Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Book Review: BabyWise

by heather

So talking to various parents in my interactions as a mom, I kept hearing about “BabyWise”. ‘BabyWise, BabyWise,¬†BabyWise ‘, like it was some kind of magical infant instruction manual. And I was hearing some stuff that seemed a little conflicting to me.¬† There’s one extreme:”BabyWise says that after 12 weeks old an infant needs to sleep for 12 hours straight, so if it has been less than 12 hours we ignore him, no matter how mad he gets.” To the other: “BabyWise just makes happy babies.” I decided that I needed to read this book for myself.
On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam has a few good things, but for the most part I didn’t feel that it was really worth the time I spent reading it. So for you dear readers, I am going to summarize the best information so you can better use your time reading other books, or taking a nap or on Pinterest or whatever makes you happy.

  • They emphasized the importance of a stable and well nurtured relationship between spouses as a healthy environment and support for the children. Not that you can’t raise healthy children without a stable relationship, but it sure makes it easier.
  • They talk about how breast-feeding is the perfect baby food and if you can, you should breast-feed. Solid advice.
  • They emphasize pushing for a good feeding (that if breastfeeding) includes both fore and hind milk instead of just snacking.
  • They talk about the importance of having a routine. Routines = efficiency.
  • If you breastfeed an infant to sleep every time s/he may have difficulties putting themselves to sleep on their own when they have stopped breast-feeding.

That pretty much covers the good stuff. I felt like the fictional scenarios were not realistic and there were contradictory statements throughout the book. How effective can that kind of advice be?¬† I felt like this is another book where the author feels like they have the magic answer and just because lots of people follow their advice that proves that they are right. I find books like that very irritating. I felt like trying to follow the plan in this with an infant with severe reflux was a recipe for insanity. Following or not following the advice in this book did not show any correlation to whether or not she was sleeping through the night. And my baby has been the happiest baby I have encountered even without the book (as long as she got her reflux medication and I didn’t eat anything that bothered her, but that is another blog post.)

 


2 Responses to “Book Review: BabyWise”

  1. Janeen says:

    I know I’m a little late getting my comment in here, but I just had to say thank you for this post. This book was presented to me as practically scripture and reading it only made me feel depressed because their rigid schedule just didn’t work for me and my baby. I’m glad that the book has been helpful for some, but I think it’s important to keep in mind that there are MANY good parenting styles that lead to happy and healthy children.

  2. heather says:

    Hey Janeen! It’s good to hear from you. I’m glad to hear there’s someone else out there who wasn’t just following the lemmings about this book.

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