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All About Babywise Sleep Training – Is it Truly Effective and Safe for my Baby?

What Is Baby Wise Sleep Training and Does It Work?

What exactly is baby wise sleep training? If you’ve done any research on baby sleep training, you’ve probably heard the term “baby wise” before. A popular book called “On Becoming Baby Wise” goes in-depth on the subject. Contrary to what a lot of people think, it absolutely does not involve anything regarding starving your child, or depriving your baby. It actually achieves the opposite of that, by giving them exactly what they need. Baby wise sleep training is a sleep training method that entails keeping your baby on a consistent pattern of feeding, waking up, and sleeping.

In a nutshell, this sleep training method pushes for letting your child cry it out from a fairly young age. This method involves establishing a eat/play/sleep schedule. Basically, they’ll eat (by breast or bottle), play for a little, then nap. The details that entail each category depend on different factors of your baby. These can include the temperament and age of your baby, timing of their naps, length & timing of play activities, and the amount of time that they feed. But, remember that the basic structure is always going to be eat, play, then nap.

When we’re going over naps, it involves daytime napping. The bedtime routine will still end with them awake, then going to sleep. However, it will slightly be different than the day-time schedule. Of course, the playing portion doesn’t apply at night after a feeding, so they should go to bed following a night feeding. Bonus tip: if you’re in the process of sleep training, you’ll want to put your baby to sleep when they are still slightly awake yet sleepy after the nighttime feedings.

What Can Baby Wise Sleep Training Offer Me and My Baby?

You might be wondering why exactly this sleep training method is popular and what advantages it offers. Well for one, the eat/play/sleep schedule associated with this method is a great way for your baby to learn to soothe themselves to sleep without the need for you to help them. It actually makes a great deal of sense if you think about it. By eating, then playing, they will most likely be tired, yet still awake when lying down ready for sleep. This schedule is wonderful for parents trying to sleep train their child because you can easily adapt it to many different children, adjusting if needed depending on their age. The schedule is wonderful for newborns to even older babies which makes it extremely versatile, which most parents will love.

Another positive about this method is that it’s extremely flexible because you can easily adjust what happens in the transition between play and sleep. You have the option of putting them down to bed when they are still awake or you also have the option of soothing them for a little bit to make them tired for sleep.

Yet another great aspect of this method is that it ensures that your baby is still awake after a feeding time. You get to decide what happens before the next nap. The eat/play/sleep approach also works very well with practically any sleep training method such as a fading/cry it out methods.

The repetitiveness of this schedule will help develop sleep training. Another great part about this method is that if you’re consistent with it, your baby should be familiar enough with it to learn how to adapt this to other sleep training methods quickly and efficiently. It’ll also help with scheduling daytime and nighttime rhythms. Once these rhythms are consistently followed, your baby should sleep even longer throughout the night.

How exactly do I teach my baby the baby wise sleep training method?

  1. Determine your baby’s age in weeks. Because each baby is different and progresses at different rates, each baby’s individual sleep needs are unique and you need to understand which one yours will follow before starting.
  2. Create a wake-up time in the morning AND a bedtime so that you can begin to adjust your baby’s internal clock. By doing this you’ll be encouraging a consistent sleep pattern throughout the night. A common start is 7 AM for waking up, and 7 PM for bed time. You might want to alter that to a later time to ensure that they have enough feedings. You can move bed time to an earlier time after a few months.
  3. Start to develop a basic routine that incorporates enough time for naps and feedings using the baby wise sleep training schedule. A 2.5 to 3 hours schedule will likely be common, but once you establish their own wake time and bedtime, you’ll be able to fill out the rest of the day to what best suits you and your baby.
  4. Make sure that they don’t nap for too long throughout the day. If they nap too long throughout the day, they’ll be staying up all night. Make sure that you restrict naps to 2 hour timeframes throughout the day. Of course, each baby is unique and if you feel like they need longer naps than two hours, you can make your own unique adjustments and fit in the 2.5 hours of naps according to your own unique schedule.
  5. Most babies have a startle reflex right from birth to around five months old. What this means is that they experience a falling sensation, similar to sudden jerking movements that can cause them to wake up all of a sudden. A great way to prevent them from startling themselves is by swaddling them lovingly and tightly so that they can sleep longer and better from a better peace of mind and comfort.
  6. Ensure that your environment is best suited for them. This includes making sure that lights are dimmed at night and that your baby is comfortable. A fan or white noise machine is a wonderful way to help them get to sleep.
  7. Try to do full feedings for them because ultimately, it’ll be simpler for them to be full and last until the next feeding time vs if they had a lighter meal. This also helps them experience a full, uninterrupted nap due to not being hungry.

Preparing to Start Baby Wise Sleep Training

For starters, definitely read the book on becoming baby wise for starting. It will go over everything you need to know about what baby why sleep training is and what it entails. It helps to understand everything before you begin, so that you minimize any problems or road bumps that you might experience. It also helps you make any needed changes for you and your baby. By combining healthy sleep habits with the baby wise sleep training method, you should absolutely see wonderful, positive, and lasting results that will give you and your baby lots of sleep and happiness in the coming months and hopefully years.

About the Author Elizabeth

Hi everyone, I'm Elizabeth. My beautiful daughter Alice keeps me awake occasionally...but when I'm busy and can't sleep, I post parenting tips and different ways you can get your baby to sleep soundly through the night, and even naps!