Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On Becoming Baby Wise

On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, M.D.

I first heard about this book and its principles from our good friends, Jenny and Stuart, but have since heard about its use from several other families, all with wonderful things to say about it. I have also heard some people tell me how dumb they think it is, but when questioned farther, they can't tell you much because they a.) haven't read it, or b.) haven't tried it. So the only thing I felt I could really do was to read it for myself and see.

This book just made sense. The principles seem sound and I can't say anything else other than it just made sense to me. Why wouldn't anyone want to try this? Putting your baby on a schedule will help train their bodies to eat and sleep normally. I really wish I could give you a more elegant synopsis, but it really does seem that simple. Now, I realize raising a newborn is in reality anything but simple, but this system does seem to give great guidance as to what is best for babies. And with most babies sleeping though the night by eight weeks or so, why not?? I really don't understand why anyone who would actually read this book would have a problem with its principles. Scheduling your baby is not detrimental to him/her, but beneficial. The authors do not want you to be clock-watching crazy parents. They encourage some flexibility and understanding when things don't go according to plan.

I actually put off reading this book for quite some time because to me, it just looked boring. I like to read non-fiction, but lets face it, most non-fiction can really put you to sleep! This was definitely NOT the case with this book. It was well-written enough to hold my attention. Each chapter was broken down into manageable categories, which also helped. I read this book in one evening and one afternoon.

I am definitely willing to try the principles in Baby Wise and am actually a lot more hopeful now than I was before reading the book. Before reading it, I thought I had absolutely no idea how to handle a newborn baby. Now I can safely drop the absolutely and say that I have no idea how to handle a newborn baby, but I do know where to start. Hopefully mother nature will take me the rest of the way.

Here is a popular blog that seems to be very helpful: Chronicles of a Babywise Mom.


  1. Hey Angel! I saw your blog on Sabrina's, and this is the first post I happened across. Very cool! I, too, have many friends who have had great success with following Babywise. I thought I would share my thoughts with you after six months with Hannah.

    I've never followed anything from a book, but Hannah does what Babywise tries to help get babies to do. She did it on her own. In the beginning, she cluster fed for about five nights straight when she was two weeks old, and I thought I was going to die! Thankfully, it was only from 4-9 pm, but she wanted to eat every hour. I stuck it out and am glad I did so instead of making her wait because it really beefed up my milk supply, helped her sleep all night at a younger age without the struggle of her crying, and was just a small bump in the road to the schedule she eventually found for herself.

    Every baby is different. Hannah has always been really good--she's never had her days and nights mixed up, and, for the most part, she has always wanted to follow the eat-wake-sleep pattern. I think Babywise is an excellent resource for parents of multiples and for parents who work. But I think for moms who can stay home, there are some other things that can work just as well.

    I personally believe in following your baby's signs and signals--to a degree. If a baby wants to be awake all night, obviously that's not something you just want to go with. But the schedule Babywise advocates is what many if not most babies will do on their own when/if you follow their signals. As you learn your baby, you'll see this.

    Another book you may want to check out is Happiest Baby on the Block. It is great at reminding moms of soothing techniques to help babies feel secure and sleep better. If you do follow Babywise, this book's techniques will help it happen peacefully. It has weird references to cave men and evolution, which obviously is not the reason I'd recommend it, but I think its suggestions are great and have worked with my baby girl and with babies I've nannied for.

    I feel like that was really unorganized and confusing. Basically, I just encourage you to read your baby, follow his/her needs, and figure out what works best for your family. No book will tell you how to do that, but many can help point you in the right direction!

  2. Thanks so much for all of the insight! You were not unorganized or confusing! And I think I will check out Happiest Baby on the Block.

    I realize that BabyWise may or may not be for us, but it did make me feel good to at least have a guideline to go by, especially if we start to have problems! Hopefully our baby will be as great as Hannah! It's good to hear you say that yes, it was hard work, but that you managed! Also, I will have to go back to work after he is born, so the scheduling may really be what our family needs.

    Let me know if there are any other good reads you recommend!

  3. Yes, if Hannah were a baby that cried hourly at night, I probably would have done Babywise! I think sometimes you can predict how they will act outside the womb by how they act inside of it. Hannah never kicked at night and turned out to be a great sleeper. Her kicking time also ended up being her fussy time for the first three months. It was interesting...

  4. Annie is right about reading your baby's cues. That is probably the best thing you can do those first few months. That will help you SO MUCH when it comes to troubleshooting.

    Babywise is not about rigid schedules. It also advocates feeding your baby whenever he is hungry. If he is hungry, feed him. It just supports adding baby to the family, instead of the baby making your family.

    I also recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I used Babywise like crazy in the beginning, but it can only do so much for multiples. There is one small chapter on it, and the rest I feel like applied to single babies. I read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins" by Weissbluth and it helped a lot with sleeping. I liked Babywise for eating, and Weissbluth for sleeping. But that Chronicles blog, if you decide to follow principles of Babywise, is SUCH A GEEAT RESOURCE! I am totally with you, after the first week of being home with the babies, I felt like I had NOTHING to go by! I was so lost! And Babywise helped me have a place to start. That felt good...empowering :) Good for you for reading it beforehand! I was using precious sleeping time, sitting up in bed, turning pages! And I kept it on the bedside table for weeks and weeks...referring back to certain chapters. haha!

    I can't believe we are talking about this because you will have a son in like 4 months. *Sigh.*

    My little man can not wait for his bff!!!!