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On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep Paperback – February, 2012

3,491 customer reviews
Book 1 of 9 in the On Becoming Series

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Editorial Reviews


"From a pediatrician's perspective, this is a sigh of welcome relief for sleepless, weary parents."
         -- DAVID BLANK, M.D. of LONGMONT, CO

"My introduction to On Becoming Babywise came over 20 years ago when a discerning member in my practice noticed my frustration with the growing numbers of fatigued mothers, fussy babies, and their sleep nights.  I was handed a set of audio tapes of this series.  Being profoundly impressed with the insightfulness and relevance  of the content, I began applying the principles in my practice. Word of mouth among our community has helped our practice grow exponentially. 
                        --Dr. Jim Pearson, M.D.      Johnson City, Tennessee

"I am a practicing pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics.  Residents and new mothers I work with have found On Becoming Babywise overwhelmingly successful.  My residents report a positive difference in the confidence of new mothers who work with this plan compared to those who do not.  The freedom Babywise provides a new mother is so refreshing.   My parents become baby-wise with Babywise."
                                                        -- Dr. Linda Meloy, M.D.   Richmond, Virginia

"I have been successfully using On Becoming Babywise in my general Pediatric practice for the last several years.  I have found it to be a very helpful resource for parents.  I think any negative outcomes associated with this material is due to the misapplication of the principles."
                    -- Dr. Thomas Gill, M.D., Pediatrician, Johnson City, Tennesee

From the Author

This is the current edition; the completely revised & updated version of On Becoming Babywise (5th edition, February 2012).  We highly recommend ONLY purchasing the newest and most current version of On Becoming Babywise (isbn 1932740139).  It has a new chapter, several important revisions, the latest in medical updates, and is 19% longer than the former version.  In becoming one of America's leading infant management guides, On Becoming Babywise has continued to improve its methods and practices throughout its 24 years and this latest version is the result of all the best over the last two decades.
On Becoming Babywise continues to gain global recognition for its common-sense approach to parenting a newborn. The infant management plan offered by Pediatrician Robert Bucknam, M.D. and co-author Gary Ezzo in this book helps parents successfully and naturally synchronize their baby's feeding time, waketime and nighttime cycles. The results? Happy, healthy and contented babies who sleep through the night on average between seven and nine weeks of age. 
The best evaluation of any parenting philosophy, including Babywise, is not found in the reasoning or the logic of the hypothesis. End results speak clearly. Let your eyes confirm what works and what doesn't. You will be most confident in your parenting when you see the desired results lived out in other families. 
Stage One:  Birth to 5 months -- On Becoming Babywise
Stage Two:  5 - 12 months --      On Becoming Babywise 11
Stage Three: 12 - 18 months --    On Becoming Pretoddlerwise
Stage Four: 18 - 36 months --     On Becoming Toddlerwise
Stage Five: 36 - 84 months --     On Becoming Childwise
The principles of On Becoming Babywise were first shared in 1984.  Sarah was the first baby girl raised with the principles; Kenny was the first boy.  Both thrived on mother's milk and a basic routine, and both slept through the night by seven weeks.  It was that easy. On Becoming Babywise has now been translated into 16 different languages and is utilized by more than 6 million parents around the world.  As with previous editions, this update does not provide parents a list of do's and don'ts.  We wish parenting were that easy. Rather, our larger objective is to help prepare minds for the incredible task of raising a child.  We believe the preparation of the mind is far more important than the preparation of the nursery.  Both can be a lot of fun.  Your baby will not care if his head rests on designer sheets or beside Disney characters, nor is your success tied to his wardrobe or bedroom accessories, but rather to the beliefs and convictions that will eventually shape your parenting experience.  It is our opinion that the achievements of healthy growth, contented babies, good naps, and playful wake times, as well as the gift of nighttime sleep, are too valuable to be left to chance.  They need to be parent-directed and parent-managed.  These are attainable conclusions, because infants are born with the capacity to achieve these outcomes and, equally important, the need to achieve them.  Our goal is to demonstrate how this is done, but only after we explain why it should be done.  We realize there are a number of parenting theories being marketed today, most of which come gift-wrapped with unrealistic promises and unnecessary burdens. In light of the many options, how can new parents know what approach is best of their families? Since every philosophy of parenting has a corresponding outcome unique to that philosophy, we encourage new and expectant parents to consider, evaluate, and decide which approach is best for their families.  This can be accomplished by observing the end results.  Spend time with relatives and friends who follow the Attachment Parenting style of infant care.  Observe who practices hyper-scheduling, and certainly evaluate the outcomes associated with On Becoming Babywise.  In which homes do you observe order, peace, and tranquility?  Don't take any marketing plug or some strangers word for truth.  Search for yourself.  Consider the marriages as well as the children.  Is mom in a perpetual state of exhaustion?  Is she nursing every two hours or less?  Is Dad sleeping on the couch?  What is the family life like when a child is 6, 12, and 18 months old?  Is Mom stressed, frustrated, or lacking confidence?  Is the baby stressed, exhausted or insecure?  When the baby is nine months old, can the parents leave the room without the baby falling apart emotionally?  We believe the best evaluation of any parenting philosophy, including the one found in On Becoming Babywise, is not found in the reasoning or the logic of the hypothesis but in the end results.  Let your eyes confirm what works and what does not. You will be most confident in your parenting when you see the desired results lived out in other families using the same approach.  Look at the fruit and then trace it back to its seed source.  
The principles contained within the pages can help parents develop workable strategies that meet the needs of their babies and the rest of the family.  These have worked for millions of parents, and when faithfully applied can work wonderfully for you!  However, your pediatrician or family practitioner should always be consulted when questions arise about the health and welfare of your baby.  Enjoy the journey of parenting!

"As a pediatrician, I cannot argue with the success of On Becoming Babywise.  It is such a practical approach to parenting.  It provides infants with needed structure and stability and brings the joy and love so needed in our homes today.  The effects of not using On Becoming Babywise show up very quickly.  That is why I have made these principles a priority of discussion in every well-child care visit.  Parents constantly tell me, "It changed our lives."
                                                         -- Dr. Janet Dunn, M.D.   Chatsworth, California
"As an obstetrician and a mother, my concern for a healthy out-come continues beyond the moment of delivery.  Because the principles of On Becoming Babywise are so effective, I consider it part of my extended health care for the family.  The principles are simple, yet amazing.  They consistently produce babies who are healthy, content, and who sleep through the night at an early age.  Feeding a baby on demand simply cannot compare to the overall healthy benefits of Babywise.  The concepts take the guesswork out of early parenting and provide new moms the confidence of knowing what happens next." 
                                                        --  Dr. Sharon Nelson, M.D.   Glendale, California
"As family physicians and a husband-wife team, we are often asked questions related to parenting and the general care of children. Most of our basic responses are found in On Becoming Babywise. For answering parenting questions, it has become a practical guide, giving us a sense of competence and confidence as physicians and as parents. When the principles are put into practice, parents reap abundant rewards."
                             --Tony Burden, M.D., and Margaret Burden, M.D. Bellingham, Washington

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Product Details

  • Series: On Becoming
  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Parent-Wise Solutions; Rev Upd edition (February 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932740139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932740134
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,491 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,174 of 1,263 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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337 of 368 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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298 of 349 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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