setting up to fail) (quotes from pages 20-21).
To excel in parenting, protect your marriage.
Demand-feed or clock-feeding or parent-directed feeding (mixture of need/scheduling). I had no idea there were so many theories about feeding a baby! The Babywise suggestion is to get on a routine with a cycle that looks like this: Feeding/Waketime/Naptime.
-The parent helps the baby establish a stabilized hunger-pattern by keeping them on a routine. Their prescribed feeding times are: every 2 ½ to 3 hours. Make sure the baby gets FULL. = no snack feedings
Lack of healthy sleep can lead to attention disorders. “Infants, toddlers who suffer from the lack of healthy naps and continuous nightime sleep may experience chonic fatigue. Fatigue is a primary cause of fussiness, daytime irritability, crankiness, discontentment, colic-like symptom, poor focussing skills and poor eating habits.” (P.54)
-Babywise cautions against Negative Sleep Props: nursing a baby to sleep, Rocking to sleep, Sleeping with baby.
Newborns: six to eight naps in a day. 2 ½ hr cycle: feed(1/2 hr) waketime (30min-1hr) sleep (1-1 ½ hr).
2 Months: this is when baby begins sleeping 7-8 hours at night. Daytime naps should be 1 ½ hours long. Move to a 3 ½ to 4 hour cycle. (Note: it’s not unusual for two-or three-month old babies to awaken at around 5am and talk to themselves for up to an hour. Afterward, they usually go back to sleep for another hour or so. If you start to respond each time you hear a noise from the cradle, then 5am will become your baby’s waketime—and yours, too.) (P. 132)
3-5 months: 4-6 feedings during the day, three daytime naps between 1 ½ to 2 hours, longer waketime in between. Nighttime sleep will average 10-12 hours.
6-16 Months: your baby will drop his late-afternoon/early evening nap at around 6 months of age, leaving two naptimes—one in the morning and one in the afternoon, 1 ½ to 2 hours in length.
16 months and older: the morning nap is dropped. Your baby should be sleeping 10-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours during one afternoon nap.
“All babies cry…newborns routinely cry a total of one to four hours a day…” -American Academy of Pediatrics
-Listen for the type of cry, learn to recognize different crys, and assess the need.
-A Fussy baby can be caused by your milk: too much dairy or spicy foods in your diet.
-Don’t condition your baby to expect immediate gratification. (As that will cause problems when the child gets older, or when more children come into the family).
Abnormal Cry times: During feedings; immediately after feedings; when baby awakes early out of a sound nap.
Normal Cry times: just before feeding; when baby is put down for a nap; during the late afternoon/early evening period.
I'd love to hear the mothers' thoughts out there about if this works/ what has worked for you!