Customer Review

206 of 243 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very misunderstood, but wonderful book, February 22, 2006
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This review is from: On Becoming Baby Wise: The Classic Sleep Reference Guide Used by Over 1,000,000 Parents Worldwide (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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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 28, 2009 1:42:11 AM PST
It may say you should feed your hungry baby, but it also says a baby cries for all sorts of other reasons which you can and should safely ignore. So, how can you tell if your baby is hungry or wanting comfort when she wants to nurse or feed? I guess you just have to read her mind, in which case you really didn't need his book anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2010 7:05:51 PM PST
The way to tell if your baby is crying b/c he is hungry or for another reason is to try to comfort in OTHER ways besides food first. It doesn't take mind-reading, just some patience.

Posted on Sep 18, 2010 6:29:28 AM PDT
Natalie says:
"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. "

This is incorrect, and demonstrates the bad breastfeeding advice given throughout Becoming Babywise. My son would have had lots of trouble getting hindmilk had I nursed him as you are "supposed to" with Babywise, but I did block nursing instead (offering one breast for a two hour period, then the other) and so he was easily able to get the perfect balance of fore and hind milk.

"Conventional wisdom has taught new moms to feed from the first breast for 10 minutes or so, and then switch to the second breast for as long as baby wants to nurse. This means that baby gets a double dose of the low-fat skim milk from both breasts, and probably won't have room for the fattier hindmilk. This is backwards! Throw out the clock, and look instead to your baby!

Offer the first breast to your baby and let him nurse as long as he wants to on that breast. He may go through cycles of actively nursing and swallowing, interspersed with short rest periods. Then he'll start the quick nursing that will trigger more milk to be letdown. It's those later letdowns that help get the fattier hindmilk to baby." - http://www.breastfeed.com/experts/answers/153.htmf

You are correct that it says to feed your baby when your baby is hungry. However, the whole gist of Babywise is to watch the clock and not to interpret the cues of your child, so it doesn't equip you for doing that. As a cue feeding mother, I do know when my baby is hungry, because I habitually interpret those clues. If I ignored them 90% of the time my interpretation skills would quickly get rusty.

Posted on May 22, 2012 1:37:04 AM PDT
Home Cook says:
This is the most sensible review I have read of this book. I was about to write a review, but there is no point because I couldn't say anything better. This book is amazing and I also struggle to understand how people can be so appalled with it. I think it's badly written and that is the main problem. You need a law degree to fully understand it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 1:39:14 AM PDT
Home Cook says:
You will know because you will learn how much he/she needs to eat to sleep for a good nap afterwards and then you can adjust accordingly. You don't need to be a mind reader but you do need to be a bit intelligent to use this book. That's its only downfall.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 9:11:34 PM PST
suzb says:
The whole 'gist' of babywise is not to watch the clock. It clearly reads the opposite. Please read the book and use the information as it fits your situation. Very misleading to misrepresent the book as a strict rigid schedule, not at all the point. Have used basic concepts with my 3 kids very successfully.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2013 9:53:23 PM PDT
Sara says:
I don't think you need a law degree.. granted I am getting my degree in child psychology... but it does read above an eighth grade level and unfortunately that's the level most Americans read at. So the problem might be most people don't understand what they are reading. I have used this method on many babies as a nanny even a special needs baby whose parents were desperate for sleep and it worked for all of them. Now that I'm becoming a parent I know this book will help my child sleep and I know good sleep makes for a very happy and smart baby!
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J. Leo
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Location: norton, ma

Top Reviewer Ranking: 16,333,008