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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend who used the "Baby Training" techniques for parenting from the Babywise books. This seems to be the mainstream parenting fad right now. Does anyone else have experience with this and what does everyone else think of baby training? I thought it seemed very rigid, but my friends little boy does seem almost perfect - he is 14 mo. now.
 

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I definately don't agree with baby training either, but the scary thing is that it is becoming quite common. Many of the 30 something, conventional, white, middle to upper class moms I know are using it. From what I have seen, these are the same moms that have many birth interventions, they would never dream of sleeping in the same room as their baby, and believe that on cue feeding is spoiling. Just my observations...
 

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Yes, I have experience with that book. A very close friend of mine swore by Babywise... until her 3-month-old daughter was diagnosed with "Failure to Thrive." She's a wonderful mother (and moderately AP), she just was following this guy's advice, and ended up nearly starving her little girl. After the baby would breastfeed, she'd often cry, and my friend and her husband (and their doctor, mind you) thought she had indigestion. Since they were following Babywise, she wouln't try to feed her again right away. They would wait until the next scheduled feeding. However, when the baby failed to gain weight, it became apparent that the poor thing didn't have reflux... she was just hungry!! You should have seen her... she was so gaunt. Thank God she ended up fine, and is now a healthy 2.5-year-old. But you can't even imagine the emotional anguish my friend has gone through on account of this.

And sadly, her story is not uncommon among people who follow Babywise. The AAP even wrote about it:

Babywise advice linked to dehydration, failure to thrive

Quote:
One such book, On Becoming Babywise, has raised concern among pediatricians because it outlines an infant feeding program that has been associated with failure to thrive (FTT), poor weight gain, dehydration, breast milk supply failure, and involuntary early weaning.
That book should be outlawed.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear that people are still reading that stupid book and following that horrid program. Many churches are now speaking out against Ezzo (hence the www.ezzo.info site, which is very anti-Babywise, sorry if I was unclear in my earlier post). It *should* be outlawed. The guy is a dangerous crackpot. Even if someone *isn't* AP, there's no good reason to treat your kiddos the way he says is best.
 

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Gentle Discipline has some old threads relating to this, too. I read babywise and hated it. I don't care if it does "train" your baby to act the way you want it to, I think it is horrible. My bro and SIL are not AP at all, in fact they tend to lean the direction of Babywise. They took a class given by some people from their church that explained Ezzo's whole parenting philosophy, and after the first session they quit. They were disturbed by the "cultish" behavior of the leaders and the other people there. They went home and did some research and changed their minds about Babywise.

Just some thoughts, not meant to offend.
 

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My midwife wrote this in response to a couple who was convinced that Babywise was the way to go. When you think of treating an adult like you would an Ezzo baby, it seems barbaric.

Parenting Experiment

Intrigued by the claims in Babywise? Being encouraged to take a Preparation for Parenting Course? Given the books/tapes by someone who has "perfect" children? Before you leap, take a few days to try an experiment to help you decide if this is the best way for you to parent your newborn.

Both mom & dad must do this:

Days 1 and 2:

Each time you put something in your mouth, write it down. Note the time, what it was, and how much. When you eat a meal, note how long it took you to eat. Don't forget to document every drink of water, piece of candy, donut, cup of coffee, snack and meal. At the end of day two, add up the number of times you put something in your mouth. Also add up how long it took you to consume a meal, a leisurely cup of coffee, a quick drink of water, and divide by the number of times you put something in your mouth to get an average.

Now you have an idea of how much time you spend eating, how often you have something in your mouth, and how much food you consume.

Days 3, 4, 5:

This part of the experiment is best done over a long weekend, as it requires three days. This is not too much time to devote to understanding an experience your child will endure for several months. You should be able to get to religious services, if you come late and leave early.

1. The experiment requires two parents; one to the be "caregiver" and one to be the "baby." Pregnant women or persons with health problems should not be the "baby." Ideally, both parents should try this experiment before pregnancy.

2. The "baby" will be fed at six hour intervals only, three times a day. All clocks, watches, or other timepieces must be removed from the "baby's" view so he has no way of knowing when the six hours has elapsed. This is longer than is recommended in Babywise and Prep, but as an adult with adult metabolism, the "baby" should have the ability to wait six hours during the day and to fast overnight. The "baby" may have one other drink of water before he goes to bed, but otherwise, no liquid is to be consumed outside of these three mealtimes. Mealtimes are to be limited to 10 minutes. "Baby" must try to eat and drink everything put in front of him because at the end of 10 minutes, the plate must be removed. The "baby" must eat the food with the non-dominant hand using only a spoon. A newborn may have trouble with latching on, early breastfeeding, and getting enough milk in timed feedings. NOTHING is to interfere with this schedule - not the "baby's" perceived wants, nor a
nything you believe you have to do. The schedule must be adhered to at all times.

3. The "caregiver" may not speak to the "baby" in any language that the "baby" is fluent in. The caregiver may speak in an unknown tongue, or use sounds and touches to communicate. No sign language. The "baby" may not speak for the entire three days. The only way the "baby" can communicate with the caregiver is by tapping a pencil. The "baby" can attempt to signal the caregiver by varying the tapping, but is not allowed to write, point, or gesture. Be careful not to break or drop the pencil as you only get one.

4. The "caregiver" should go about the usual daily activities in the house during the day. Time will be needed to prepare the food, "walk" the baby from place to place, provide clothing ("baby" can dress himself - too hard with an adult) and can take the "baby" to the bathroom (once every three hours during the day). For a period of time after each meal, the caregiver can play with the "baby." Otherwise, the "baby" must wait where the caregiver has placed him and in about the same position. In addition, the caregiver must devote some time each day to a significant other person through letter writing or phone conversation. This time must not be interrupted by the "baby's" needs. The "baby" needs to understand that the caregiver's relationship to something or someone else is often more important than him. If the "baby" gets uncomfortable, he can tap his pencil and hope that the caregiver will be able to figure out the problem. If the "baby" gets hungry, he can tap the pen cil.

Hunger pain, no matter how severe, and thirst, again no matter how severe, are considered normal. In order to help the "baby" understand that he is not the center of the universe, any food or drink must be postponed until the next scheduled meal.

5. For at least 3/4 hour twice a day, the "baby" must be put in his room with the door shut. This "roomtime" will offer a structured learning center which will develop mental focusing skills, create a sustained attention span, give the "baby" the opportunity to entertain himself (no TV or books allowed), and create orderliness.

5. The "baby" should be put to bed in a separate room from the caregiver shortly after the last drink of water. The "baby" should tap the pencil if he has any nighttime needs, but he may not be fed or taken out of bed. Loneliness at night is a normal part of the experience Under no circumstances may "baby" be brought to bed with you, as this may be considered "passively abusive emotionally." You can use a baby monitor to hear the tapping, but if you can't sleep through the tapping, just turn off the monitor. After all, you need your sleep so that you will have plenty of energy for the next day's activities. It would be wise to take the "baby" to the bathroom before bed so there won't be any accidents.

7. Do not be tempted to end the experiment before the three days are up. This will be considered a failure and may have long lasting implications. If you find the process contrary to your instincts, try to control yourself. Above all, do not let anyone outside the system, baby expert or not, try to talk you out of continuing. After all, you are only doing what is "right" and best for you and your "baby."

8. If the "baby" should have any profound personal or spiritual insights during the time of the experiment, he should be sure to remember them. He can write them down at the end of the three days. (That is, if there is any pencil left.)

One last thought. Presumably, the two of you discussed the experiment before you started so that the "baby" understood what was going to happen. Your newborn will not have the luxury of understanding the process.

Good luck!

Mary Ann Griffin,
 

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nak

sorry, but anyone who considers taking a child outside, in the cold (or any weather frankly), and hosing them down an appropriate way to train/punish them for having an accident needs to be locked up, imho. and yes they really do suggest that at one point.
parents have had their kids taken away for abuse & neglect for following babywise.

also, i think it's important to remember that a 'perfect' kid is often only perfect on the outside. i'm not perfect, you;re not perfect, and children shouldn't be expected to act perfect. respectful, yes. considerate, yes. imaginative, funny, happy, sad...yes, yes, yes, yes...but not 'perfect'. frankly stepford kids creep me out.

i'll get down off my soapbox now....
 

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Well I would not use Ezzo on my dogs!

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Dogs need loving too!!
True, but you know what I meant!
 

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Well I would not use Ezzo on my dogs!

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Dogs need loving too!!
True, but you know what I meant!
 

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Originally Posted by jlpetitte
I definately don't agree with baby training either, but the scary thing is that it is becoming quite common. Many of the 30 something, conventional, white, middle to upper class moms I know are using it. From what I have seen, these are the same moms that have many birth interventions, they would never dream of sleeping in the same room as their baby, and believe that on cue feeding is spoiling. Just my observations...

What she said...
 

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Gary Ezzo is mean, mean, mean. Babywise II, his book for 5 to 15 month olds, is when he has the parents start hitting the baby. That young! Yeck.
 

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so glad i read this thread...first on the OP i don't agree with babytraining techniques b/c they don't feel right to me...i wouldn't want to be treated like that and i also don't want to condition dd for accepting a place as a cog in the industrial machine...BUT when i talked to my SIL at xmas (who is 6mo preg), i told her she might want to check out The Baby Book and she was like, "oh i'm going to get Babywise, I heard it's great!)...urghh...must stop her!!!
 

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*bleah* Babywise makes me sick. so does Ferberizing. i'm a 30-something white female and i love spoiling my baby
hell, she spoils *me* just with her adorable little presence
and i think she's got me trained fairly well! :LOL

remember when "Mad About You" did a series of episodes making fun of Ferberizing? i didn't think they made it look bad enough.

perhaps some otherwise good-hearted people confuse the proven benefits of "routines" with "scheduling?" a routine should be safe, comfortable, familiar and nurturing, and babies and children really do crave routines. but schedules? bah!

i think baby training appeals to anyone who thinks their life won't change when they have a baby. that the baby is just something to be fit in to their busy schedule, just another checkmark in their DayTimer. baby training totally ignores the baby's needs, a concept which SHOULD be counterintuitive to any thinking, feeling human being, but for some reason isn't. ok i'm getting splinters in my toe from this soapbox so i'll get down now
 
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