Frequently Asked Questions
- I think that a person with common sense can sift through Babywise and apply it in a reasonable and flexible manner. Isn't that how anyone would approach any parenting book?
Ezzo markets Babywise as a guidebook for inexperienced, new parents -- common sense is compiled from life experience. The authors' ideas are presented after a lengthy and often inaccurate portrayal of other ideas and options. This predisposes the reader to be alarmed about other approaches and to accept that of Babywise uncritically.
Many parenting books offer information which parents can apply selectively, but Babywise is an "infant management plan" intended to be taken as a whole. Adherence to the book's program is linked with attaining the promised benefits, while straying too far from its parameters is portrayed as creating problems.
Many former users of Babywise told people at the time that they were tempering the method with common sense and flexibility. Yet in hindsight they admit, "Now that I am more experienced, I realize I was far too wrapped up in doing things by the book. I should have relaxed and enjoyed my baby."
- But I'm nervous about how this new baby will impact our life and Babywise sounds so good!
Babywise and its church-based counterpart, Preparation for Parenting, promote a one-size-fits-all set of parent-centered rules for sleep, feedings, and wake time. Contrary to their claims, these precepts are potentially unhealthy for the child, and leave parents focused on the clock, the rules, and the book, rather than on what their individual baby needs in order to grow and develop physically and emotionally.
Healthy parenting is responding to your baby, meeting your baby's needs, in a way your intuition tells you is right. A high-touch, attentive approach to parenting is enjoyable because it builds both confident parents and loving, sensitive, and connected kids. [Answer adapted from the tri-fold brochure "Intrigued by the claims of Babywise?"]
- I'm aware of the controversy and some of the reasons for it, but my church just announced they are starting GFI classes soon. How do I approach my church leadership about this?
Others in your situation have found that their church leaders were either unaware of the controversy or had dismissed concerns in favor of trusting the Ezzos' explanation. Some respectful dialogue may help in either case. If they are simply unaware, you can bring them a selection of items you hope they'll consider (keeping in mind that a huge stack of articles and documents might be overwhelming!)
However, in some cases, church leaders strongly identify with the Ezzos' ideas and simply believe the explanations the Ezzos offer regarding critics and criticism. Therefore, they believe that they will find no merit in any evidence you could offer. In this situation it's disturbing to realize they have chosen to believe the Ezzos over a host of credible, reputable Christian leaders who have voiced concerns. Unfortunately, some church leaders have made that choice, and there may be little you can do to change their minds.
- Why is this website so unbalanced? Aren't you just biased by your own parenting preferences?
Actually, authors of materials presented in this collection parent in a variety of ways and in many cases they have considerable expertise and professional recognition in disciplines that the Ezzos attempt to address without training and expertise. We hope you will evaluate the information based on whether it is logical, fair and accurate - and do the same with the Ezzos' material. Their company website is www.gfi.org.
- Why is this website named www.ezzo.info if this is not a pro-GFI website?
Some would ask why the name "www.ezzo.info" for this site; after all, that would seem to be a name suggesting sponsorship by Gary Ezzo. Steve Rein, the owner of the site responds, "The reason is that when I finally got around to spending some time re-organizing my old website I went looking for domain names because I thought it would be far easier to remember a URL like "www.ezzoinfo.net" than whatever that old URL was. When I typed "ezzo" into one of those domain name searches it came up that www.ezzo.info was not registered. This was a full four months after the .info domain names went up for sale, so I figured Gary Ezzo didn't want the name himself and that this URL will be easier for folks to remember. I am also perhaps one of the few people who is spending time explaining my domain name :)"
- Why is Ezzo quoted incorrectly in some articles?
In the cases we have seen where this objection has been raised, Ezzo was quoted correctly from the edition that was current at the time the article was written.