The first phase (the stabilization phase) is when baby’s metabolism stabilizes and baby develops a good pattern of eating, being awake and then taking a nap. In other words, the stabilization phase is all about baby’s eating and sleeping patterns stabilizing.
This certainly happened for Sweet Pea, in spite of all her tummy troubles! She is on a very consistent eating and sleeping routine and has been since about 4 weeks of age! That is a night and day difference from Little Bug’s first few weeks of life when I was not doing BW with her.
The next phase of Babywise, from weeks 9-15, is the Extended Night phase.
It must be noted that Babywise gives these guidelines and they are meant as guidelines and not absolutes!
Obviously, every baby is different and every baby reaches these milestones at their own pace. Some follow these guidelines to a T, while others do not. Should those whose babies don’t follow the guidelines to a T just not do Babywise? That is for Mom to decide, however, Little Bug did not follow the guidelines to a T. She had her own little time schedule and that was perfectly fine! With Sweet Pea’s tummy troubles I am counting on her not following the guidelines as stated in the book, but, she will eventually get there if we keep working towards these milestones.
And, as I’ve said before, I LOVE having guidelines to follow. So, this is what Babywise says happens from weeks 9 to 15 during the Extended Night phase.
- Between 9-15 weeks baby transitions from 7-8 feedings down to 5-7 feedings per 24 hours. (At the end of the 13th week baby can average 5-7 feedings per 24 hours, but never less than 4 feeds.)
- During weeks 12-15 baby might be ready for a combo 3-4 hour schedule.
- Most babies drop the dream feed during this phase (late night feed between 10-11pm).
- Baby gradually moves to 9-10 hours of continuous sleep if breastfed (see page 121 of Babywise book for info on supply as baby extends nighttime sleep – I don’t breastfeed so I am not going to write this info here.) and 11 hours of continuous sleep if bottle fed.
- Naps are 1.5 hours in length.
- Bedtime adjusts closer to the early evening feeding. (For Sweet Pea that would be after the 8pm feed.)
As with anything parenting related, you have to take it and mold it to your own baby’s individual needs.
I am not sure that Sweet Pea will be able to drop many feeds during this phase. It is all dependent on how her stomach is doing. Right now as I write this (on the day Sweet Pea is 8 weeks old…on the day I am posting this she is 10 weeks old), Sweet Pea needs less formula more frequently. Eventually, she won’t need to eat small amounts more frequently and she will be able to extend her feeding times. I will just have to follow her lead and make these steps when Sweet Pea shows me she is ready.
Because Sweet Pea needs to eat smaller amounts more frequently, I would not be surprised if we do not totally extend nighttime sleep to 11 hours during this phase. Hopefully she will drop that early morning feed (around 5am) during this phase, but I see her still needing the dream feed until she increases her daytime intake of formula.
So, during this phase my goals for Sweet Pea are to maintain the eat/wake/sleep cycle and possibly drop the early morning feed. I would also like to see Sweet Pea’s bedtime become close to Little Bug’s bedtime (8:30-9pm).
I am so thankful for Babywise. I love having my babies on predictable schedules and I do realize scheduling is not for everyone! I couldn’t imagine managing the needs of a 2 year old and 2 month old by myself without the aid of a schedule!
As chaotic as these 2 months have been I know without a shadow of a doubt BW is helping tremendously in making life not be as chaotic as it could be, given the circumstances. On days when Sweet Pea’s tummy troubles are minimal, our days flow beautifully because both girls are on a very predictable, but yet flexible, schedule.