Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Love Babywise

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I just wanted to write you all a little Saturday message and tell you I love Babywise. I am sure you gathered that from the blog :)

I know many of you saw The Doctors this past week. On it, Dr. Sears Junior made some comments about Babywise and some false statements. Now, I am not one who believes everything I see on TV, but I really was quite shocked and disappointed. I would think that if you were going to go on national television and talk about a book, you would have at least read it. I am assuming he never read the book; by assuming so, I am actually being nice to him. If he has, then he, well, has reading comprehension problems.

I wrote the show a letter. I am totally fine with Dr. Sears Junior not liking Babywise. I am even fine with him saying so on television. He can say what he wants to. I don't actually expect Dr. Sears Junior and I to agree on many parenting topics. I am not, however, fine with him making false statements. It is irresponsible. It is taking a trust his viewers have for him lightly. If I ever happen to catch an episode again, I for one wouldn't believe anything said on that show. If I think something sounds like a good idea, I will be sure to do lots of my own research first.

I also wrote a post that is set to publish Monday that I have been meaning to write for a couple of months now. I think you will like it and find it helpful.

I love Babywise. I have seen great results from using it with my children. Do you know what is great about it? I am able to use my own judgment as a mom and do what I think is best. The book tells me to over and over again. If I ever had a problem, it would be the fault of me, not Babywise...

There. Now go on and have an enjoyable weekend :)

48 comments:

Redheads said...

That is awesome that you wrote a letter to the show, Valerie! I am so glad you did that.
I for one, even before this episode, have always had my doubts about believing the info that the doctors give on their show. It seems to be a bit sensationalized. I honestly don't watch any daytime TV anymore, now that my 12 month old is taking just one nap a day - I am busy!!! Yes, she really and truly just needs one nap a day. She is doing so much better now and it has been two weeks. That is just an example of how she didn't go by the guidelines for napping in Babywise, but I had to use my best judgement as a mother and one who really knows my child and her sleep needs. This is what it is all about. Babywise is just a set a principles to follow, not rules and regulations.
Thanks again, Valerie!
Amy

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome! I know, I rarely watch any TV these days at all. I heard BW was going to be mentioned on the Doctors that day, so I watched it.

Cindy said...

I'm so glad you wrote a letter to the show too! I love Baby Wise too; I still use my own mom judgement for many things but having something to follow made life so much easier for us. My daughter is doing so well having followed BW and everyone asks me what I did, why she is so happy and such a good kid. How the heck can she play alone for 40 minutes or more a day? etc. I always say "I followed Baby Wise". It works!

Emily said...

GOOD for you!!! I think you should BE on a show promoting Babywise and showing all those people out there how wrong they are!!! Proud that you did that and how fitting to express your babywise LOVE on vday ;)

Jaime said...

Thanks for writing the letter, Valerie. I saw the show and was appalled at Dr. Sears' lack of understanding regarding the BabyWise system. Like you alluded to in your post, if he is encountering babies who are failing to thrive while on the BabyWise system, he is REALLY encountering parents who don't understand the concept of parent-directed feeding. My exclusively-breast-fed 7-month-old has measured in the 80th to 90th percentile in weight since birth. I felt that he was either grossly misinformed or blatantly dishonest about BabyWise. I won't be watching the show anymore, not only because I disagree with him, but because if he is so misguided about this one area, I cannot trust his judgment in any other area of child development. Keep up the great work with the blog...us BabyWise fans appreciate the time and effort that you consistently invest to put the truth out there.

Katy said...

I missed the show, but am curious to what was said... does anyone have a link to an online article or video clip about it?

Val said...

ok. While I do like BabyWise I do have a comment to make. The problem with BabyWise is that it is POORLY written. I can't tell you how many times I had to read and re-read that book. It seems confusing and contradictory at times and it's not until you have read it for the 100th time does everything finally click.

So, in Dr. Sears and the anti-babywisers defense (while I have zero reason to defend them) I can see how so many can be turned off and not like the program.

What to do about this? Personally, I think the book needs to be rewritten...or at least re-edited. Val, have you ever thought about contacting Ezzo et al and suggesting this. Because I think your experience and understanding of the babywise system would be prime reason for you to have a hand in publishing a new updated, easier to understand version...thoughts?

When I first read Babywise (first time through), I thought it was, Feed baby, keep baby up for a full hour (including feeding time), put baby down in crib and walk away for 2 hours. Then, wake baby, feed, keep up, put down for two hours ...repeat.
I have NO idea why I thought this was the program, maybe I skimmed? Maybe pregnancy hormones clouded my reasoning skills? I have no idea. But, if I can read it through and think that, I'm sure others have as well.

Tyler and Shea Moses said...

Now that you are on twitter you should tweet Dr sears jr. ! I was actually very surprised to hear him say this, he mentioned how it focused too much on sleep and not enough on the importance of eating. I felt like that was all wrong seeing as how Ezzo says that what and when they eat clearly has a direct impact on their sleep. Can't wait to hear if you hear back from them!

ABCKegg said...

I didn't see the show either, but I do think that there are good things to take from many different parenting styles. Since the AAP also published a statement against Babywise, I'm not surprised that it continues to receive negative publicity. Maybe the earlier commenter was correct; publishing another revised edition might be the way to go to get past this stigma.

Linds said...

I always question everything I see on tv- especially doctors trying to make a profit on their so called "opinions." Good for you in calling them out on their misinformation-- hopefully it will make them realize that there are actually people who watch the show that THINK for themselves and don't let someone else make a decision for them. I too have loved babywise and have seen great results! Thanks so much for your blog-- I recommend to ALL new moms, along with the Babywise book!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Plowmanators said...

Emily, lol! I didn't even catch that...love on love day. What a great point. Let's pretend I did that on purpose :)

Plowmanators said...

Katy,

I haven't seen any clips online of what he said. It was pretty disjointed. I am not sure what the point was other than him wanting to say he doesn't like Babywise. They were supposedly talking about books that claim sleep will make your child smarter. He talked about Babywise and said it doesn't focus on feeding enough? Weird. And weird he claimed that about BW and not HSHHC.

What he said about Babywise is basically that he has a problem with the book becauase it causes babies to have failure to thrive because parents can't feed their babies sooner than the clock says, which the book says over and over again to NOT hyperschedule. I just thought it was an unfair, and completely innacurate, representation of BW.

Plowmanators said...

Val, that might be true that it can be hard for people to understand, but it does say over and over again to feed a hungry baby and clearly says you shouldn't hyperschedule, which is what Dr. Sears said it says.

My point with him is if you are going to go on national television as a person in a position of authority, you had better understand what you are talking about. Well. I have no where near the visibility he does, and I take great care over the things I say to parents. He is a doctor on TV with a famous name. He should do his homework. I am some mom of three young kids with a blogspot address on the web and I would assume from this show I take more time than he to consider my thoughts before sharing them with the world.

I do communicate with the Ezzos quite often. I think I would feel a little weird asking them if I could revise it, though :) But I wouldn't mind doing it. I like things to have bullets. Lots of good, bulleted lists :)

Plowmanators said...

Tyler and Shea, good idea! If I knwe how to tweet someone?...I did figure out how to change my background the other day. I honestly doubt I will hear back, but at least I did my part!

Plowmanators said...

Good point Linds with the making a profit. He was sure to slide a plug in there for his revised version of his dad's book :)

Caroline said...

I agree with Val's comment that your experience and understanding of the babywise system would be greatly beneficial in creating a new updated, easier to understand version of BW! Prior to finding your blog, there were quite a few aspects of BW that I was unsure of what they would look like in action. What a blessing BW and your blog have been!

Michael and Natalie said...

Should we contact the Ezzo's and suggest they let you on as an editor?? We would do that for you :)

Jean Lee said...

I used to dislike Babywise and Babywise II (even after reading both books several times). I agree with Val that it is not very well written. There are a lot of general statements made, and I was often left scratching my head, thinking, "But what about when...?" I was often left with doubts and questions. But your blog totally changed my opinion of the principles found in babywise! You seem to explain things well, giving lots of examples from your own experience. You also round out advice from Babywise with advice from other books (like HSHHC and SBW). I now respect Babywise a lot, and I visit your site all the time to see what the Babywise principles look like in practice. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Keep posting.

Kylee said...

Yes! I love the idea of a revised version. I think the basic principles of Babywise work, but as soon as my son was born I has so many more questions that the book didn't answer...and thankfully this blog did! The Ezzos would be smart to work with you on a revised version, or a new in-depth book. You've already done so much ground work and have so many ideas for additions on this blog. If they don't see the benefit, you should write your own book!

Michael and Natalie said...

I agree about writing your own book. I think I've always thought that's what you were going to end up doing. The Baby Whisperer's concepts are extremely similar to a lot of BW principles, so if you wrote you own, separate book that would be great and wouldn't even need to be directly associated with BW.

Amber said...

So what I find funny about this is that just yesterday I was reading on a super Attachment Parenting site and they where whining about how Dr. Sears was dispelling false AP advice too, something to do with car seat advice.

Nadia said...

I would have to agree that anyone who hates Baby Wise, didn't read it properly. The book is very clear on the importance of feeding. BW was recommended to us by our Pediatrician, who followed it with all 3 his kids. We didn't follow BW to the "t", but included the principles of it, Baby Whisperer, HSHHC & Baby Sense. It really worked for us in every way. Eat, Wake, Sleep. We had our hard months in the beginning, but since my son was 4 months he has done great. He is now 13 months & thriving. He is a great eater, sleeper, & people are also amazed at how happy & content he is. We just returned from 5 weeks overseas & most of the people we encountered couldn't believe what a good eater & sleeper he was. BW, people!

Perhaps Dr. Sears is just jealous that there is another method out there, besides his...

Laura said...

I also saw this Doctors episode. I'm glad that you wrote to the show. All of the "-wise" information has been very helpful for our family and has been key in facilitating peace in our home.

Kristy Shreve Powers said...

There are tons of good comments here. I kind of like how Babywise is written. To me it's almost an old-fashioned style. It lays things out simply but doesn't go into a lot of detail. The advantage is that you can read it quickly, say to yourself, 'Oh, I can do that!' and then go from there with a Babywise framework. The disadvantage is that life is so completely not simple and quick-and-easy. That's where confusion sets in--unless you have this blog and/or the Yahoo group! In parenting young children, there's a need for detailed information and tips and tricks sometimes. I see this blog as an online workbook or tip-book to complement the books. I do think it should come with the books ;), but I think there's an attractiveness to the books as is--not hard to find the information again, for one!

I saw from the first read that BW says to feed baby when hungry--always. I've often wondered if an earlier edition did not say that, and if people who badmouth BW using the failure-to-thrive angle are using old information in order to sensationalize.

Tyler and Shea Moses said...

I follow you on Twitter, and I tried to send you a direct message with his Twitter name so you could send him a message but it would not allow me for some reason! I think in order to see what people are tweeting to you you must have to follow them (I am new to it as well!) his name is DrJimSears! I hope that helps! I will agree with the above comments that your blog has certainly filled in the gaps of questions I have had, but I think that with any parenting book I will have to go back and re read things! Parenting is just confusing I guess! I will say that right after I give the book or suggest it, your blog address follows :) I do hope you will keep us all posted on if you hear back from them! You would be the voice of many if you were to appear on the show!!

mrs. s said...

Wow! I just googled "Dr. Sears and Babywise" and it is amazing to see the scathing comments from Dr. Sears fans to Babywise followers. It seems like there is so much misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding Babywise. I follow your blog and use the Babywise method and I love it and advocate it! I have twin boys that just turned one year. They are great eaters and great sleepers. I am also still nursing and credit Babywise to helping me nurse this long. I agree that Babywise could be updated with a more well written version. I am someone who likes step by step processes and examples. Babywise has left me to fill in the blanks a bit. I read thru Healthy Sleep Habits, Baby Whisperer and even some of Dr. Sears stuff to help fill in the blanks. To me, all the sleep training methods do not seem that drastically different. There are some more detailed differences, but overall it seems like we are all working toward the same goal: happy, healthy, well adjusted children that trust their parents and establish healthy sleep. Thank you for your due diligence in maintaining this blog. As a first time mom, I appreciate your encouragement and information!

leo said...

It is a nice thing that you wrote something like that to the show! I am proud of you.
organic baby crib

Jenny Bell said...

preach it, sista!

Kalika Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kalika Girl said...

Hi, I didn't see the show b/c I don't live in the US. I'm from São Paulo, Brazil and have found very few BW fans here too. I have been so delighted to follow and learn from reading your posts that the idea of translating your blog (or portions of it) into Portuguese has already crossed my mind several times!! I think it would be very usual for many Brazilian moms!!

Kalika Girl said...

Opps... I meant it would be very USEFUL for many Brazilian mothers! By the way, I might add that I love Babywise too! = )

Amanda said...

I LOVE Babywise too :) I've read lots of other parenting books since but I always come back to the -wise series for the most comprehensive advice on parenting, especially babies and toddlers.
As a lit major, yeah the writing style gets to me sometimes. That's why they need to hire you Val, you could help them re-vamp it with a new version. New version or not, I still love Babywise. We should all ask the Ezzos to be our valentine :) lol!

Elizabeth said...

Good for you. I don't think people who bash Babywise realize how flexible it actually is. Perhaps that is why we are all left wondering sometime "what now?" They're giving us principles and we're looking for step-by-step :D. (which this blog happily helps with!) We started with a 1.5-2 hour schedule during the day instead of the 2.5 that Babywise said because my daughter truly needed to eat more often. The principles still worked and she was still sleeping through the night by 8 weeks even through she didn't start 2.5 hour schedule until about 6 weeks.

You know, I think to some degree it also takes a biblical perspective to be okay with the Baby-wise principles and methods. Most Christian parents are okay with discipline, using the word no, and setting boundaries for their kids. A lot of parents are not okay with these things. Some people I have talked to don't think it's right to "restrict" your baby/child but that they need to be "free" to set the schedule that works for them. To some degree, it takes a belief in the existence of sin and that children do NOT start out basically good to believe that your child needs you to guide their schedule and training. I think that is part of the argument at hand. Sometimes before we can convince someone that their child needs structure we have to convince them that their child is sinful and they are not capable of making wise, healthy, unselfish decisions.

stephanie said...

We were given Babywise when my oldest was 6 weeks. It changed everything for the better and have used it on our younger. I did the reading; husband did the following along. All is going great.
Husband was talkign to a friend and father to be and recommended B-wise to him. The father to be had seen or ehar of the Doctors episode and said B-wise was BAAAAD. My husband very simply said, "I don't know about that. I do know that my kids learned to sleep through the night and are healthy and happy." He knows this and doesn't even have all the awesome quotes.

Kristy Shreve Powers said...

Stephanie, I really like your husband's response. It goes to the heart of the matter without getting distracted by the controversy.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Plowmanators said...

ABCKegg, you might be interested in this article, which states in part:

1.On the AAP website there is a link to Dr. Aney’s article and there are 4 pediatricians who fire off about their experience regarding Babywise in a 1998 issue of AAP News – two “for” and two “against.” Hardly a landslide of pediatricians coming out of the woodwork to share their horror stories. I also find no articles regarding any investigation by the AAP, or the results of such an investigation.
2.In my PUBMED search, searching for both Babywise and Parent-Directed Feeding, I find no scientific studies published that support or criticize the Babywise approach. In fact, I cannot even find one scientific article that demonstrates there is even an association between PDF and failure to thrive or dehydration.
3.The child abuse investigation in Orange County, California published its findings in this article which is available from the Dr. Aney site. It is filled with opinions from many different people (medical, theological, etc.). Overall, I feel like it is pretty well balanced. However, I think the implication from Dr. Aney’s original article that Babywise is somehow Child Abuse is inappropriate and the conclusions from the Orange County panel regarding abuse confirm this … ” The Parenting program “Growing Kids God’s Way” (an early precursor to Babywise) DOES NOT advocate a parenting style that fits into the legal guidelines of abusive parenting.”

See http://www.smartparentshealthykids.com/blog/?p=52 for the full article.

Plowmanators said...

Jean Lee, you are welcome! I am glad to have helped. :)

Plowmanators said...

About me writing a book...

I have written one (very rough draft) and am starting another. I have lots of ideas of what I would do...

But if anyone has requests for what they think would be good in a book, please let me know!

Plowmanators said...

Tyler and Shea Moses, thanks for your comment! I did see your comment that day, but decided against it. In the end, he was raised by the man who "wrote the book" on AP parenting and now has revised the book...so even if I could really get him to acknowledge in his head that what he has said was wrong, I doubt he would ever express that beyond himself.

Plowmanators said...

Mrs. S. I think that is so right. We are all working toward the same goal. I don't care how other parents parent their kids (assuming they try their best you know). But if they like AP and want to do that, go for it. I don't care. Not my thing, but that doesn't mean it can't be someone else's "thing."

Michael and Natalie said...

As far as writing a book, I think it would be a great idea for you to write a book that is a "companion" to Babywise. I'm not certain what you would need to do from a legal standpoint in order to be able to publish something like that, but I feel like there is TONS of fan fiction out there and companions to movies in book form that must go around copyright laws. I'm not telling you to go around the Ezzo's or anything like that :) I think we've all made it very clear that you should contact them and have them bring you on as a coauthor, but if that didn't work/wasn't something you were comfortable with, then writing a companion book to perhaps all parent-directed-feeding books (Baby Whisperer, Babywise, etc) that would be wonderful.

Plowmanators said...

Elizabeth, I agree with you to a certain extent. I am actually a person who believs children are inherently good. I believe they want to be good and that they are pure. They just don't know what "good" is. They need to be led and guided to learn what they should and should not be doing.

They are selfish in that they believe the world revolves around them, but that is something that just is. They grow out of that and learn to love others and consider others.

Anyway, I belive using discipline and "no" are necessary for the long-term emotional health of a child and to help the child grow to be a good person. But I believe children are humble, meek, and submissive. They are loving and forgiving.

But I don't think they know better than I do so far as what is best for them. Though I certainly learn a lot from them about things like humilty, forgiveness, and faith.

OldeRock said...

I just came across this website when researching Babywise. I had heard some horrible health-related things about it, then found out that a friend of mine (we had our babies in the same month) is using it, so I decided to look into it and see if it was true. I'm glad this website is up, especially the way you tell your readers that you don't have to follow it to the letter :-) From all the research I've done I've found that problems came up when people followed the book too closely and didn't leave room for the fact that all babies (and moms) are unique! I, personally, prefer attachment parenting, but I have no problems with people who want to use Babywise and I'm glad there is a resource here urging them to use it safely :-)

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, it seems like those that choose a pre-determined schedule and try to force their baby into it are setting themselves up for failure. I like recommending Babywise along with The Baby Whisperer, by Tracy Hogg (also referenced alot on this blog :). While Babywise does a good job of explaining the principle and reason behind a "parent-directed" schedule, Hogg has a much better way of showing how to find and implement a schedule that works for both mom and baby.

Plowmanators said...

Hi OldeRock, thanks for your kind words! I don't get a lot of AP moms who come here and are nice :)

Eden Children's Village said...

This website is a breath of fresh air! I have been doing baby wise with my kids for the last 3 years. I have had great success with it. It has been so helpful to me. However, just about everyone I've talked to in the last few years has told me all about the myths and made me feel bad for using it. I have felt very alone on this babywise journey, but as I've seen so far on this site, I'm not alone!....And I'm excited to read your advice as my kids get older and as we have more babies! I have many questions and I'm sure I'll find answers. God bless!

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