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On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  11,835 ratings  ·  1,981 reviews
The infant management concepts presented in this book have found favor with over two million parents and twice as many contented babies. On Becoming Babywise brings hope to the tired and bewildered parents looking for an alternative to sleepless nights and fussy babies. The Babywise Parent Directed Feeding concept has enough structure to bring security and order to your ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published September 25th 2006 by Parent-Wise Solutions (first published February 1993)
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 ·  11,835 ratings  ·  1,981 reviews


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Kat Kennedy
The year was 2008. It was a fair year. The Olympics were held in Beijing and Michael Phelps became an international celebrity. The Indian Space Research Station has a win with Chandrayaan-1 whilst elephants and terrorists rampage across the country killing many hundreds of people. President Obama is elected into office. Fidel Castro resigns. Theoneste Bagosore is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in Rowanda for genocide. Israel and Hamas fight...again...

And a young, naive woman is
...more
Margaret
Oct 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: breastfeeding moms who need some sleep
Ok. I have TOTALLY held off on reviewing this book because of the stone throwing that might ensue. People either love this book or they hate it. But call me a glutton for punishment...I'm going to tell you that this book saved me! And I mean really! I honestly wish someone would have tackled me and made me read it when I was a mom with only one child. Although, honestly, I'm not sure it would have solved the sleep issues and colic that my first son had. But I read this book before I had my third ...more
Millie
Jul 22, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: appalling
Utterly appalling. The American Academy of Paediatrics has called for this book to be banned. If you are thinking of reading this book or using Ezzo's methods, please go here first:

http://www.ezzo.info/

I found this book in a secondhand shop and after hearing so many things online about it (ranging from "it is wonderful and I converted to Christianity because of it" to "Gary Ezzo should be locked up") I bought it for, I think $1. It is a "parenting manual" that defies description - making
...more
Jaime
Jan 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
I was going to borrow this book, but mysteriously, everyone I know who used to own a copy chucked it into their trashcan and had nothing to let me borrow. I decided to read the library's copy and find out if it was as useless as I had heard.
As a general review: BabyWise inspires extremism. You either assume they are crazy and you do whatever you darn well want to or you assume they are geniuses and you believe every word. These are both dangerous schools of thought. The book starts out with some
...more
Kate
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
I know some people don't like the author or his ideas, but I found them lifesaving with our first baby. I saw how effective these methods were for my best friend, so I was very interested in reading this book for myself.

We started Babywise with Lily when she was two weeks old--basically, we started giving her life a consistent pattern of feeding, having waketime, then napping. The big difference between this and the way that most babies naturally operate is that babies like to fall asleep
...more
Franziska
Seems like everyone loves this book. Here's what I thought(good stuff first):
- I liked that they emphasized the importance of a stable and well nurtured relationship between spouses as a healthy environment and support for the children
- I liked their idea of trying to establish a routine of eat/wake/nap time (mainly because that's how I do it at day care, and it flatters my ego to think people write books about the very thing I figured out on my own. Ha!)
- I liked their mentioning of trying to
...more
Sarah
Jul 17, 2009 rated it liked it
People either love this book or loathe it. I am right in the middle, I guess. I liked it. I don't get it when people are like, "Oh, this book pushes extremes! The people don't even have credentials! It's child abuse!" Um, what are they talking about? For one thing, I'm pretty sure that being a PEDIATRICIAN is a decent credential for writing a baby book (much more so than being a mom with an opinion based on your kids or a nice lady who did a bunch of research before she wrote it up, but maybe ...more
Laura
Mar 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: firestarters everywhere
I've heard this author referred to as a "milk-Nazi", and having read the book, I understand the reference. "The natural way"? Hardly. I've had two tongue-tied boys (that makes for inefficient eaters, unhappy tummies, and frequent feedings). The advice in this book is harsh and without compassion for children. I think his response to baby's hunger is in effect answering the cry for food with, "Here: eat this stone, kid." Jesus had compassion on hungry adults. God the Father had compassion on the ...more
Aisha
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I honestly wonder if we are reading different books! Mine is a newer version and I am actually surprised by such controversy about a book as middle-of-the-road as this. This is the 2nd time I've read it and wonder what is creating the hoopla!
Why I believe this book is for natural parenting and helpful:
- The parent decides when to feed the baby based upon the baby's need. IF feeding on demand, the baby could actually not demand enough food in the early weeks and this can contribute to failure to
...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
May 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One!
Shelves: i-hate-this-book
You've got to realize babies aren't dogs. They don't know what a marriage is. They aren't trying to torment you when they wake up in the middle of the night.

Needless to say, when I have kids, there's no way I'm taking this guys advice! The first thing babies need is their parents, to be fed when they are hungry, to be held when they need to be held. I just don't see the logic of schedules.
Ok, so I don't have kids, and I'm free to sleep as late as I want to when I don't have a job. I can hear a
...more
missy jean
Feb 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
Can I give it zero stars? Or negative two? After reading that the American Academy of Pediatrics has criticized this book (and even linked it to specific cases of babies' deaths and malnutrition/dehydration cases), I picked it up just to take a look. (Couldn't bring myself to read very much of it.) But I read enough to notice plenty of errors on a basic biological level; did we forget that feeding schedules have been proven to be the absolute worst thing for breastfeeding babies?? Babies need to ...more
Lynde
Jan 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
scariest book ever created. the authors are not professionals, doctors, have experience...they are just pulling out this advice from their nether-regions and testing to see who is gullible enough to listen. if you want to estrange your children, read this book. if you want to create a fearful environment for your child, read this book. this book has also been linked to thousands of deaths due to dehydration and malnutrition. it is pure danger and should be removed from all shelves and burned in ...more
polly
Aug 29, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Babywise was recommended by a friend of mine who had a baby a couple of years ago and swore by the 'scheduling' in the book (though the book would probably call it putting baby on a 'routine'--I think it is scheduling!) Whether or not you like the book or find it useful will probably depend on your style of parenting, temperament, and expectations. I read it at first before my son was born, then refreshed by reading some parts of it again after he arrived.

The more parenting I do, the less I
...more
Jessica
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Who wants their baby to sleep through the night and go to sleep without any fuss? Then you should read this book! I first read it when a family I nannied for wanted me to get on board with what they were doing with their daughter. It worked like magic! David and I decided to apply this same program to all of our children. I have 5 kids and they all slept through the night between the ages of 6 weeks and 3 months. The basic principal is getting them on a feeding schedule so that their metabolism ...more
Teresa
Sep 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
WARNING: THIS BOOK IS DANGEROUS

In no way am I condemning parents who took some of the ideas and adapted it to work for them, but I do feel I need to explain more now. Please do not take this as personal, you or ANYONE who has found some help from Babywise. I still think that moms need to be warned.

I truly respected and trusted the mom who handed me Babywise, in fact. But as a young, impressionable mom, that book did nothing but undermine my faith in my body and my parenting abilities. This woman
...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
Don't follow this book's advice. Ezzo, like Michael and Debi Pearl write child abuse... I mean child raising manuals in which they use religion as an excuse to torment babies. These methods can and will cause failure to thrive and a lack of attachment. If you don't believe me, read this site before you use these methods on your newborn http://www.ezzo.info/resources/timeli...

It's a horrible idea. Newborn babies need to be held and cuddled. They do not need strict schedules, they need you. They
...more
Amanda J
Aug 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one looking for breast feeding advice.
I picked this book up off the bargain bin and had no idea that it was controversial. Ezzo says that he is not promoting scheduled feeding but rather parent-led feeding, but really he is just playing semantics. This book tells you to schedule your baby and in a few weeks your baby will sleep through the night. First and foremost the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as organizations like the La Leche League endorse demand feeding not scheduled feeding. And there is concern that scheduled ...more
Deanna
Jul 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: personalmedical
There is an amusing amount of controversy over this book, considering it is pretty limited and practical. It is not a comprehensive parenting book, but it does give a good starting place for the mother bringing home a newborn. It gives a nice general structure for feeding, sleeping and playtime and is not as rigid as critics imply. There is no reason to take it overboard as some fear. The one downside of this book is that it says that if you maintain a structure as they recommend, your baby will ...more
Beverly
Nov 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
No, just no. I absolutely do not recommend this book. Forget what the book is actually teaching and just know this one thing new mothers do not have time for this wordy mess!

I do not agree with Ezzo's methods. I am sure it works for some, but it just made me more insecure and had me questioning every thing. Ezzo's methods go against every maternal instincts I have.
Kendall
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
The beauty about this book, as well as every other parenting book, is you can adjust the advice to fit your baby, life, and comfort with the advice. As a first time mom, I found the book to be extremely useful and a lifesaver because I had to start back with school and an internship 5 days after giving birth. The book recommends focusing on "full feedings" with new babies, and as this was the advice I left the hospital with, I found it to be helpful and relevant. My baby naturally fell into a ...more
Diana
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with kids!!!
I absolutley love what these books have to offer, and find them to be right on. I studied infancy and early childhood development, so I didn't go into these books blindly, but found them to work really well, and to be on track with the long terms goals were are trying to help our children accomplish. And if you read the sites for their study work, it's amazing. I can't stress how helpful these were. Especially with my daughter who had GERD. Without this, I don't think any of us would have made ...more
Herbie
Mar 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
TLDR: No, just really, really no.

I read this book when my daughter was maybe a week old. My spouse and I were sleep deprived and exhausted, you know, from the rigors of a long birth, a hospital stay, and an infant that needs to feed every 2-3 hours and be held pretty much constantly. When you're in that state, the promises this book makes are not just appealing, they are like siren calls (the Homeric kind).

I read through this book one drowsy evening, probably with Remy sleeping on my chest.
...more
Becky Marler pemberton
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We used this philosophy with both of my girls, and both slept through the night at five weeks and are awesome sleepers to this day. Both of them thrived into the 90th percentile in both weight and height, so there was no failure in thriving! Honestly, as with any philosophy concerning your children, whether it be feeding, discipline, play...take what works for your family and go with it. What I got from this book is an affirmation of common sense and to follow what my instincts were telling me ...more
Laura
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I hear a lot of controversy about this book; I think a lot of it is based on misinformation. This book (especially the newest version, which is definitely revised and made more clear than the older editions) takes care to align itself with the AAP's recommendations of feeding newborns at least 8-12 times a day, etc. I think people hear it suggests putting babies on a strict four-hour schedule and allowing them to fail to thrive, but it does not do that. I have used at least its basic principles ...more
Tara
Dec 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
Does your baby have colic? Do you feel guilty about it? Well if not read this book. It will make you feel like a terrible mom. It is a particularly horrible book for the parent of a newborn with colic. It flat out says that you should be able to calm your crying baby and if you can't there is something wrong with you. As if you don't feel bad enough that your sweet little newborn is in pain.
This book is probably useful to a baby who just needs a little guidance and a strict schedule. But for
...more
Megan
Aug 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
f I could give this book a 1/2 star, that's how I truly feel. There is not enough space here to provide the in-depth review this book deserves - others have done that and www.ezzo.info is a good resource. It is very important to note that Ezzo has no educational background in child development or related field, and the M.A. he holds is from an instituition that gives credit for life experience - he does not hold a bachelor's degree at all.
That said - there is accurate information in this book.
...more
Liz
Mar 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
So many moms recommended this book to me as a new mom, and I hated it. I think the mom's that loved it and claim this method "worked" are moms who had babies naturally inclined to sleep through the night anyway. A newborn is naturally selfish, and should be. She needs all the coddling and love you can give her, especially if she has a hard time sleeping or cries a lot. Picking up a crying baby doesn't spoil her, it teaches her that when she needs help, Mommy will be there. Knowing that helps her ...more
Michele
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this between having my first and second babies at the insistence of my SILs... and was not impressed. In my mind, if you can't handle waking up to feed your infant or are bothered by their cries, you probably shouldn't be having a baby. I could see using some of the methods with older babies - like at 9 months or a year - definitely if you're still having trouble with toddlers sleeping through the night, but I think it's too extreme for newborns.
Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle
Apr 25, 2010 rated it did not like it

http://www.ezzo.info/

that website pretty much sums it up.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and many well respected breastffeding advocacy groups rightly condemn this and other of his books for promoting tactics that can lead to failure to thrive and severe dehydration, among other problems.
It's also one of several books by these authors, all of which are heavily religious, or promote child rearing techniques based on western theology rather than sound medical advice, something I did NOT
...more
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Anyone try these steps with an older baby? 6 55 Feb 24, 2009 06:52PM  

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“While a husband or wife might be able to cope with the missing part, children do not fare as well. Babies are not able to rely on reason or intellect to measure the stability of the world around them, so by design, they depend heavily on their senses. There are certain aspects of the marriage relationship that children need to witness routinely. Children need to see an on-going love relationship that includes Mom and Dad enjoying each other as friends and not just parents. They also need to see their parents talking, laughing, working together and resolving conflicts with a mutual respect for each other. We cannot over emphasize this point: the more parents demonstrate love for each other, the more they saturate their child’s senses with confidence of a loving, safe and secure world. That marriage relationship provides children with a layer of love and security that cannot be achieved through the direct parent-child relationship—even during the baby years. When you put all of these factors together, they add up to a healthy home environment.” 2 likes
“13.   Baby’s waketimes are over-stimulating or too long. Explanation/Recommendation: When searching for the solution to naptime challenges, parents often overlook the quality of the waketime that preceded the nap. Remember, everything is connected. Waketimes affect naps just like naps affect waketimes. Over-tired and over-stimulated babies become hyper-alert, fighting off sleep through crying. If this is a regular problem, shortening your baby’s waketime by 15-minute increments might help. Also, be aware of the types of activities you and your baby are involved in. Are you having too many visitors drop by who have an irresistible urge to entertain your baby? Was your baby being exposed to Dad’s loud friends as they sat watching a sporting event? Might Mom be on the go too much? When Baby is along for the ride, the coming and going, the new sights and sounds, and the absence of predictability all work against good nap behavior. That is because catnaps in a car seat are no substitute for a full nap in the crib. An occasional nap in the car seat will not cause trouble, but it should not be the norm, especially during the first six months of your baby’s life.” 1 likes
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