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On Becoming Babywise

  • Has anyone read Babywise, or better yet, used any of their suggestions about feeding schedules with a newborn? I am reading the book, and it all seems interesting -- of course the most compelling part is the thought of having baby sleep through the night by about 8 weeks...

    I just wonder the reality of this method, and the pros and cons you may have experienced with this method?

    For those unfamiliar, this method introduces Parent Directed Feeding (v. on-demand) and a general schedule that goes something like: eat-wake-sleep in approximately 3 hour cycles. Here's amazon's outline of th book: -Worldwide/dp/0971453209
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by kellyr on 20th December 2007
  • Well, I have mixed feelings about it. My personal opinion is it encourages a less than flexible schedule, which it might be babywise but it's NOT very babyfriendly! I prefer the Baby Whisperer, who advocated a routine that is somewhat flexible. Personally, I don't agree with the idea of parent directed feeding for a baby that young. They have tiny tummies and need to feed a lot those first few months.

    I guess Babywise is most well-known for the whole cry-it-out thing. I always was opposed to letting babies cry. Having said that, my baby drove me to the point of exhaustion until I tried it out and now she sleeps very well. She is definitely happier on a routine/schedule where she knows what to expect and where being put to bed means it's time to sleep - no negotiation!

    My advice to you is take all those book with a grain of salt. Trust your instincts and love your baby, but don't let him run your life. )
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 20th December 2007
  • Definitely agree with Diane about young infants eating when they feel hungry for the reasons that she stated. My little guy started sleeping through the night at 8ish weeks without a set schedule. (The only thing that I did was feed him -- whether he indicated hunger or not -- right before I went to bed in order to tide him over until morning. And, of course, he never refuses a meal ... ha ha.)
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KC on 22nd December 2007
  • Babywise is REALLY disliked by pediatricians, lactation specialists.....

    there is a lot of commentary about it on the web if you search it.

    BabyWhisperer is a much healthier way to look at feeding a newborn baby and setting up a is more about reading your baby's cues than looking at the clock.

    from my experience, there is no guaranteed way of having a baby sleep for an extended period ...breast-feed, bottle-feed, EAS, PDF, dream-feed, cry-it-out, starting solids early.

    If one theory always worked, I would be recommend it to EVERYONE.

    Start out with good sleep/bedtime habits, learn to read your baby's cues, NAP when you can, and good luck.


    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MsMD310 on 22nd December 2007
  • We try to be flexible but stay on a set schedule... We don't always follow it but in general our newborn eats about every 3-4 hrs. Sometimes we might feed him after 2.5 hrs and sometimes we would wait till he is showing some signs of hunger. I would recommend a book: twelve hrs of sleep by twelve weeks old - really good guide for getting your child to sleep through the night!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 23rd December 2007
  • Must second the fact that Babywise is pretty much hated by pediatricians. There was practically a lynching when the author came to do a grand rounds presentation at our Children's Hospital. Feed on demand is the best way to ensure an ample supply of breastmilk if you plan to BF. Plus, some babies just don't sleep well. #3 is almost 3 months old. I've treated them all the same, and their sleeping schedules and habits are polar opposites of each other....
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kristie McNealy on 23rd December 2007
  • "Sleep through" at 8 weeks is misleading. When a parent says "sleep through", like any sane and sensible person, they mean 8+ hours, but, for some bizarre reason "sleep through" in baby books means 5+ hours. Don't ask me why.

    I am not opposed to CIO, but I do not like Babywise. It's only right to let baby decide when s/he eats, because they're the ones who know when they're hungry. As other commenters have said, babies have tiny tummies. Also, consider how QUICKLY they are growing. Half a pound and half an inch a week in the first month or so is not unusual. Think of that for a second: Half an inch A WEEK -- on nothing more than milk!

    Let baby determine when he/she's hungry. The majority of healthy, full-term babies can be sleeping through (8+ hours) at 6 - 8 months, which is when you can get more directive about the night feedings and sleep if you choose. It seems like forever when you're in the middle of it, but don't worry -- you'll get there!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 24th December 2007
  • Ladies --

    Thank you for all the great, balanced, and thoughful feedback. I have continued to scour some commentary on this "theory" and others. For any of you interested, I found this article which seemed to me to be well-balanced with pros and cons. ooks/on_becoming_babywise.html

    For now, I have set the book aside and consider it in the set of "interesting concepts", but so clearly not the only one. To add to this, my neighbor just came home with her 1 week old, and as I was holding him yesterday, I dreaded the thought of letting this precious, helpless little thing just "cry it out".

    With all the books and advice in the world, I expect that between my husband and I, we will experience what all first-time parents experience: we will figure out what works best for our little girl with a few skinned knees, sleep-deprived nights, and trial & error.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by kellyr on 27th December 2007

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