How “I” used Baby Wise

Oh Baby Wise.  How controversial you are.

*Note…this post is not written as a review etc….just my own opinion on something that Mom’s are talking about!

When I started reading the popular new-parent sleep scheduling book “On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo I was prepared for absurd suggestions to be thrown at me every which way.  Isn’t that what it would be like?  I had heard buzz about the book that it was encouraging us to starve our children, force them to sleep, and treat them in an unloving way.

After reading it I didn’t find it to be that bad at all.  I was not sure what all the fuss was for, and it actually gave me a few guidelines as to how to go about this whole Mommy thing.

The basic principals that it presents are:

  • A eat, play, sleep schedule for baby
  • Schedules are a possibility for some babies
  • Striving for awake time during and after a feeding
  • Trying for full feedings as opposed to snacks
  • Putting baby to sleep without many props

Ok, so we are all self sustaining, mindful, thoughtful adults right?  When something is suggested to us, we take what we can use and leave the rest.  Just as in anything in life, when reading this book, take the suggestions and use them in your own way, and disregard what doesn’t work for you. I think the problem that people have with Baby Wise is that they feel that they have to do everything that is suggested to them and are thus left parenting their child lacking their own intuition and instincts.

It doesn’t have to be that way!  Use what works for you and leave the rest.  Use what works for your child, and never under estimate the power of your own intuition.

Ok, that being said here is how I used the Baby Wise book.

using baby wise book

How I used the Baby Wise Book

Eat, Play, Sleep

The main point that I took from Baby Wise is to try and get your baby on a eat, play, sleep schedule.  The main benefit to that is  baby does not become dependent on nursing or bottle feeding to fall asleep.  Depending on how you put baby to sleep they will learn how to fall asleep on their own which will be beneficial as they get older.  When baby boy was a newborn he would start crying about 30 minutes after nursing.  We thought he was hungry and wanted to cluster feed, so we would.  Then after some experimenting we realized he was just tired and needed to be swaddled and put down for a nap.  It’s OK to try other things instead of hurrying to feed baby.

Somewhat of a schedule

The first two months of baby boy’s life he fed every 2-2.5 hours or so.  The only feeding that I tried to schedule was his first feeding of the day.  If he woke up before then, I was able to feed him a small amount, put him back to sleep, and then get him up for his first feeding of the day.  (I know, shame, shame, I woke a sleeping baby!  Early on, yes I did this to make sure he was nursing enough to keep my supply up).  After his first feeding of the day, the rest of the feedings followed along every 2.5 hours or so.  (See my feeding schedules for more info).  After nursing was well established I was able to “aim” for the times of the day that I thought would work best for baby boy to eat.  Thus a schedule slowly appeared.

Full feedings

My only goal the first month was to have baby boy take a full feeding instead of small snacks every hour. I know this is very hard for some babies, we just lucked out that baby boy got it.  I would poke and prod him so that he would stay awake during breast feeding.  That way he was able to get a good amount of milk in his tummy!  That way he was more apt to wait 2.5 hours to nurse.

Falling asleep on his own

With all my might I didn’t want to get into the habit of having to rock baby boy to sleep.  I didn’t know if it was possible but we were going to try!  I have to thank Dr. Karp and “The Happiest Baby on the Block” book for helping us become expert swaddlers!  Baby boy didn’t like the process of being swaddled, but once he was….ahhhh calm.  We were able to put him into his crib awake and swaddled up, and he would fall asleep on his own.  Sure, it’s a sleep prop, but we were able to successfully wean him off of it.  Now, at 1 year old, he happily goes down for naps and night time without any sleep props at all.

So see!  Baby Wise is not that bad at all, if you take what works for you and your child, and forget about the rest!  As baby boy got older I would often refer back to it for ideas of how many feedings/naps seemed appropriate for my son’s age.  I NEVER denied my baby food…we would sometimes try other things if he was crying, and if they didn’t work then he must be hungry!  Parents do that all the time…nap? diaper? too hot? nope…must be hungry!

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10 comments to How “I” used Baby Wise

  • I think it is SOO smart to take what you can use and leave what you can’t! I’ve often told my new mom friends to remember that this is THEIR baby! Following anyone else’s advice to the tee isn’t going to work for any mom. Every baby is different and being a mom means being willing to be flexible, too!

    I read this really great book called “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” that a lot of people I knew were appalled by but I found it to make a lot of sense to me. Good for you for giving Baby Wise a shot even though it hasn’t been the most popular in mommy circles!

  • I have never understood the controversy of Baby Wise. People get so worked up about it! I breastfed my girl for 13 months while practicing Baby Wise principles. I have one happy chunky little girl! Visiting from Mommy Brain Mixer!

  • I am a use what works for us person as well. I do however consider possibilities of the said suggestions. I haven’t read that book. Mine are 4 and 7 and I read all those little Parenting books when they were little.

    Hopping over from the Mommy Brain Mixer! I didn’t see a GFC, if I missed it I do apologize and I will be back. You can find me over @ Have a beautiful day.

  • Love this post! We are big Baby Wise fans. My twins are beautiful sleepers, and I think a lot of it has to do with some of the tips you mention here. We also love Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby…though I have the twin version. Yes, you do have to take what works and leave what doesn’t, as you said. But that said, I think there is a lot of helpful information to gain from some of these sleep books. Thanks for sharing! New reader via Two in Diapers.

    • spoonmomma

      Yay a Baby Wise fan! My little guy is an awesome sleeper also, and I do really credit the eat, wake, sleep cycle that we started from day 1!

  • Hi, you’re absolutely right that we should do whatever works for us and our babies! And, use whatever information we find useful whether controversial or not! Thanks for linking this to the Mommy Brain Mixer!!

  • Anonymous

    The American Academy of Pediatrics highly advises against anything like this. Delete this comment if you must. But its true. It can cause horrible problems. This is researchable. If the best docs in the country told me not to do something to my child, I probably wouldn’t. SHM.

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