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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Lori says

    There is no way I could let a newborn cry for even 10 minutes unless I was in the shower or something and just could not get there. My little one was colicky and nursed every hour at one point. He only ever made it to 2.5 hours. Even once he started solids and now at a year old, he eats or nurses every 2 hours. I do think routine is important, and my little guy does not nap well if he gets too far off of his routine. We try to stay within 30 minutes or so, but our schedule is just a guide. It does make it easy if I have to leave him with a sitter, though.

  2. jessica miller says

    Imagine I took a piece of poop wrapped it up beautifully and presented it to you as a great gift. Once opened it would still be nothing more than a stinky piece of poo. That’s how i feel about “Becoming Babywise.” It’s presented a s the great gift to new parents but once opened it’ s nothing more than a piece of crap (pardon the expression) from start to finish.
    Why do I detest this book so much? I think many would like oto give the impression that only those who practice attachment parenting would find fault with it. However, I’m oppposed to this book with every cell of my being because I am a Mother. Enzo takes mothers out of the mother/baby equation and turns them into robots. Where is the tenderness, responsiveness, and love?
    This book wasn’t designed to help infants sleep through the night but rather to make the “job” of parenting as convenient for parents as possible. This so called “expert” (or better yet quack) mocks “maternal instincts” in his book and likens it to merely a cliche. Human mothers have been caring for their young for thousands of years and did a fantastic job of it until middle aged men such as Enzo decided to call themselves experts on Mothering and dictating to women how to care for their young.
    The AAP issued a media alert for a reason. Parents who strictly follow this mans “program” put babies at risk and sever the close bond between mother and child that stems from instinctual and responsive parenting. Period.
    The title of the article should read “Warning Babywise isn’t right for any baby!”

  3. Jazzy says

    Thank you for allowing me to respond. I have found your website a great resource and appreciate your honest insight-fulness to sleep.
    After seeing some of my friends, who are loving sensible people, implement Babywise my husband and I decided to. The funny thing was our baby was born 4 weeks early and it was the pediatrician who put her on 4 hourly feedings because she was so sleepy and he wanted her to be hungry enough to suck well. She was in hospital 2 1/2 weeks and the pediatrician told us to stick to the 4 hourly feedings when we got home (should we have ignored what he said? Maybe we would have if we thought Ezzo was bad). We had to wake her for most feeds for a few weeks and we found it easy to follow along with Babywise. We just extended her nighttime sleeps gradually after 6 weeks, when she was putting weight on consistently, and as we did that she started wanting her day feeds about 3 1/2 hourly. By 3 months she slept about 8-9 hours a night and we were putting her to sleep in her cot awake following the feed, play, sleep routine and she went to sleep happy & woke up happy.
    I don’t understand the criticism of Ezzo’s philosophy when he clearly states it is important to use parental assessment in all situations – he doesn’t encourage starving your baby if she’s hungry, nor leaving her to scream for hours without cuddling her. No matter what you as a parent decide to do whether its demand feeding (another parenting philosophy which has been popular for sometime but is just another philosophy, and why should it be promoted as the only option for women as it is taught in all public hospitals in Australia???) or Babywise, you as the parent have to use the brain that God has given you to assess what your baby needs at the time. We have a beautiful happy little girl or 15 months who sleeps 12 hours through the night and has done for months. We are following the next books in the Babywise series but are reading lots of other material to compare and give ideas. Our daughter has learnt some signing, knows what ‘no’ means, says ‘ta’ and signs ‘please’, plays in her portacot with toys by herself for 30 mins each morning, follows a similar routine each day so knows what to expect and generally naps when I put her down.
    We know of around 15 couples who have implemented Babywise with their children (and 1 it didn’t work for). These children between the ages of 6months & 16 all sleep well, are just lovely well mannered children who are a credit to their loving parents. People who criticize Babywise generally haven’t tried it but I suspect are going by what they have heard from other people.

  4. Christina says

    I really like Babywise. I’ll say that up front. I’m not a fan of any of Ezzo’s other stuff. But I feel like this book is helpful and a nice refreshing balance from the attachment parenting over-the-top child centeredness that’s so prevalent today.

    I am also a bit confused at how so many people are complaining that it’s “too strict” for newborns, when the most the book says about newborns is that a goal should be to get a full feeding in at every feeding. Feed when hungry, on demand, aiming for every 3ish hours (many newborns are too sleepy to eat on their own), and if you get in a full feeding then most babies fall into the 3 hour routine fairly easy.

    I wonder how many of the moms who said “that would NEVER have worked with my unpredictable child” would have not had an unpredictable child if they’d aimed for full-belly feedings (even keeping their kids awake by undressing or diaper changing) right from the first, in addition to feeding on cue and regularly the first few weeks.

    I’m naturally a middle-of-the-road “compost pile” type person; I’ll take in a lot of information, sort it, take what I like, and make it my own, so I was never “by the book” about any book, much less babywise. I think the schedules are way too involved for me, almost laughable. We took the 3 hour feeding schedule and made it our own; my a year old my daughter was napping 3 hours in the afternoon after staying awake for 3– not by-the-book but it worked will. By then she knew how to sleep on her own so I didn’t mind nursing her right before that nap. But the routine, the schedule, the foundation of the parental bond, the freedom to allow a child to cry in moderation without being afraid I was damaging his psyche forever; these all were useful to me as a new mom. ((like many moms I never let my infant cry longer than 10 minutes, much less my newborn…toddler throwing a fit, that’s another story–My 2 year old screamed herself to sleep tonight in an angry fit, sigh.). Sometimes babies need time to unwind alone! They cry to tell us to leave them alone, and if we respond by picking them up and smothering them then that just frustrates them. It takes humility to realize you aren’t always the answer to your child’s every desire.

  5. Christina says

    PS- “Babywise” doesn’t try to dictate anywhere how many ounces your baby should get… so maybe that mom was getting it from someone else?

    • Brenda Jackson says

      Babywise repeatedly says to “listen to your baby’s hunger cues,” “do not be a clave to the clock,” and “full feedings are always the goal.” You are exactly right. Go on YouTube and type in “Babywise” and just watch the dozens of non commercial videos made by stand alone moms who read and implemented Babywise. Several of these moms have over 50,000 views; that is because it works, they weren’t paid, and their babies eat full feeding while gaining weight and sleeping well.

      It is funny how many critics speak of a rigid schedule and a bond breaking force of crying and loneliness. Babywise is the opposite of all of these and everyone that reads it knows this. Pedatician Bucknam (author) has a successful practice for 30 years and thousands of moms/babiies. He has overseen all 5 revisions of Babywise since the first version in 1990 with 160 pages. Today’s edition has 279 pages. The strongest critics of Babywise never mention their own baby, their personal experience with the methods of Babywise, or any mention that they read the book. They usually assassinate one of the two authors’ character while stating false ties to “cry it out” to label the book.

      I say: observe families with 1-3 year olds that were raised on Babywise and others raise by attachment demand feeding. Which homes seem well rested, sharp, energetic, and happy compared to others that appear constantly exhausted, in chaos, grumpy, and constantly on edge. Then decide for yourself how you would like to see your family’s future. Best wishes to all.

  6. Christina says

    I really like Babywise. I’ll say that up front. I’m not a fan of any of Ezzo’s other stuff. But I feel like this book is helpful and a nice refreshing balance from the attachment parenting over-the-top child centeredness that’s so prevalent today.

    I am also a bit confused at how so many people are complaining that it’s “too strict” for newborns, when the most the book says about newborns is that a goal should be to get a full feeding in at every feeding. Feed when hungry, on demand, aiming for every 3ish hours (many newborns are too sleepy to eat on their own), and if you get in a full feeding then most babies fall into the 3 hour routine fairly easy.

    I wonder how many of the moms who said “that would NEVER have worked with my unpredictable child” would have not had an unpredictable child if they’d aimed for full-belly feedings (even keeping their kids awake by undressing or diaper changing) right from the first, in addition to feeding on cue and regularly the first few weeks.

    I’m naturally a middle-of-the-road “compost pile” type person; I’ll take in a lot of information, sort it, take what I like, and make it my own, so I was never “by the book” about any book, much less babywise. I think the schedules are way too involved for me, almost laughable. But the routine, the schedule, the foundation of the parental bond, the freedom to allow a child to cry in moderation without being afraid I was damaging his psyche forever (like many moms I never let my infant cry longer than 10 minutes, much less my newborn…toddler throwing a fit, that’s another story. My 2 year old screamed herself to sleep tonight in an angry fit, sigh.). Sometimes babies need time to unwind alone!

    • Nicole says

      @Christina Thank you for your comments! I think the definition of “newborn” may be different for everyone. To me, an 8 week old is still a “newborn” so trying to “force” 3-hourly feedings or two hour naps seems unrealistic for *all* babies nor would I let my 8 week old cry for 20 minutes at a time. That is just my opinion, of course, so I can’t speak to what others are referring to, but that’s what I mean by “strict for newborns”. You make a good point about whether our unpredictable babies would be as unpredictable if we follow a routine such as this. In fact, I’ve wondered whether it may have made it easier/better for my eldest son. In fact, even now at 5, he really loves predictability and routine, so I’m sure he would have also enjoyed that as a baby. The main problem he would have had is staying up too long between sleep because he was so sensitive to being over-tired and CRANKY because of it. I do think it’s an interesting topic you brought up. I wish there was a way to go back and try it or a way to raise the same baby two different ways in some alternate universe that would not harm children in any way. 😀 Okay, that’s my sci fi mind coming out. 😉 You and I definitely sound like-minded when it comes to middle-of-the-road opinions and I definitely agree sometimes my kids just need a moment to deal with what they are going through and nothing *I* do will change how they are feeling. In fact, I think we need to let our children feel the way they do, sometimes, and not try to teach them there’s something wrong with it. Let them express themselves and be them! Thanks again for commenting! Oh and I agree that I don’t remember Babywise ever saying your baby should only have this many ounces or that many. Not sure where that mom was getting that rigidity.

      @Jazzy How interesting about the 4-hourly feeds! I rarely hear that. It just goes to show that all babies are different and you really need to use your own judgment of your baby and work with your pediatrician. No book can tell you what’s right for YOUR baby. The main thing I find about Babywise is that if Weissbluth is right then a large percentage of babies are at low risk of having major sleep problems after 4 months anyway, if they have easier temperaments and common fussiness. So, in some ways, I really think Babywise works because so many babies will go on to sleep well, anyway. Though the number of babies with sleep problems is not a small number (as evidence of people looking for sleep solutions), it is a smaller percentage of the 12,000 babies born daily in the U.S. alone. All babies have schedule challenges and so on, but only some go on to have major issues. I wonder how many of the families you know used Babywise would have had those same great sleepers and well-mannered children anyway. It goes back to not being able to raise the same child two different ways, I guess. 🙂 Thanks for commenting! Good stuff and I love a good discussion!

  7. Lainie says

    Thanks for the info! And great, honest article.

  8. MegD says

    Jacki B – can u give me links or references to info you’ve found? I want to read more about the author and give links to friends. Babywise is very popular in my church and it’s sad to hear all of the things you found out, but not surprising as I’m not a fan of the book. Thanks!

  9. Zsoelle says

    I read ‘On Becoming Babywise’ before I had my first child and I just want to say… IT RUINED MY EXPERIENCE!!!! I was so stressed out because I was trying to make my baby conform to a schedule. My mind was so polluted with that book that I couldn’t even follow my own motherly instincts. Babies are human beings, not robots! I went through the first 4 months of my baby’s life constantly looking at the clock. She wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy and my hubby wasn’t happy. Finally I decided to read Dr. Sears ‘Baby Book’ and it saved my life. They teach you about attachment parenting. Reading it was enough to rid my mind of the poison that Babywise teaches. I don’t think it is wrong to have your baby on a schedlue but I do think it is a horrible thing to look to the clock instead of your baby’s cues. Children need to feel loved and cared for more than they need ‘consistency’. I would never ever recommend this awful book to anyone. Babies naturally create their own schedules as time goes on. My child is now 8 months old and ever since I started to read her cues (5-6 mon) she has made her own schedule that fits right into ours and keeps her a very happy and sweet baby. I am sorry to her that I ever read the Babywise book.

  10. Camille says

    I was a nanny for a woman who was set on the babywise method. While I started watching him from 4-9 months of age… I do have to say that he did sleep really well at night but he was very HUNGRY during the day. She would set aside breastmilk for me for the day and was clearly not leaving me enough milk for him because like I said before, he was never satisfied food wise. As I would tell her that he wasn’t getting enough milk for his feedings, she would continue to tell me, the amount of milk he was receiving was the right amount for his age. I’m sure babywise does work for some babies but is it really worth watching your baby practically starve sometimes?? I think not.