I’m probably risking some disapproval by talking about my experience with Babywise online, since it’s a bit controversial.
The Babywise method, based on a book by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, is, in a nutshell: baby sleeps, then baby eats, then baby is awake. Wash, rinse, repeat. Carter, as a six week old, needs to focus on getting full feedings and not snacking (he has this down), and then staying awake for about 40min-90min before conking out each cycle.
The controvery comes in that Babywise advocates CIO — Cry It Out — as one of the tools to help Baby learn how to fall asleep on their own. So as Baby gets drowsy and it’s time for a nap, we set him down, in his own crib, and let him nap. If he cries, we are supposed to go in and check on him periodically, but let him cry himself to sleep.
I am not of the mind that this rocket science. I’m not sure that various sorts of methods need to be named and polarized from one another. There’s also the whole bit that I hate how the book is written. I feel that it could be clearer and less condescending. To me, it’s obnoxious to assume that women spend all their free time either reading or sewing. It also does not do much to address fathers. But I digress.
However, there’s a lot about this book that works. It makes sense to me to put my son on a schedule and to help him distinguish different times of the day. The parents that have used this method have the happiest, most easy-going kids I’ve met. I can’t assume this is coincidence.
Back to the matter, here. CIO. I am not, by principal, against letting my son cry. I don’t believe that it will demolish his security or raise psychological issues in his adulthood. It is, however, SO hard to listen to your baby cry. And, as I was talking to a friend this afternoon and trying to garner some of her experience, the whole “baby will cry for 5, 10…maybe as much as 35 minutes” is not necessarily true. In trying the first time or two, I had to stop at 35 minutes because it wasn’t stopping. Baby was sooo tired, but the crying was still going strong at 35 minutes. Way to feel like the worst mom in the world. It made me feel better when she told me that sometimes her daughter would cry through the 90 minute nap. I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to survive that.
But I think my problem is that I’m not being consistent. So here I go, Babywise. I’m going to give it a go. I started with Carter’s last nap. He ate at 5pm. Went down at 6:30pm. Cried for 30 minutes. Went to sleep. It’s almost 8, when he’s set to eat again.