I first started reconsidering Babywise when I got home from the hospital with my baby boy for the second time. The first time, he was a healthy newborn baby boy with a hearty appetite for nursing. The second time, 8 weeks later, he was recovering from life-saving surgery. He was, once again, nursing around the clock, but this time, he was trying to to regain the weight he’d lost after surgery.
My baby, Andrew, went through a stage where he only wanted to sleep while I was holding him. I was so concerned about establishing a bad habit, as Babywise constantly warned of doing. At the same time, I couldn’t put him down because of the trauma we’d just endured. And something in me said maybe he needs a mother’s touch. So I held him, ignoring the information I’d learned in Babywise.
My pastor’s wife visted with a hot meal, and I guiltily explained to her that Andrew would only sleep if held. As a mom of seven, she agreed that he needed his mommy to hold him, after all that we’d endured. But she also said something that revolutionized my thinking about infant sleep.
They do it on their own.
Babies will schedule themselves, with maybe a tiny bit of help from mom.
I’ve tried applying that to my third baby, and you know what? It works.
Instead of worrying about a schedule, I’ve always focused on full feedings, filling up his little tummy, and somewhere around 4-8 weeks, he started eating every three hours. And he started napping regularly. Now, at nearly 8 months, I don’t worry about the exact time of his morning nap, nor do I concern myself with the exact time of his afternoon nap. My goal is to get certain tasks completed around the house prior to naptime, and then all the kids take naps at once. Some days, that’s at 1:00, but other days, it’s closer to 2:00 before it all happens, and that’s really OK.