Monday, February 18, 2008

Book Review (3rd of 2008)

We took a trip to Cincinnati last week and spent a couple days working on my in-law's new house. There's much to blog about, but I think for the next several posts I'll catch up on book reviews.
On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Baby the Gift of Nighttime Sleep. By Dr. Gary Ezzo and Dr. Robert Bucknam.
This book is also available in a more Christian format, complete with videos. Check out Growing Kids God's Way by Gary Ezzo.

Several people recommended this book to us. Those who recommended it have had 9-month old babies who sleep 12 hours a night and are happy kids to be around. They all gave credit to (or swore by) this book's methods.
We've been around other babies who don't sleep through the night, and the parents are exhausted and miserable. I decided that I wanted to avoid that situation at all costs, thus I read this book.

Parenting methods are controversial, and spark arguments. The book gives some history of different methods, and how they settled on theirs (establishing a parent-controlled routine for the baby). The studies related that show sleep's correlation with IQ, ADD, and other conditions just drove home the point for me. I agree with the book, there are no "lucky" parents with "easy" babies, it's dependent on parents establishing certain routines early.

They grip you early with data:
Of 520 infants on the parent-directed feeding (PDF) method, at least 76.8% were sleeping through the night between 7 and 9 weeks. At least 95.7% were sleeping through the night at 12 weeks. (The book breaks it down by boys/girls, and breastfeeding/formula feeding, birth defects, other problems, etc).

They err by not giving data on parents who do not use the method. But, if something performs 97% of the time, I'm highly likely to try it.

80% of the babies on the PDF routine required no help in sleeping through the night, they did it on their own. The remaining 20% cried for 3-5 nights and then slept through.

It might also cost 3-5 nights of sleep while your child learns when to sleep, but it pays off in years of full nights sleep.

I give the book 3.5 stars out of 5. It's quite repetitive (so you can remember its methods) and if you don't have a kid, then it's not worth reading. But, if you're expecting, I consider it a MUST read. If you know someone with a kid who is a handful, you might pick them up a copy.


TulipGirl said...

It's one of those books that goes along with the "use flexibility and common sense" reminders. Both and are good for keeping "flexibility and common sense" in view with Babywise.

Jessica said...

As you know, I fall into the "swear by" category regarding this book. However, I agree with tulipgirl's comment regarding flexibility. I find having a schedule allows me the flexibility to adjust the schedule on occasion (something special at church, etc.) without major meltdowns.

When the need arises to adjust your schedule, this should be your mantra: Earlier is always better.

Here's an example, if the baby usually eats at 11:30, but you have a meeting from 11-12, you have the options of feeding the baby at 10:45 or at 12:05. 12:05 seems logical because it is nearest to your usual feeding time, but remember: earlier is always better. You never know when you might be delayed or when he's just starving. Go ahead and feed the baby at 10:45, even if he only takes a partial feeding. You can adjust the next couple of feedings to get him back on his schedule.

Earlier is always better.

Wes said...

I personally prefer the "benadryl method". one pink pill and they're out for a good 8 hours

JTapp said...

Scotch and brandy work well too. Puts hair on the baby's chest at the same time, a two-for-one bonus.

The book defines flexibility as something that has the ability to bend back into place after the meetings, holidays, etc. are over.