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Book Reviews of On Becoming Baby Wise

On Becoming Baby Wise
On Becoming Baby Wise
Author: Robert Bucknam, Gary Ezzo
ISBN-13: 9780880709095
ISBN-10: 088070909X
Publication Date: 11/1/1995
Pages: 198
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.

2.8 stars, based on 58 ratings
Publisher: Multnomah Pub
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

51 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

nhapmom avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
This book is horrible. It advocates not paying attention to your child's needs. A much better book is anything from the Dr. Sears library or The Happiest Baby on the Block. For people who love and cherish their babies, the later books will teach those parents how to respond to the demands of their children without leaving them to cry it out.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
Helpful Score: 9
I found this book to contain information that was not only counter-intuitive to parenting your baby but also to have advice and information about breastfeeding that was wrong. I am a breastfeeding educator and I would caution anyone who is breastfeeding to be very cautious with the advice given in this book. I do not agree with the approaches in this book whether formula feeding or breastfeeding but even the American Academy of Pediatrics has spoken out against the breastfeeding information.
I also will speak out against ANY book that advocates "training" an infant with a cry it out approach. There are published medical studies which prove how damaging that approach can be not only to your baby emotionally but also physically. "The Science of Parenting" is a newer book which breaks all that down very well.
Please research a little more on this author and his advice before you put your young, vulnerable infant on a program like this.
DaniLynn avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
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....
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
You should definitely train your dog, but you should definitely not treat your baby like a dog and train him, as this book demands of it's readers.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
Helpful Score: 4
This book is a great example of what NOT to do! Using a cry-it-out method is bad, bad, bad psychologically to a baby, and could severely damage them for the rest of their lives. Babies do not need to be trained, parents need to listen to what their child is communicating to them, and their needs need to be met in order to become an independent person. This book has no science, and no love. You will be harming your child greatly if you listen to the advice in Ezzo's book.
nhapmom avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Ezzo books are really horrible for advocating spanking, crying it out for babies, and many other techniques that are just so horrible. i recommend Dr. Sears instead for loving parents and children.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
Helpful Score: 3
In case you are considering ordering this book, here is what you can really find inside. I love babywise! It has worked wonderfully for our family. You do not have to worry about Ezzo and Bucknam in any way advocating to leave your child helplessly crying. It's nowhere to be found in the book! It spells out clearly, if baby is crying, investigate and problem solve so that you can do something about it if need be. Use hunger cues, plus the clock, plus parental assessment to determine if it's time to feed the baby. It is also stated multiple times throughout the book, if baby is hungry, FEED HIM. The principles in this book teach you how to help your infant organize his sleep and hunger cycles so that he can a) distinguish night from day and b) when he is old enough, get all of his nutrition during the day so that he can get his much needed sleep at night. Our son sleeps well, eats well, is thriving, very alert while awake, hitting all of the "milestones", and I haven't had any milk supply issues, and our marriage is in tact to boot. When used with wisdom and discernment, the principles in this book have been and will continue to be a very positive guide for many parents!
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
Helpful Score: 3
I understand there is a lot of controversy concerning this book. Personaly, I read it and raised 2 healthy, good napping, well fed and happy breast-fed babies with the scheduling advice in this book. (1 who weighed 20 pounds at 6 mo.)This book may not work for everybody. I was not leagalistic with this book. I did what worked for me and disreguarded the rest, as I would suggest anyone do.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a terrible book. Ezzo's methods are extremely dangerous. Do some web research about Ezzo before you even consider trying his 'training'
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is the most dangerous "parenting" book on the market today. Please, please, do your research on this author. Parenting is the most important job you will ever have; make sure you take your advice from someone who is qualified, from someone who cares about children, and from someone who has actual facts to back up his advice. There is plenty of information on Ezzo available online if you only do a search of his name (not sure if I'm allowed to put websites in my reviews.) I don't know how to word this more strongly, or I would.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
If you love your children, don't read this book. There are so many better, more loving methods out there than this. Oneor two of his ideas may be sound, buy why weed through all the bad advice when there are books out there with 100% good advice? Most of the advice in this book is damaging to children.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I recommend books on the La Leche League reading list. This one is not good for a breastfeeding mom.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
this is the most dangerous parenting book out there. it is NOT good for your infant at all.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book has some good information and general thoughts on getting a child to sleep through the night. However, it is extremely one sided and on the harsh side. Ultimately, the authors place way too much emphasis the long term effects of in a person based on the feeding and sleep methods the parents employ the first year. If you are a new parent, don't be driven to harshly by the direction in this book or many contrasting books dealing with the family bed. Both have statistics "proving" the opposing view will ruin your child. However, the basic theme of when and when not to comfort or sleep with a child is a valuable contrast to the family bed books and it has some very valid points.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
Helpful Score: 1
I have really liked having this book. For my first child, it's what kept me breastfeeding (and sane!). I had a difficult time with nursing, and this book encouraged me to have a schedule. Not a difficult schedule for the baby, but one that helped both of us. After only a day or two, by baby was eating and sleeping better, and I was much more relaxed. With my second baby, it was an encouragement again. I see the principles in the book working! You don't have to agree with everything in the book to benefit from it.
mommyof5 avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was given this book at the birth of my 3 child and my husband and I was horrified by it. I took it back to the store and traded it for another book.
I HIGHLY recommend Parenting and Childcare by William Sears instead of Baby Wise.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 9 more book reviews
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.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 3 more book reviews
This book seems like it has good ideas in it. I haven't had my baby yet, so I haven't actually tried any of the methods, but I will definitely put their advice to practice once I have the baby.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 15 more book reviews
If you've been scared off by other reviews or hear-say about this book, then read on. It does not advocate ignoring your baby or not loving your baby NOR DO THEY TELL YOU TO NOT FEED YOUR BABY WHEN IT'S HUNGRY!!! The premise is simple: we help to set our baby's metabolism by a flexible feeding/sleeping routine (Eat, Play, Sleep, repeat) so that the baby's sleep habits will settle into a healthy sleep schedule. It is a wonderful book and encourages flexibility of your family style.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
There are a few things in this book that may not apply to everyone, but overall, it made a big difference for me. After having 9 babies who all cried through the night, had poor sleeping habits until about 3 or 4 years of age; and I was feeling ragged and tired all the time, I used this book for my 10th baby. He sleeps through the night, and I can put him in his crib and he goes to sleep in about 30 seconds. It is truly amazing, and something I thought I could never train a child of mine to do. Every night when I put him in his crib and he goes to sleep on his own, I am so grateful I heard about Baby Wise and that it worked with him! I do wish I would've had a book much sooner. I also like the page that gives ideas for what to do with new babies during the day to give variety and keep them from getting bored.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 7 more book reviews
I noticed there are a lot of people that have positive responses on this book but have not rated it thus it gets a 0. My wife and I used this on children 2-4 and it worked great. We even facilitated a group meeting with parents with similar positive results. If you give it a chance, I believe you will be happy you did. My guess is that a lot of the folks with negative reviews never applied the principles and dismissed because it didn't sit well with a more child-centered approach which is so prevalent in our society. Has anyone seen the entitlement mentality in kids nowadays? This book articulates an alternate approach to childrearing that our children desperately need.
mjalley avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 6 more book reviews
This book is AWFUL! DO NOT USE it with your baby. Please do some research about ezzo. This book is not reccommended ANY assocation with children anymore because it causes failure to thrive! If your baby cries HE/SHE needs you! You can not breastfeed every 4 hours an expect to keep your milk supply. Please please PLEASE read a Dr. Sears or Elizabeth Pantley book if you would like advice for small babies. Do your research on Ezzo!
aprilh avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 6 more book reviews
I love this book. I have 3 kids and used the principles in this book and it work love it. All my kids slept threw the night by 8 weeks. I was able to nurse them all to 12 months. My babies were always happy, and now they all think of others before them selves. All because we taught them that they are not the center of attention. I realy think that a lot of people think its wrong to teach a baby or children that they are not the center of attention. Because of that a lot of kids now days are selfish and don't think of others at all. It's always me, me, me. I had even asked my kids if they even remember me teaching them to sleep threw the night and if they are traumatized they all say the same thing. "No" If i could put and 100 + star rating I would. If you had just seen my babies when they were babies you would see happy cooing babes, and everyone always comet on me and asked me how it I did it. I always tell them about this book it was a life saver. Now all my babies are 13,9,and 4 and I can't get my self to give this book up yet.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 72 more book reviews
I spent the first three weeks of my baby's life following the "babies know what they need" philosophy. I implemented cue feeding and let my baby decided when to sleep, eat, and wake up. My baby's sleeping and eating habits became increasingly random and chaotic. Finally, one day my baby stayed awake for 11 straight hours--not crying all the time, but wide awake. That episode convinced me that my baby really did not know what was best.

We made a radical shift and implemented Babywise whole hog. Almost instantly, my baby took to the system like a duck to water. My baby needed some structure and guidance. My baby is now a happy, contented little one who goes to sleep smiling and wakes up cooing. My baby never has to cry for food. As far as thriving goes, my baby is practically outgrowing the growth charts.

I can't say this book will work for every baby, but I also think it should not be condemned outright. Some say that parent-directed feeding is just for the parents' convenience and not for the baby's best interests. Isn't it in my baby's best interests to sleep soundly at night, to know that she will be fed immediately when she awakes, to get full feedings, and to be happy and content when awake?
Reviewer: Belle Gardner
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 25 more book reviews
This book is sad. It is full of parenting mistruths. I am sure there are bits and peices that are useful, but they are hard to find between all the glaring falsities.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 95 more book reviews
After 2 weeks of following the suggestions in this book, my baby had lost weight and was not sleeping at all. We went to the pediatrician and mentioned something the book said and he asked what book. When I told him, he became VERY adament that we throw the book away as he believed that the methods bordered on abuse/neglect and if we did not reassure him that we would stop following it's instruction immediately, he would no longer be our pediatrician. I began looking at info on the website and found that several babies had died as a result of parents neglecting them when following the methods in this book. I felt so terrible about what we had put our new baby through for 2 weeks, he had truly been starving! Like all the other reviews, PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS BOOK! Your pediatrian is your best resource for issues, concerns, or questions about parenting and such or contact your local school district and inquire about the Parents as Teachers program which is also a great resource. They can connect you with other parents of children your child's age which can become a great support system. This book should be banned!
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 51 more book reviews
Used this method with our first, but mellowed out more by the second! Our first still sleeps about 10 hours at night (in his own bed), so there's something to it...
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 69 more book reviews
I raise my children using Ezzo's methods and EVERYONE says my children are the most well-bahaved kids they have ever encountered. This isn't the easiest style of parenting to adapt to but the pay-off is immense. Highly recommended!!!
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 2 more book reviews
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I read it in the two weeks after I had my first son, and by eight weeks, he was sleeping up to eight hours at night. He is 20 months old and sleeps at least 13 hours per night with a 2-3 hour nap during the day. I give this book to all of my friends who are expecting.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
Horrible book...its a wonder more babies dont starve to death or have severe emotional problems because of it!!
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 8 more book reviews
I really like this book. I used parts and pieces of it with my son and he sleeps through the night and takes at least one nap a day.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 9 more book reviews
Sleep In Heavenly Peace.

Every mom and dad who has welcomed a child into the world understands the longing to ifnd a way to teach their baby to sleep contentedly and continually, so both parents can enjoy quiet nights filled with peaceful sleep.
Now moms and dads need look no further than Babywise: the exciting infant management plan that successfully and naturally trains children to sleep through the night before the age of 8 weeks.
Find out what tens of thousands of grateful parents have already learned. Discover the positive prescription for curing sleepless nights and fussy babies--recommended by doctors across the country--in Babywise.

-from the back cover of book
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 10 more book reviews
I did a lot of the things the author suggested, though not all. 2 Years later, I have a well adjusted child who sleeps through the night and almost never gives me problems about naps and bedtimes. As an infant, the scheduled feeding advice saved my sanity.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 11 more book reviews
I followed this advice, modifying a little for my family, and my children became a great sleepers, sleeping through the night in the first 2 months!
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 8 more book reviews
This book helped me cope with my high needs infant.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 2 more book reviews
Very helpful book.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 19 more book reviews
Great book in a series! Helped my husband and I alot with our 2 children!
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
I love this book. The principles are sound and effective. Every parent should take a look at this book. I'm reading it a second time to refresh my memory and I'm loving it all over agin.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
This book was strongly recommended to me by some, and came with a strong caution from others. By the time I read the first chapter my son was sleeping through the night on his own, so we no longer needed it!
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
I personally did not use the approach of this book, but I have many friends who did use it and swear by it. I just wanted to read it to see for myself what it was about.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
For those of you who are experiencing the wonderful, yet exhausting first months of parenthood, this book is for you. The system really works!
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on
This book saved my sanity! I encourage all new parents to read it -- even if you don't use all the suggestions, I'll bet you'll find something in it you can use. While there is no damage to the book I posted, there are a few areas that I hi-lited.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 3 more book reviews
This book is definitely worth reading. I did not follow it to the letter but I did use it as a reference source quite frequently. I have many friends who swore by it. It can be very useful in getting your baby to learn to sleep on his/her own.
JCCrooks avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 33 more book reviews
This a wonderful book that was a godsend to me with my first child. There is a lot of common sense, practical direction given on how to get your baby on a sleep, eat, wake cycle. My son was sleeping 8 hours at 8 weeks old at night and 12 hrs at 12 weeks. My daughter did the same.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 16 more book reviews
This book coached me on getting my two children to sleep by 6 weeks. I would highly recommend it for parents-to-be.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 168 more book reviews
Excellent theory, easy read. We have a newborn, and we are attempting to implement the theory espoused in the book. So far, so good!
glbirch avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 205 more book reviews
I really appreciated the advice given in this book. It came highly recommended to us by a physician acquaintance and we found it helpful. As with any parenting guide, you must measure everything against your own sense of what you want to do as a parent, but the information about breastfeeding and the order in which you encourage your baby to sleep, eat and play, as well as how to help your baby sleep for longer stretches, was all a life-saver to us! We used many of its precepts for both our children and were pleased with the results.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 50 more book reviews
A good book for first-time parents to read. There were a lot of things I learned in time for my second child that I wish I had known when I had my first.
reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 4 more book reviews
This is a great book to read on scheduling an infant. While I certainly don't agree with everything that the author says, there is some great advice to glean.
**please note that the copy I have I received from a PBS member. It does have some underlining in it but it is in very good condition**
starr4all avatar reviewed On Becoming Baby Wise on + 20 more book reviews
The infant management concepts presented in this book have found favor with over two million parents and twice as many contented babies. On Becoming Babywise brings hope to the tired and bewildered parents looking for an alternative to sleepless nights and fussy babies. The Babywise Parent Directed Feeding concept has enough structure to bring security and order to your baby's world, yet enough flexibility to give mom freedom to respond to any need at any time. It teaches parents how to lovingly guide their baby's day rather than be guided or enslaved to the infant's unknown needs.