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Why We Chose (and love) Babywise

(This post originally appeared on the Let's Be Brave blog as part of a Babywise Friendly Blog Network day on September 8, 2016)

I first heard about Babywise when I was a Children’s Director at my church. I started noticing a couple of families that stood out to me because of how well-behaved and “balanced” they seemed to be. They tended to go with the flow of things and were pretty flexible with change and took direction really well. I thought, “whatever they’re doing is what I want to do.“ It turns out that both of those families followed Babywise as a general modeling for their babies and their parenting.
When I did become pregnant, and actually started reading the book, it just made so much sense to me. From the foundational truths of the importance of the family to the nitty gritty of the eat-wake-sleep cycle, this method resonated and clicked.
Right from the beginning it hit home with me when it talks about the importance of the family structure.  I like how in the first chapter the authors say: “the greatest overall influence you will have on your children will not come in your role as an individual parent, but in your joint role as husband and wife…..great marriages produce great parents.” Kyle and I are a team and we work together to make decisions for our family and our kids.  Kyle read the book right alongside me and I needed him as my teammate to stick to our plan and our routines. This also was so practically helpful and still is to “troubleshoot” and bounce ideas off of for things like naps and discipline.
Also in the first chapter, the authors caution against “child-centered parenting” when, instead of welcoming a baby into the family unit, the child is treated as the center of the family universe. They talk about how the goal should be to integrate the baby into the existing family structure so that she will learn from the start that “giving is equally as important as receiving… this [teaches] the child from the beginning to foster close and loving relationships which endure the test of time.” I think the reason this resonates so well with us is that we want the foundation of our family to always revolve around the Lord and not one person. It’s something we talked about when we were engaged before we even were married!
Kyle and I both took to the practical concepts of Babywise quickly because we are naturally pretty structured and scheduled people. We know that we thrive best with a solid routine. It made sense to us that our family would best thrive with a routine.  I think the Babywise plan or “Parent-directed feeding plan” is best described in the second chapter when it says: “Parent-directed feeding is a twenty-four hour infant-management strategy designed to help moms connect with their babies and their babies connect with them. It is  a proactive approach to infant care, meeting the needs of the newborn and those of the rest of the family… PDF is the center point between hyper-scheduling on one extreme and attachment parenting at the other”.
I have always loved a game plan. I always want to make a plan in every situation. Babywise has been that plan for us with our babies that has provided the perfect balance of routine and learning your babies cues and needs. The authors put it like this “Parent-directed feeding provides necessary guidance. It establishes for baby a rhythmic structure which helps hunger cycles synchronize with planned wake and sleep times. These principles work because they focus on the constant factors of baby’s development.”
Finally, the reason we love Babywise is because it works. I knew it worked before I even had kids of my own by just observing and watching other families. Then, I have seen it work all four times with my own babies. I am so thankful for the examples I had and so thankful for the plan I had in Babywise to work through with each of our kids.

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