How Rebecca Got Her Groove Back - Daily Rebecca

How Rebecca Got Her Groove Back

Two words.

Baby Wise.

I know that sleep training is a highly controversial topic in the momosphere and the blogosphere, but I have to say (at the risk of being shunned) that I’m totally on board with it.

The first couple weeks of Avery’s life were pretty rough on me.  Like I’ve mentioned before, lack of sleep is my kryptonite and I was getting barely any sleep and I was stressed to the max trying to keep Avery from crying at night and waking Andy or Grace.

That’s what you call a recipe for disaster.

Back when Grace was an infant, I read Baby Wise like it was the Bible.  I only took 8 weeks of maternity leave, so I knew I had to get Grace onto a predictable schedule if I was going to have any chance at all of successfully working from home.  Those 8 weeks felt like a ticking time bomb, so I read the book and started implementing the practices after the first week she was home.

It worked beautifully with Grace and she’s been sleeping through the night since she was about 3 months old.  She goes down great for naps and doesn’t fight bedtime either.  The whole process was such a blessing and gave us the gift of a happy, well-rested little girl.  And a happy, well-rested mama!

Fast forward two and a half years…

SOMEHOW I FORGOT EVERYTHING.

Seriously, I have no idea how I successfully sleep trained one child and in a couple of years forgot it all.  I’ll blame it on my hormones ;)

At the end of Avery’s first week, I headed down to the basement to search the bookshelves for Baby Wise.  We have 4 giant bookshelves completely full of all kinds of books, so this was no simple task.  Andy grouped the books according to themes once upon a time but in the past year or so I’ve managed to derail much of his system by grabbing books and not putting them back in the right spot.  Sorry babe! :(

The first time I looked for the book, I had Avery in my arms so it was kind of tricky.  Not to mention that my hoarder personality has managed to block the bottom half of most of the shelves with bins of other crap.  Oy!

The second time I looked for it I was alone and really dug around but still couldn’t find the book.

Womp. Womp. Womp.

I’m pretty sure that I lent it out to an expectant mother telling her how it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and that it saved my sanity during the newborn phase.  But I can’t for the life of me remember who I lent it to :(

Andy to the rescue!

When Andy ordered his textbooks for this semester, he added a used copy of Baby Wise and by the middle of this past week the book had arrived!

{insert Hallelujah chorus}

Photo Jan 15, 12 25 31 PM

I read the whole book that day and felt like I had a new lease on life!  I went into that night knowing that I still might not get enough sleep, but at least I had a plan!

Right away I figured out the times that I wanted Avery to eat (7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 10 & as needed overnight) and I began the magic cycle…

Eat

Awake

Sleep

So simple yet so effective.

I remembered that this was the order of things, but I’d forgotten that feeding on demand could make Avery cranky from getting too much milk or only snacking and not getting regular “full feedings.”  I’d also forgotten that babies may have to cry a little bit before they settle into sleep.

**Let me just say that I am NOT a proponent of letting babies cry for extended periods of time.  I know that they are fragile and new to the outside world and that it’s crucial that they are cuddled and comforted and that their needs are met before they become hysterical.**

Amazingly enough, Avery’s mood during her awake times drastically improved once I regulated her feeding times and didn’t just put her on the boob every time she got fussy.

Photo Jan 18, 7 28 41 PM

Also amazing was how little she really had to cry before getting herself to sleep.  I watch the clock religiously when laying her down to sleep and even though her little cries feel like an eternity and make me sad, they settle into sleep after only a short while!

Photo Jan 11, 10 36 36 PM

The result has been that I feel so much happier and at peace and Avery also seems happier.  I’ve been able to bond more with her because I’m not irritated by not knowing what to expect from her feeding and sleep times.  Andy is happier having his wife back and I’m sure Grace can tell that mama isn’t a big grouch anymore!

I know that many of my online friends prefer attachment parenting methods to sleep training, and I think that’s wonderful!  As long as it works for them and fits into the dynamics of their families, I say more power to them.

Parenting isn’t easy and we all need to love and encourage one another along the journey.  I’m very thankful for the moms that have gone before me and recommended the Baby Wise book to me because it is what works for us.

I’m so happy to be back :)

P.S. I also want to give a shout out to my mom for having the girls and me for an overnight visit this week!  She took such wonderful care of  us and gave me the chance to get caught up on sleep while she entertained both girls.  Love you mom!

Photo Jan 18, 6 09 41 PM

Note the crown and glass slippers…he’s so good at being a dad to girls :)

Photo Jan 15, 4 09 50 PM

Girlfriend LOVES her puzzles! This one was Andy’s when he was little :)

Photo Jan 15, 4 08 48 PM

Snuggling with my baby girl :)

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10 Responses to “How Rebecca Got Her Groove Back”

  1. Miranda Smith says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting this!!! I have a seven week old that was still eating ever two hours both day and night and wanted to be held when sleeping! It was wearing me out! After I read this post I bought the book on my kindle and have made it about half way through the book. I started the feed-wake-sleep schedule this morning and my son is sleeping in his crib in his room for the first time!!! I love holding my son but I have a 20 month old also so holding him while he slept was not always convenient. I know that this is only the first day but it is a huge step in the right direction!!! Thank you again for sharing what worked for you!!!

    • Rebecca says:

      Miranda, I’m SO HAPPY that this post helped you!! Without a plan, the newborn phase can be so difficult and we all just want to enjoy our tiny sweet babies! My encouragement to you would be to trust the process. What I mean by that is… it can be difficult to trust that your baby really is going to adjust to the schedule at times when he doesn’t seem to be “following the routine” (like waking up “too early” from a naptime or getting hungry sooner than he’s “supposed to”). Just modify timing when you need to and keep going with it. My little Avery has been waking from naptimes earlier than expected and it’s hard to let her cry for 5-10 minutes in the middle of a nap because I wonder if she needs something, but just giving it that short time to play out usually results in her falling back to sleep for the remainder of the cycle. I also find that sometimes I feel more sensitive about letting her cry for 10-20 minutes to get herself to sleep…at those times I just tell myself that she’s ok and that she’s learning how to do it on her own and that we’ll both be better off.

      Now I feel like I’m writing this comment to myself! LOL Anyway, I’m thrilled that my story could help you out. Good luck to you and stay in touch about how it goes!

  2. ROCHELLE says:

    Love the pics. So cute!

  3. Laurie Kroll says:

    Yo Mama is thrilled that you are doing so well!!!! I love my girls!!!!

  4. I never read Baby Wise but someone on a message board recommended the Eat, Awake, Sleep routine to me and O.M.G. it saved me. So many pro-b/fing people told me it was going to ruin breastfeeding for us, I wasn’t feeding on demand, it would kill my supply, blah, blah, blah and it simply wasn’t the case for me. If anything I think breastfeeding got much easier for me because I wasn’t stressed out from being tired and constantly on demand.

    I’m glad to hear it’s working out for you and you’re feeling much better. :)

    • Rebecca says:

      I totally agree! I was starting to get very bitter about breastfeeding because I was getting so sore and felt like all I did was nurse. The schedule gives me nice breaks between feedings and I haven’t had any supply issues at all. I wonder how anyone does it any other way…

  5. Beth Anne says:

    Good girl for finding what works best for you & your baby. Fist bumps & all that jazz.

  6. Kari says:

    I am using Baby Wise to train my fourth kid and with each kid I’ve had to reread it.:) Elydn’s feeding times are the same as Avery’s! Miss you!

    • Rebecca says:

      This makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER! I was starting to wonder what was wrong with me for not remembering what to do ;) I miss you too! I should bring the girls over for a visit one of these days.

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