Thursday, July 9, 2009

Book Review: "On Becoming Babywise"

Recently one of my friends asked me if I had read "On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I hadn't, so I decided to pick it up from the library and see what it had to say.

I have mixed feelings about this book. For starters, it is written by two male doctors. So the whole tone of the book is very scientific and textbook-ish. At the end of each chapter is a little quiz, making sure you know the specific terms they've outlined. The techniques they describe are very structured. In general, the book is boring and will make you feel like you're taking a class.

Having said that, the information is good. There are a few details that I disagree with, but that's up to each parent to decide whether they like or not. One of these details is about co-sleeping. They say that it is unsafe: no if's, and's or but's. I say that if you want to co-sleep, there's a safe way to do it. You just have to do your research and commit to being as safe as possible. For example, you can use a bassinet or co-sleeper with an infant/toddler. As for older children, you run the risk of losing your sex life and sleeping with your kids forever. This is up to you, I suppose, but I personally recommend (after a lot of research, which you should do for yourself if you're interested) co-sleeping only until your baby doesn't need night-time feedings. It's just easier to have them next to them bed when you're breastfeeding several times a night. After that, though, you should get them in their own bed. Again, that is my personal opinion and you should never take my judgement for your own. Do your research and decide what's best for you.

There are several other books I would recommend instead of this one.
If you're struggling with getting your baby to sleep through the night, I like The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. This book is written by a mom, so it's not a boring textbook. It's also very gentle and mom-friendly, unlike the cry-it-out technique. It's not a quick-fix; it's a process that will take different times for different families, but it's worth it.

I'd also recommend renting The Happiest Baby On the Block DVD. If you pair this DVD with The No-Cry Sleep Solution, you're bound to have success. I LOVE this DVD. It comes in a book too, but the DVD is quicker, it shows you how to do the techniques and it's really easy to understand. You can get it from the library, or Blockbuster online (not sure if Netflix has it. Anyone know?), or you can buy it. It's worth it either way. I've used these techniques with instant success. Love it.


  1. It's funny - I just returned "Babywise" to Borders last night. I got a little ways in and just couldn't do it. Plus my pediatrician told me (and I quote), "I reccomend any book but that one." Hah!

  2. I read it after seeing his video--those tips really do work with newborns (swaddling, sshhing, rocking, etc.) The whole idea of the fourth trimester make sense.
    Concerning the book I agree with some of the points of view presented--baby needs family, mom/dad need support system, etc.
    I also tried with success the sleep, eat, play, sleep schedule and had a 'really happy baby'. Now we don't stick to it as I am a mo who works full time and is still breast feeding and we fit feedings in where we can and I still have a 'really happy baby'. Go figure.