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On Becoming Baby Wise, Book 1: Learn How Over One Million Babies Were Trained to Sleep Through the Night the Natural Way Paperback – May 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576734587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576734582
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Theologian Gary Ezzo and pediatrician Dr. Robert Bucknam set off cries of alarm in their highly controversial 1995 publication On Becoming Baby Wise by arguing that some crying is natural and healthy for babies. In this updated edition, Ezzo and Bucknam present a comprehensive method to encourage a full night's sleep for the seven- to nine-week-old baby. It's easy to read, easy to follow, supported by research and by testimonials from parents and pediatricians, and includes suggestions for making the process fit into the reader's lifestyle. The authors believe a consistent sleep routine leads to happier, more responsible, and better-adjusted children. But a full night's sleep is just the short-term goal. The long-term goal is training parents to bring order and stability to their families through nurturing the marriage, providing a loving structure for one's children, and allowing flexibility in the process.

Twelve chapters cover feeding philosophies, monitoring baby's growth, establishing baby's routine, handling multiple births, and the ever-controversial chapter on when baby cries. The 52-week method involves four phases, beginning with "Stabilization" from birth to week 8. During weeks 9 through 15 ("Extended Night"), babies learn to sleep through the night. Ezzo and Bucknam attempt to teach the difference between a baby's many cries and advise parents on various responses to these cries. Critics dislike Ezzo's strong belief that "child-centered parenting" (feeding baby whenever it cries, sleeping with and "wearing" baby) fosters demanding, insecure toddlers. But for parents who are tired of being tired--or whose previous experience with child-centered parenting supports Ezzo's theory--it may be worth a read. --Liane Thomas

Review

Whether Ezzo and Bucknam
are working with new or expectant parents or pediatric residents in training, they always find a receptive audience looking to Babywise as a refreshing alternative to sleepless nights, fatigued moms and bewildered dads. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

As with all advice style books, you just have to use common sense.
S. Tippitt
A baby has attachment needs at birth and if these needs aren't met by responsive parents, the baby becomes an insecure, psychologically damaged child.
Karri A Lewis
Knowing when to let your baby cry so that he or she will learn good sleep habits is one of the best things you can do for them and for yourself.
Sheri Crovetto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,013 of 1,091 people found the following review helpful By Will Riddle on November 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am not interested in Ezzo- or GFI-bashing here in this review.

As a mom of three infant boys, each a little over a year apart with one more on the way, I see nothing wrong with the gist of the Babywise book. The principles for eating and sleeping work rather well if you employ them with some grace and flexibility as tiny ones require. Contrary to what you may have heard, the Ezzo's do not suggest tossing your tenderness, intuition, or creative parenting out the window--they provide some basic eating/sleeping instructions very similar to those sent home with Mom a generation ago from Dr. Spock, the pediatrician, or the hospital nurse (but not highly common nowadays due to the AAP's shift in philosophy). Such advice will not harm your baby unless you employ their methods religiously as if it is the "magic formula" to enjoying newborns. There exists no such formula--not in Ezzo, and not in the Sears or child-centered camp either.

Briefly, the basic principles covered include:
1. Feeding approx every three hours
2. Trying to keep your baby awake during feedings and a little afterwards.
3. Putting your baby down to sleep before the next feeding
4. Keeping your baby on a eat-wake-sleep routine to help their hunger stabilize for faster nighttime sleeping.
5. Trying not to allow babies to become overdependent for sleep on any one prop (rocking, swings, slings, pacifiers, car rides, etc).
6. Generally helping the baby's needs to fit into you and your family's routine, rather than arranging you and your family's needs completely around the baby's routine (or having none at all).

I maintain that these principles, while presented a little briskly, are not damaging to infants.
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248 of 272 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
There is some valid criticism of this book, which is the reason that I only reluctantly give copies to brand new parents--both singing the praises of the methods and warning not to apply everything Ezzo recommends blindly.
The basic premise is that you feed your baby when it first wakes, and wake the baby if it falls asleep before getting a good, complete feeding. Then you try to keep the baby awake--at first this will be only a few minutes, maybe just 2 or 3 minutes in a newborn. Then, while the baby is still awake, lie him or her down to sleep. The main idea is that you don't let the baby depend the breast or nipple to go to sleep--the baby learns to comfort and put herself to sleep. The theory is that babies wake naturally every few hours. With this method they have the skills to get themselves back to sleep without fully waking or waking you once, twice, three times each night.
It REALLY works for most babies. I'm sure there are some babies who just don't have the temperment for this, but it worked like a charm for my baby, and for all of my friends whom I've turned on to the book. I have a five month old who sleeps 12 hours at a stretch without waking and has done so since she was 10 weeks old. Not ONCE since she was 10 weeks old has she awoken in the middle of the night, and she wakes up in the morning so happy and calm it's hard to believe. Often, she'll wake about 1/2 an hour before her usual waking time and "sing" and coo to herself in the crib. When she sees me come into the room, she is grinning from ear to ear. And despite the fact that she has just gone over 12 hours since the last feeding, she is not ravenously hungry in the morning--rarely finishes her very first bottle.
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223 of 261 people found the following review helpful By J. Leo on February 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
A friend recommended this book to me before my first daughter was born, and after reading the reviews on Amazon, I was certain that I wanted no part of it. After my friend assured me that the things I had read were in no way true, I bought the book and have used it with both my girls, and recommended it to everyone I know expecting babies.

First of all, this book NEVER says not to feed your baby if he/she is hungry. In fact, it states in bold, in several places, that you absolutely need to feed your baby if he/she is hungry, regardless of whether they last ate 3 hours ago or 1 hour ago. One of the main points of the book is to try and figure out why your baby is crying or upset. If he/she is hungry, feed the baby. However, your baby may cry for many reasons, and not all of them are because the baby is hungry. Feeding your baby everytime he/she cries leads the baby to snacking, which isn't good for you, and is especially bad for the baby if you are breastfeeding. The richest, most calorie dense milk (hind milk) is found toward the end of the feeding cycle, and doesn't come the first few minutes of nursing. If your baby is snacking, he/she is never getting that rich hind milk.

The second main point of the book is to change the cycle that most parents employ with their babies. Instead of putting the baby to bed right after feeding, feed the baby after he/she wakes up from naps. This way, the baby will stop eating when he/she is full, not when he/she is tired, which is a huge problem, especially with very little babies.

I don't believe there is one single right way to raise children, so if you've read the book and don't think that their methods fit with your lifestyle or goals, that's one thing. But I can't see how anyone who has actually read the book can dismiss it as dangerous. Again, the book tells you in several place, in big, bold letters, that if your baby is hungry, FEED YOUR BABY!
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