What Is Babywise Sleep Training

Why the Babywise Sleep Training Methods Can Work

What is Babywise sleep training? The term ‘Babywise’ is probably something you have come across if you have done any reading on baby sleep training, more so in the book ‘On Becoming Babywise’. Contrary to popular belief, it does not involve starving your child, or depriving your baby of its needs. It does quite the opposite, by giving your baby EXACTLY what he or she needs. Babywise is a sleep training method that keeps the baby on a pattern and it follows this pattern of feeding time, wake time, and sleep time.

Essentially, the Babywise sleep training method advocates for allowing the child cry it out from a young age. In order to know what babywise sleep training is, we need to know what the method entails. It involves establishing an eat-play-sleep schedule in which the baby eats (via bottle or breast), plays for some time, and lies down for a nap. The details of this specific feeding and sleep schedule will greatly depend on certain factors. These factors include the baby’s temperament and age, the length and timing of the nap, the type and length of play, and the feeding length. However, the layout is all the same because it starts with eating and then playing, which is then followed by a nap.

If we are talking about a nap, then the schedule will be used for daytime purposes. The bedtime routine should be different even though it will still end with the child awake and going to sleep thanks to some sleep associations. Additionally, the ‘play’ part does not apply after night feedings so you will only put the child straight back to bed following night feedings. If you are sleep training, you will want to put the baby back to bed when he or she is slightly awake after the night feedings.

What Does Babywise Sleep Training Have to Offer for My Baby and I?

You may be wondering why babywise sleep training is popular among parents and what the main theme is. The eat-play-sleep schedule assimilated within the babywise sleep training method is one of the best ways for your baby to learn how to fall asleep without the need for sleep associations such as holding, rocking, or feeding. This makes sense because the baby will eat, then play (to keep him/her from sleeping during feeding time), after which he/she will be awake when lying down in bed to sleep. This schedule is especially popular for parents trying to sleep train their children because you can scale it down or up, depending on how old the child is. The schedule works for newborns all through to older babies making it adaptable, a characteristic any modern parent would love.

Babywise sleep training is also popular among parents because of its flexibility as you can adjust what will happen between play time and sleep time on the schedule. You can choose to put baby down to bed when he or she is still wide-awake or soothing/rocking the baby a bit to bring about drowsiness before sleep.

This schedule is ideal because it makes sure the baby remains awake after feeding time and you will control whatever happens prior to the next nap not to mention how awake the baby will be while going to bed. The eat-play-sleep schedule also works quite well with almost any sleep coaching method like the cry-it-out and fading methods.

The sequence of the eat-play-sleep schedule will repeat itself all through the day to help in developing gentle sleep training. Furthermore, if you are consistent with this routine, the baby will learn how to adapt to the sleep training method employed quickly and organize his/her schedule rhythms. Once the rhythms have been established, this will bring about continuous sleep all through the night.

How to Go About Babywise Sleep Training

  • First, you will determine the baby’s age in weeks so you will know where to begin when you want to start sleep training him/her. Babies progress at various rates depending on the individual sleep requirements and you may need to become accustomed to these needs before starting the training.
  • Establish a wakeup time in the morning and a bedtime to set up your little one’s internal clock thus encouraging consistent sleep during the night. A 7 a.m. wake time coupled with a 7 p.m. bedtime is a common occurrence but you may want to establish a slightly later bedtime for a newborn to fit in sufficient feedings. You can move bedtime to an earlier time after several months.
  • Develop a basic daily routine and fill in the right times for naps and feedings using the babywise schedule. It is likely that you will have a 2.5 to 3 hour schedule but once you establish the wake time and bed time, it will be easier to fill out the middle.
  • Ensure the baby does not nap for too long during the day to keep her from staying awake at night. Restrict the naps to 2-hour periods during the day. It is okay to wake up your baby if she goes slightly past 2 hours but if you feel that she needs longer naps, you can make adjustments accordingly and make the naps 2.5 hours long.
  • Babies usually have a startle reflex from birth to roughly 5 months of age. This means the baby experiences a falling sensation, which brings about jerking movements causing the baby to wake up suddenly. You can prevent your baby from startling themselves awake by swaddling them tightly to help them sleep longer and better.
  • Establish a proper sleep environment for the baby by closing curtains or blinds to dim the room. Use a white noise machine or a fan to reduce noise for the baby when he/she is trying to sleep.
  • Encourage full feedings for the baby because it will be easier for him/her to last until the next feeding time after eating a full meal. It will also make it easier for your baby to finish a full nap without waking up earlier because of feeling hungry.

Preparing Yourself before Employing Babywise Sleep Training

It is advisable for parents to read the book ‘On Becoming Babywise’ before using the method. This will help you know more about what Babywise sleep training is before going about it. Everything is likely to go more smoothly if everyone is on board. You can also troubleshoot at different junctures all through the process and make any necessary modifications as you see fit. If you remain committed to setting the foundation for healthy sleep habits with the babywise sleep training method, you will see positive lasting results with your baby in the months to come.

Wow! I have heard so many rumors about how you ‘starve’ your child while in this method but your article really cleared that up for me! I’m going to keep this method in mind for my future little mini-me 🙂

Training is so important for babies. They need a consistent schedule. Nice point about training with eat-play-sleep. A nice routine to keep consistent. Thanks for sharing this. Something very good to keep in mind.

That is correct. Sometimes parents get caught up with chores, errands and busy lives. They assume that baby can take the ride along with them and go with the flow. But it doesn’t work that way. Babies need consistency or else they will be all over the place during the middle of the night when you want them to rest.


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