Monday, September 12, 2011

BabyWise-A Book Review

This book came highly recommended by some and received negative reviews by others. Despite that I added it to my to-read list anyway. I should also add that when it comes to reading, if I can't relate to or find interest in the subject matter within the first few chapters I will not finish the book. And this is one of those books

Here is why. Before having Gianna the hubs and I discussed the types of parents we wanted to be. We definitely didn't want a baby sleeping with us and we were firm believers in crying it out.

Then Gianna came along. Our high needs baby. Who wants to be held at all times, needs to be rocked and soothed to sleep and loves to comfort suck on me instead of using a pacifier. We've discussed these things with our pediatrician, the lactation consultant, other mommies, my own mom who is also a nurse and read articles and books relating to this. They all say this is normal. That holding her at all times won't spoil her and that we should be following along her schedule instead of trying to adapt her to ours. I was also instructed that I should be nursing on demand. So this is what I do. I guess you can say we have adopted the "attachment" parenting frame of mind

In the past few weeks Gianna has started to taking a pacifier more, she has slowly gotten her nights and days back on track and she has become a smiley happy baby. One who still needs to e held at all waking moments
In my Baby412 book it had said that all this is ok. That up until 3 months no bad habits are being formed. Since she is just two I figure we have one more month before we really need to focus on Settling her into some sort of routine. Many resources also say babies don't know how to self soothe until they are about 4 months anyway so until then the parents are there source of comfort

What does this have to do with BabyWise. Well BabyWise doesn't seem to like the child centered approach or the attachment parenting approach. From the few parts I read, since as stated above I didn't finish the book they seem to go against the type of parenting we have adopted.

I found this book quite contradictory. I understand they were trying to explain that once a child comes along we should have them become a part of our life, not center our lives around them. That being said how can you not center your life around a baby who has constant needs. I find that their advice about parenting is much better suited for parents of an older infant or toddler. Not my 2 month old

I found the author to be preachy about subject matters such as feeding and sleeping, yet he didn't really provide me with much information about how to adopt the correct way of parenting in his opinion. If you are looking for a book to help you with your child sleep or eating habits this isn't it.

I had taken this issue to twitter and someone commented that the Academy of Pediatrics have come out against this book. I found that interesting.

At the end of the day everybody is different when it comes to raising their children. For some this book has worked wonders. For others it has not. It all depends on your parenting style. Again this book didn't agree to much with my parenting style. And that's fine by me. I am following along with what my pediatrician has instructed me to do. In a few months when Gianna is older I will revisit reading BabyWise and come to my own conclusions then. Until then I didn't bother finishing the book since right now it doesn't pertain to me. Again I know for many it does and maybe I'm looking at the book the wrong way. Maybe I'm missing something?

What are your thoughts for those that have read this book? Did you like it or dislike it? And please let's keep the comments positive. This isn't a bashing session about parenting styles. Everyone has different views and beliefs on that and they all should be respected.

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  1. I've already read most of the book. =P My SIL and my best friend have done the Babywise method and love it. To be honest, it makes TOTAL sense to me. Schedules and routines are good for kids, so why not start off early? Not rocking or nursing to sleep helps the baby to be able to soothe themselves to sleep. My niece and nephew could go to sleep ANYWHERE, and my SIL has no problem taking them anywhere. She knows when they need to eat, when they're sleepy, etc. And I totally understand making the child a PART of your life, not the main focus. My niece and nephew started off doing baby wise from day one and neither one of them I - or their parents - would consider them to be high needs or high maintenance. My nephew does like to be held a lot, but he doesn't freak out when he's put down. Neither did my niece (who's now 21 months). My best friend started off co-sleeping - doing the total attachment parenting gig. She was tired ALL THE TIME and her daughter was super fussy a lot too. Then she started baby wise. It took her a while to get her daughter into the routine and used to not sleeping in the bed with them, so it was a rough few days. But now you wouldn't know she did start off that way. I don't want to sound like I'm criticizing you because I would NEVER, EVER do that. I just think there are SO MANY benefits to doing Babywise that it'd be silly not to. For me, anyway. And yeah, it does take a lot of hits from doctors and the guy from the TV show The Doctors, but in all reality... The child is still being fed, still getting sleep and still getting attention from his/her parents. It's just not sleeping with them or being fed every 45 minutes. I don't know if you got to the part where it talks about if you're breastfeeding and feeding every 45-60 minutes for say 10-20 mins to soothe the baby (as feeding on demand suggests), the baby doesn't get the "hind milk" which has all the good nutrients and vitamins the baby needs. That REALLY hit it home for me. Overall, it's your decision how you raise your child. =) We will do Babywise because that's what works with our beliefs in God and raising children and because we feel that's what's best. You have to decide what's best for you guys. If you want to read more about Babywise from a mom's perspective, this is a good blog to check out:

  2. Well, I totally agree with you- do what you feel is right for you and your family!

    That being said, I think many people miss the main idea of the book. The main idea is that it is your job as the parent to teach your child correct sleeping skills. Correct sleeping will follow sufficient feeding and awake time. And even if technically "habits" aren't formed until later, a child can fall into a schedule all their own, much earlier, and later it becomes cemented as a habit.

    I loved the book, because it was how my parents and my husband's parents raised us and was how we wanted to parent. We stuck to the "routine," but our little Girl wasn't a textbook case, and took almost 10 extra weeks to fall into the rhythm. It wasn't stressful though, we just took each day as it came and stayed flexible!

  3. I also thought I would share this link with you, a comparison on what the American Academy of Pediatrics and Babywise suggest:

    MOST of the answers are exactly the same or very much the same.

  4. You've discerned many of the problems with Babywise -- and I think that is good. You were right to see what is written in that book goes against what is known through research about infant sleep, development, breastfeeding and growth.

    Sadly, we're a been-there-done-that family. We used BW with our first two -- and honestly, I thought it "worked". I was a HUGE cheerleader for BW, recommending it to all new moms. I didn't see the problems it was causing at first, because I was reassured by other moms these things were "normal" and my boys "fit" the BW routine. But there were problems. . . and I am SO glad we ditched it for #3 and #4. . . (And #5 -- which we're expecting!)

    You might find interesting this meta-analysis of the current research on infant sleep. . It's not related to Babywise, but it does look at what research has been done and you can see that BW is just not based on the evidence we have.

    And, you might find it interesting to see this analysis of the AAP/BW comparison that Brittney recommended:

    But regardless of moms who BW, moms who don't. . . it's SO important to just enjoy the age our babies are. . . don't rush. . . just be in the moment and love them. . . it goes by SO fast! (My oldest is 15!)

  5. I am prego with our first child and i plan on using the Babywise method. Ive read the book and even watched the additional DVD sets that Ezzos have created called, Preparation for Parenting.

    I really like that their method is plain old common sense and is a middle of the road solution to alot of other parenting philosophies. Its not 100% parent directed and its not 100% child directed.

    The child experts have spoken against just about everything when it comes to babies and constantly change their recommendations. I do believe that if you look, you will find that there are many experts that have spoken against the proponents of the attachment parenting philosophy, as well.

  6. I think it's great that you are doing what is working for you and your family and that you have learned that it's ok to change your view on things now that you have had a baby. I definitely parent differently than I thought I would. But I absolutely know I am doing what is best for our baby. We are definitely attachment parents and even though I would never pass judgment on someone who does parent differently than us, I know attachment parenting is what best fits our family. With that said of course we will teach our child what "no" means and teach him patience. He won't rule our lives. But we do sacrifice ourselves for his best interest. We put his needs above our wants. We didn't let him CIO just because we wanted more sleep. If he wanted to be held and nursed than I held and nursed him. He's almost one now and I don't for a moment regret staying up late and holding him. He sleeps through the night in his crib now. So the exhausting moments pass. I'm so glad I didn't rush him to sleep through the night, etc. Do what works best for your family and be confident in your decision. You know your baby better than anyone else and it's ok to do things differently.

  7. You are totally right. Even our old school pediatrician says Babywise is rubbish.

    The problem that people don't seem to understand at all is that YES schedules are good. However, forcing a certain schedule on a child out of convenience for me is totally wrong. Its not healthy and that decision will have lasting effects.

    Lucy was a VERY high needs baby. She was tiny, had reflux, colic, early onset teething and her daddy wasn't around. She had extra needs. But you know what? She was still on a schedule despite me throwing Babywise in the trash. Babies truly know what they need and sometimes adults think its easier to force them to need what we want them to need when we want them to need it. Instead as parents we should be doing the hard work of learning our child's needs and signals. Its not for the faint of heart. It takes longer than hardcore sleep training methods and things like that. But the end is totally worth it!

    People are constantly commenting on how polite, happy and just how nurturing Lucy is. She learned that from day 1 by the way we responded to her. Don't ever give up on that. Its exhausting but you will see Gianna grow into a child that other parents want their kids to act like. And when you get tired or discouraged just read (or like me reread for the 100th time) The Fussy Baby Book. It will give you the strength you need to keep doing what you know is right for Gianna.

  8. I am totally, totally in agreement with Mrs. GI Joe -- there are ver positive benefits of a routine and rhythm with little ones. . .