Babywise?

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Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
I'll cop to being an adherent of attachment parenting....never read Ezzo, partly because of previous negative threads/reviews here.
 

Dena

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello, all. I hardly get on here, anymore. I am Andrew's wife (Romans922) and he mentioned in passing a thread about Babywise on here, since he knows my main "field of study" is breastfeeding and offshoots of that -attachment parenting, birth, baby sleep, etc. (This is totally my passion, as it relates to how God created such a beautiful system.)

This is a huge topic that really covers so much ground, but I'll try to stick to the heart of the matter. We could be here for days and weeks to really get a good grasp of this issue.

And I'd also like to say to the OP, if you or your wife wants to find me on FB, i'll be more than happy to talk to you more or provide some good resources. My name is Dena Barnes. If you have trouble finding me, ask my husband.

First, we must come to a basic understanding of certain things. God created infants to be highly vulnerable beings. They come out of the womb, really still needing to be "attached" to their mothers for *quite* some time. Enter breastfeeding, the thing God in His infinite wisdom has hardwired our bodies to do for our children. I'm assuming your baby is exclusively breastfed. If you study breastfeeding physiology, you will know that breastmilk is digested incredibly quickly (this is a really good thing...for the sake of time, I won't go into more details). This means a child really and truly gets hungry very quickly, again, even if he or she ate a "full" meal last at the breast (and this could also go into another discussion about how babies sometimes snack or comfort nurse at the breast, all *super* great things, too, but no time to go down that trail). So. we have a breastfed baby, hardwired by God to wake and eat often, and be attached to Mom.

One of the brilliant things we see in this is that because babies who are waking to eat often (as their bodies were hardwired by God to do, mind you), is a huge reduction in SIDS. Or, more accurately, a huge increase in the risk of SIDS for children who aren't waking often (formula fed children and/or babies who are being taught at a very early age that their needs won't be met by their parent when they cry (their only means of communication), so they do the only thing their body can do to conserve energy, and that is to shut down, are two examples in this category).

So....very short story: babies are hardwired for very good reason to wake and to eat often. If a baby is crying, it is for a reason, even if the *only* reason is to be close to their mother. Its difficult for parents, but a very normal reality that we have lost in our American-brained culture the last century or so. Historically anywhere, and still in most of the world today, all these realities have been embraced and just plain understood that they are normal. Trust me, I *know* about sleep deprivation and how tolling it is. God didn't hardwire our babies to eat on a schedule. It simply ignores basic infant physiology to suggest such a thing. Breastfed babies are extremely good at self-regulating their own food intake. I have never seen or heard (and I read a. lot. on this topic) of a baby who was put on a "schedule" (as the Ezzos would define it) where the mother did not, sooner or later, end up with a milk supply problem.

My advice would be to bed-share, if possible (again, assuming you're exclusively breastfeeeding...and there are guidelines to determine if/how to do this safely...look into it, or I'll be glad to give some resources....also, studies show that breastfeeding bedsharing moms get more sleep than their non-bedsharing counterparts), it will minimize the fully-waking for mom and dad (mom can even learn to side-lay nurse), nurse on cue, respond to your baby's needs quickly, be thankful your child is doing what God hardwired them to do (for one, as a safety mechanism), pray lots (I will be praying for you), realize this too shall pass (I do not mean that at ALL flippantly), and if you're going to look into *any* book, I'd suggest it being The No Cry Sleep Solution, or any book by Dr. Sears touching on these subjects. Those authors/books, are going to have an accurate understanding of breastfeeding/normal infant sleep from which to base all their information. Most of the other stuff out there is missing the mark simply because they haven't studied normal infant behavior and how they're actually hardwired.

I'm always glad to talk about these topics with anyone. I always encourage everyone to do their research. If its not coming from a *true* expert in the field, I'd be very suspect. Google Dr. James McKenna, for one, if you want some solid information regarding infant sleep. http://www.naturalchild.org/james_mckenna/

I'm glad you quickly decided the Babywise (or BabyUNwise, as I like to call it) system was not a good one.
 
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fishingpipe

Puritan Board Freshman
All three of our boys were good sleepers. We decided to move about the house and speak normally while they were sleeping as infants/toddlers. We didn't tip-toe or whisper during nap times, at night, etc. After a couple of weeks I think they became used to the noise. Either that or we were just very blessed with three great sleeping babies.
 

Yocelita

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm a mom of 4 children (6,3,2 and 4 month old). I've read baby wise from front to cover but didn't agree with many things in the book. The books I recommend all my friends who are new moms or dads is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and also Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
The biggest issue that most parents have is the night waking and why they are in search of a miracle book. I think each baby is very different and some may go to sleep very easily while other require being rock to sleep. None of my children have slept through the night before 3 months but at 2 month I had 6 hours of sleep non stop from 2 of them :)
One of the things that has really helped with my last two has been a good swaddle. My 4 month old is still swaddle and she sleeps 10-12 hours. I've asked the pediatrician if I should stop swaddling her. I feel she is too old to be swaddle and don't want her to not have the freedom to move if she want to. However, my pediatrician said she could be swaddle until she shows she is not comfortable any more being swaddle. So I've continue swaddling her using and getting a great night of rest. I use the miracle blanket or the summer swaddle blanket that have the Velcro.
I hope that helps :)
 

JoyFullMom

Puritan Board Junior
Enjoyed your post, Dena. That is exactly how I parented my six. We even survived GERD, severe colic, and nursing a newborn while staying in the hospital for a week with an older child.

My experience with the Ezzo's was back in 1991 under Growing Kids God's Way. Babywise, the book, is not NEARLY as extreme as GKGW was. I was turned off when I was told that there is no such thing as a "God-given mother's intuition". When we chose to *not* use the Ezzo's material, we were personally confronted by the leadership of our church who were pretty close to Gary and Anne Marie. Perhaps my view is jaded by that time.

I really like Dr. Sears.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
John MacArthur's church is just one of the churches from which Ezzo has been disciplined. If I remember rightly, he really raised a ruckus there, and MacArthur's church had to put out a public statement distancing itself from Ezzo and his "teachings." As has been stated, he claims credentials he doesn't have. I get the impression it's just a power trip for him.
 

interalia

Puritan Board Freshman
I looked at Babywise for about 5 minutes and chucked it. While I do believe giving a child a schedule is a good thing, if my second child had been on a rigid eating schedule, she would have died of starvation. She burned up (and still does) calories so fast that she needed to eat every two to three hours during the day for the first several years of her life. Even now, she eats full regular meals and "grazes" the rest of the day, and she stays slim and trim.

On the issue of naps...I had one child (after age on) who woke up regularly after only one 30-45 minute nap which she took in the afternoon, but she would sleep through the night. For a while, I tried making her go back to sleep only to discover that when she did go back to sleep, she was up all night long. I finally allowed the shorter naps so we could sleep at night.

The point is, every child is different, and you need to use some common sense with them.
I would politely suggest you finish more than the five minutes, as your last point is exactly the main thesis of the author, within a general structure that is best for the child.

I know next to nothing about the man's personal/religious life. I only comment on the contents of the first BW book and its tremendous positive effect on our son.

I am troubled by so-called attachment parenting and other child-centered raising techniques. While the Bible does not portend to offer a child raising theory (no smart responses - I mean a comprehensive approach), I think anyone would be hard pressed to suggest that such methods of child-centeredness comport with general Biblical values of responsibility, discipline, and growth. We are born selfish...yes, there is a natural design even to that which cannot be ignored (particularly with the earliest newborns), but nurturing this value that so perfectly demonstrates our depravity is not good. No person is the center of the created order. We must not treat our children as a microcosm of this distortion.
 

JoannaV

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am troubled by so-called attachment parenting and other child-centered raising techniques. While the Bible does not portend to offer a child raising theory (no smart responses - I mean a comprehensive approach), I think anyone would be hard pressed to suggest that such methods of child-centeredness comport with general Biblical values of responsibility, discipline, and growth. We are born selfish...yes, there is a natural design even to that which cannot be ignored (particularly with the earliest newborns), but nurturing this value that so perfectly demonstrates our depravity is not good. No person is the center of the created order. We must not treat our children as a microcosm of this distortion.
I think attachment parenting often gets a bad press among some because certain things are assumed to be associated with it when that may not actually be the case. What I mean is, I would assume that most of the puritanboard members who would identify themselves with attachment parenting are very aware of their children's depravity, and ensure that they look to the Bible first and such philosophies second. I doubt that most of them would consider their parenting style "child-centred". I agree though that that is the way which attachment parenting leads non-believers, who often view their children as perfect innocent beings. Just as some other parenting philosophies can lead non-believers to the opposite approach, ie a self-centred approach where the children are more inconveniences than anything.
 

Mindaboo

Puritan Board Graduate
am troubled by so-called attachment parenting and other child-centered raising techniques. While the Bible does not portend to offer a child raising theory (no smart responses - I mean a comprehensive approach), I think anyone would be hard pressed to suggest that such methods of child-centeredness comport with general Biblical values of responsibility, discipline, and growth. We are born selfish...yes, there is a natural design even to that which cannot be ignored (particularly with the earliest newborns), but nurturing this value that so perfectly demonstrates our depravity is not good. No person is the center of the created order. We must not treat our children as a microcosm of this dI istortion.
I don't agree with this style of parenting either, but I will say most of the kids I know are happy kids. I was very uncomfortable with the attachment parenting. I am 4'11" and carrying a ten pound newborn in a sling was awkward. I was handed a book by Dr. Sears, and I knew it wasn't for me. On the flip side I've seen some happy kids that were brought up using Babywise. I think it's important to remember all of our works are as filthy rags before the Lord. This is an area where conscience and liberties found in Christ rule.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
It appears that nursing a baby is not merely about getting milk. It appears to be comfort, too. And many baby-scheduling books seem to deny or downplay this, or treat parents as weak for using the mother's breast as a comfort item rather than merely a giver of nutrition.
 

Mindaboo

Puritan Board Graduate
It appears that nursing a baby is not merely about getting milk. It appears to be comfort, too. And many baby-scheduling books seem to deny or downplay this, or treat parents as weak for using the mother's breast as a comfort item rather than merely a giver of nutrition.
Sucking is a means babies use to comfort themselves. I had two babies that were very needy. I gave them pacifiers. What about moms who can't nurse? Do they really feed their children everytime they cry? I think that would be setting them up for some very bad habits when they are older. What does that say about them? I for one wasn't able to nurse for long periods. My milk dried up when my second and third child were five months old. Attachment parenting would say it's because I had my babies on a schedule, but that is not true. I was able to nurse baby number four for the first year, and she was on scheduled feedings.

A mother's breast is not the only place a child can find comfort. Holding them, rocking them, placing them in a swing, playing music, and lots of other things can be options. I used all of those. After my milk dried up I would have been very uncomfortable letting my child have my breast as a means of comfort.
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
It appears that nursing a baby is not merely about getting milk. It appears to be comfort, too. And many baby-scheduling books seem to deny or downplay this, or treat parents as weak for using the mother's breast as a comfort item rather than merely a giver of nutrition.
My milk supply disappeared within the first month with my son due to a number of health issues on both sides. But I still nursed him for six months just for this reason. I wouldn't have traded the bonding time for the world, and I would have kept nursing except that he started biting when his teeth came in.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It appears that nursing a baby is not merely about getting milk. It appears to be comfort, too. And many baby-scheduling books seem to deny or downplay this, or treat parents as weak for using the mother's breast as a comfort item rather than merely a giver of nutrition.
There are lot more benefits to nursing children than just the breast milk. My argument for breast feeding has a lot to do with the fact that God gave women breasts for that purpose, and unless there's a physical problem for not nursing, a woman should nurse her baby. British studies done in 1991 and 1992 and again more recently show that babies who are breastfed have an IQ of 3-5 points higher and that this intelligence level stays with the children through secondary school. The department of health in GB recommends women breastfeet exclusively for 6 months.

Another thing to take into consideration is the child's needs and how they respond to touch. Some children give and receive love by touch while others respond better to words and sounds. If a parent withholds affection from some of these needy "touchy" children, it can be devastating, even in their health. My mother a pedeactric nurse for years says that children who do not receive enough physical attention when they are infants can and do die. She tells of working in one facility where some of the babies came in who had been physically neglected and had stopped eating. The nurses were required to pick up the babies and hold them for a number of hours each shift, and it would not be long before they would begin eating again and were brought back to health.

---------- Post added at 11:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:31 AM ----------

I looked at Babywise for about 5 minutes and chucked it. While I do believe giving a child a schedule is a good thing, if my second child had been on a rigid eating schedule, she would have died of starvation. She burned up (and still does) calories so fast that she needed to eat every two to three hours during the day for the first several years of her life. Even now, she eats full regular meals and "grazes" the rest of the day, and she stays slim and trim.

On the issue of naps...I had one child (after age on) who woke up regularly after only one 30-45 minute nap which she took in the afternoon, but she would sleep through the night. For a while, I tried making her go back to sleep only to discover that when she did go back to sleep, she was up all night long. I finally allowed the shorter naps so we could sleep at night.

The point is, every child is different, and you need to use some common sense with them.
I would politely suggest you finish more than the five minutes, as your last point is exactly the main thesis of the author, within a general structure that is best for the child.
What I didn't point out when I made the comment about the "five minutes" is that I knew several families in my church who were taking the "Babywise" approach to raising their children, and frankly, I wasn't impressed. I picked up a copy of the book in the church library and perused it and decided it wasn't for me. My christian parents gave me an excellent biblical example for raising children, and I didn't see the need to look elsewhere for guidance.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
It appears that nursing a baby is not merely about getting milk. It appears to be comfort, too. And many baby-scheduling books seem to deny or downplay this, or treat parents as weak for using the mother's breast as a comfort item rather than merely a giver of nutrition.
There are lot more benefits to nursing children than just the breast milk. My argument for breast feeding has a lot to do with the fact that God gave women breasts for that purpose, and unless there's a physical problem for not nursing, a woman should nurse her baby. British studies done in 1991 and 1992 and again more recently show that babies who are breastfed have an IQ of 3-5 points higher and that this intelligence level stays with the children through secondary school. The department of health in GB recommends women breastfeet exclusively for 6 months.

Another thing to take into consideration is the child's needs and how they respond to touch. Some children give and receive love by touch while others respond better to words and sounds. If a parent withholds affection from some of these needy "touchy" children, it can be devastating, even in their health. My mother a pedeactric nurse for years says that children who do not receive enough physical attention when they are infants can and do die. She tells of working in one facility where some of the babies came in who had been physically neglected and had stopped eating. The nurses were required to pick up the babies and hold them for a number of hours each shift, and it would not be long before they would begin eating again and were brought back to health.

---------- Post added at 11:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:31 AM ----------

I looked at Babywise for about 5 minutes and chucked it. While I do believe giving a child a schedule is a good thing, if my second child had been on a rigid eating schedule, she would have died of starvation. She burned up (and still does) calories so fast that she needed to eat every two to three hours during the day for the first several years of her life. Even now, she eats full regular meals and "grazes" the rest of the day, and she stays slim and trim.

On the issue of naps...I had one child (after age on) who woke up regularly after only one 30-45 minute nap which she took in the afternoon, but she would sleep through the night. For a while, I tried making her go back to sleep only to discover that when she did go back to sleep, she was up all night long. I finally allowed the shorter naps so we could sleep at night.

The point is, every child is different, and you need to use some common sense with them.
I would politely suggest you finish more than the five minutes, as your last point is exactly the main thesis of the author, within a general structure that is best for the child.
What I didn't point out when I made the comment about the "five minutes" is that I knew several families in my church who were taking the "Babywise" approach to raising their children, and frankly, I wasn't impressed. I picked up a copy of the book in the church library and perused it and decided it wasn't for me. My christian parents gave me an excellent biblical example for raising children, and I didn't see the need to look elsewhere for guidance.
Yes, I think I am 100% with you. Just being close to mom, smelling her and hearing her voice plus seeing her with eyes that don't seem to see very far at all seem to be benefits of this close bonding. I notice our 1 month old soothing at the mere sound or nearness of her mom. Even if I were to bottle feed instead of her breastfeeding, it seems that 90% of the experience is drained of the activity by this lack of bonding. And under rigorous scheduling and philosophies that treat breastfeeding as merely a feeding and not so much more, it seems that so much is missing.

---------- Post added at 04:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:03 PM ----------

It appears that nursing a baby is not merely about getting milk. It appears to be comfort, too. And many baby-scheduling books seem to deny or downplay this, or treat parents as weak for using the mother's breast as a comfort item rather than merely a giver of nutrition.
Sucking is a means babies use to comfort themselves. I had two babies that were very needy. I gave them pacifiers. What about moms who can't nurse? Do they really feed their children everytime they cry? I think that would be setting them up for some very bad habits when they are older. What does that say about them? I for one wasn't able to nurse for long periods. My milk dried up when my second and third child were five months old. Attachment parenting would say it's because I had my babies on a schedule, but that is not true. I was able to nurse baby number four for the first year, and she was on scheduled feedings.

A mother's breast is not the only place a child can find comfort. Holding them, rocking them, placing them in a swing, playing music, and lots of other things can be options. I used all of those. After my milk dried up I would have been very uncomfortable letting my child have my breast as a means of comfort.
If the baby did not yet have teeth, what would have been the cause of the discomfort?
 

Dena

Puritan Board Freshman
Pergamum, you seem to be on the right track of understanding how God hardwired His children. There is much beauty in it. I continue to pray that we all learn to embrace it, for the sake of God's glory and the sake of our own and our children's health and well-being.
 

Mindaboo

Puritan Board Graduate
If the baby did not yet have teeth, what would have been the cause of the discomfort?
Me...After I wrote my response I thought about it, and then read Kim's response. I guess I just always viewed my breast as a supply of food, not as a pacifier. I didn't want to be my child's pacifier. I had children who would have hung on me all day and night. That just isn't reasonable when you have toddlers running around. I respect what Kim did, but I wouldn't do it. I thought at that time and still think there are other ways for babies to be comforted. I nursed my kids when they needed to eat, and sometimes I used it to get them to sleep, but not always.

Maybe it stems from a mom who was so opposed to me nursing that she made me leave her house everytime I nursed. No one in my family ever nursed their children. I was considered odd for doing so. My mom would make me go out to the car when my oldest two needed to be nursed. I'd never been around anyone in my life who nursed their children. Everyone I knew thought I'd gone completely out of my mind.

All I can say is I am glad I no longer have to worry about these things. I am past all of those days. I am not a follower of the crowd, and most of the crowd I hung out with were doing attatchment parenting. I don't have a problem with people who do. I just don't think it's for everyone. If I were to do it all over again. I think I'd stick with a schedule and a pacifier.
 
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