When I was pregnant with Luke, I was completely overwhelmed with "What the heck am I going to do when this baby comes?" feelings. Luckily I had some great friends who had been there, done that, and done it successfully so I was open to any advice I could get. They all hands-down said, "You have to read BabyWise. It will tell you how to get the baby on a schedule, how to know if they are growing right, and eventually how to discipline." BabyWise or Along the Infant Way (the Christian version) is the first in a long series of books written by the Ezzos that give parents great advice and techniques as they raise their children from birth through the teen years.
I must have read the book about 10 times, listened to the CDs at least a couple, and studied my notes for hours before Luke was born. Then when he came, I kept the book right by me at all times for refreshers. It was the most helpful book I've read (minus the Bible of course) and I recommend it to all of my friends when they have their babies. We have gone through the series as far as we have needed it so far (BabyWise, ToddlerWise, Preschool Wise, PottyWise) and every book has really helped.
Here's the premise behind the BabyWise book:
#1 - Your Baby Needs a Family
The most important relationship in the family is the husband-wife relationship that is built on the Word of God
The quality of the parent-child relationship depends on the quality of the relationship between husband and wife
A child's basic security depends on what he observes between his parents (when they see us demonstrate love and affection, they feel secure)
The husband-wife relationship is primary and all other relationships are subject to it (meaning your kids don't come before your spouse)
#2 - Child-Centered Parenting is Not Good
Being a member of a family means you give and receive, not just receive
#3 - Parent Directed Feeding (PDF)
You do follow a routine based on a clock but you also use your parental insight to know if your baby needs something at a different time
You let approximately the same amount of time from one feeding to the next
Baby wakes, eats, plays, and is put in own bed to sleep/nap while still awake
Don't rock or feed baby to sleep
#4 - Lots of Tips on How to Feed and Burp the Baby (nursing methods, burping methods, etc)
#5 - Ways to Monitor the Baby's Growth (weight, diaper checks, etc)
#6 - How to Setup a Routine at Each Stage
#7 - Ways to Entertain Baby while Awake
#8 - Tips on How to Do Everything with Premies and/or Multiples
I plan to follow this series with the twins and am really hoping and praying that it goes as well as it did with Luke. He slept 5 hours at night early on and 12 hours at night by 3 months. He has been on a routine/schedule ever since he was born and it has helped immensely.
I understand that the methods and ideology presented in the book/series might not work for everyone, but this is what works for us and I thought I would write about it in case anyone wanted to know about it.