Quotes from 1989 Preparation for Parenting

All grammatical and punctuation errors are in the original.

"Today, natural breast-feeding is practiced by an extreme fringe who believe they are answering the call of the wild..." (p. 42).

"Demand feeding mothers tend to be consumed in emotionalism. Their responses are often heavily surrounded by bad decisions. That in turn undermines a mother's confidence....Beware of the verbiage...'Follow your maternal instincts.'...[this is] nothing more than the phraseology of doom if it is not balanced by common sense and reason" (p. 47).

"Mothers do not possess special instincts--there is no need for it since God created us as rational beings" (p. 48).

"An infant schedule provides a stable metabolic structure that encourages the natural rhythms of a child to synchronize with the needs of the child" (p.52)

"[Demand feeding] affects a mother's 'let down reflex.' ...It greatly increases the chances of severe post-partum depression" (p. 56).

"[Demand fed] babies are sixty times more likely to have colic and colic like symptoms than a PCF [parent-controlled feeding] baby" (p. 57; see also quotation from page 123, below).

"Most demand-fed babies take anywhere from six months to two years before they sleep through the night" (p. 57)

"Shared sleep has proven disastrous for nursing mothers since the fear of rolling on top of the baby creates anxiety....In some Asian is not uncommon to hear reports of such deaths" (p. 72)

"Prolactin has come to be known as the mothering hormone....That unverified and extremely subjective theory comes from the observation of lactating rats..." (p.78)

"If toward the end of week three you find your baby is fussy after feeding, not going a good three to four hours....offer him a complementary feeding of one or two ounces of formula....After three days, ...if your milk supply has not significantly increased, that is a strong indication that you are not able to keep up..." (p. 82).

"You can begin your plan in the hospital by having your baby brought to you every three hours" (p.90)

"Some little ones...[get] stuck on that night feeding and they need to be pushed to reset their clock. The best method is cold turkey. You may want to wait for the weekend, when Dad doesn't have to go to work and when neighbors might be more tolerant of your training methods. Most six-week-old babies don't cry for more than forty-five minutes, with the average being much less. Generally it takes three nights..." (p. 96)

"Naps are not an option....When it's naptime the baby goes down. It is that simple" (p. 99).

"Remember, crying is a normal part of your baby's day....Crying fifteen to twenty minutes is not going to hurt your baby physically or emotionally. Blocking all crying very well may" (p. 100).

"If your baby is waking up cranky or crying then it's a strong indicator that he or she is not getting enough sleep. Even though there may be some crying....your baby will go right back to sleep in ten minutes....The baby will make cooing sounds letting you know it's time to get him up" (p 100-101).

"Advocates of PCF believe in assessing all crying. Advocates of demand feeding believe in blocking all crying since they operate under a number of false assumptions about infants and their cries" (pp.105-106).

"One study concluded that children who were allowed to cry...were vigorous and active problem solvers....Children whose crying was blocked during infancy tended to sit down...[and whimper]" (p. 106.

"Crying periods vary with each child. A normal baby may cry as much as three hours total per day, and five to forty-five minutes in any session." (p. 106, footnote).

"What facts do we know about this maternal-infant bonding? Just that it appears to be one of the greatest birthing myths to come out of the democratic parenting revolution....Bonding is a type of secular mysticism--...It does not have a long-term positive effect" (p. 119)

"Fussy babies are MADE not is merely your infant's way of releasing energy....Some medical practitioner [label] the child as 'high need.' This subjective commentary ushers us back to the dark ages of pediatrics..." (pp. 122-123).

"Some leading authorities cite colic in one of every five babies. That data would be typically demand feeding. With PCF, only one in three hundred babies have the condition" (p. 123).

"If you are breast feeding, [a growth spurt] may necessitate an extra feeding for a couple of days" (p. 124).

  • Professionals Say
  • Signs of Hunger
  • Recent Research
  • A Mom Says

Rosemary Shy, MD , FAAP
Director, Children's Choice of Michigan Ambulatory Pediatrics
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Mich

"It is dangerous to do it the way he describes," Pediatrician Dr. Rosemary Shy says of Ezzo's technique. "It puts these babies at risk for jaundice, at risk for dehydration, and at risk for failing to thrive, all of which we’ve seen." -- Wilson, Steve, "Baby Care Controversy," WXYZ-Detroit, November 14, 2004


Arnold Tanis, MD, FAAP
1999 recipient, John H. Whitcomb Outstanding Pediatrician Award, presented by the Florida Pediatric Society and the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

"There is no scientific basis whatsoever in their philosophy....It is contrary to what nature intended.

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Watch Your Baby's Signs of Hunger

Although Babywise says to feed a hungry baby, it usually instructs parents to observe a time interval between feedings, or a certain order of events, such as only feeding the baby after she wakes up. There's another way to tell that your baby is hungry. You can watch your baby for her own signs of hunger.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends watching for the following early signs or cues by which your baby lets you know when she's hungry.

  • Small movements as she starts to awaken
  • Whimpering or lip-smacking
  • Pulling up arms or legs toward her middle
  • Stretching or yawning
  • Waking and looking alert
  • Putting hands toward her mouth
  • Making sucking motions
  • Moving
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Maternal use of parent led routines associated with short breastfeeding duration.

Published Feb 12, 2014
Brown A, Arnott B (2014) Breastfeeding Duration and Early Parenting Behaviour: The Importance of an Infant-Led, Responsive Style. PLoS ONE 9(2): e83893. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083893

"Results: Formula use at birth or short breastfeeding duration were significantly associated with low levels of nurturance, high levels of reported anxiety and increased maternal use of Parent-led routines . Conversely an infant-led approach characterised by responding to and following infant cues was associated with longer breastfeeding duration."

Raising Emotionally Healthy Children - 2014 Video

This KET Special Report looks at the importance of social and emotional development in the first years of life, featuring experts on infant and child development in Kentucky.

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Our first child was born in the summer of 09, and I promptly began trying to apply the Babywise method. The book had been highly recommended by a distant relative, and promised structure and sanity amidst the exhaustion and upheaval I felt as a new mother. However, our baby did not respond the way the book promised he would if we followed the schedule. All my attempts to adhere to the book led to deep frustration, arguments with my husband (who knew better than to let a book dictate our newborn's schedule), feeling like a failure, and the worst--resentment of my infant. Why couldn't he sleep and eat like the book said he should be doing? The Ezzos presented their arguments as infallible.
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Babywise and Preparation for Parenting

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print and share with your pediatrician
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Key Documentation

Excommunication Statement

Statement about Ezzo - Materials

Statement about Ezzo - Character

"The Cultic Characteristics of Growing Families International"
(originally titled "More than a Parenting Ministry")

(orginally titled "A Matter of Bias?")

Unprepared to Teach Parenting?

Babywise Publisher Plans Contract Cancellation

Media Alert