Monday, November 12, 2012

Why we're not "babywise"

I thought having a baby would come "easier" to me than people said, because I'm the oldest of seven. I've been around babies and kids my entire life--I knew what to expect. Ha ha! Then sweet Ivy was born. And she cried for six months straight, unless I was holding her. And she nursed 20 hours a day. 

At first, it was fine. I didn't have anything else to do but hold her anyway. And then I got tired, and the floor needed to be washed. And Jeremy was always looking for clean clothes and meals. 

Someone recommended Babywise to me. So I picked up a copy and cried the entire time I read it. It seemed cruel, and I couldn't figure out why I needed to "tough it out" when we were supposed to let her cry for hours until she fell asleep--It was nap time, you know. 

After one day of that nonsense, I found a different book at Barnes and Noble: The Fussy Baby Book. And then we found the Dr Sears website, and the Attachment Parenting group in the Twin Cities. And then I read Sleepless in America. I cried the whole way through that book, too, but they were tears of joy and understanding. 

I think the biggest reason we don't "follow" Babywise is that the tone of Ezzo's teaching is "make your child bend to your will, no matter what." It doesn't seem to take into account different personalities or traits--just make the baby do whatever so it fits into your life. 

Here are some resources to research for yourself Gary Ezzo and Babywise: 

Ezzo Info has a ton of information about Gary and his wife and their organization. 

Unprepared to Teach Parenting

The Cultic Characteristics of Growing Families International

New Challenges Face Gary Ezzo and Growing Families International

This link is to an interview with Gary Ezzo. What I think is interesting is that he never answers the questions.

Here's the Wikipedia page on Babywise. 

The National Institute of Health published a comparison of Attachment Parenting and the Babywise claims. 

In 1998, the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article linking Babywise to dehydration and failure to thrive. You have to create an account to read the whole article. AAP News 1998; 14:21

1 comment:

  1. I read it too and remember thinking oh okay and then thinking ... um, nooo. Then again I couldn't even keep a nursing journal so clearly something this strict would be impossible for me. Oh and I couldn't let my babies cry either so I just carried them around forever. I never thought it was the end of the world just bad sort of impossible advice. But I happen to think that there's a lot of fairly impossible and bad parenting advice out there. I did eventually end up doing some sleep training with both my kids when they were older and I had reached the end of my rope. But I you know me ... it wasn't too intense and there wasn't a whole lot of crying involved and as I mentioned I was at the end of my rope. Eventually mommies need to sleep ... so they can get up and run.