In order to feel the freedom to buckle sweet Adeline into her stroller and head out of the house for any given period of time, I’ve found it’s helpful to know when she will be sleeping, feeding or potentially screaming. And while babies are definitely not 100% predictable, thanks to the concepts behind Baby Wise, I do find that I have perhaps an 80% chance of knowing what Addie needs.
I had heard mixed reviews about Baby Wise but those who had positive things to say were beyond convinced it was the best thing since baby food squeeze pouches. The cover claims it “gives your infant the gift of nighttime sleep.” Translation: it gives you, the parents, the gift of nighttime sleep. Yes, please. No wonder it’s so popular.
The basic concept of Baby Wise follows the rhythm of parent-directed eating, waking, and sleeping (in that order) on a 2.5-3 hour cycle. As your baby gets older and can go longer between feeds, you eliminate a cycle from the day. When Addie was two weeks old, we went from 9 to 8 cycles (combing the 2am and 5am feeds to one 3:30am feed – hallelujah). We’ll eliminate the 3:30am cycle when she’s eight weeks old. Which means there’s a possibility the entire Jones family will be blissfully sleeping through the night.
Currently, our days look like these Feed/Wake/Sleep cycles (plus or minus 15-30 minutes and a meltdown here and there):
Cycle 1: 6:45am
Cycle 2: 9:30am
Cycle 3: 12pm
Cycle 4: 3pm
Cycle 5: 5:30pm
Cycle 6: 8pm
Cycle 7: 10:30pm
Cycle 8: 3:30am (no diaper change keeps her basically asleep through the feed and then she’s right back to dreamland and so is her sleepy Mommy)
The first week of transitioning out of the 2am/5am feed into the 3am was hit-and-miss but since then, she’s been giving US the gift of nighttime sleep – or at least two good 4 or 5 hour chunks. *see footnote below
Knowing when she’s likely going to start one of these eight cycles allows me to pack my diaper bag and head outside with confidence. Some may find this type of scheduling a bit too rigid but the type-A in me LOVES a good agenda.
It’s currently 5:32pm and it sounds like Addie girl is just waking up. She’s already more punctual than her mama.
*footnote: I vow to share the inevitable “Part Two” of this post when all of this controlled planning fails me.