The Baby Whisperer Does Exactly That

I will never forget the second week of my first child’s life. Specifically, that Tuesday. My mom had stayed with us the first week home, and since he was formula fed, we shared night duty. Now I was on my own. By Tuesday I had managed through two nights by myself. When the sun came up Tuesday morning, I was convinced that I was doing something really wrong to have not seen more than an hour of my own bed the night before.

I tucked the (now sleeping, naturally) tiny man into his bouncy seat on the floor next to my bathtub, and with a deep breath, crawled in the tub and closed my eyes. I could’ve fallen asleep right then. Maybe I did. When I opened my eyes again, I had the brilliant idea to text every mother I knew to give me the secret answer to one of the trickiest baby issues–how do I make this kid sleep?!?

One of my wonderful college girlfriends texted me back with what would become my mommy textbook: The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by Tracy Hogg.

This is me with a wide post-partum face, the exact Tuesday in question inside my local Barnes & Noble. Why I decided I needed a selfie of this life-changing moment is BEYOND ME.
Me with a wide post-partum face the exact Tuesday in question. Why I decided I needed a selfie of this life-changing moment is BEYOND ME.

I know that not everyone believes that babies should be put on a schedule, and really this plan is less of a schedule and more of a routine. After several days of mom or dad repeating the routine, the baby naturally begins to repeat it on a specific schedule. So in essence, baby has created his or her own predictable schedule.

I’m a firm believer that her EASY method (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time) transformed what was a chaotic middle of the night routine into a wonderful, and dare I say enjoyable time of quiet, easy feeding and rest. Within 2 days of strict adherence to the (not difficult) routine, my son’s nights were predictable. I don’t know about you, but for me, if I know ahead of time when I’m going to have to wake up in the night, it’s not nearly as hard to actually get up.

So then our little princess came along. Although The Baby Whisperer swore that this method was tried and true for nearly any baby, I was a total skeptic. Hello, all kids are different, and since my first one was so easy to get on a nighttime routine there was no way lightning would strike twice.

By the beginning of week two, my sleep desperation deprivation led me to dig out my book and put baby girl on The Baby Whisperer method. Again, in a matter of a few days, her nights were predictable as his had been. Her official bedtime was 8:30 PM, and by week three, she would woke consistently at midnight, 3, and again at 6. I have been amazed at how it worked for us. She’s got answers for days on how to get them sleeping in the crib, starting solids, and she even has some tough love for parents at times.

My little lady’s schedule today (at 7 months old) is listed below–I figured some of our new mamas would want to see how things practically work in our home. Keep in mind that I also have a 2 and a half year old in preschool and otherwise, so at times, this schedule has to be very flexible! We’re on the go more days than we’re home. At meal times, she sits up at the table with us and has started eating solids. We are also working on sippy cup skills. At this stage, solids are more about the baby learning to eat, rather than the calories eaten, so I make her bottles priority number one since that is her primary nutrition.  If anything is inflexible, it’s feeding. She lets me know when it’s bottle time!

7-8 AM: Wake up/Breakfast (bottle and a bit of cereal)
9:30-10:30 AM: Nap
After nap: Bottle
11:30 or 12: Lunch
Afternoon nap when ready
After nap: Bottle
6:00 PM: Supper (or when we eat)
7:30 PM: Bath time/Pre-bedtime bottle
8:30 PM: Bed time
(Any unaccounted for time should be interpreted as play time!)

I have a hard time when I find out one of my friends is having their first baby not running out to buy them a copy.  I don’t know why, but it seems like parenting books are another one of those mommy-war type topics, and I certainly am not one to fan those flames.

But if you’re looking for some help, The Baby Whisperer just might solve some of your problems too!

What is your tried and true baby help book?

Emily G
Emily is married to Brad and mother of the handsome Jack and precious Annabelle. After more than a decade as a software engineer (two of those as a working mother), she cleaned out her cubicle and can be found most days at one of the beautiful parks Cowtown has to offer, without a WiFi hotspot in range. These days, Emily spends her time exploring our fair city with her babes in tow, volunteering at her church, cheering on the Fightin' Texas Aggies, and shopping her way through DFW at large. You'll find her journaling her daily life at Being Mrs. Gentry.

2 COMMENTS

  1. LOTS of great points Emily, especially about having her sit with y’all at meal time (I think that is uber important) and how meal time at the begining is learning not nutritional.

    As far as books…., I own two “baby books” – What to Expect the First Year & Dr. Spock. I am of the opinion that there is definitely not an instruction book for our babies but understand people find methods that definitely work great for them – like the baby whisperer (and ones that do not). We never went by a book or did CIO and we never had severe sleep problems from our kids or severe attachments to pacifiers or any other major issues. We just went with our gut and that has served us well so far. I think when parents are exhausted from lack of sleep it is sometimes hard to “think logically” and a lot of these books help put that logic on paper. Whatever works – is my motto! I would just advise new moms not to think one book or schedule is the only way and if you are trying to implement something and it is just making everyone more miserable, realize it might not be a good fit for your family. Find what works for you and your baby! FOCUS AND CUE IN TO YOUR BABY. Not all kids like to eat every 3 hours, they might like every 3 hours 15 minutes and trying to force them to eat a bit early everytime is just ticking them off.

    They aren’t babies forever, it gets better and the best answer to most all my mommy questions I have found, is….THEY ARE A BABY! Why did she wake up 8 times last night? She is a baby. Why is she so fussy? They are a baby. Why was she a good napper and content yesterday and is the spawn of Satan today? They are a baby. This answer helped me to keep sane many days and not constantly try to find solutions.

    • As much of a studier and reader as I am, this is the only baby book I’ve bought, and it was a week after the kid was born. Usually when my kids cry–either bedtime or otherwise–it’s because of some underlying reason, like still hungry, overstimulated, or sick. Because of that, we’ve never cried it out. I mean, they haven’t. I have, personally, probably quite a few times, but it had nothing to do with my babies. 😉

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