Are You A Babywise Mom

By Joey and Carla Link
May 26, 2021

There are two ways to feed your baby. You can feed him on demand (whenever he cries) or on a routine. Like anything else where there is more than one way to do it, how you feed your baby is a choice. We demand fed our 3 kids. When we met Gary Ezzo, the author of On Becoming Babywise, our youngest, Amy had just turned a year old. She could walk, she jabbered constantly, but she didn’t sleep. Even as an infant, she took 15-20 minute catnaps and woke up several times a night and at a year old, nothing had changed.
Our other daughter had chronic respiratory problems and had to be hooked up to a machine every 4 hours around the clock for 30 minutes. At 2 years old, Briana understandably didn’t like the treatments and when they were done, she cried for another 30 minutes while I rubbed her back and sang to her trying to calm her down. Her crying always woke Amy up so I would put one down so I could feed the other.
Joey was a family pastor at the time and we attended a conference hosted by Gary Ezzo who was also the author of the very popular Growing Kids God’s Way parenting curriculum. Joey wanted to check this program out to see if it would fit his vision for the parenting ministry in our church.
Anne Marie Ezzo sat down with me during the conference and explained the Preparation for Parenting course, which eventually became the foundation for the On Becoming Babywise book. We put Amy on the routine immediately when we got home from the conference, and after 3 bad days, she started sleeping through the night. Unbelievable! The next day I went to her room to see what she was up to and was surprised to see her laying on the floor, sound asleep. She slept for 2 hours! We became immediate believers in the Eat, Wake, Sleep routine. Two ladies in the young marrieds class at church were pregnant and they agreed to try this program from birth, with “by-the-book” results.
We have led the Growing Families Int’l parenting classes in our area for over 30 years now. Gary asked us to oversee all the classes in 14 states and eventually we served as National Ministry Overseers for the entire country. We also were guest speakers with the Ezzo’s at many parenting conferences which led to us speaking and teaching at seminars and conferences throughout the United States on our own.
Why are we encouraging you or others you know to put your baby on the Eat, Wake, Sleep routine you find in On Becoming Babywise?
If you want your baby to sleep through the night (6 hours) by 6 weeks of age and 10 hours by 12 weeks; play happily when he/she is awake and fall asleep on his own when you lay him down – this is the book for you!

I have been a Contact Mom Coordinator for the Babywise ministry for over 30 years and was the National Ministry Advisor for many years. Here are tips I have learned from working with hundreds of moms over the years.

Babywise Tips:
1.   When your baby is a newborn, start a 3 hour Eat, Wake, Sleep routine around the clock.
Start with first feed at 6 am, then every 3 hours feed your baby again. 9 am, noon, 1 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm, midnight, 3 am.
Set your alarm for the midnight and 3 am feedings. Think of it this way, your baby is going to wake up a couple times a night to feed anyway. By establishing set times, this will give you and the baby consistent sleep in-between feeds and give the baby consistent metabolism around the clock.
You can treat the 6 am feed like a nighttime sleep – no stimulation, no talking to him/her – just feed and change the diaper if needed.
This allows you to shower, dress and get your other kids up and feed them breakfast.
1.   When the baby is about 4-6 weeks old, one half of the baby’s cycle will be sleep and the other half feed and wake time.
Until then, his wake times will be inconsistent and there will be very little wake time for the first 2-3 weeks.
“4-6 weeks” is a very general guideline for this. Some babies wake time might be longer at a quicker pace than another baby whose wake time might be 15-20 minutes at 4 weeks.
2.   Put the baby down at the 1st sign of sleepiness – yawning, tugging on his ear or hair, or first sign of whimpering.
Don’t wait for the baby to work himself into a crying fit as it is much harder for him to settle down when he does.
3.   Although On Becoming Babywise tells you it is a flexible routine – keep it as consistent as possible the first 8 weeks. You will benefit from this with a chubby, healthy baby who will sleep through the night.
4.   When your baby starts moving around he no longer needs the swaddle. He will feel bound by it and will cry. It is really only needed the first couple weeks.

5.   The baby will sleep better if he can’t sense you are nearby. I would recommend you move him/her to his crib in his bedroom after the first 3-4 weeks.
6.   When planning your baby’s routine, the two Mom’s Notes presentations “Structuring Your Child’s Day, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2” will be very helpful. The Notes/PDF version also shows how, with a family of 4 children you would blend all their routines into one that works for the entire family.
7.   If you have a toddler or preschooler when the baby is born, get them on what the baby’s routine will be now so he/she will be on it when the baby comes. Let the baby’s feed times be DVD time for the 1st couple weeks until you and the baby are settled.
8.   If you have guests over or are at an event at church or elsewhere, watch your baby to see that he/she doesn’t get overstimulated. This happens when he is held by too many people or overwhelmed by too much noise. Overstimulated babies are unhappy, cranky babies.

The success of On Becoming Babywise for over 25 years now is worth trying the Eat, Wake, Sleep routine with your baby. A routine brings peace of mind because you know when the baby is ready to eat, you know when it is time for him/her to sleep, you know how long he will sleep and so forth. The best thing about a routine is YOU KNOW what to do and when to do it!