If you’ve done any reading about baby sleep training, then you are no doubt familiar with the word ‘Babywise.‘ It’s kind of a buzzword in the world of sleep coaching! The book On Becoming Babywise is one of those controversial volumes. Some parents love and swear by this book, & others strongly disagree. This is easy to understand, once you know the gist of the book. Essentially, Babywise advocates for letting your baby cry it out from a pretty young age.

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Regardless of how you feel about the book itself, there is a nugget of wisdom in its pages. This info can be useful for all parents, regardless of how you feel about cry it out sleep training. This “nugget” is what we are discussing today!

Babywise Eat Play Sleep Schedule: What Is It?

This is pretty simple. With an eat-play-sleep schedule, your baby eats (at the breast or the bottle), then plays for a bit (has some tummy time, listens to a book, enjoys a lullaby, etc.), và then goes down for a snooze.

The particulars of this sleep và feeding schedule depend largely on unique factors. The length of the feeding, the length và type of play, & the timing of the nap (and the length of the nap), all depend on your baby’s age & temperament. But the basic layout is the same: it’s always eating, followed by some playing, & then finally a nap.

Note that I keep saying “nap” here. That’s because this is a schedule designed to lớn be used during the daytime. Your bedtime routine should be different (although you would still, ideally, end the bedtime routine with your child awake and falling asleep without the help of sleep associations). In addition, you would skip the ‘play’ part after any night feedings, & simply put your child straight lớn bed after night feeds. If you’re sleep training, you’d want lớn put your child back to lớn bed at least slightly awake after night feeds.

Babywise Eat Play Sleep Schedule: Why It Can Work

So what’s all the buzz about? Why is this particular kind of schedule so popular? Why it is the central theme of On Becoming Babywise? Great questions, và here’s the answer: an eat play sleep schedule is the single best way to teach your baby to lớn fall asleep without the help of sleep associations lượt thích feeding, rocking, or holding. This makes sense, right? Your baby eats, and then plays (which prevents your baby from falling asleep during the feeding). Then, after playtime, your baby is awake as he or she goes into bed for sleep.

This schedule is a popular one for parents who are working on sleep training because you can scale it up or down, depending on your baby’s age. This is a schedule that can work for newborns on up through older babies, which makes it adaptable (something that we busy, modern parents love, right?).

Finally, this schedule is popular because it’s fairly flexible. You can adjust what happens between the “play” and “sleep” parts of the schedule. You can put your baby lớn bed wide awake, or you can vị a little rocking/soothing to get your baby drowsy before sleep. The beauty of this schedule is that it ensures your baby is awake after feedings. What happens before the next nap (and how awake your baby is going into the crib) is up khổng lồ you. What’s more, this kind of schedule works well with just about any kind of sleep coaching method. Gentle methods lượt thích fading work with an eat play sleep schedule, as bởi cry it out methods.

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Babywise Eat Play Sleep Schedule: Why It Can Sometimes Fail, và When to Avoid It

The eat play sleep schedule isn’t all good all the time, however. There are situations in which this kind of schedule isn’t ideal. Times khổng lồ avoid (or at least to lớn modify) an eat play sleep schedule include…

….during illness. A sick child needs comfort & soothing. When your child is ill, it’s perfectly fine lớn suspend your usual schedule in favor of soothing your child khổng lồ sleep.

….during times of travel or change. If you are in the midst of a big life transition (like moving lớn a new house or having a new baby), then you’ll need lớn cut your child some slack. Be ready to lớn offer more soothing & sleep help than usual. In addition, if you are vacationing, và your child is in a new và unfamiliar sleep environment, eat play sleep may not work as well as it does at home.

….during growth spurts. During a growth spurt (especially a newborn growth spurt), your child will feed for what feels lượt thích forever! In the midst of all these feedings, it may not be practical to bởi an eat play sleep schedule.

….during the early weeks after birth. While the eat play sleep schedule can be scaled to work for newborns, it’s usually not a great schedule khổng lồ use in the first 4-6 weeks after birth. Very young newborn babies tend to bởi vì nothing BUT eat and sleep. Trying lớn insert any “play” in there usually doesn’t work well. Additionally, babies this age tend lớn naturally fall asleep during feeding, so it can feel fruitless lớn try & wake them for play time.

Your turn, parents! See if you’d lượt thích to try the Babywise eat play sleep schedule!

Sarah Bradley is a freelance writer with six years of experience creating personal essays, reported features, và commerce nội dung related to health và parenting topics.


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