Friday, July 23, 2010

Baby Wise

I wanted to post a little note on a couple of the links.

I was really encouraged by reading Jessica's post on using the Babywise system with her newest little boy, Moses.

We tried this system with Efrim and it went terribly for us. Efrim never would nurse for more than 15 minutes or so, and always wanted to eat again immediately. He would always fall asleep while nursing and if we woke him up he wouldn't go down for a nap later.

I think we will try again with Julian, but Jessica's perspective helped me realize that it is the order that is important, not having a schedule.

We also will have to figure out how this fits in with the Ecological Breastfeeding model described in Natural Family Planning literature, since this is something we really want to try. While we trust God with the spacing of our children and are open to having many little ones around, I would really like to be unpregnant longer than 6 months this time. It is not the babies, but the pregnancy that wears me out.

So pray for us as we weigh all of these important decisions about our newborn's care and our family, and I will keep you posted about our thought processes and the results.


desmoinesdem said...

I commented on Jess's blog after reading your comment, but she may not post my comment, so I decided to go ahead and post here as well.

First, I have found ecological breastfeeding to work very well in our family. It significantly delayed the return of my fertility. However, I don't see any way you could do that while also following the Babywise model. Regular night nursing is crucial for delaying the return of your fertility. Personally, I didn't mind the night feedings once I had given up on trying to get my baby to sleep in a crib. If you decide to do ecological breastfeeding, I strongly recommend co-sleeping, because it will be less disruptive than having to get up and fetch your baby from a crib multiple times in the middle of the night. Your mileage may vary, of course! If you don't want your baby in the bed all night, it often works well for people to nurse the baby down in one room and then bring him or her into your bed after the first wake-up. That way you and your husband would get some time alone.

I agree with you and others who commented that the Ezzo/Babywise approach simply doesn't work with colicky or high-need babies, or babies with a condition like reflux. If Jess finds it works for her family, good for her.

I find it hard to understand how Babywise can be marketed as the ultimate Christian parenting approach when it is very un-traditional. Early Christian mothers could not have parented their babies in this way. Co-sleeping was universal because babies would die if left alone for long stretches in a separate room (most people didn't even have separate rooms). Our modern society makes it possible for people to parent like Ezzo, and his advice is very rooted in modern cultural values, like teaching babies/children to be independent from an early age. That's fine if it works for you, but it would have seemed strange to people in Biblical times and doesn't represent any deeply-rooted Christian parenting tradition.

I wish you the best in your spiritual and parenting journey. You are obviously a very loving, mindful and conscious mother.

Tent Revival said...

Thanks again. I have been amazed at how many times God has changed my expectations and plans in the past few years and how he has blessed us when we trusted him in doing something I would have thought crazy before. My mom is coming sometime this next month to help me build a cosleeper that will nestle up to our bed. I am a very clautrophobic sleeper and don't sleep well cuddled all night, but this will allow me to just pull a baby closer for nightfeedings.

desmoinesdem said...

We loved our co-sleeper (we had the Arm's Reach version). Some people take down one side of the crib and secure it to the parents' bed.

Good luck to you!