Baby’UN’Wise?

I am sure that many of you have heard of this series of books. It promises to give your baby  the “gift” of nighttime sleep, then future series promise you will have well behaved, good tempered, wonderful children. The problem lies in is it really a gift, or is it “all about the parents” and the,  not wanting to change and adapt their lifestyle after having a child. EVERY mother and father know that a baby really DOES change everything. Some of those changes may, at first, not seem “worth it” or “positive” but many are.  You are tired, worn out, exhausted, mentally not there alot of the time, confused, you may sometimes even question WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE WE THINKING!? However, once that little one looks up at you and smiles, or laughs, or coos, when you cuddle and rock your little one, all those other reason seem to disappear and you are in baby bliss 🙂 And you one day realize. . .it really IS worth it! However, whenever a book comes out that someone claims their way is “God’s Way” I become VERY hesitant, especially when I feel it is telling parents NOT to do some of the very things that bring joy to a new parents life (such as rocking, cuddling, etc). I am also VERY lerry of someone writing a child development book who is NOT even a doctor! I am not out to destroy Gary Ezzo, but I am here to give my views of this series as well as an unfortunate story of Katie’s first infant days that I feel came from trying to implement his material.  We were given this entire series of books, and at first, it seemed great. I was like, wow, this guy is a christian and I definately want sleep! So, we read them. The first thing is suggests is getting you baby on a schedule that fits your lifestyle after 2 weeks. It says it allows for some flexibility, but throughout the book, it seems to contradict itself on that very issues.  It says not to feed your child more than every three hours, when for some newborns, that is entirely TOO long to wait for food. Also, it can REALLY hinder the mother’s milk supply! Nurses, doctors and other medical professional have warned against type of feeding.  Ezzo actually suggest letting a baby cry or distracting him/her if it isn’t time for the next feeding, because their cry cannot possible mean they are hungry if it is before three hours.  This can in fact, interfere with the mother’s let down. If they keep igoring their babies cry, their milk will have a hard time even letting down! This is where our story comes in. Katie was born healthy and happy. We started this schedule that was recommended after 2 weeks. At first, it seemed to be going OK, though I had latch on problems, but got help with that and things were getting better.  However, Katie started becomming increasingly fussy and irritated, was crying at feedings and soon after acting as if she was still hungry. She was not taking naps well, because she was waking screaming after only 45 minutes.  This book tells you that the “45 minute intruder” is NOT a sign your baby is hungry but that they need to learn to soothe alone, so don’t go in, make them cry and take the rest of the nap.  ANYWAYS, so we did that. it was just awful. She would cry and cry and cry. one day I decided, I am  just going to try and feed her! well, she WENT AT IT! SHE WAS STARVING! However, by that point it was too late. I had pretty much lost my milk supply and Katie was not gaining as she should. Looking back at old pictures, it breaks my heart, she was SOOOOO scrawy, hardly any baby fat, and did NOT even look like herself.  Then after starting formula, she went back to looking healthy and more like she did when she was born.  You could TELL she was not happy OR healthy.  I was so worried about following this schedule that I did NOT listen to my motherly instinct OR katie’s cues. I have read countless other stories JUST like mine, some babies even ended up in the hospital from dehydration or labeled “failure to thrive.” I thank God he woke me up that this series is NOT right for us. I am beginning to wonder if this is something God would even want parents to use! now, don’t get me wrong katie does cry sometimes, but she is A LOT older and I can tell she is just being defiant, not wanting to sleep, even though she is tired.  I have also come to know her cries better.  I can tell if hunger is why she woke early at nap, so I feed her, of course! So, i just REALLY regret not cuddling or rocking her more when she was little, for fear i would become a “sleep prop” as Ezzo describes it. So, we would just put her in the crib and walk out. He also said a baby should be able to sleep through the night, without a feeding, at 8 weeks. If they wake up, let them cry because their “clock is stuck.” So, at 9 weeks, when we were still going in, we said, well, its a week later, so we will make her cry.  She cried and cried and cried. . .off and on for 2 hours! She CLEARLY was NOT ready, NOR did she understand why her parents were not coming in.  I have also read several stories where kids grow up, whose parents used these books, not trusting people, obeying out of fear, and being unloving and unemotional. I do NOT want katie to think we dont love her because we don’t respond to her needs! In the toddler book, there is even more things I  have a problem with. Flicking a child’s cheek for not looking at you when eating, slapping their hand for dropping food off a tray, is ridiculous! You are punishing a child for NORMAL baby behavior! I definately believe in discipline, don’t get me wrong. We do timeout and it is working great! However, I don’t punish katie for things that she doesn’t undersatnd or that she cannot at her age do, such as sitting in a particular spot, without moving,  playing alone, for 15 min or more.  Katie plays alone WONDERFULLY. But, I let her play with the toys she wants. She plays quietly and very well and I am very proud of her!  Again, parents, PLEASE be cautious when reading a parenting book where someone tells you that THEIR way is the ONLY correct way because it is GOD’S way. The BIBLE is the only book that is 100% God’s way! We as human cannot EVER get God’s way perfectly, because we are not perfect.  So, claiming we can, is dangerous. There are other issues with this guy (such as questions of him “leaving” various churches, and his children don’t even talk to him anymore) but please do some research on your own. Google Ezzo and look up the contraversies in dealing with his writings. (BabyWise, Growing Kids God’s Way, and Preperation for Parenting, are all by him.  Anyway, that is a little of our story, and my views.  Please feel free to comment.

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