Benefits of Babywise When Bringing Home a New Baby


By Emily Parker, Journey of Parenthood

I am a proud mother of THREE children. A 5-year-old, a 2.5-year-old, and a 14-day-old. Yes. You read that right. I have a new baby who is currently 2 weeks old and I’m able to sit here and write a blog post. :)

I started Babywise with my first child at a young age and saw the benefits of it right away. I then continued to used the techniques with my second child and am now currently implementing Babywise strategies with my newborn. I have always said that I’d rather work hard in the beginning and reap the rewards of that hard work early on with my children (hello, who doesn’t want to have a baby sleeping through the night as soon as possible?!?!) than take an easier route in the beginning and have to do a lot of re-parenting later on.

One aspect of Babywise that I never fully appreciated was how much easier it makes life when adding a new baby to the family. Since coming home from the hospital our days have flowed very smoothly. Here are some of the ways in which Babywise has benefited our family during this time of transition:

1. Sleep: My husband and I only have to be concerned with ONE child’s sleep. The newborn’s! Both of our older children go to bed easily and smoothly each night and for each nap. They take only a few minutes each to tuck in and we have no night issues or nap issues with either of them. If they wake up early they know to stay in their beds quietly until it’s time to get up. We are able to focus on helping the baby get the best sleep she needs and are able to get good rest ourselves since our older children sleep so well.

2. Flexibility: Because both of our older children have been on set routines their entire lives, they know what to expect each and every day. It makes it easier for them to be a little more flexible as needed. If bath has to be a little earlier in order to have them out and dried off for when the baby needs to nurse, they do fine with that change. If they have to stay up a little later for bedtime to allow me to finish nursing the baby before tucking them in, they also do fine and have no issues when small bumps in the schedule occur.

3. Quality Time: As a mama I naturally feel guilt that so much of my time is spent either with the new baby or trying to rest and recover from delivery. It’s a huge blessing to have my older children on a set routine so I can know when there will be time for me to spend with them. We are also able to make plans for them to spend quality time with others and know they will be at their personal best for those fun events because they will be well rested!

4.  Time for ME: It is so, so important during the early days of postpartum to take good care of yourself. I know I need to soak in the tub. I know I need to take naps. My rest and recovery is essential in order for me to be the best mom possible for my children! By having a solid routine in place for our family I’m able to have that time I need for myself. I know when my children will be sleeping, I know what activities they will have at certain times, and I can work around those times in order to have my “me time” too!

5. Setting Baby up for Success: I am a firm believer in starting as you mean to go on and I start implementing some of the Babywise strategies from birth with my children (you can read about that here). As I continue to add children to my home I have SO many people tell me that I will “throw the schedule out the window.” Instead, I have found that with each additional child, the routine of life gets easier and easier and even more consistent than the child before. My two-week-old baby is already sleeping better, nursing better, and thriving more at an earlier age than either of my older children did. I know that is because I have the confidence that Babywise has allowed me to have and that I do have such a simple routine to my day that it makes it easy to give the baby the very best!

I know my days as a mother of three are just beginning and that there will be bumps in the road along the way. But I also know that Babywise has allowed me a great start to this new phase of life!

Babywise Week: An Attitude of Adventure

We’re finishing Babywise Week with a post from Claire at My Devising. Claire’s son is only 2.5 so she hasn’t quite gotten into the years when we really deal with attitude, but she has some great advice. One thing I gather from her situation is that it’s important to think about potential parenting issues before you run into them. It’s always best to have a plan, a roadmap of sorts, to guide us in our parenting and help us aim for a goal. So it’s great that Claire has had thoughts about attitude. When her son starts displaying problems with attitude, she’ll be ready to deal with it.

Here’s an example of how Claire is thinking about attitude in parenting: “I want to create little humans that look at hardships and hurt as a challenge, an adventure, and an opportunity.”

It’s so true that attitude makes all the difference. When our kids face difficulties in life, we can help prepare them by teaching them how to face them with grace. I know of some people who face hardships by pointing fingers. It’s always the other person’s fault. It takes real character to point to ourselves and see hardships as an opportunity for self improvement.

Head on over to Claire’s blog to read her post in its entirety. And if you haven’t had a chance yet, check out everyone’s posts on attitude from this week. It’s a real treasure-trove of parenting advice!

Babywise Week: Teaching Appreciation in an Entitled World

It’s Babywise Week. Today, we hear from Emily at Journey of Parenthood. This week, we’re talking about attitude, and Emily offers tips on how we can teach our kids to be appreciative in our entitled world. Entitlement seems to be running rampant in kids these days. Whether it’s from excessive (and unwarranted) praise or the “every child gets a trophy” philosophy, kids are being taught that they deserve everything their little hearts desire.

As Emily says, “Our kids are constantly made to feel so special, so perfect, and are so accustomed to the our worlds revolving around them that they no longer appreciate any of it. They expect praise. They expect rewards. They expect to have us catering to their every whim.”

Emily offers specific tips on how to ensure our kids don’t grow up to be entitled. They include:

  • Remain the parent
  • Don’t always give what they want
  • You get what you get (and you don’t get upset)
  • Let them lose
  • Praise when appropriate
  • Limit rewards
  • Don’t be fair
  • Have honest talks about reality
  • Model appreciation
  • Keep the focus above

Emily does a great job explaining what each of these means. Head on over to Emily’s blog to read her post in its entirety. And be sure to follow us all week:

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Babywise Week: Improving Attitude without Stifling Emotions

Today, for Babywise Week we hear from Rachel at A Mother Far From Home. She continues our discussion on attitude with some thoughts on how we can require a good attitude without stifling our children’s emotions. She does a good job of offering specific steps on how we can do so. She tells us what it means to express a good attitude and how to appropriately express emotions. She sums up every parent’s goals with saying that we want our children to:

  • Exhibit a positive attitude
  • Be able to express their emotions
  • Feel understood and heard by their parents
  • Not be ruled by their emotions and moods

There are several ways we can go about doing so. She offers these five great steps:

  • Learn to separate the emotion from the event
  • Find a safe place for your child to vent
  • Determine if a conversation will help or only make things worse
  • Help them find outlets to express their emotions
  • Be appropriately empathetic

Head on over to Rachel’s blog to read her post in its entirety. And be sure to follow us all week:

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Babywise Week: What Do We Mean by Attitude?

Yesterday, Valerie gave a great overview of why it’s important to encourage a good attitude from our children. It truly is a gift to teach our kids how to deal with their emotions. There’s very little in life that’s more important than handling difficulties with grace. It’s a skill that will serve them well for many years.

Let me get into the specifics of a few types of attitudes and emotions we want to cultivate in our kids.


Requiring our kids to submit to our authority is something we should teach from a very early age. Submission makes the difference between a child who will sit willingly for a timeout and one who will have you running around the house to get him to sit. The earlier you begin teaching submission, the better off you will both be.

I remember putting my kids in timeout in their cribs (as young as 15 or 16 months), and they would lie down in the crib rather than stand up and look me in the eye. It was a very subtle act of defiance. When I saw that happen, I told the child that I would come back when they were “happy.” Once they would stand up and look at me (while I explained what they did wrong), I knew they were submitting to my authority.

Any time you see an act of overt defiance, you’ll know that you’re not seeing a submissive attitude. And think about the ways submission will benefit your kids for years to come. If our kids can learn to submit to us, they will submit to teachers, bosses, coaches, and other authority figures.


Valerie touched on this yesterday. Optimism will get our kids very far in life. I agree that optimism or pessimism is predetermined. Admittedly, I am more naturally pessimistic than optimistic. My husband is the opposite. And I have one of each in my kids.

I love seeing William’s optimism flourish as he grows older. He’s almost 10 now, and just last week, he was competing in a swim meet. He was literally smiling as he swam the breaststroke (his favorite). The swim team has been rigorous and very difficult for him. He’s often the slowest swimmer on the team. But not once has he complained about it.

Lucas (age 6), on the other hand, needs a little encouragement to find his hidden optimist. I think modeling positive attitude is best for him, as is explaining what it looks like and why it’s important.


When life gets tough, it can be so tempting to just give up. This is true with everything from school work to getting across the monkey bars. As you can imagine, determination is important for adults just as it is for kids.

I mentioned how determined William is with swim team, despite how difficult it’s been. When he tried out for the team, he hadn’t been in a pool in months, but he did well with the rigorous tryout.

I saw one or two kids who got angry with themselves that they couldn’t get across the length of the pool. One little girl stopped midway and took her goggles off in anger. I’m not sure whether she made the team, but her actions proved a lack of determination.

There were a couple kids who were borderline, and the coaches allowed them on the team, commenting on the fact that they were “teachable.” They didn’t necessarily need to see perfection in ability. They needed to see that they would be able to teach the kids and that the kids were determined enough to work hard.

Encouraging determination in our kids is all about words of affirmation. Praise your kids when you see them work hard. Model determination for them. And give them strategies for the times when they feel like giving up. If homework seems a little too daunting, let the child have a snack and a break and get right back to it. But don’t let him give up. Then when it’s done, give him huge praise, not for getting the answers right, but for sticking with it when it got tough.

Striving for personal best

I’ve heard many times that a motivated child will get much farther in life than a smart child will. Intelligence doesn’t do us any good if we’re unwilling to do the work. But if we’re motivated, we can compensate for a lack of natural ability. At the heart of motivation is a willingness to strive for our best. And to be clear, we’re talking about internal motivation, not working for an external reward.

Notice that I didn’t say to strive for perfection. Perfection is a loaded word and gets many of us in trouble. William and I both struggle with perfectionism. But striving for our personal best is great.

If you see your kids doing homework or a coloring page with carelessness, do something about it. A friend once told me about a time when she would crumple up her daughter’s coloring page when she was intentionally scribbling or coloring outside the lines. Don’t do this if coloring outside the lines is their personal best. But if they are intentionally scribbling, that’s a different matter. It’s all about intent.


Confidence is another attitude trait that will get us far in life. It’s particularly important to help our introverted, shy kids with confidence. My boys are both extroverts and have very little difficulty in standing up for themselves. But confidence is something I’ve struggled with. I have always been introverted and shy. I’d always rather let my work speak for itself than to have to speak or boast about it.

I’ve noticed that confidence plays a big role in the business world. You can compensate for a lack of ability with confidence. But even the most capable person won’t get very far if they can’t speak up for themselves.

But let me make a clear distinction. We don’t want false confidence. We want our kids to be proud and confident of the things that they have personally achieved. We don’t want confidence if it comes with lying.


Let me finish with what’s possibly the most important attitude trait. Teach your kids that kindness should be at the heart of everything they do in life. There are some who say, “Nice guys finish last.” But I’ve found the opposite to be true. In the business world, I’ve gotten far with my consulting clients because of the willingness and kindness that I always express. It’s all about the relationship and establishing a friendship. Who wants to work with someone who’s cutthroat and only looks out for himself?

There are many ways to show our kids what kindness looks like. If you see an adult struggling to open a door, have your child open the door for them. If you see an elderly person drop something, have your child pick it up. If you see a friend struggling to get across the monkey bars, have your child offer words of encouragement to the friend.

By the same token, stop your kids if they’re ever unkind. Listen not only to what your kids say, but how they say it. And make sure you’re around to witness your child’s kindness (or lack thereof). When friends come over, don’t hover, but be sure you can see how your child treats friends.

As you can imagine, living a life of kindness is the best way to teach it to your kids. Model the behavior, but go beyond even that. Be on the lookout for ways that your child can express kindness. Kids are naturally self-absorbed, so they won’t always spot opportunities for kindness. But if you do it often enough, they will begin to see it for themselves.


Be sure to follow us all week:

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Babywise Week: Should You Correct for Attitude?

It’s Babywise Week! All week, you’ll be hearing from the Babywise Friendly Blog Network (BFBN) with posts on a similar topic. This week, it’s all about attitude. We kick off the week with a post from Valerie. She asks the question, “Should you correct for attitude?”

There are many who would say that correcting for attitude runs the risk of stifling our kids’ emotions. But as Valerie explains, teaching our kids to deal with their emotions is a great gift. By instilling in our kids a sense of emotional maturity, they will be much better prepared for any difficulties life may throw their way.

Here’s a quick summary of the points she covers:

  • The value of a good attitude
  • The importance of self-control
  • Learning the right way to respond
  • Developing a habit of good attitude
  • Correcting for attitude

Head on over to Valerie’s blog to read her post in its entirety. And be sure to follow us all week:

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How to let our children experience risk without being negligent

By Rachel Norman, A Mother Far From Home

Let’s face it. With young children, everything is risky. The bed, a place of supposed repose, becomes an apparatus from which your 1-year-old will launch herself and break an arm. While your mother watches helplessly on Skype. Even though you were right there as it happened and yet powerless to stop it.

Children can climb into a chair hundreds of times and then one afternoon fall off and chip a tooth. How do we balance letting life happen naturally with protecting our children from risk and harm?

It isn’t like mothers think we should put our children in a padded room never to experience any damage. Most parents don’t say, “I’ll never let my child climb a tree.” When thinking rationally, most parents would even say that letting children discover their own boundaries and abilities is a good thing.

And yet, we are the age of helicopter parents. Always hovering waiting to intervene at a second’s notice to prevent any ill from befalling our children. As we do this we feel proud that we are protecting our children from harm. In fact, hovering can almost been seen as a virtue in the face of parents who let their children climb to high heights or explore woods unsupervised. And yet, I believe, too much is too much.

The Forbes article states, “If parents remove risk from children’s lives, we will likely experience high arrogance and low self-esteem in our growing leaders.”

Research and common sense both show that we need to let our children learn some life lessons through first-hand experience. This does not mean, however, that we just throw them into the deep end to sink or swim. No, we teach them to swim first.

1.  Train first.

Sometimes we simply can’t watch our children go off and do something that could get them seriously injured. If your children like heights or climbing adventures, then why not spend some time helping your children learn to go up and down safely. Getting up is the easy part, but getting down is where tumbles often occur. If you’ve helped your children with these skills then you’ll feel more confident in letting them have fun without climbing the tree right beside them.

What about relationships and friendships at school or day care? If you are afraid they will be ostracized and are tempted to intervene, why not use it as an opportunity to help them help themselves. Why not teach your children inter-personal skills? There’s no time like the present to teach conflict resolution skills, how to confront another in love, and forgiveness. After all that we simply must let them solve some of their own problems. It doesn’t mean we leave them floundering, just that we don’t intervene at the slightest sign of discomfort.

People must feel discomfort to grow. 

2. Encourage independent thinking and problem solving skills.

One reason Babywise considers independent play time foundational is that it gives children opportunity to think for themselves. If they throw a toy out of the playpen they quickly learn the consequence: no more toy. If they are stacking or building they’ll learn how to balance to reach the highest height. When my kids ask for help I always respond, but I don’t always do what they ask. Sometimes I’ll stand by my daughter and explain to her how to finish what she’s started.

Other times, instead of just doing it for them I’ll ask a few questions to get them thinking. Encouraging children to think on their own will help them become resilient, adaptable and confident. There is great confidence to be found in problem-solving, don’t rob your children of this by attempting to make them momentarily comfortable.

As your children become more confident and proficient in problem-solving and decision-making you may just find you aren’t so scared to let them have more freedom of choice.

3.  Land the helicopter!

Now, there’s a difference in a parent who properly supervises their child and one who is a helicopter parent. Let’s differentiate between the two. A helicopter parent is defined as one who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children. For smaller children I’d say it is a mother who is hyper-vigilant to the point of not letting their children do anything that could result in injury.

The trouble with this is that everything can result in injury with small children. Just yesterday my daughter fell and bruised her cheekbone on the laundry basket. Shall we then banish laundry baskets? Actually… I think that’s a fine idea.

When I get the urge to intervene with my children – and the urge comes often – I often stop myself and wait. Still nearby, but I purposefully hold back. I will let the kid try to get down from the high surface or finish what they’ve attempted to start. At least half the time they solve problems for themselves. Far far more often than I expect, they resolve situations to their liking without my help.

4.  Turn tumbles into truths. 

One way to help train your children in many areas of life is to turn tumbles, accidents and heartaches into opportunities to teach. Many times we tell our children something, they don’t listen, and they wish they did. The book How to be the Parent You Always Wanted to Be offers a better solution than “I told you so.” Letting children keep their dignity while acknowledging the truth (that you were right) can be as easy as “Oh, you found out.” Found out what? Found out that falling off the table hurts. Found out that being mean to people loses friends. Found out that talking during class gets you in trouble.

5. Ask yourself “what is the worst that could happen?” and “what is likely to happen?”

This is something the anxiety counsellor suggested when I was struggling with anxiety in my last pregnancy. It goes without saying you wouldn’t let a toddler cross a major intersection alone or walk down the street to grandma’s without supervision. However, there are many other ways in which we hover that aren’t so necessary.

What is the worst that could happen if your toddler is standing next to the kitchen counter while you cook? They touch the oven and get a blister? If you’ve told them before not to touch and they do, well, then they’ve found out why the oven isn’t to be touched. What is likely to happen if they fall off the merry-go-round? They hit the padded ground below? I don’t know how many times I’ve stopped myself and waited for “worst case scenario.” Most times it doesn’t happen. When it does it is often far less distressing as I thought. I am frequently happy with my conscious choice to stop hovering.

Of course we should keep our children safe! Of course we should train them what to do and what not to do! Our goal should be teaching them to make safety decisions on their own, appropriate to their developmental age. However, there will come a day when we simply must let our children make their own decisions. You wouldn’t let a 4-year-old decide which school they will attend, but you will let them make other day-to-day and moment-to-moment decisions. Decisions that will bring them into situations that could end in tears.

6. Childproof and back off. 

Make sure your backyard is free of pythons and pitchforks, then let them play. If you aren’t there watching their every move you won’t feel the need to intervene. Let them stay with family or friends whose parents you trust, and take a break. Ultimately, we cannot protect our children from everything even though we try hard. At some point we must simply do our due diligence and trust God’s will be done.

I trust myself. Why? Because in my 32 years I’ve been put in many, many situations of varying degrees of risk and I’ve come out alive. I’ve made great decisions, poor decisions and I’ve acquired much wisdom by getting myself out of many situations. I am not afraid to take risks. Why? Because I trust that I can make the best of whatever happens. That is what I want to give my children.

Raising Independent and Responsible Children

independentandresponsibleby Valerie Plowman

I have such a passion for helping children to be independent and personally responsible. I know that personally for me a huge part of my success as a person in my life can be attributed to the fact that I know I am responsible for myself. There are a lot of good reasons to be personally responsible–that isn’t the purpose of this post. The purpose is to discuss how you get there. Here are some ideas.

Start with Proper Expectations

The first place to start is to realize what your child is actually capable of. Chances are your child is capable of more than think. Whether you are working with chores, personal care, homework, practicing skills, or obedience, you want to have the proper expectations. Your child will rise to the occasion. You will likely often find yourself in the middle of a task you have always done realizing, “Hey, my kid could be doing this.” For everything you do for your child, the day will come that your child will be able to do it himself. That is the time to move on in our list of steps outlined below. An example from my life is last year when I realized Brayden, who was in second grade, could be making his own lunch in the morning. It was time to have him do it himself.

Explain and Teach

Just because your child is capable of something doesn’t mean he was born knowing how to do so. For whatever it is you want your child to be able to do, you will need to instruct. Have your child help you. Have your child observe. Talk through the process. Ask your child to explain the process. Let your child do it while you verbally instruct. Be patient with this process as it can take some time. Back to my lunch example, I decided that during the summer between second and third grade, I would have Brayden pack his lunch for park day to give him practice for packing it for school. I told him how, showed him how, and stood by his side as I handed the task over to him and helped him with questions that came up along the way.

Have Rules and Expectations

Once your child knows how to do something, it is time to set some rules and expectations. Explain when the task needs to be done. Explain if you will be giving reminders or not. Explain the consequences that will follow if the task is not done. Make sure your child is clear on these rules. Going with my lunch example, if Brayden doesn’t pack his lunch, he can eat the lunch the school provides.

You can have rules for the order things are done in–like maybe homework is done first thing after school. We have expectation that our children will clean up after themselves. We also have a rule that everyone cleans no matter who made the mess.

For help with appropriate chore expectations, see these posts:

Give an Instruction and Walk Away

A lot of times we impede our children’s progress by getting impatient and doing the task for our child. When you give your child an instruction, walk away so your child can do it. If you tell your child to get shoes on, walk away and do something else that needs to be done in order to leave. Don’t stand there for five seconds (or even five minutes) and then get impatient and start to do it for your child. A good strategy is to tell your child to do something much sooner than you need it done. Another good idea is to do something to busy yourself while your child works on it.

Always remember, doing things for your child might seem nice, but it can actually be harmful in the long run. It is such a benefit to your child to learn life skills and be able to take care of himself. I think it is fine to do some things for our children that they can do for themselves at times. My husband often helps Brayden with a portion of his lunch each day. There is nothing inherently wrong with making lunch for your child. It can be a display of love and service from you. Just be sure your child is learning the skills associated with the task you are doing in some other way (in our example, Brayden helps make dinner at other times).

Start by Helping with Charts/Cards/etc.

We all need reminders, and it is fun and helpful to give your child a way to keep track of what needs to be done. I find when starting a new responsibility, these things are necessary, but as the child gets use to it, it is no longer needed. When we started having Brayden make his own lunch, I made an instruction list he could refer to each day. Today, he doesn’t need to use it, but initially, it helped him make sure  he had everything he needed for his lunch. I have some posts on chore charts and such:

Have Consequences When The Child Doesn’t Follow Through

A concept I love from the Parenting with Love and Logic book is to keep in mind that stakes are low. This means that today, Brayden having to eat school lunch isn’t a huge deal. He might not like what is made that day, but he will surely survive. He will also likely not forget to make his lunch another day. He might be hungry, but life will go on. It is better to learn these lessons now while he is young and the consequences won’t have a long-term negative impact on his life than in 20 years when he is an adult and his stakes are higher.

Logical consequences are often effective for things your child is supposed to take care of himself. You can also remove privileges as a consequence. If you have a rule that there is no TV time until homework is done, if your child decides to watch TV first, you might take away TV time for a week.

Help Child Solve Own Problems

When your child comes to you with a problem that needs to be solved, don’t just solve it for him. Help him learn wisdom. Talk him through it. Ask him some ways he could fix it. Stay calm and help him think it through. Do a brainstorming session. Once you have talked about options, ask your child which option he wants to do. Doing this helps your child become self-sufficient. Your child will be able to do the process on his own before long.

Believe in Your Child

There is huge power in believing your child can do things. Have confidence in your child and trust your child to follow through.

For more on this topic, see:

Valerie is a mother to four children ages 1-8 and blogs at

Babywise Is a Big-Picture Thing

babywise book

By Claire Westbrook, My Devising

A while back, I wrote about some various Babywise myths I had come across in my first months of parenting. Just like anything else, it’s not hard to google “Babywise” and come up with amazing testimonials as well as a community of anti-Babywisers. There are lovers and haters for everything. I’m not anti-other-forms-of-parenting, but I am pro-Babywise. It has worked for us and I plan on using it again for Nova when she arrives in about a month.

In anticipating the baby phase coming around again, I’ve been thinking about how important that first year is with establishing all of the things Babywise encourages you to establish: eat/wake/sleep cycle, full feedings, no snacking, learning to self-soothe, healthy sleep habits, landing on a schedule, etc. It’s a lot to process in the moment! But having a 2.5-year-old boy who is thriving, loving life, and sleeping well is quite a reward. I’m so thankful we put in the hard work at first so that we could reap the wonderful benefits now.

Think of Babywise like you think of exercise. (I know, for some of us it’s not a fun comparison.) It’s kind of annoying to do, but once you’re there in the gym, it’s not so bad. Or maybe for you it still is bad. But when you get home, you’re always glad you did it. When you get on that scale and realize you’ve lost 10 pounds, you’re glad you did it. When you fit comfortably into those jeans that used to be skin tight, you’re glad you did it. When you cross that finish line that you never thought you’d cross, you’re glad you did it. Most of the time, once we see the results of exercising, we get excited, see the value, and continue moving forward with it because we see its worth.

Babywise is a “in the long run” kind of thing. It’s a “big picture” thing. There are tough moments — when schedules adjust, when naps aren’t long enough, when your baby cries.  But those are things that any mom/baby deals with. With Babywise, however, you have a road map to navigate through them. It’s such a helpful problem solver. And the next time something like it comes around, you’re more prepared. Babywise is a lifesaver when you’re in the thick of those first several months, but the benefits go even further.

If you’re on your way to becoming a mom for the first time, I definitely recommend looking into Babywise. If you read it and thought, There’s no way I could keep up with all of this.  It’s too confusing, don’t worry! It’s hard to apply parenting principles in your mind when you’re not a parent. So you know what I suggest? Don’t even read the thing until you have that baby. I guarantee that once he or she is in your arms, you’ll read it and soak up every word like a sponge. It will begin to make sense. Yes, you’ll be tired and weepy and all the other stuff, but it’s such an easy and quick read. You can go through that thing in one sitting.

If you’re looking for a parenting method that implements and carries out a variety good habits beyond babyhood, Babywise is for you!

Claire is a stay-at-home mom to her 2.5 year old son, Duke. She enjoys teaching piano lessons, songwriting, and blogging at My Devising.

Babywise Week: A Parent’s Best Instruction Manual

Babywise Instruction ManualEverything we buy these days comes with an instruction manual. These manuals include specific instructions on everything from how to toast bread to how to install a car seat (diagrams included). I was washing William’s coat the other day, I looked to the tag to find out what the manufacturer suggested. There were six “pages” of washing instructions sewn into his coat, all in about four or five languages. It was maddening to find simple instructions in English!

I can toast bread or wash a coat without an instruction manual. But raising a child? I need an instruction manual for that! Didn’t you feel this way when you left the hospital with your first baby? You go in with nothing but a few forms filled out, and they let you leave with a precious, fragile human being.

Some people take the advice of their parents. Others fumble their way through it. But we Babywise moms read! Babywise is our instruction manual.

Prepping for stages to come

Whenever I’m approaching a new phase with my kids, I prep and give myself a refresher course on where we’ve been and then look ahead to where we need to be going. The Ezzos have written books for every age range, and it’s best to be ready for changes before they happen.

I’m currently making my way through the videos for “Parenting Through the Middle Years.” It’s for kids ages 9-12. My oldest is 9.5 right now, so we’re definitely in the middle years. In fact, I’m probably a little behind and should have those videos finished by now.

Getting back on track when things go awry

In addition to prepping myself for stages to come, I love that the Babywise books keep us on track when we veer off course. I’m experiencing some attitude from my youngest, Lucas, these days. It’s really thrown me off. What do I do about it?

I know, first of all, that I don’t need to accept it. In fact, I shouldn’t accept it. Second, I know that I can open my worn, dog-eared copy of Childwise to figure out what’s going on and what I can do to fix it. Kids crave structure, and usually, any misbehavior we see stems from a lack of structure.

Our world has turned upside down lately. My husband is working a lot. I’m working a lot. And we have a new nanny who brings her toddler son with her. Lucas is not happy about the whole arrangement and has been very vocal with his discontent. So when I step back and examine his attitude issues, I can see that they’re just an expression of the insecurity he’s feeling from all of the changes in his life.

Knowing I have the power to effect change

Understanding our problem is one thing. Making the changes to fix it is another thing altogether. Without Childwise, I might feel defeated with no power to change our situation. But with Childwise, I know I can always turn to my book for the answers to our problems.

If I can see that Lucas is unhappy with all of the changes in our lives and the lack of structure that may stem from it, I know that if I create more order and structure in his life wherever I can, he will likely come around. He’s just asking for stability and structure. It’s unfortunate that it comes out with a bad attitude, but at least I can see it for what it is.

Having the power to effect change in our lives is amazing. I know that if I hadn’t been introduced to Babywise before my kids were born, I would have muddled my way through. I would be parenting from the hip, with little plan or structure. Babywise gives me power.

True, my kids are human beings, but rather than blaming them for their misbehavior and throwing my hands up in the air, I can stop and truly examine what’s going on and make the changes to fix any issues we may have. If creating more structure doesn’t resolve our issues, then maybe my kids need more sleep or maybe they need independent playtime. Whatever it may be, I know I have the tools in my parenting toolbox to create the change we need.

And it’s all thanks to my trusty instruction manual.

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