Monday, April 4, 2011

Why I'm Not Babywise...The Author's Character Counts

If you are just joining us for the Why I'm Not Babywise Series, please read the disclaimer and intro here. It is really important that you understand the context of all of the posts in the series. I pray that I can approach each post with grace and sensitivity, while at the same time shedding light on issues that I believe to be very important in the world of parenting. 

Gary Ezzo. That name can invoke different emotions from different people. It might make some mothers' blood curdle, and it might make some other mothers' heart overflow with gratitude. Once again, I am not attacking mothers or families that have found Babywise helpful, I am simply sharing some reasons about Why I'm Not Babywise. I welcome comments and emails concerning how you may agree or disagree with me as I continue to delve into this series.

I did not know much about Gary Ezzo before I became a mom. Actually I didn't even know much about him when I read the book. I came across information on Gary Ezzo months later and I was so baffled. I couldn't understand how this man had this popular baby parenting book when his character and reputation were so questionable.

Here are a few things to be aware of and informed about as you read or don't read Babywise:

This is all I am going to post about Gary Ezzo for now. I provided plenty of links to keep you busy clicking away until I post again.  Please take your time reading the links and exploring the Ezzo Info website, where I received a lot of this information. With so many amazingly wonderful books out there on parenting written by godly Christian men, do you really want to read and implement a book by Gary Ezzo, after all you've learned about him? 

Here is a list of some of those alternatives.    

I know for me, when I found out all of this information I was blown away. I had never heard anyone talk at all about character concerns regarding Gary Ezzo. I felt personally deceived and also felt upset that so many of my friends had been deceived as well. I was also so relieved that I had discovered a different way of parenting than the Babywise method. 

(On a side note, I will be out of town this week so I won't be posting much. This should give you plenty of time to catch up on the Babywise Series and have fun clicking around on all of the websites I linked)

Remember, please keep your comments directed Babywise and not the precious mothers that choose to use parts of the Babywise method. And Babywise moms, I ask you do the same for those that choose not to use Babywise. Let us all take a moment to meditate on the grace of God and actively extend that to others as well.  I have to remind myself of this daily! 


  1. Some of the links didn't work for me but I must admit that I read all about the Ezzo character controversy before deciding to still implement the parts of Babywise that work for our family. The thing I have disliked about Babywise all along is the "one size fits all" approach. I do not feel that it is developmentally appropriate to expect the same behaviors from children with different temperaments and different developmental advances. I also don't like how Babywise is so critical, almost making me feel guilty(until I decided to get over it and do what I felt good about), about other parenting philosphies such as Healthy Sleep Habits. Babywearing Aaron non-stop during his fussy newborn phase worked for us, as did the 5 S's although this was not Babywise approved. What I like about Babywise is the eat, wake, sleep cycle and the advice it provided when Aaron and I were BOTH ready for him to be on a routine. Aaron learned to self soothe and fall asleep on his own mainly due to principles of babywise we implemented. However, we used a gentle approach and neither my husband nor I has ever felt good about letting him cry it out when he awakens during the night. There is always a reason he wakes up that he can not care for on his own (ie. he is having a growth spurt and is hungry, he is too cold or hot, his mouth hurts due to teething, etc). When we put him down for naps and bedtime we make sure that he is clean and dry, not hungry or thirsty, we give lots of loves, rocking and singing and then lay him in his bed with his lovies. He sometimes cries for a few minutes but usually goes right to sleep. Babywise helped us help him learn how to get to sleep and he started sleeping through the night on his own without us ever having to let him cry during the night. I also enjoy the structure of Babywise because Aaron has naps and meals at generally consistent times. However, I agree that there are similar alternatives to Babywise that teach the same principles. I did not know about every option when we were trying to find something to suit our family and Babywise principles worked for us (the ones we agreed with). One fabulous alternative to Babywise for parents looking for an eat-activity-sleep cycle is Secrets of the Babywhisperer. I also reference Dr. Sears website for questions and loved Happiest Baby on the Block. I guess what it comes down to is that there is no "magic" book, person or theory that will work for every baby or every parent. The only source that is completely true and perfect is inspiration and guidance we recieve from God. He knows us, He knows our individual children and He knows the best way to succor and strengthen us. For me, many of the Babywise principles were such a blessing at a time when I was struggling to help my son and myself get the rest and structure we needed. I personally felt the need to modify the program to fit our family and did not let any opinions make me feel guilty about what I felt was best for our family. The only advice I have for other parents is to be prayerful and realize that we don't have all the answers, but God does. Research your options and use what you feel is best for you. Do this despite the criticism you may receive because there are anti-every-type-of-parenting critics out there! :)

  2. Aubrey Jane,
    Thank you for the encouragement. That was stated wonderfully!