Beware of Babywise

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Babywise is the popular name for the book On Becoming Babywise, which is a parenting regime authored by Gary Ezzo that teaches parents to “guide their baby’s day rather than be guided or enslaved to the infant’s unknown needs.” The book was self-published in 1993, as the secular counterpart to Ezzo’s religious materials for infants, Preparation for Parenting. Babywise was picked up by Multnomah Publishing in the mid-1990s, but then dropped in 2001, after publishers investigated medical issues related to the book and character concerns about Ezzo. Babywise is the first parenting guide that the American Academy of Pediatrics has publicly recommended against.

So yes, there is a lot to be concerned about. Let’s start with the author. Gary Ezzo has no medical background. He has no professional training in child development, medicine, or breastfeeding support. Ezzo, Growing Families International (of whom he is the executive director) and his publisher have attributed to him three different academic degrees that he does not have. Ezzo even stated in writing that he had an associate’s degree in business from Mohawk Community College in Utica, New York, even specifying a major and a grade-point average. He never graduated from that school, officials say (source).

Questions about Ezzo’s qualifications are relevant for two reasons. First, his lack of integrity should be a huge concern for the Christian community. 1 Timothy 4:16 says, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” Proverbs 10:9 says, “He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.” David said in 1 Chronicles 29:17, “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.” And Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the falseness of the treacherous will destroy them.” As Christians, we must be committed to integrity!

Second, Ezzo’s infant feeding advice is inconsistent with standard medical recommendations. Both Babywise and Preparation for Parenting tell parents that not following his principles is a potential health concern and that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports Ezzo’s recommended number of feeding times. On the contrary, the AAP does not support scheduled feedings and has issued an AAP Media Alert about the poor weight gain and dehydration that may result. The AAP stated that Ezzo’s program “outlines an infant feeding schedule inconsistent with AAP recommendations.”

What about the co-author Dr. Bucknam, you might ask. Well, Babywise is the secularized version of Ezzo’s Christian Preparation for Parenting material (now retitled Along the Infant Way). This was in its third edition before the first edition of Babywise was published and the medical content is the same. So, it seems as though Dr. Bucknam was simply added to give credibility to the program.

In addition to a lack of credentials, John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church, where the programs got their start, affirms in a public statement that the Ezzos’ teachings demonstrate “a lack of clarity on certain fundamental doctrinal issues,” “confusion between biblical standards and matters of personal preference,” and “insufficient attention to the child’s need for regeneration,” as well as a “tendency to isolationism.” Numerous Christian groups have expressed concern over Babywise and the Ezzos in particular because they consistently exhibited a pattern of cultic behavior, including Scripture twisting, authoritarianism, isolationism, and physical and emotional endangerment (source).

Aside from a lack of credentials and integrity, Ezzo’s materials are dangerous for babies. The following is from an AAP News article in 1998:

“Expectant parents often fear the changes a new baby will bring, especially sleepless nights. What new parent wouldn’t want a how-to book that promises their baby will be sleeping through the night by three to eight weeks? One such book, On Becoming Babywise, has raised concern among pediatricians because it outlines an infant feeding program that has been associated with failure to thrive (FTT), poor milk supply failure, and involuntary early weaning. A Forsyth Medical Hospital Review Committee, in Winston-Salem N.C., has listed 11 areas in which the program is inadequately supported by conventional medical practice. The Child Abuse Prevention Council of Orange County, Calif., stated its concern after physicians called them with reports of dehydration, slow growth and development, and FTT associated with the program. And on Feb. 8, AAP District IV passed a resolution asking the Academy to investigate “Babywise,” determine the extent of its effects on infant health and alert its members, other organizations and parents of its findings.”

There are so many resources out there on Babywise and the Ezzos. A few are included as links within the text and here are a few more:

Christianity Today article

Christian Research Institute article

Evaluating Ezzo Programs — extremely helpful site with tons of info including theological concerns of Babywise, statements by organizations such as AAP and Focus on the Family, as well as alternatives to Babywise; great resource!

Blog of former Ezzo Contact Mom

New Challenges Facing Gary Ezzo…

In conclusion, I found the summarizing thoughts made by the Christian Research Institute perfectly stated, “parents and church leaders…need to be aware of the risks associated with a teaching environment where Scripture is used out of context, questioning is actively discouraged, rules and schedules become part of one’s ‘testimony,’ even other Christians are considered ‘humanistic,’ division results, and the leaders do not seem to be receptive to constructive criticism.” Beware parents!

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47 Comments »

  1. Amber said

    Thank you, Lisa! I cringe every time I hear a new parent talking about Babywise. Your post has great clarity and information.

    • Anonymous said

      Well I guess Adam and Eve were out of luck. Come to think of it I guess Mary and Joseph were out of luck too. Babywise wasn’t around then. Poor babies.
      It would seem that if God would have wanted parents to have a step by step guide to feeding and sleeping with little ones He would have it in His word. He doesn’t though, so we are supposed to use His principles and rely on His grace through the process.
      There has been a lot of false guilt caused by Babywise. God help people have real guilt and not false.

      • Anonymous said

        how ridiculous. There isn’t a cook book included in Romans, but that didn’t stop anyone from writing down different combinations that worked well for them. No one says you have to read of follow this book- if you feel guilty, it’s your own fault not a book- that’s like saying a cook book made you feel guilty for not being a good cook. It’s not a big deal, if you don’t like it don’t use it- but don’t be rude to people that like it.

  2. Yellow Rose Mom said

    I would also encourage Christians who are considering Ezzo classes – be it “preparation for parenting” or the “Growing Kid’s Gods Way” series to go to http://www.awareparent.net/smf – this is a great discussion board with Christians who have researched the Ezzo programs.

  3. Charity said

    Thank you Lisa! Very well researched and thought out. I now have much more evidence to support my opinion of Babywise. I am interested to see what other comments will say.

  4. TulipGirl said

    You’ve done a good job summarizing the key concerns. I still find a lot of mothers state, “Well, it worked for me. . .” and so extrapolate that it will “work” for all moms. That sadly isn’t the case. And if we consider the “it worked for me” stories, it’s a good idea to consider the situations in which it doesn’t “work”:
    http://ezzo.info/voices.htm

    What I’ve observed over the years is that there are a lot of parents (like me) that would have said the Ezzo ideas worked great when they first started with them–but down the road, they realize they weren’t “working” as well as they thought they were. Time and experience are sometimes the only things that really help us look clearly at our experiences.

  5. […] and then I decided that I should write about it?? Babywise is the popular name for the book On Behttp://naturalchristianparenting.com/2008/03/08/beware-of-babywise/News briefs Smoky Mountain NewsHaywood Community College will host a Sustainable development Expo on […]

  6. Sharlene said

    Its so annoying when someone reads a few things about something and calls it that minor amount of information “research.” If people use the basic principles laid out by the Ezzos, and combine it with some sense, it is a Fabulous program. The issues addressed above do not correlate in any way with the Babywise program. If the program is followed consistently, then there is no way that their would be any problems with failure to thrive, poor milk supply failure, and involuntary early weaning. This program takes out the guesswork of parenting and equips parents with tools so that they can be raising their children consciously rather than like little servants trying to find whatever will work to appease their new little prince/ss. I have worked this program for over 20 years with about 30 families. The only people that have problems with it is the ones that are not consistent or are too rigid. The whole point of the program is to allow you to meet your child’s needs. Without a schedule, there is no way to be able to anticipate needs and the child will always develop behavioral issues later. I can tell which children have been raised by boundaries and consistency, such as Babywise, and which ones were demand fed and raised inconsistently after being with them for just a few minutes. If you really want to know if something works or not, look at the behavioral issues and concerns of the children. Babywise and GKGW are excellent programs and people need to set aside their judgments (based on faulty followers) long enough to see that the program teaches parents how to enjoy their children and therefore raise happier, well-adjusted, resilient, confident children that will become responsible, independent adults!

    • Anonymous said

      i am shocked and truley grieved that you are a mother

    • Racheal said

      How can you take the guess work out of raising a person you just met? This statement seems extremely arrogant to me, like you know how to raise every other persons child out there just by thinking like a book told you to think.

      I listen to God in every step of my life, including my children’s upbringing. Only HE has all the answers… and as far a feeding on a scheldule making morally fit people?? I don’t know about you but I’m not hungry at the same time every day, why would my children be any different? If I’d had a big breakfast… I don’t have a big lunch, sometimes I might even skip lunch depending on my health and other things I’ve eaten in the course of the day.

      I think if you make a child eat when he’s not hungary you’re telling him that it’s okay to eat when your not really hungry…. and we wonder where America’s obesity problem came from? Hello!

    • Elvira said

      It’s as simple as training for us and it doesn’t really go much deeper than that. Love the eat/wake/sleep cycle. What a blessing it has been to our family. Four happy, healthy and rested babies here:o)

    • Robyn said

      Hmm. No. There are tons of ways to anticipate and meet the needs of your baby. How about PAYING ATTENTION to him/her? I knew immediately if my infants’ cries were for food, comfort, attention, whatnot. I didn’t need a schedule to tell me that my baby was hungry, and there’s no way that I would tell him, “Oops. Sorry, it’s not on the schedule. You’ll have to wait another hour to eat.” How ridiculous.

  7. Lisa said

    Sharlene,
    We at NCP appreciate comments left by our readers, including those that disagree with a stance we have taken. I welcome a response to the following questions:
    1. Can you refute any of the above mentioned concerns (AAP stance, Ezzo’s integrity, history of the program, etc.)?
    2. Pages 65-67 of the book address milk supply. How do you reconcile Ezzo’s idea of scheduled feeding with the size of a newborn’s stomach capacity?
    3. What does demand feeding mean to Babywise followers or to you? In particular, why do you assume that parents who demand feed their babies raise their children inconsistently and therefore churn out misbehaved children?
    Sincerely,
    Lisa

    • Nick said

      Lisa,
      Concerning question 3, demand feeding is a symptom. Generally speaking this symptom points to parents that are not leaders; they allow their child to lead. It is very subtile, but it is present in everything that happens in the home. Parents who demand feed their children do not consistently churn out misbehaved children because they are parents who do nothing consistently. These parents do however raise their children inconsistently, and that inconsistency leads to misbehaved children.

      • Natka_kanadka said

        Nick,
        how did you come up with that? How come that parents who demand feed are not leaders??? I think parents who are trying to control their children through forced schedules and all other reduculous “-wise” methods are not leaders, but very insecure people. Why would you try and prove to your child that you are in charge? Don’t you know that already? Don’t you think your child knows that already? I mean your baby and child is totally dependent on you, so what are you trying to prove to him/her? Doesn’t sound very “leader-like” to me. In my opinion the true leader is a person who is sure of him/herself and doesn’t need to prove to a weaker and more dependent person that he/she is in charge.

      • Robyn said

        A good “leader” makes sure that everyone’s needs are met.

      • Angela said

        Nick, sometimes demand feeding is necessary to build up milk supply. Not everyone is able to be a perfect breast feeder right off the bat, and I was instructed to demand feed by my pediatrician. It didn’t last forever for us, and my son is now on an every 3 hour schedule – but it is flexible taking into consideration growth spurts, or days when he’s just more or less hungry. To say that parents who demand feed are not leaders is completely ignorant, and honestly hurtful to those of us who are willing to do anything to make sure our child can breast feed.

  8. Kathy said

    Sharlene’s comment makes me so sad, because the arguments she put forth illustrate remarkably well the divisive, arrogant and my-way-or-the-highway rhetoric and reasoning that critics warned of ten years ago, particularly in the Christian Research Journal’s 1998 feature-length article “More than a Parenting Ministry” which warned that Gary Ezzo’s organization was cult-like. I’m sad because I had hopes that by 2008, we might be beyond that.

    Sharlene has indicated that feeding a baby on a schedule produces morally and behaviorally superior children, and stands ready to judge your baby’s upbringing within moments of being acquainted with him or her.

    On a practical note, when Sharlene states that following Babywise takes the guesswork out of caring for the baby, she must not have looked at the many questions Babywise followers typically have about when to do what.

    However, I have a higher view of what Sharlene calls guesswork in parenting. When we make educated guesses about what the people around us need and want, we are building on our knowledge of them as individuals, and we are learning more about them as individuals as we observe their responses to our ministrations. This is all part of being in relationship with anyone. Being in a relationship with a baby who cannot tell us with words what she is feeling in terms of hunger pangs, fatigue, overstimulation, boredom, uncomfortable gums, restlessness, etc, does require a mother to tune in personally to that baby: to use all her powers of observation (and most women are gifted with good observational abilities when it comes to sensing the needs, pain and moods of others), to use all her powers of intuition, and yes, oftentimes to guess at what the baby needs. Babywise or no Babywise, all mothers must at times guess what their baby needs.

    But these are usually educated guesses, built on prior experience and observation and as time goes by and you know your own individual baby better and better, you become a better guesser. So while we may all have times of wishing someone would just publish a book telling us what to do, real caregiving relationships are not built that way.

  9. Andea said

    While I know nothing of an Ezzo cult or doctrine. I do caution to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. The basic ideas in BabyWise of how to get the child to sleep through the night have worked for MANY people; myself included and many other Christian moms I know. Taken as a simple sleeping method, incorporating your own intuition as the one who knows your child best, it is great. As always, with anything we must be careful, but not be over reactionary. Christians have become too well known for what we are against and the lost seem to have no idea any what we are for.

    • Sarah said

      I completely agree with Andea. I have used the Babywise method loosely with both my boys. Both boys were sleeping through the night at 8 and 10 weeks. Also both my boys have been in the 85 to 95 percentile for the ages. I always get comments about how happy and content my kids are. I do understand it may not work for everyone and it is a little commitment, but I will stand by the method. I may not adopt all that is in the book, just because I do not believe everything I read. For instance I do not implement babywise until they are about 6 weeks old. I do so because I feel as though they need time to adapt to life outside the womb and sleep. I do work to get the wake, feed and sleep routine down, but if I feel they need to eat long after they awake I will feed them. I think it is funny that just because the AAP advises against this we take it to heart. Don’t they also say to not spank or say “no” to your child? Yet the Bible clearly states a different opinion on both issues. So I agree do not throw the baby out with the bath water. I think many parents could benefit from the basic principles of this book. Who cares to a certain point what his credentials are, most of still believe old wives tales that have been disproved by many clinical trials.

      • Sarah said

        loosely but consistently

      • Maddy said

        I do agree with Sarah. I did not do Prep for Parenting with my oldest child, and to say that it was hard, is putting it mildly. I did however do the course when she was 8 months old, and started the routine thing with her immediately, after which she slept through after 3 nights. I was relieved. I had another baby 5 months ago and have done the Prep for parenting with her, and it is alot better for me. I don’t think it takes the guess work out of it, I still have to guess what is wrong when she is upset, but it makes it alot easier to deal with when you have had a full night’s sleep. I have also been using it rather loosely, and don’t follow everything that they say, but I also believe that it is not for everyone. I had a cholicky baby with my first, and I think the worst thing for her was that I demand fed her. What I found with demand feeding was that I fed her every time she cried, which only made the matter worse. I am not saying that demand feeding is wrong, but just like the Prep for parenting, it doesn’t work for everyone. I have also seen and been told myself of what good babies I have now, and I think that it comes from you knowing what you are going to do next, and the baby knowing what is going to happen next. I still sometimes feed my baby to sleep when she is very upset, and I still rock her to sleep some days, but I must say that it has worked for me.
        I also have alot of friends around me who have done the Prep for parenting way with most of their children, and to be very blunt, their children are alot better behaved and alot more content with life than other people who I know haven’t done it.
        So here I just want to say that I don’t think it is very nice to put people down for the way that they believe is the best way to raise their children, if it works for them, good for them, even if some parents need to have a stick taken to them every now and agagin, hey! who of us don’t make mistakes! And to make nasty comments like some of these that I’ve read is not exactly Christian behaviour either. So I think that it needs to be God leading us on this wonderful road of parenting, and if that means either doing the Prep for parenting way or demand feeding, then I think that you should be able to do it happiness and God’s blessing.

      • Anonymous said

        The bible does not clearly state to spank your children. This is taken out of context.

  10. Whitney said

    I am so glad to have found this information. I am 20 weeks along in m y first pregnancy and have been reading Baby Wise as so many at my church recommended it. However, there was something about the tone, the repetition, and the legalism that caused me to take a deeper look into Ezzo. I think much of the information is generally helpful, but if it really is a method that works so well, why is the book written the way that it is? If you have un-refutable facts to stand on there is no need to be repetitious or authoritarian in your tone – people will follow because it is the right thing to do. I kept thinking, “what does the M.A. after his name mean? He seems to have ‘little man’ syndrome as he constantly repeats every scary fact if we don’t believe him in this chapter.” My opinion is to read the Bible, the whole Bible, and apply all the truth to raising your child. We are all made differently and as long as you seek God’s guidance each day, you won’t go wrong – no matter how often you feed or not!

    Thank you for giving me resources to look further into this plan so I and my baby can, by God’s grace, survive and thrive through the first year.

  11. Lisa said

    Whitney, I am so glad that you found this information helpful. Thanks for letting us know. I just breathed a prayer for wisdom for you as you begin the journey or motherhood. Enjoy that first year.

  12. Anita said

    When his books first came out I knew so many people who raved about it and yet most of them had babies that were fussy, not gaining weight, cried all the time and had to be put on formula. Yet, they would insist on this horrible routine. It is so very sad.

    If only mothers and fathers would follow the parenting heart that God has given them and meet their baby’s needs physically, emotionally and nutritionally. Breast-feeding is not only for physical nourishment, but for comfort as well. I do hope young mothers will stay away from this book and instead read the Bible and how God, our heavenly Father responds to our cries and meets our needs.

  13. Anonymous said

    i am the mother of 6 and ache at the idea of this suddle form of child neglect when a baby cries it is a way of telling us they have needs and they are met which promotes security and comfort babies have growth spirts arond 3weeks 6weeks and 3 months and requires more calories as well as knowing when they need to eat know one tells when to eat so to set this schedule is utterly wrong and we should be grateful for lisas article i believe the Lord help her in writing it and we who are passionate about it should call our local newspapersw and ask them to put this wonderful information in the ears and eyes of all they new moms or those who are or are considering this very unnatural and sad form of mothering and parenting

  14. very sad said

    A Christian Mother here who devotes her time to loving, nurturing and guiding her children. I was searching for helpful blogs as I face the day to day trials of mothering my children God’s way. This blog saddens me. To see women, Chrisitian women who love their children and God equally quarrel over such a topic. We are all different individuals and God leads us to parent in different and unique ways. You all condemning babywise and its methods and the mothers who have found it useful should seriously be ashamed to be representing Christ. Please go check yourself at the cross and find out who made you the queen of motherhood. You are wretched like all of us and fall short like all of us. Lets just be thankful there are mothers out there who take the time to read and research because they want to be the best possible mothers they can be. I know many women who think it all just comes NATURALLY> Oh naturally spaturally! We are NATURALLY sinful and ugly. So, let’s be very mindful when we think it all comes natural and be thankful there are women out there who are humble and know they might not have all the answers.

    • Racheal said

      To our “Very Sad” reader,

      I don’t see any quarreling here, disagreement is not quarreling. If God had meant us to never disagree he wouldn’t have made us all individuals. And I think you have hit on the very problem with Babywise with you statement on us all being individuals… I am not hungry at the same time of day you might be hungry… so how can scheduled (sp?) feeding be a good thing? Perhaps you would benefit from reading the innitial posting on the book again, this man isn’t even what he claims to be… and knowing that how can you trust anything he has to say?

      Also, I don’t see where anyone here has claimed to be “queen of motherhood”, and I don’t believe calling names is a very good way to get your point across. Judgement is not your job… it’s God’s. Don’t do His job for him, he doesn’t like that. But remember, having an opinion is not a sin… but be mindful where the line is between opinions and judgement… it is a fine line. Don’t try to raise hairs either, you have never met a single person here… how do you know anything about their humbleness? Or their sin?

      And a note on your natural comments? Have you forgotten that God also made nature? As a matter of fact, nature is where he had intended we live… I think that we all could benefit in getting a little closer to nature… from what I have found it is a very good place to find Him. It is where His voice is, try turning off the T.V or the radio sometime, those are manmade devices, and listen to God’s creation. When I did that I found him… from there I shot my T.V. It was just a distraction from God… he deserves more of my time than that contraption.

      And research by the way… are you saying that mother’s had no way of researching how to be good mothers before the internet, books and librarys? Mary didn’t have any of these things…. in fact Mary probably couldn’t even read. I’m pretty sure she was a very good mother and all she had to go on was instinct and the instincts of those before her.

      Well, I’m not trying to berate you though I know sometimes I come accross as so, I am just a blunt and honest person. I’m just trying to let you know that there are people out there who have different beliefs than what you have written… and if you are totally against Natural Christian Parenting perhaps you should look for a website that isn’t “Natural Christian Parenting”. I was once a member of Christian Parenting.com, but I left that due to the fact that I pretty much disageed with everything everyone wrote there, even though I am a Christian and everyone there was also. I do not hold that disagreement against them and I hope they don’t likewise, I simply didn’t find much fellowship there.

      Anyhow… I hope and pray that you find a blogspot that is just right for you and your personal and religious beliefs.

      racheal

      • Sally said

        Wow, Racheal, totally shocked at your answer to “Very Sad.” I cannot even begin to describe how hateful your response to her came across. Yes, everyone has differing beliefs. But “Very Sad” was right – There is a lot of division on this blog, and you were one of the main ones above who came across very unkind with your all caps and points that you stressed. The point here is that there are different parenting styles. I’ve read many baby books and parenting books. I don’t agree with any of them fully. I take what is helpful and leave the rest behind, using the intuition and wisdom God gives me to follow through with what is best for my family. For example, attachment parenting is a very popular style, but this style is not for everyone. Those who practice it say it helps them sleep better to have their child in bed with them. Well, not me. It helped me and my babies sleep better for them to have their own room. Do I judge them for this practice? No. And hopefully they won’t consider me a bad mother for placing my child in his own room as an infant when I see this as the best thing for our entire family, including my baby. There’s too much squabbling among the body of Christ over petty little things when we should support one another and love one another. Each mother should do what is right for her family and make sure she’s not doing what she does out of guilt or pressure from other women to do what appears to be more spiritual. Jesus said they will know we are His disciples because of our love for one another. Do “they” see this love?

      • Anonymous said

        With you all the way rachael!!! Well spoken and what I was thinking exactly

      • Anonymous said

        Wow… I totally forgot about this site until now. Reading all these comments now makes me glad I had! Seriously, arguing whether or not babies being fed like machines is good or not… I won’t pretend to understand support for such an ignorant idea. But I wonder how children were able to grow into happy, well adjusted adults before the time of clocks and parenting books…

        I apologize for the shortness and apparent rudeness but wow! This kind of reminds me of people I know on the Atkins diet even after it’s creator died of a heart attack! You all will ultimately do what you want and I wish you the best! I however, will continue with the loving, non violent approach with my children as they are miraculously still behaving themselves.

        Those who have felt polarized on my part can rest assured I plan on forgetting this site again promptly. Happy scheduling!

  15. […] So that’s what’s on my mind today. It’s a lot more than I thought, actually! Just a note — and this is strictly my opinion — if someone gives you the book On Becoming Babywise, please don’t bother reading it. Recycle it. Don’t give it away, don’t sell it to Half Priced Books…recycle it. It is full of flawed information, written by people not trained in child development, as is detailed here. Some of the advice in the book can be harmful to the health and well-being of your child. Some of it is fine, but can be picked up elsewhere by reading more reliable sources. Those of you who might jump to the conclusion that child development experts don’t like this book because it claims to be teaching parenting from a religious perspective should note that many people who teach parenting from a religious perspective also denounce this book. […]

  16. anonymous said

    I have been a volunteer at our local La Leche League for 2,5yrs now and I would have to say 99% of Moms who come there with problems of milk supply , or baby not wanting the breast is due to schedule feeding, when you schedule feed it may work for the first few months (longer for some women depending on breast storage capacity) but as baby grows your milk production will slow down and once a bottle is introduced breastfeeding is usually no longer desired by the baby (especially if its never been allowed to suck at the breast for comfort) because it has to work so much harder to get the milk. So I would say if you want to fail at long term breast feeding use a schedule, now of course this does not apply to ALL cases some moms can feed long term using a schedule but this is rare.
    Schedule feeding doesn’t take into account the many reasons baby breastfeed (pain relief, growth spurts , illness, and of course comfort)
    And for those that dont believe we should comfort feed our babies, there are scriptures in the bible relating to this, and they are wonderful scriptures!

    I find it amusing that babywise parents say there kids are better behaved, because I would also be very well behaved if my husband hit me or disciplined me every time I did something wrong! And babies who’s cries are not attended to immediately do stop communicating there needs so your “well” behaved baby is likely to be one who has figured out that their communication will be ignored.
    I think alot of times parents get prideful and want everyone to comment on how wonderful their children are, and don’t see the long term problem with this, I am more interested in what kind of adult my child will be then only considering how “well” behaved they are as children, they are only children for a little while but they will be adults for the rest of there life!

    By far my major concern of babywise is leaving the baby to cry to get it to sleep through the night, there is soooo much evidence out there of the harm this does to babies that it is truly hard for me to understand why this practice is still around! And yes it may only be 5or 10 minutes to you, but that is a very long time for a baby!
    Babies are not meant to sleep through the night! Dr James Mc Kenna http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/
    has done some amazing research on this topic, truly wonderful information for any mother to have who thinks there is something wrong with her baby because its not sleeping through the night. Im so glad I found this info when my girl was a baby.

    I dont have any problem whatsoever if someone chooses to parent differently then me, as long as that is an informed decision, read ALL the reserach consider all points then make a decision.
    But the best adivce given to me by the own mother was follow your heart, why let some man tell you how to breastfeed your baby, they dont know what happens to a mothers breasts when her baby cries, THIS is God’s doing and no man can argue with that.
    Why would God make your milk ” let down” when your baby cries if we are not meant to comfort them at the breast? Which the Ezzo’s are totally against.

  17. Observer said

    We have a few families in our church who have done this programme and they all have angry rebellious teenagers!
    It may work when they are small but when they are older and you cant force them to do as you say what then?

  18. Kelsey said

    Wow, I know I’m a little late to the party here, but I really wanted to say something.

    I think the best way to parent your child is to find out what they need. A book can’t tell you what your child needs. Now, I’m a researcher. I love books and studies and research, and I’ve probably read 20-30 different parenting books, not to mention magazine articles, TV programs, and other research that’s out there. But the best advice I’ve ever been given was from my own mother. She said that you don’t feel the same way every day, so why would your baby? Some days you’re more hungry than others and some days you’re less. Why would our children be any different?

    I did not schedule my son’s feedings, and he slept through the night at 10 weeks. I did teach him to self soothe, and now at 16 months, he won’t cuddle. I regret this! I can’t cuddle my son to comfort him because I’ve taught him to soothe himself. I am expecting #2 now, and plan to do things differently this time around.

    My son is VERY well behaved, happy, and content. We get comments ALL the time from strangers about how good he is, and how well behaved he is. He put himself into a routine after 4-5 months, and the routine changes every few months to adapt to his growing needs. God has given mothers common sense and a motherly instinct for a reason. We also have the help of the Holy Spirit, when we pray and ask for wisdom in training and guiding our children. That is the BEST book we could possibly ask for in how to raise a child. The Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    • Elvira said

      Let me encourage you…all of my kids were “taught” to self-soothe and two of my four like to be cuddled and the other two don’t mind so much, but aren’t big cuddlers. I think it’s who they individually are and you did nothing wrong. The funny thing is that they are all so different in every other way and I feel like I’ve been raising them to the same standard. funny how that works:o) You’re right, parent as the Lord leads you!

  19. Stephanie said

    I used Babywise for all three of my children. I also exclusively breastfed all three of them ’til I was ready for them to wean (between 12 and 14 months). They were always over the 70th percentile for weight and over the 90th for height at any given moment. My oldest two are 7 and 4 and are two of the most well-behaved, loving and hilarious children you will ever meet. Our baby is 13 months old and has been sleeping between 11 and 14 hours every night since he was about 3 months old…and no…I’ve never had to supplement with formula…and yes, I recommend the book to new parents…and will continue to do so without question.

    • Anonymous said

      It works for a small number of children but I know quite a few that were starving and needed to be put on formula because of this stupid schedule. Just because it worked for you does not mean you should ignore all the recommendations by experts. Also alot of problems do not show up until the kids are older so just wait and see. Ezzo’s own grown children want nothing to do with him.

      • Anonymous said

        You know “quite a few” babies that were starving because of babywise? Let’s not lie, shall we?? It is not even possible for that to be truthful. The book is very clear that a hungry baby should be fed.

  20. Anonymous said

    REALLY late to the game here, but I have to add…
    The first several months of a baby’s life are not just about growth and development. I believe God designed the mother/baby relationship to be the very most important relationship for any person in their early lives. The responsiveness from mom to baby is of utmost importance. This is the foundation of trust and Christ-like love for the baby. They learn about relationships from their mother’s relationship with themselves. There is so much more to nurturing that relationship- to breastfeeding, to responding to a baby’s cry than just growth and how “well” a baby sleeps through the night (which is such a wrong way to think a baby is doing well, IMO). Babies don’t manipulate. Their only sense of communication is through crying- it’s how they were designed to be by our Creator! There are reasons for it. If we as mothers do not respond to their NEEDS (not wants) quickly and lovingly, who will? Feeding on demand is not about giving in to a baby’s want…. the baby is either hungry, tired or poopy! Take care of the child… this is what God has entrusted you to do!

  21. stephanie said

    You know “quite a few” babies that were starving because of babywise? Let’s not lie, shall we?? It is not even possible for that to be truthful. The book is very clear that a hungry baby should be fed.

  22. TG said

    Stephanie. . . my baby was one of those dx’d “failure to thrive” and I know several more. . . in spite of the “feed a hungry baby” message, BW/Prep leads mothers to misinterpret hungers cues as sleep or other fussyness cues. I know MANY mothers/babies with milk supply issues, failure to thrive or slow growth related to BW.

    Here are some of those moms: http://ezzo.info/voices.htm

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  24. Lails's Mommy said

    Thank you for this info!! It has been comforting to know that other Christain parents are going through the same tough fight!! My husband and I have had our first child and what a blessing she has been. At about 5 weeks old, we were sleep deprived and people were telling us to try the CIO (cry it out method). I did little research, but we tried it and it was HORRIBLE!!! Laila cried and cried all night and one of the “rules” was to comfort your child WITHOUT picking her up. It got so bad that I was in tears just saying that mommy is here and I love you. My husband and I had a talk with God and our hearts told us to stop and hold her and rock her to sleep around 2 am. It just didn’t feel right and I am so gald that we listened to God. Poor baby Laila was like a zombie the next day from I assume the traumatic stress of not being held and comforted.

    I later researched that the CIO method shouldn’t even be attenpted until 8 weeks, but now that she is 6 months I can’t even IMAGINE doing that to her again. Sh eis our gift from God and I will treat her as such. I am looking into Baby wise for tips but i will never again allow such cut and dry “methods” dictate how I respond, communicate, or cater to my baby. I charge all new mommy’s and daddy’s to hear from the Lord and live from the heart. I’m still sleepy but I’m learning that my baby is very intelligent and this is a crucial stage of development where I can learn from her as well.

  25. […] This book is dangerous. It misleads well-intentioned parents who believe that what they’ve read in a book must be the right thing to do and that they’re instincts are wrong. Extra fuel to the fire is the fact that the authors, a husband/wife team, share their Christian beliefs and try their best to tie it in to ignoring your baby when he is hungry. It has the potential to lead to malnourished and anxiety filled babies. This book has been slammed by pediatricians, the AAP has publicky recommended against it and some people have even petitioned for it to be removed from store shelves. The authors have since changed a few chapters but this book is still bad news. Why do I have a copy you ask? Once I learnt about this book, I took it upon myself to restrict its availability in my area. So, whenever I go to a thrift store or secondhand book store, I do a quick check of the baby book section. Usually they’re only 50cents, and I buy them so that no one else can. I also hide the new copies of this book when I go to the local Barnes & Noble. Placing them behind some bottom shelf books in the travel section or graphic novel area is a pretty good way to keep them out of sight for a while. You can do this too. If you want to read more about this book see here and here. For a Christian perspective, read this. […]

  26. Anonymous said

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Babywise does not say to let the baby cry it out for forever! Lies!! We use babywise and it works amazingly! My husband and I know what every cry our little one has and can immediately address her needs based upon the cries-in fact she rarely cries because of being on a schedule. This is a gross misrepresentation of the book. My baby is well fed- 95th percentile, sleeps through the night, is very happy, my milk supply is excellent and I’m not exhausted. It is sad to see that anyone would discourage a parent from being a good parent to their child if the principles in babywise work for their family. Babywise encourages the parent to learn about their child- not ignore them and do only what they want. The whole message is about making a schedule that can fluctuate according to the parents intuition. It’s a partnership between the parent and the child. Anyone who says otherwise clearly was not paying attention to the book, if they actually did read it. Again I say, this is ridiculous.

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