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On Becoming Baby Wise: Learn How over 500,000 Babies Were Trained to Sleep Through the Night the Natural Way
On Becoming Baby Wise Learn How over 500000 Babies Were Trained to Sleep Through the Night the Natural Way Author:Gary Ezzo Every parent who has welcomed a child into the world understands the longing to find a way to teach their baby to sleep contentedly and continually. This book is an exciting infant management plan that successfully trains children to sleep through the night.
There is nothing natural about Ezzo's suggestions for parenting. Nothing natural about witholding food and nutrition from an infant when they need it most for growth, and nothing natural about forcing a helpless infant to cry themselves to sleep on their own and witholding the comfort they need. Infants are not manipulative, they are dependant on their parents for all their needs. They are not accessories to be dealt with, they are helpless people reliant on their parents to show them love and compassion to help them grow.
Ezzo and his CIO methods may seem like a godsend to parents who just want to get some sleep but remember that your hours of unconsciousness are being paid for by your baby or toddler. Young children need to have their emotional and physical needs met - they need to be sure that someone in the world is looking out for them when they can't . This is not accomplished by abandoning them in monitored increments until they give up calling for you.
Dana C. (DLC) reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise: Learn How over 500,000 Babies Were Trained to Sleep Through the Night the Natural Way on
Helpful Score: 8
There is a reason that dozens of copies of this book are languishing here at PBS - it's horrid! There is something *un*natural about a parent who can sit idly by while their baby screams itself to exhaustion. Please read Attachment Parenting by William and Martha Sears - they are on the waitlist here, but it's because people hang on to these excellent books.
This is absolutely the worst parenting book I have ever read. Please, please, please do some research on this book and Ezzo before using any of these techniques. I have a degree in Psychology and truly believe that many of the techniques that Mr. Ezzo teaches in this book can be emotionally damaging to your child. The only worse book I have ever come across is Mr. Ezzo's second parenting book....
There is nothing natural about the methods recommended in this book. Wild animals don't even treat their young this cruelly, so humans certainly shouldn't. If you see your crying baby as a problem to be dealt with, this book may be of some use to you. If, however, you see your crying baby as a responsiblity to take care of, avoid it completely. Babies cry for reasons, those reasons need to be addressed, and a babies cannot do that themselves, alone in the dark. Pick your baby up, let him hear your soothing heartbeat, smell your comforting scent and be cocooned in your calming warmth. Read any of the parenting books by Dr. William Sears and you will truly understand how to parent naturally.
I am a pediatric nurse with 10 years of experience both in hospital and primary care peds, a breastfeeding mom of a 6 month old,and a Christian. I say this because qualifications on advice matter. Gary Ezzo, the author of this book, has none besides one degree in theology, and the "co-author," Robert Bucknam, apparently only wrote the forward, and that while he was still in training. The information in this book is opinion, pure and simple, and the advice is benignly wrong in some places and dangerously wrong in others.
All quotes and references come from the 2006 edition of the book.
The book is built around 2 main logical fallacies. The "straw man" fallacy of 2 fictional babies that drive the text (pg. 18), and the either-or fallacy of Ezzo vs. everyone else. The language is extreme (Ezzo's way gives "bliss," while ignoring his advice brings "chaos"), and the supposed consequences of not following his advice are designed to promote fear (ADHD- pg.54, loss of milk supply- pg. 58, ruined marriage- pg. 22, obesity- pg. 140, academic failure- pg. 141... the list goes on.). Most of the claims have no citations, those that do often cite things like 20/20 specials, and the few actual research studies referenced are often out of date, made up by the author himself and unpublished, or misinterpreted to fit the claims of the book.
The underlying concept of the book is that parents must teach their children from day one that they are not the center of the universe, doing so by "shaping their hunger cycles" (pg. 30) and teaching them "delayed gratification" in the form of leaving them to cry, especially at nap time (pg. 140, for example). Healthy indicators of infant development are misinterpreted as pathological, the most obvious example of which is teaching that the behavior associated with a normal "separation anxiety" phase is a sign of unhealthy attachment.
While Ezzo does say to feed the baby if he is hungry sooner than the book's 2 1/2 hour minimum, he also repeats frequent warnings such as "do not deviate so often as to establish a new routine" (pg. 116). His breastfeeding advice on foremilk vs. hindmilk and "snacking" is completely incorrect physiologically. He clearly knows that educated, certified lactation consultants will disagree with him, because he issues a warning to boycott and warn others away from a consultant who tells you differently from his book (pg. 100-101). His pronouncement that NICUs are on a 3-hour feeding schedule, thust preventing Failure to Thrive (pg. 97)is so wrong that it's scary.
Most of his advice is bad, in large part, because it is developmentally inappropriate. Infants aren't capable of learning delayed gratification, but they are capable of learning that their cries go unanswered. Many infants who give up crying on this system, "flexible" though it says it is, have gone on to refuse feeds altogether, having given up hope that their cries will be answered. Hundreds of cases of Failure to Thrive have been reported around the country, where parents were following Ezzo's advice. Unsurprisingly, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued warnings regarding scheduled feedings in general and dehydration associated with "Babywise" specifically since they organized a review board in 1998 to address the concerns of pediatricians.
I could go on. This book scares me as a nurse, and it scares me as a parent. Do your research. Look at what experts have to say. Think critically in terms of who is telling you something and what kind of education they have. Just because a book is popular doesn't make it a good resource.
Carrie M. reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise: Learn How over 500,000 Babies Were Trained to Sleep Through the Night the Natural Way on
The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that the methods in this book are dangerous for babies. Leaving an infant to cry it out is absolutely uncalled for. This book will try to convince you that if you do not let your baby cry it out, or if you feed the child when he or she is hungry, that you are both doomed and you will have a terror of a child on your hands. This man is evil.