Combating Babywise Myths: Go 3 hours between feedings no matter what. What does On Becoming Babywise say about feeding intervals? Can you feed baby early if baby is hungry?
When Brayden (now 2.5) was a baby, I had no help when it came to my questions about Babywise.
When Kaitlyn (now 9 months) was a newborn, I had a little help in one of my good friends who had a baby 9 months after Brayden was born. We would talk things over, but not every baby goes through every difficulty, and I wondered if there were moms out there who could help me. The Internet had become more of an interactive place, so I Googled “Babywise.” I was shocked at what I found.
I found site after site with negative comments about Babywise. Every negative comment I knew to be false because it wasn’t true with my children. The most frustrating part about these sites to me was that there was no way for a person to offer a differing viewpoint. I had no idea BW sparked so much controversy until I found those sites.
That is ultimately what led me to start this blog. I wanted to offer moms out there a positive resource when they searched for Babywise help.
Now I will start a series of posts combating common myths associated with Babywise. Honestly, most of these myths are easily disputed if you read the book, but I think a lot of the myth-starters either don’t read the book or try to implement BW and didn’t read it carefully and so ran into problems and blamed the system rather than themselves.
Myth #1: Feed Your Newborn on a 3 Hour Schedule No Matter What–Even if He is Hungry Sooner.
Truth: NO!!!!!! That is not correct. This is probably one of the number one misconceptions/rumors/etc. surrounding Babywise.
No, you don’t make him wait to eat if he is hungry. That is called hyper scheduling. Hyper scheduling is discussed in your On Becoming Babywise book. The Babywise system is a Parent Directed Feeding (PDF) system. You always feed your baby if he is hungry with BW. ALWAYS.
I have a friend who is a lactation consultant with the hospital and a member of La Leche League. She insists (as per the League’s policy) that you cannot successfully breastfeed on a schedule. Even when I tell her I did it with Brayden for a year and have done it with Kaitlyn thus far, she insists it isn’t possible. The reasoning she gives is that you then don’t get the stimulation needed during critical times to boost milk supply, both for growth spurts and general increase needs.
With PDF, that shouldn’t happen because you feed your baby when he is hungry. Even if he is hungry at 1.5 hours, you feed him. You then investigate the reason he was hungry at that short interval. Growth spurt? Did he not get a full feeding at the last one? Is there a milk supply issue? You get the picture. If the answer is growth spurt, you let it happen, feed your baby as necessary, and get back to normal after the necessary extra feedings are over. If the answer lies in a different problem, work to fix it. But don’t let baby be hungry.
The nature of a human body is that you will get hungry at a certain time if you eat at the same time every day. Do you remember your school days? You ate lunch at the same time, every day. Did you get hungry at that same time even on weekends? I know that was true for me. The same goes for sleep.
The beauty of PDF is that you, the parent, are in charge. You aren’t run by the clock telling you it isn’t time to eat yet. How silly is that? The clock has no brain to analyze the situation. You also don’t just let your child run the show. You child does have a brain, but is really working on figuring this whole life thing out. It is your job, right, and responsibility to teach your child how to do so. You are the parent for a reason. It is erroneous to expect a baby to know what is best for himself. If that is the case, your sole job for the next 18 years is to stand guard and make sure no one hurts him, while being sure to provide him with every desire he asks for. Do you think a 4 year old knows everything that is best for him? If he insists he needs to eat M&Ms all day, do you agree? How about a 10 year old? Even a 16 year old? Even I don’t know everything that is best for me. So why does a newborn? Yes, there are things he can cue you with, but you are the parent and you decide.
So rest easy in your Babywise routine. You will not do your baby any harm by taking charge of his life. You will actually do him many favors. And remember, feed your baby when he is hungry.
Get the Babywise series here
Related Babywise Posts On This Blog:
- Myths versus Realities of Babywise
- 5 Reasons I Love On Becoming Babywise
- Sleep Training According To Babywise
- How Is A Babywise Mom Defined?
- Combating Babywise Myths #2: You have to abandon your child’s needs
- Combating Babywise Myths #3: Your Baby Will Not Thrive
- Combating Babywise Myths #4: If you need help with it, then it is obviously a wrong thing to do
- Combating Babywise Myths #5: Babywise will cause you to lose your milk supply if nursing
- Combating Babywise Myths #6: BW parents call their kids words like “manipulative”
- Combatting Babywise Myths #7: Your child will not be interactive
- I Love Babywise
- Krystal said…
Thank you for your blog!! I did BW w/ my son, and it was the best thing ever! I have been doing it w/ my daughter, and since I have the internet now, I decided to check out what other people have to say about BW. I was shocked at what I found-everything is negative! There are so many things about failure to thrive, hospitalizations, etc. I started to doubt what I had been doing. But my son turned out just fine, so I had to conclude that it was all how you implement BW. It is a breath of fresh air to read your blog. Keep it up!
January 23, 2008 7:43 AM
- Amber said…
Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! I get so frustrated by people that JUST listen to those so called ‘experts’ and never think for themselves.No one way it is right for everyone and they need to not condem others for doing what works great for their child and their family!
January 23, 2008 9:00 AM
- Plowmanators said…
Thanks gals! It is frustrating to hear people bash on BW. I always find it odd because I personally have never heard a BW mom run around bashing on AP parenting, for example. It seems the only time a BW mom says anything about another parenting style is when her own is directly attacked and she feels the need to defend it. Now, there are all kinds of people out there, so I wouldn’t be shocked if a BW mom does do that, but my guess is the numbers are quite a bit smaller than those of other styles bashing BW.
January 23, 2008 9:44 AM
- AquaNet said…
Hi there! Thanks for stepping out to write about this topic! I had the same encounter while searching on Google & found negative remarks which I felt were not justified because I had successfully implemented BW for my 10-month old baby. He slept 7-8 hours by week 8 and 10-11 hours by wk 12. While impkementing BW, I always referred to the book whenever I encountered problems to ensure that I followed the advice accordingly. Often times, I realised that I had not understood the system & once I set things right, the blessings usually follow. I have many friends whose babies are walking testimonies of the BW system. So to the BW parents out there, understanding the BW systems does pay off, and you will certainly see the fruit of your labour.Incidentally, I have recommended my friends who are also using BW to read your blog! Keep up the good work!
January 23, 2008 11:26 PM
Thanks for sharing your success. I have found that same thing to be true for me. Whenever something isn’t going right with either my toddler or my baby, a review of the book (whichever one I am in at the time) will often tell me that there is something I am doing that is contributing to the problem–most times causing the problem. A quick fix in myself easily fixes the “issues” with the child.
January 24, 2008 10:28 AM
- Nanny4Two said…
great blog, it disturbs me how there is no help on the net for the questions i have.
January 25, 2008 6:25 AM
- artsychic76 said…
Thanks for this post!! I have a book called Baby 411 and I really dislike the viewpoints of the Pediatrician who wrote it. I finally tossed the book when she bashed Babywise and said that it says to put your newborn on a 3 hr schedule, which we all know is WRONG. She obviously didn’t do her research. She also made me feel guilty that I couldn’t breastfeed for long; something my OWN pediatrician does not do, she supports my decision to formula feed and we love her for it! Our baby is healthy, smart, happy and thriving AND sleeping well, thanks to BW.Thanks for all you do, Val. Its much appreciated!!
February 6, 2008 6:01 PM