Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chronicling Babywise - Weeks 8 through (what are we up to now?) 14

Wow, I haven't blogged in a while, and I haven't written about Babywise with Moses in an even longer amount of time. Here's how our last couple months have gone.

Interruptions, Inconsistency, and the Return of the Growth Spurt
Basically, just about the time Moses would start to sleep 7-8 hours at night, something would happen to throw him off of it (the Call to Prayer & beating drums for Ramadan at 4am, vacation, and --most recently-- the three-month growth spurt). Each of those times, he would JUST hit the 7 or 8 hour mark at night between feedings and then the noises would wake him consistently, or the vacation lifestyle would make his feedings less than consistent, or the three month growth spurt made him more hungry and need to feed more often... and we'd be back to going 5-6 hours at night, with one nighttime feeding.

But now, we're there...
ANYWAY, this week, we finally have hit 7-8 hours at night consistently, and it is a breath of fresh air. He is by FAR the oldest child of mine to consistently sleep through the night, but really, when I read about those who are still regularly getting up with much, much older kids, I guess three months ain't so bad. :)

And as I've said before, it's all been with cheerfulness and contentment... no crying it out, no unmet needs. Joyful sleep for everyone, that's my motto! :)

So that's the basic update.

What I Learned
What I've learned this time around, with Moses, is twofold:
(1) that evaluation is KEY! When Moses was waking up every night at 4am, I kept thinking "what is WRONG?" Duh. It took me a couple weeks to figure out it was the every-morning-at-4am Call to Prayer (we live in Turkey). But something in my brain didn't connect the two until that time of evaluating what was happening. Maybe it's the post-pregnancy brain fog, LOL.

Then, when we got back from vacation, I thought "OK, NOW it's going to come together and he'll be sleeping through the night within a couple days now that I can be consistent again", but it DIDN'T happen! That pushed me again towards evaluation. I realized -- "OH, we're just now at the 3-month mark-- time for another growth spurt!" (Click here to read about nursing & growth spurts.) Instead of giving in to thinking, "this doesn't work" and letting it all go downhill, or throwing it out and thinking, "this won't work for him, I guess", I was able to intentionally push through that time and keep it steady each day, knowing that once the growth spurt was finished, we'd likely "get there." And that's the second thing I learned--

(2) that it's worth it to press on. For the first time, I felt a very small niggling of what some friends have communicated- "what if this doesn't work?" (because our four other children slept through the night at 5 & 1/2 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, and I think 8 or 10 weeks)... but because we kept pressing on, evaluating what was happening, and being careful to get Moses the food he needs regularly during the day, he's still, despite inconsistency on my part and unavoidable environmental interruptions, sleeping through the night contentedly by 14 weeks. Not too bad.

And even with that, I was only getting up one time at night to feed, which, again, isn't too bad for a new little guy.

All that to say, it's been a slightly different experience for me, in a large part due to weird interruptions and the way life has gone these last few weeks. But I wouldn't change a thing. Even with it taking a little longer for him to go all night long, waking up one time wasn't so bad... he is so precious and pleasant, and ultimately, consistency and knowing what to expect is good for all of us. Life is not a scheduled experience for every human being, but even people in the remotest tribes have routines, and Babywise helps our family achieve a familiar, comforting routine, with consistent sleep for everyone.

Here's a recent picture... the absolutely genuine smiles on the kiddos' faces are due to the fact that my husband set the timer and then hurdled a side table and some floor pillows to get to the couch on time. :)
This is the last time I intend to write about our experience Babywise this go-round, unless something changes or happens worth writing about. I hope these (mostly) weekly write-ups have been helpful for any and everyone-- whether you're considering using Babywise for your baby, using it now and needing encouragement, or have always heard bad things about it and maybe can see now that it's not a rigid horrible system as some people describe it. Whatever the case, I've written these things out for encouragement and information, and I'm happy to dialogue via e-mail or in the comments box! Many blessings to you and your family!

[Here are links to this whole Babywise series: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Weeks 6 & 7, Weeks 8-14]


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