Why I threw out Babywise | Sleep Training Part 1

7:15 PM

If you have tiny humans, or are planning on having tiny humans in your life anytime soon, you've probably heard about Babywise. Sleep-training, cry it out (CIO), Ferber Method, evvvverrryonnnne and your aunt has an opinion on how to get your baby to sleep. 

When I was pregnant with Aria, Babywise was the word on repeat, so I thought that's what I have to do. This will be the best, we'll have a routine, she will sleep, we won't be tired, cranky parents..... then she was born - the baby who wouldn't sleep. 

We tried Babywise, tried it hard. Spent months attempting to perfect the routine of Eat-Wake-Sleep. I'd feed her when she woke, we'd have playtime, and when she slipped in those subtle cues that she was tired, we'd put to her bed to hopefully sleep. I think I mastered this routine about 2% of the time during those first 6 months. Then I threw out the book. Literally. The stress brought on by feeling like I was "failing" was just too much. The frustration that took over as nap after nap didn't happen. The anger with myself for missing cues, messing up the routine, too long of a playtime... any possible excuse I could think of  - only to end up with an overtired baby. I couldn't do it anymore. 

I gave up, but then realized we do not have a "Babywise baby"... and that is OKAY. Deep breath. Start over. It's all about trial & error. Every baby is different, their needs, habits, cues.. all unique. I just needed to let go of everything I had been trying to force on her, on us, with one takeaway: Routine.


I have a few friends who have had babies recently, or found out they are expecting, and asked how I get our girls to sleep - how we sleep trained them. 

In a nutshell, our household thrives on routine. I think children naturally need a routine, they don't know what time it is, when the day is going to end, they don't understand that when they become tired & cranky after a day of fun adventures that it's because they need sleep. So routines, cues, events in their day are the only way for them to know what's coming next.

Our routine for Aria breaks down like this:

5-5:30pm: We make sure Aria eats dinner, or at least a decent snack.

6:00-6:30pm Bathtime. This has the potential to make or break out night. Bath is crucial.

6:30-7:15pm Wind down. No screen time, play with some toys, we might dance to some music & final snack to see if we can get any additional calories in Aria before bedtime.

I'll also prep Aria's room. I make sure the temp is good, turn on the AC if needed. A few drops of lavender in the diffuser & turn the white noise machine on, crickets are her favorite. :)

7:15-7:30pm  Brush teeth & Storytime. We head to her room and snuggle into the rocking chair and grab 2-3 short stories. Turn out the lights, a few extra snuggles & a kiss and tuck her in and we're golden.

Our routine with Emerson is less defined right now. She goes down for the night sometime between 8-9pm, to sleep 6 or so hours before she's hungry. When she starts sending sleepy signals, we head to her room.  Her white noise machine is on 24/7 since she still naps 4-5 times per day, currently ocean waves.  We keep the lights off except for a small night light. She's zipped into her sleepsuit, nursed until she's drowsy and laid into her crib with a pacifier & tiny muslin security blanket (that I love watching her roll the silky edges in her fingers).

With that, I'm off to start bathtime. What is your nighttime routine like? Anything in particular a must for your little one's bedtime? Scroll to the bottom to comment, I would love to hear!

Be sure to share this on Facebook for all your mama friends with new babes. <3

Up Next: Sleep Training Part 2 - I'll share how we switched the girls from the Rock n Play to the bassinet & crib and Aria to her toddler bed in 2 days!

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