Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunny's Notes

A professor in college told me a philosophy on how most college students think.  He said, "Most students decide at the beginning of each semester the to put in the least amount of work and time to get a grade that they are comfortable with whether it be an A, B, or C."  So true! 

Students are experts at shortcuts to get to their goals.  One of the most well known shortcuts out there is Cliff's Notes.   A prego friend of mine began reading Baby Wise and became overwhelmed.  She found out there and is a Cliff's Notes version of Baby Wise written by Sunny and sent it to me...I have named them Sunny's Notes.

Read her summary below.  (I have this available as a PDF as well...Email me if you would like me to send it to you)  Please note her disclaimer at the top.  I am not sure what all the "Contact Mom" stuff is about...must be the class?  I LOVE the fact that Sunny constantly tells you it is OK if your cycle is not perfect every time.  In my opinion, the book makes you think everything HAS to be perfect each time and that is not practical. 

(A quick couple of comments after reviewing these notes that I disagree with, but this is just my opinion...First, her suggestion to pump as early on as 1-2 weeks may be too soon.  Second, after 6 weeks, L hardly ever took a two hour nap.  To this day, we usually get anywhere from 1-1.5 hours)

The following is a summary of the principles I learned while taking the “Along the Infant Way” class. This is NOT intended to replace reading the book or taking the class. All opinions are my own, and have not been approved or endorsed by anyone associated with GFI. I am not a contact mom, only a mom who has sat through the classes and implemented the principles with my own child. I made these notes only to remind myself of the principles when I have more kids. I share this with you only to be helpful, not as an expert. –Sunny,

Use the principles found in the books to help you identify the “signs” in your baby’s day which indicate that it is time to transition to the next phase, or modify your routine.

Feed, Wake, Sleep…Feed, Wake, Sleep….Feed, Wake, Sleep
Every moment of your new baby’s life will fall into one of these categories…Feed,Wake, Sleep. Initially, baby will sleep a lot, but wake time will gradually increase. Because your goal is to keep the baby awake to take a full feeding, the feeding is wakeful and stimulating for the baby. It is therefore difficult to separate feed time from wake time. Here I will list “total wake” which will include the meal,
burping, plus any left-over wake for diaper changing, baths, playing, etc…

The Ezzo’s material often gets confused with “cry it out” theories from other books. This is not a correct association! If you use the PDF principles correctly, your baby should not have extended periods of crying unless there is another problem (like colic). If you have a lot of crying during either “normal cry periods” or “not-normal cry periods”, call a Contact Mom because there is likely a very easy solution. With my first child, I spoke with a Contact Mom on three different occasions about my baby’s crying... All three times she recommended an adjustment to my schedule which fixed the problem within 24 hours!!!

0 - 2 weeks

Feed=30-45 min
Total Wake (Including the meal) = 45 min
Sleep=about 2 hrs – 2hrs 15min

Your primary goal is to get the baby to take a full feeding every time. Sounds easy, but the baby will be very sleepy, which makes it quite difficult. See book for recommendations on how to keep the baby awake. Limit wake time during this period to just feeding time, which will likely take about 45 min.  Excessive wake time will result in an over-stimulated baby (which leads to disrupted napping).

Feed every 2.5-3 hours (and not less than 2hrs), except for one longer stretch at night. Wake the baby every 3 hours, except after the late night feeding (somewhere around 9-11 pm) you can just let the baby sleep until she wakes up, but do not let her sleep longer than 5 hours. Initially, the feeding times will likely vary significantly from day to day. By that I mean that one day you may feed at 3, 6, 9, 12, 3, 6, 9, but if the baby sleeps 5 hours, your next feeding will be at 2 am, so the second day will be 5, 8, 11, 2, 5, 8, 11, and 5 hours later is 4 every day looks different. (Around 6 weeks is when the times on your schedule become extremely consistent.) The important thing for a newborn is to focus on getting full feedings every time, and TRY to have 2.5-3 hours elapse between feedings. As soon as one feed, wake, sleep cycle is finished, you plan for the next one. Don’t plan all of the baby’s feedings for the rest of the day, because Murphy's Law will quickly come for a visit. No matter what time your morning started, you always schedule the next feeding time from the previous feeding time. Ex: if your first feed of the today started at 8am, plan for the next one to be 11am. If a cycle isn’t “perfect”, don’t beat yourself up, just try again next cycle – beginning with the feeding.

Sometimes baby will wake up too early, and you can rock them back to sleep so that they get an appropriate amount of time elapsed between feedings so that they are hungry enough to take a full feeding. Remember that your primary goal in this phase is a FULL FEEDING. Let all caretakers know your "goal time" to get the next feeding, and instruct them that if the baby wakes, they rock, sing, swing....whatever they can do to keep the baby asleep until you reach the 2.5-3hr time. However, if the baby is fussy and will not go back to sleep, feed the baby. (Always feed a hungry baby.) The last feeding may not have been successful (for reasons such as if baby fell asleep during the meal, baby couldn’t get latched on, etc…). If this becomes common (the baby can’t make it at least 2.5 hours) contact a lactation consultant or Contact Mom, because there may be a problem with your milk supply.

A suggestion to help Mom get rested: pump 15 minutes before your last feeding (10 pm for example) and then go straight to bed. Let daddy or grandma give the 10 pm bottle, and then they go to bed around 11 pm or so when they lay baby down. Then, Mom can wake up with the baby (around 3 am), and she was able to get 5 solid hours of sleep since Mom did not have to do the late night feeding. Daddy sleeps through the 3 am feeding, so he is rested and ready to help at 6 am, because he got 7 hours of sleep. Every night won't be ideal, but at least this way you both get some shut-eye

Here is a sample day for newborn (0-2 weeks)
6 am-wake, feed 15 minutes on L side, burp 5 minutes, feed 15 minutes on R side, burp 5 minutes,
change diaper 5 minutes...(basically this process take 45 minutes, even if baby only nurses for 30
6:45 am-9 am---sleep
9 am-feed like above, only starting on R side
12 noon-feed
3 pm--feed
6 pm--feed
8:45--Mom pumps, then goes to bed
9pm-Dad gives bottle
9:45-Dad and baby go to sleep
2 am-Mom wakes up with baby and feed
2:45-back to bed
5 am- wake up with baby and feed
5:45-back to bed
8 am—1st feed of the new day.

Dad has been asleep since 10pm (10 hours). You slept from 9-2 and 3-5 and 6-8 (9 hours). My point is that even if you don't sleep that long, you can work it to where you both get “decent” sleep at night. Also, I recommend you nap during the day if you are tired or have a bad night, but you likely won't need to after the first week or two, once your baby is consistently going approx 3hrs between meals, and consistently taking 2+hr naps. If nursing, I do recommend that you get up with the baby at night, because you are still establishing your milk supply, and shouldn't miss a feeding (but it is fine to pump 15-30 minutes before a feeding then miss the actual feeding).

3 - 4 weeks

Feed= 30-35 min
Total Wake (Including the meal) = 45-55 min
Sleep=about 2 hrs – 2hrs 15min

2.5-3 hour cycle should be stable, and closer to 3hrs most meals, but each day may look different. Baby goes to bed awake and falls asleep on her own. Shouldn’t be much crying, but there may be a few minutes at “normal cry times.” Set your baby up for success with falling asleep….don’t over-stimulate the baby with exposure to TV, lots of light, over-stimulating toys or activities, large crowd of people. If you find that your baby is crying a bunch, cut back wake time by 5 minutes next cycle. (Contact your Contact Mom if you need help determining if you need to lessen your waketime.) You may rock baby and get baby sleepy, but lay her down awake.

5 - 6 weeks

Feed= 30-35 minutes
Total Wake (Including the meal) = 55-60 minutes
Sleep=about 2 hours

Stable 3 hour routine (6, 9, 12, 3, 6, 9, 12). Begin each day at the same time by waking the baby for the 1st meal of the day, and each day’s schedule should start to look the same (which is nice, because you can plan ahead and know what the baby will need at a specific time.) Baby should nap well for 2 hours. Nap time should remain at 2 hours each nap until the baby is 18+ months old, but the number of naps will decrease as the time between meals is extended. Establish the first feeding of the morning, and keep this consistent. As the baby starts to sleep better through the night, gradually drop nighttime feedings.

To determine your desired waketime, decide what time you would like your baby to go to bed during his childhood… then add 12hrs. For example, if you’d like your child to go to bed at 7pm, then a 7am waketime would be appropriate for your family.

*Rule of Thumb: Time between nighttime/morning meals (Nighttime sleep) may extend to 6 hours at 6 weeks, 7 hours at 7 weeks, 8 hours at 8 weeks, and so on until 12 hours at 12 weeks – which should last until they begin school. Ex: Baby may eat dinner at 7pm, and then be down for the night by 8pm, and then wake at 7am for breakfast. This would be 12hrs between meals – or 11hrs of nighttime sleep.

Typically, parents do not need to push the baby for more nighttime sleep. A baby whose day routine (eat/wake/sleep) is well-adjusted will naturally fall into the above nighttime sleeping patterns. Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t fall into this exactly – just use it as a guideline to know if you’re “on-track”. Your baby may be a week or so behind this, which is fine.

Around 12 weeks

Same 3-hour routine, but no nighttime feedings (Ex: 6am, 9am, 12 noon, 3pm, 6pm). A 6th feeding can be added to the day if Mom’s milk supply needs it by waking baby once more in the late evening, feeding, and then returning to bed (Ex from above would include on more quick feed at 9 or 10pm.) Since baby will be going 12hrs between dinner and breakfast, Mom can also choose to pump once in the evening before bed to store up breast milk.

Around 16 weeks

Feed/Wake=1.5 hours
Sleep= 2 hours

3.5-hour routine. You are starting to extend baby’s wake time, which causes fewer naps and fewer feeding times. (Ex of feed times: 6am, 9:30am, 1pm, 4:30pm, 6pm—feeding right before bed to “top off”—no nap between 430 and 6 feedings).

Around 20 weeks

Feed/Wake=2 hours
Sleep=2 hours

Transition from 3.5 - 4-hour routine. (Ex of feed times: 6, 10, 2, 6). Three 2-hour naps. Be careful extending wake times. If your baby’s naps or waketimes start to suffer, go back to the 3.5 hour routine and wait another week or more before trying again. My 2nd baby didn’t transition to a 4-hour routine until she was over 6 months old.

6 months

Same 4-hour routine, but decrease 3rd nap to cat nap of 35-50 minutes (one sleep-cycle.)

8 months

Drop cat nap (only two 2-hour naps).
Follow “Extended Day” routine in the book to line 3 meals up with family meal times.

12 months

Drop bedtime feeding. 3 daily meals line up with family meal times.

Between 18-22 months

Drop morning nap. One 3-hour nap (after lunch) until age 4+.

Lastly, remember that God chose YOU to be your child’s parent…..not me, not your Contact Mom, and not the Ezzo’s – or any other parenting expert. Use your God-given discernment to provide the best care for your baby. These guidelines have worked for many, many parents. But, even the BEST “Babywise” parents vary from the routine from time to time. So don’t fret, the principles are designed as a guide, not a rule book. And HAVE FUN with your baby!--Sunny


CourtneyH said...

I'm so glad you posted this today! We are on Day 2 of implementing Baby Wise with our 4 month old. We got off to a late start, but I'm hoping to be able to sleep through the night soon. Thanks!! I'm emailing you for the PDF!!!

Simple Mom said...


You might find this post helful about starting BW late. Let me know how it goes!

Emily said...

SUPER....I love this...since it is the important things and not all that making me feel bad I wont be a good mom stuff. Please shot me the pdf version if you have a chance! Thanks

Ashley Poulsen said...

Super helpful! Thank you for making it simple :)

Carly Paulovich said...

I have a 6 week old. If the cycle is supposed to be feed wake sleep, what f they aren't hungry when they wake up? Feed them then? Example he ate at 630 and went right back to sleep until 845. He woke up calm and alert but not hungry. The three hour cycle would be to feed at 930, but this would mess up the order, it would be (feed , sleep, wake). Plus after I feed him, he may be awake for another hour at least. He is unpredictable at this age.

Priscilla Benitez said...

I too have started late. My baby is 5 weeks. I stopped reading the book at ch5 but do want to enforce baby wise. Any tips??

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