Monday, September 15, 2014

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Voices of Experience

Read through dozens of stories.

A Forgiven Mama

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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Confessions of a Former Babywise Advocate

This story comes via the blog "Banned from Baby Showers".   The blog owner shares a mother's account of how she used Babywise successfully -- as far as she knew -- until her baby was 7 months old, and then her milk supply began to peter out. 

Confessions of a Former Babywise Advocate

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A note of appreciation from an older parent

Let me start by saying that 14 or 15 years ago, I was in the unhappy position of having to do everything in my power to force two sets of new parents to drive their babies to the emergency room because, after following the Ezzo’s advice, these babies were severely dehydrated and lethargic.  The parents were not bad parents.  In fact, they were trying really hard to be good parents, according to guidelines which had been sanctioned by their church.  The fact that both contacted me for a home visit, despite their disdain both for La Leche League and the Catholic Church, was a sign of their desperation.  Tiny babies need to be fed when they are hungry, and the more a baby nurses, the more milk the mom makes – it’s God’s perfect system, including the natural response of the mother to comfort her child.

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Young, Naive, Pregnant with First Child

The year was 2008.

A young, naive woman is pregnant with her first child.

She is unsure, lacks confidence and wants to be certain she does the best job for her unborn child. Yet there are a great deal of books, resources and information - which ones to start with? Which ones to trust?

So she turns to older, more experienced mothers who all but thrust this book into her hands and begin making the promises.

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Ezzo Lived in My Brain

I heard a lot about how awesome GKGW and Babywise are so naturally I bought Babywise when I was pregnant with my first. But my baby was teeny (6.5) and jaundiced, so the lactation consultant adamantly emphasized feeding on cue and even suggested co-sleeping. 

My husband brought her in our bedroom the first night home from the hospital and said, "we can't just put her away". He can't stand to hear a baby cry.

We did not end up actively using Babywise.  Even so, having read the book, Ezzo lived in my brain. Thoughts haunted me like "My baby couldn't really be hungry an hour after a feeding." I worried about all of the bad habits I was creating and worried that the baby wasn't ever getting a full feeding b/c I never got to wait long enough between feeds.

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Babywise Stole Precious Weeks

BabyWise stole many precious weeks from me in the beginning of my son's life. I wish I could have just loved on him without all the fear that Ezzo put into me about creating a spoiled baby.

When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I sought the advice out of women that I knew and respected who had children. My own mom died when I was 19, and I felt truly lost as I searched for the "right" way to be a mom.

One of the friends I turned to was a college friend who had four children at the time. She recommended BabyWise, so I read it and it sounded like such a logical plan.

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It's One or the Other

[and other Babywise myths that hooked us.]

"Of COURSE you can rock your baby to sleep! Just don't make it a habit." Before I had my baby, this actually made sense. After I had her, I remember thinking: "How much is a habit? I did it once yesterday ... can I do it again today? What if I did it twice in one day?" Not to mention that if a newborn baby is crying and you comfort it by rocking or nursing, it will almost surely fall asleep. So, basically, "Don't nurse them to sleep" has to translate into "Don't comfort them." But of course, Ezzo never SAYS that! My, how I'm twisting things! No--but it's important to realize how this really works.

"But Ezzo says to feed a hungry baby": Yes, but this is trumped by warnings about the baby's metabolism if feedings aren't spaced properly. I remember being worried that my baby's metabolism and everything else would be screwed up when I fed her early. How sad to RELUCTANTLY feed your baby, because you're scared that the feeding will damage...

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More Stories from around the Web

7/20/1997
Link to post
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...the church's youth pastor invited me into his office and told me about the Ezzo's programs and how important they were to effective Christian and biblical parenting. ...I took the book right home and read it straight through. I immediately felt immensly guilty that I had been demand-feeding my baby and sat down to scratch out a schedule for him. But even as I was doing it I had a very uneasy feeling in my gut, so I prayed and asked God for wisdom regarding accepting the Ezzo's pricipals. Tho' I did try to start my 3 month old on a schedule, I never did feel "right" about it, but again was so convinced my the Ezzo's that I was being a ungodly parent, that I kept working at it. After a week of scheduling tho', and turning my infant into a whinny and crying baby, I gave it up, and luckily found this website, which has made me feel so much...

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Former GFI Leadership Couple, Eric and Julie Abel

The Abels helped found GFI and were featured on GKGW curriculum video tapes resigned over ethical concerns. Here they share their thoughts on how some aspects of the GKGW principles were detrimental to their family.   This is the Internet archive of that FAQ

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Thoughts from a Former Contact Mom

I used Ezzo stuff because it really fit my personality. I'm very structured and don't handle lots of chaos very well. I started with Preparation for Parenting when my youngest was a newborn. He is 12-1/2 now. My other kids are 11, 8, 5, and 7 months.

I was also a "contact mom" for GFI for several years. We used Preparation for the Toddler Years (back before it was even an "official" program), and GKGW, also. We read through Reflections of Moral Innocence and ended up not using that.

Having said all that, I no longer support the Ezzos in any way. First, we are realizing that it is not realistic to be that much in control of our children's every move. We see with our 11 year old that he has trouble making decisions with confidence now. Perhaps because we NEVER, and I mean NEVER let him make choices, so he never really learned how. When he tried to express his opinion as a toddler and a small child, we made him stop. He is extremely well behaved, by the way. A total pleasure...

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An Ex-Contact Mom Speaks Out

While I was a contact mom for GFI (for a year and a half), I never once met a mom who breastfed long-term (at least a year or longer) without modifying the materials. I did see babies who appeared listless and in a depressed state, who were smaller than average or scrawny. I met scores of moms who struggled with milk supply to a point that it completely removed the enjoyment of nursing their babies. I met babies who went one or two months without gaining any weight at all or who lost weight. I met moms who grieved when they realized that they had been systematically, albeit unintentionally, depriving their babies of food.

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Confessions of a Failed Babywiser

This essay is written both as catharsis and restitution. I regret that I encouraged many parents to use the Ezzo materials and feel compelled to warn against it. I also want to share how level-headed parents can be allured by this program.

There are many other resources online that outline the medical, Biblical and character problems associated with Gary Ezzo and his parenting programs. With this, I hope to offer a personal view of how these materials can negatively effect a family.

I cradled my six month old son in my arms. J***** was peacefully sleeping. Tears were streaming down my face, and anxious thoughts raced through my mind. For the first time since he was born, I was watching the video my sister had taken of his birth.

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Open Letter about Failure to Thrive

The purpose of this letter is to generate public awareness about yet another child who has surely suffered due to following a Christian parenting program entitled Preparation for Parent-ing/Preparation for the Toddler Years (secular versions marketed in stores as On Becoming BabyWise 1 & 2) by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo . We hope that knowledge of his case can be used to promote existing and future efforts to inform communities of the extremely serious dangers associated with following the Ezzos' program, even in its newest editions [1998 at the time of this letter].

It is our hope that, as awareness grows, popularity for its teachings will diminish to the extent that most churches will no longer promote or choose to be affiliated with them.

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The "H" Family's Experience

An In-depth Case History

My husband and I were introduced to the Growing Kids God's Way (GKGW) programs through a pastor friend after we discovered we were expecting our first child, and our son was one month old when we began using Preparation for Parenting. This was the first book we had ever read about baby care that seemed to come from a decidedly Christian perspective, with scripture all over the place, and it pointed out that basically all the typical feeding, baby care, and parenting information being taught today is humanistic, secular, and not appropriate for Christian parents.

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The "Y" Family's Experience

In writing this testimony, we have seen arguments that people who fail with Ezzo's materials are unintelligent or inconsistent with the materials. My husband and I are well-educated people. My husband graduated from Emory University and had an additional four years of graduate school (total of eight years of education) to become a doctor of optometry. I have a degree in special education and had a few years of teaching experience under my belt when we encountered the Ezzo's materials. We are also Christians, wholly devoted to Christ and rearing our children in the knowledge of Him. However, neither one of us had much experience with small children. We were also away from our families and had little to no guidance in what to do with a new baby. So at the time, Babywise was a Godsend to us. It had a neatly laid out plan that we believed would give us a "good baby" and make us confident parents. By the time our daughter was born, I had the entire book marked up with notes and...

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Coping with Attachment Disorder

We were introduced to Ezzo materials in 1995 through our church group of young adults. By the time we were pregnant (Sept 95) many families had been through the course. Everyone kept telling us how we HAD to do the program--it's the best, it works, it's incredible, you won't be sorry, you'll feel so much better about being a parent. The positive statements never ended. We took it early in 96, and finished a few weeks before I was due.

My son was born, and had a very traumatic birth. I began breastfeeding him once he was out of NICU (about 3 hours), but he was too spent. We charted the program in the hospital - every 3 hours, diaper changes, etc. After we got home we had to wake him up to feed as he was very tired from the birth and they were not ready to let him sleep all night.

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If I Could Turn Back the Clock

I would give anything in the world to be able to turn back the clock and learn about the concerns and controversy surrounding Ezzo's methods before my dear daughter was born. I was not aware of any of the problems with his teachings; I had only heard positive things about his books and knew friends who were using or had used his books when I started following Babywise with my own daughter (when she was about 2 weeks old).

I am a very by-the-book, black-and-white type person. I'm also a firstborn, and have a tendency to strive for perfectionism (in my pre-mom life, I was an accountant). So when I found out that there was a book whose principles applied to every baby (or so I was led to believe), I thought I had found the greatest thing on earth.

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Relaxing into a Routine

More and more since we've distanced ourselves from the GFI materials, I realize how deeply influenced we were. I didn't have some of the discipline or milk supply problems that I've heard about, but we've had other problems--mainly a deep misunderstanding of what is child-appropriate behavior, and consequently, we stressed out over things that we never should have been upset about (from the infant stage to now at the primary aged child). I've had to re-learn how to relax about certain things, and create an atmosphere of trust and understanding in our home. I DON'T want our children's memories of our home to be how stressed out I got over small things.

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Deep Regrets, New Mercies

Our family was involved with Gary Ezzo’s teachings from the winter of 1991 when I was pregnant with our first child until almost two years ago. When we were first exposed to his teachings, I was only two years out of university where I had completed a broad social sciences degree.

If you had asked me about infant feeding routines I would have said they were NOT the way to go - that is, before I listened to the Preparation for Parenting tapes with my husband and another couple we were friendly with.

A unique mix of things appealed: the material was from a Christian perspective, we had our friends telling us the horrors of demand feeding their first child and the outworkings they said they were now seeing in this child’s life, and of course we thought just maybe this author did have a surefire way to get our baby to sleep through the night by 6-8 weeks.

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10 Years of GKGW

I want to share our story in the hope that it may perhaps help to warn others who are heading down the Growing Kids God's Way path.

We still ask ourselves, how could we have been deceived for so long?

In 1992, dear friends of ours, who had found Preparation For Parenting [PFP] the previous year, recommended Growing Kids God's Way [GKGW] to my husband and me. Our eldest son was 2 ½ years old. We had come from a cue feeding/attachment parenting background, but we were very young, immature Christians, and our marriage was less than happy.

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Less Stressed Without Babywise

I would have said that we were happy following Ezzo, but I can honestly say that we are much happier now. I am so much less stressed out! I didn't realize how much stress Babywising put on me until I quit.

So many people had told me how wonderful a program Babywise was to get babies to sleep through the night and get order into your day. I think that was a large part of the appeal, not so much the sleeping through the night, but the orderly day. I like structure and order.

I also knew that it was the secular version of a "Christian" program and I remember thinking at one point how wonderful it was that the author published this in a secular format...kind of a backdoor into Christianity type of thing.

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From Babywise to Enjoying my Baby

From hearing my friends talk, I thought Babywise was the only way to raise your baby, so there was no question that I would use it too.

I read the book before my daughter was born and re-read it again after she was born. I felt like I had to really work hard to get her on a schedule or she would be a brat and never sleep through the night. So, the first week I immediately tried getting her on a three hour schedule. I always felt guilty when I would stray from the schedule a little or when I didn't follow Babywise exactly. I felt like I had to defend myself to my friends if I was straying from the book.

My daughter got on a schedule pretty well, but it took a lot of crying by her--and me. She started sleeping 8 hrs through the night when she was 10 weeks old. By the time she was 4 months old, the whole schedule thing seemed to be falling into place, and I just thought it was normal to have to go through a lot of crying in those first few months.

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Mothering with Babywise: My Secret Pain

It started innocently enough. I was visiting a friend who recently gave birth to a baby girl. Sitting on her couch, sipping tea, I asked her, "So…how often do you feed your daughter?" It was then that I was introduced to the principles of Babywise. Being pregnant myself for the first time, I was intrigued.

A couple of days later, I bought the book. I read it within days, and knew it was for me. Being an organized person, I feared chaos in my home once a baby was born. My husband went along with me, trusting that I'd do what was best for our baby. Even before my daughter was born, I looked with disdain at my friends who demand fed their babies. They were all wrong; I was right.

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Learning to Trust my Instincts

I'm a mom of 5, including a pair of twins. We took the Prep for Parenting class while pregnant with my oldest. I knew absolutely nothing about kids or babies, so I believed everything they told me--except I had a nagging uneasiness in the back of my mind because I felt they misused the Bible.

I did not enjoy my first daughter's babyhood. I was miserable when she was crying alone in her room, yet felt that she would be 'spoiled' if I went in to her, and she would never learn to go to sleep on her own. My motherly instincts (which the Ezzos said I didn't have) tried to tell me what to do, but I wouldn't listen.

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Frazzled and Uptight No More

I was totally convinced that Ezzo was the way to go. In fact, before my daughter was born, nobody could convince me that Ezzo was bad. I was very determined to have a "good" kid.

However, I was an extremely uptight, frazzled Babywiser. I was always aware of what time it was, when the last feeding was, when the next one was due. I had a huge notebook and I took tons of notes, trying to figure out what worked to minimize the crying.

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A Pastor's Wife's Experience and Observations

When my first baby was about 6 weeks old I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I had no friends with babies and my family lived 5 hours away.  I was very isolated. I didn't know what was normal and what wasn't.  I got most of my support from my mom which was great except she never breastfed a baby.  I was very committed to breastfeeding for financial reasons: my husband was a pastor and we were on a very strict budget. Formula just wasn't an option.

A young mother in my mother's bible study group recommended the Ezzo curriculum..  I found the 1995 edition of Babywise at my local Christian bookstore. I was so excited. The book seemed to understand where I had messed up my baby and promised to fix her and make her a model citizen.

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Just in Time

My son is 11 months old and is healthy and happy and still nursing like a pro. If I were still schedule feeding him, I think he would be formula fed, sad and distant.

I read Baby Whisperer and Babywise before J. was born, but I didn't really come to any decision on whether to put him on a schedule or not. I knew that the AAP, the health unit and my doctor advocated feeding on demand, but the scheduling seemed to make more sense. I mean, after all, who would want a "demanding" child?

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GKGW Myths and Misconceptions

A former GFI Contact Mom and pastor's wife speaks from the heart

I would first like to dispel some of the myths about people who speak out against Growing Kids God's Way.

Myth: People who don't like GKGW have never read or used GKGW.

I was a contact mom for 2 years, and not only followed the materials myself but counseled hundreds of other moms in their use. In fact, there are still ideas contained in GKGW (ideas which can also be found elsewhere) that I use today.

Myth: People who don't like GKGW are Ezzo-bashers.

I have nothing bad to say about the Ezzos. I have never met them personally, although I have had a few email interactions with Anne Marie. She seemed personable and kind.

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Our Journey to Freedom

I was only ten weeks pregnant when my husband and I signed up to take Prep for Parenting [now called "Along the Infant Way" and also known as Babywise in its secular form] at a reputable church. Family members and friends recommended the course. We wanted to be the best parents we could possibly be for our first child.

My husband didn't really want to take the classes, not due to lack of interest in fatherhood, but rather, he thought the idea of taking a class to prepare you for parenthood seemed silly. Oh, how I wish I had agreed with him! Even more, how we both wish we had researched the Ezzos and their program. At the time, we felt there was no reason to do so.

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Pediatric Nurse and ex-Ezzo Parent

My husband and I faithfully read this book and the full Growing Kids God's Way curriculum. We were excited to be presented with seemingly sound advice and felt prepared to face every part of parenting.

We followed the advice on feeding and sleep schedules very closely, until my 5 week old son began failing to gain weight. Fortunately I am a pediatric nurse and noticed the early signs before his health was severely affected. I visited a lactation consultant and learned that my milk supply was almost gone (pumping only produced less than half and ounce from each side).

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Read the Baby, Not the Book

I'm thankful my Babywise experience was a short one. At the recommendation of friends, I was planning to use the Babywise method to get my baby on a schedule right away. It was especially attractive to me since I was recovering from a c-section and desperate for sleep and structure. I had a fairly long hospital stay because of the surgery, and it was a rough time both for me and for the baby.

At first, it was easy to get him to eat or sleep when I wanted him to. I kept a chart, making sure to do things "by the book." After a couple of days, something felt very wrong. My son hardly ever opened his eyes, and was extremely difficult to keep awake during feedings. The nurses were charting his weight, and like most babies, he was losing quite a bit. This is normal, so I kept on the schedule, but was starting to doubt my decision. This baby that had been so active in the womb was frighteningly lethargic. He had gotten thin and dry. And when he did cry, it was a shrill cry of...

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Baby Loves Routine

Before my son was born I really hadn't given much thought as to "how" to feed a baby; I knew that I wanted to breastfeed and all of the mainstream parenting books I had read made it seem so easy. I figured it would be as easy as Baby Cries, Baby Latches On, Baby Eats.

I was in for a rude awakening once he was born. I had a very hard time getting the hang of breastfeeding, and had very little support. I only had one friend who breastfed, and she had given me a copy of Preparation for Parenting while I was pregnant. I didn't read it at the time because I figured I would wait until baby was born before I adopted a parenting method.

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Nourishing and Nurturing

I am a first time mom. My son is now 6 months old. Before he was born, I was referred to the Babywise books by Ezzo. I thought, "Wow, what a practical and perfectly logical way to manage feedings." So, I tried it.

When my baby was 2 weeks old, I began the Babywise recommended feeding routine. It seemed to be working great. He was really rarely fussy. He was just a happy baby.

But at around 3 months of age he was beginning to get a little fussier. I was at one of my chiropractic appointments and my son was being unusually fussy -- no-- he was screaming and would neither eat nor sleep.

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Failure to Thrive

I was given Babywise (the 2001 edition) and being an uninformed, naive mother the book's goal sounded good to me. I was so thrilled when my daughter suddenly started sleeping 8-10, even 12 hours overnight!

She never cried herself to sleep so I really thought everything was okay. She was responding just as the book had said she would. I had, by Ezzo's description, the "perfect" child: the one who easily fell into her feeding schedule and who was sleeping 10+ hours at night. It was picture perfect.

She just cooed and slept and ate.

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Naïve Young Parents in Chicago

My husband and I were newlyweds in the Chicago area, and about to have our first child. We wanted to learn more about parenting from a Christian perspective so we went to a GFI parenting class at church where we could get together with new parents-to-be.

My frustration is that it seems the Ezzos never took into consideration the moms who suffer from PPD. My depression was pretty debilitating and when my son wasn't "following the program" so to speak, it created a lot of additional stress.

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Our un-Wise Baby Experience

Encouragement for Christian Parents

Before having our first baby, I thought I had the whole ‘rearing children’ thing sorted.  I had watched my older siblings raise their children, done plenty of babysitting, and even helped mothers with post natal depression for a while.  I thought fussy babies were created by fussy mothers, and was convinced I would have an easy child who would sleep through the night by the six weeks.  I certainly wouldn’t be one of ‘those’ mothers still getting up during the night for their six month old!

I had heard a lot of positive stories about Babywise before having my son, and read Preparation for Parenting just before he was born.  Most of the mothers I knew had their babies on similar routines and said it made things so much easier.

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Follow Jesus, Not Methods

I read Babywise while pregnant with my first son.  At that time, I was a proud, over-achieving, controlling, perfectionist of a mother who was thrilled that I had stumbled upon the "perfect" and "godly" parenting method.  I felt that by having control over my baby's schedule, I was setting them up for a solid relationship with Jesus Christ because they would naturally bow to authority.

Everything went according to plan with my son.  He was on the schedule and sleeping through the night at nine weeks.  I glowed beneath the array of praise we received for our contented child.  I was constantly asked for advice from other new moms and I encouraged them to do just as I had done.

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On Becoming Wise to Ezzo's Information

Ezzo's book, Babywise, was suggested to me through some really great friends at church.  They had a picture perfect daughter who napped well, seemed to go with the flow, and seemed pretty independent.  I praised my friends for such great parenting and they told me to read this book and apply it as soon as possible.

When we were pregnant, we read this book over and over.  I was thrilled my husband agreed to go through with this type of parenting.

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A Group of Case Studies

This group of case histories was compiled by Laurie Moody, an ex-contact mom with GFI. Unlike most contact moms, this one was a certified lactation counselor.
http://www.angelfire.com/md2/moodyfamily/casestudies.html

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Blogs of Experience

Blogs of Experience...

  • I have a lot to process
    ...about my own experience with BW and how it hindered my [2011] baby girl's growth.... I do recall saying the words "I know she's hungry, but she has to wait 30 minutes to eat." Gah, makes me teary just thinking about it... I'm choosing to blame it on my severely sleep-deprived self. The fact that my daughter wasn't putting on enough weight for the first 6 weeks of her life - yeah, I think it's linked to this issue. The contradictory "feed... no don't feed... no only on your schedule... no really, we're all about the babies" made this new mama a wreck.
  • I read this book before I had my baby.
    It totally gave me a false sense of how things "should be" when I had the baby. I didn't agree with everything I had read (i.e. no rocking to sleep, no pacifier for sleeping, etc.) but I believed I would implement some of the theories with my son when he arrived. So when he did arrive, I had certain expecations for him. I thought he should be sleeping longer at night, going longer between feedings, etc. I QUICKLY learned otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I fed him if he was hungry; I never forced him to wait until a certain 3-4 hour marker. BUT when my son was not "following" these certain methods I had read about, I was left feeling frustrated and confused....I believe if I had continued to implement some of the BabyWise methods, not only would I not have done what is best for my child, but I would have missed so many of my sweetest moments and memories with him...like rocking him to sleep, nursing him to sleep, soothing him when he needs soothing, etc. They're not robots and are not going to function like robots...they're human beings and they are just like we are...sometimes it's harder for them to fall asleep and sometimes they need help. Sometimes they need to be soothed and sometimes they are just fine on their own. Raising a child is not a science, it's an ART.
  • babywise
    the book that made me feel incredibly guilty and sent me into post-partum depression....Tim and I both read it and felt like it was the way we had to parent, in order to be good Christian parents with godly kids. So when I absolutely hated it and every instinct within my body and heart and mind screamed at me to just cuddle with and comfort my baby when he cried (no matter what point in the “schedule” we were at), I felt like a bad mom and a failure....I have amazing, happy, pretty much well-behaved kids that always sleep through the night and have not been raised by babywise parenting...I am SO GLAD I threw the book away.
  • What Did Not Work for Me: Ezzo Parenting
    It laid a lot of guilt on me, as a young mom who couldn't let my infant cry for a long period of time. Yes, I watched the "Preparation For Parenting video", I read their book, I tried to follow it, but in the end my mother instinct told me to nurture my child and not be stressed out by wanting to follow what the Ezzo is teaching.
  • Commented on What Did Not Work for Me
    This book basically put me under an already performance-laden mountain of guilt and nearly crippled me when I tried and failed their method with our second child who was having none of their method of scheduling. Great to get the word out before other mommies are confused and guilt-ridden by "God's Way". God's way is found in His Word, not Gary Ezzo's books.
  • Unsolicited Book Review
    [Our pediatrician] bless his heart, disagreed with everything the book had told us. Telling us that Chase is too young, still adjusting to life outside the womb, and still confused and overwhelmed by his surroundings for us to expect him to get himself to sleep, let alone to expect him to do it on a schedule. Some babies may be able to do it, but some just aren't....Last night, when I tried to follow some of the BabyWise advice, I ended up with a very upset little baby who refused to go back to sleep. If I'd just followed my own instincts, he would have gone back to sleep right away. It's only been two and a half months, but I do feel like I know the little guy, at least better than Ezzo and Bucknam.
  • Current Babywise Thoughts
    I found myself constantly in tears, fearful that I would "ruin him" by taking him off of the schedule, frustrated and angry that he wasn't napping like the book said he should, tired by all his cries (because he wasn't "supposed" to be crying), not knowing what he needed and feeling trapped about feeding him when I wasn't even sure if he was hungry...[and I was battling the thought] that his spiritual training started right now, so if I didn't have my act together at every moment of every day, he would be disobedient and whiny when he was 5, rebellious as a teenager, and walking away from the Church when he was in his twenties....why did it take me so long to realize that it was just a freaking nap?
  • An Aussie Mom Comments
    I am an Australian mum and ...I followed Prep. for Parenting to the T with my first - not a minute sooner or later and my child would not sleep through the night. I would shut the door on his room when it was sleep "time" and cry outside it. Every time I mentioned lack of sleep I was faced with comments that I musn't be doing it right until I demand fed at 4 months or so and he slept through soon after (at that I was told that the Ezzo routine must have instigated it!). Even today I was lectured on routine feeding being the smart choice. I asked where in the Bible did it say that?
  • Because, After All I Do Have Two Children
    I suffered tremendous amounts of guilt and frustration when we were not able to maintain the schedule...The biggest regret I have about Babywise is the advice to feed on a 3-4 hour schedule. I had a terrible time with my milk production and I'll always wonder (assume, really) that if I had fed on demand, my milk supply would've been better. And I would've alleviated the major, major stress of feeling like I was not supplying enough nutrition for this most important little being that I was now responsible for. That was one of the first things I decided about nursing my son- I nursed on demand pretty much for the first several months. And I've never worried about having adequate milk for him.
  • I Know Everything There is to Know About Being a Parent
    A father of a 9 month old recommends Babywise and relates that his baby was allowed to cry for 90 minutes two nights in a row and has slept through the night since then.
  • How Gary Ezzo Made Me a Better Parent
    It is 3:00 AM, and 4-week old Peter cries. It isn't a cry, exactly, but a fussy sound of a child who is hungry but not quite wide enough awake to communicate it. I consider rolling over and waiting till he wails, but then I remember Ezzo, and I make myself cheerful about sliding off my bed and picking up my precious baby. My baby is talking to me, and I have the privilege of being one of the people who gets to teach him that big people listen and understand when he communicates. I have the privilege of being the one God chose to make milk and feed it to him. And he, being exactly the way God made him, communicates well.
  • Cry It Out Bootcamp
    A mother of a toddler and a baby recommends Babywise: "BW says some crying is normal, but I don't think they really give an honest picture of what to expect. It is harder than they make it seem." Also from a different entry on the same blog: "Should you do CIO? My answer is yes. Most people who do BW intend to do CIO, but many wonder what age to start. BW says to start at 1 week. That is so young! Yes, it is. That is the age I started [my newborn]..."
  • Melatonin
    ...the book added extra layers of fear and anxiety to what was already an extremely trying season.
  • Things I Wish I Had Done Differently as a First Time Parent.
    I wish I ... could take those years back....I honestly believe that Babywise is the equivalent of raising a child at an arm’s length; cold, heartless, and wrong.
  • Thinking About Gary Ezzo
    ...at the end of our experience with Ezzo parenting material, we had a rather adversarial relationship with our children.
  • Sleep Training Blues
    This time around, I am trying to use more of a modified version of the Baby Wise system....Brayden isn't a crazy crier like Bryce was, but he still cries...a lot.
  • I Had Forgotten About All the Crying
    "OH MY JEEEEEEEEEEEZ. Noah's cry sounds like a small lion....YES, I'm still trying to babywise the little sucker. I so want to give up on it everyday, but that anal, rule-following, teacher in me won't give in. So, as the ulcer gets bigger and as my headache pounds, I just sit here and try to pretend that no one else can hear the crying, that it's just me (and I can handle it - yeah, right). Whoever said the newborn stage was the best? NOT ME!"
  • Ezzo-Blezzo-Schmezzo
    "It was eight years ago. We met this cute little suburban couple at a college alumni thingy. I was obviously pregnant - with our first child. They jumped all over us, telling us about this great "Bible study" at their home ... "
  • Stench of Legalism
    "...However upon applying it, I have a feeling of near horror, like that when you stand at the open door of an airplane and realize you paid $100 to jump and now you have to do it even though it now feels close to torture."
  • Zs without Ezzo
    Two nights ago our 10-week-old boy slept 7 hours straight. Last night he slept for 6 1/2 hours....I have some really sweet pictures of my wife snoozing in the nursing chair with the baby asleep in her arms.
  • Breakthrough Day
    A mother following Babywise's method celebrates that her 7-8 week old baby has fallen asleep by herself after three weeks of continuous crying at least an hour at every nap.
  • Thinking about a former nightmare
    In no uncertain terms, I want to make it painfully clear that following that program caused great problems for Harrison and for me.
  • Conflicts of Time
    Newborns are in charge of the clock. That’s just how it is. Before you argue with me, rest assured, I read Babywise and tried it with Dear Daughter. It didn’t work.
  • Let's Start at the Very Beginning
    ...how miserable I was those first months -- constantly questioning my every decision -- should I have not rocked her to sleep? Did I let her cry too long?...I cried almost every day. I was so disappointed. Disappointed in myself for not being strong enough to let her cry. Disappointed in Dacey for not acting the way the books all but promised she would. And I was scared. Was my “indulgence” of her going to turn her into the fussy, miserable, demanding baby that BW used as the example for “what not to do”???
  • Blog Comment: Used it once, won't use it again
    I used Babywise with my son. He is 2 and a half and he is a wonderful child - bright smart, funny, loving, etc.

    Would I use it again? - NO
    Would I reccommend it to friends - NO

    I think it is dangerous. I agree with what [blogger] said, "What I found was that it really preys on your fears - fears that your child will be spoiled, they'll be one of "those kids" that makes restaurants unbearable, etc." It is written in a way that makes you think this is THE way. For example I remember at 6 months I was concerned about getting DS down to 4 feeds a day per ezzo (which I now know is wrong). At 8 months I was concerned because he hadn't dropped his third nap and Ezzo said he should have....

    The thing is that it became easier to listen to Ezzo rather than my child.

    ...Ezzo is very convincing. I actually visited Ezzo.info while I was doing Ezzo material with DS and yes it created a lot of doubts but it on its own wasn't enough - I stuck with the line "apply those bits that work" and didn't realise there were much more helpful books out there containing those good bits.