Babywise bloggers network

I’m excited to announce that two other Babywise bloggers and I are uniting to form a network to promote a positive perception of Babywise and its principles.

Why unite?

If you are blissfully unaware of the negative perception of Babywise (and all of the Ezzo books), then kudos to you! Stay that way! But unfortunately, many of us have, at one time or another, encountered parents who are adamantly opposed to Babywise and all that it stands for.

What’s most unfortunate of all is that these Babywise-haters are propagating their opinions despite a misunderstanding of what Babywise is about. It’s possible they have encountered one or two Babywise parents who followed the book too literally, but let me assure you, those parents represent a very small percentage of Babywise parents. Most of us have very happy, healthy, well-rested babies.

So we are here to stand together and help well-meaning parents understand the true nature of Babywise and how to effectively implement its principles.

Babywise myths

Before I tell you more about the other two Babywise bloggers, let me explain the false claims and be clear about what Babywise stands for.

Myth #1: Babywise babies are hyper-scheduled

Babywise does not implore us to ignore our babies’ and children’s cues in favor of the clock. Yes, the clock does play a role, but the baby’s cues and the parents’ judgment take precedence. The book very clearly states that we are to feed the baby when he’s hungry. Growth spurts must not be ignored.

The schedule also works to the family’s advantage when the child gets older. Rather than allowing a child to find trouble when he’s bored and lacks direction, the schedule helps the parent direct the child’s activities and keep him preoccupied so boredom and misbehavior don’t result.

Myth #2: Babywise babies are left to cry excessively

While there are many Babywise parents who do let their children cry in their sleep-training endeavors, the Babywise-haters tend to think that we let our babies cry for hours on end without listening to their cries and the quality of their cries.

Let me be clear that a parent can most definitely follow Babywise without letting the baby cry it out. In fact, I stand firmly behind the belief that Babywise babies actually cry less than many other babies. Rather than waiting for the baby to cry to communicate his needs and wants, the Babywise mom knows what the baby needs before he needs it.

I remember when my boys were little, William’s eyes would water when he was tired and Lucas would yawn. I didn’t wait for them to cry to tell me it was nap time. My Babywise babies slept well on their own, and as their parents, we made time in their lives for naps (leading to less crying). Plus, we parents were not left to decode the child’s cries. If the schedule shows that it’s feeding time, there’s no confusing the fussiness for sleepiness.

Myth #3: Babywise parents focus on legalistic, punitive discipline

Those who stand against the Ezzo books tend to believe that we are too firm and legalistic in our parenting. Is expecting first-time obedience too much to ask of a child? No! Must we help our children in the pursuit of obedience? Most definitely.

I think the Ezzos would agree with me that you don’t start your obedience training by asking your hungry, tired 4-year-old to mow the lawn and then spank him when he cannot obey. Babywise parents are encouraged to set clear and reasonable expectations, use positive methods of reinforcement, speak the child’s love language, allow a schedule to prevent misbehavior, establish a solid family foundation with the mother and father standing together at the head, and more.

While there are some who do focus too much on corrective measures (probably because they let things go too far for too long and have reached a pinnacle of frustration), the positive elements of the Ezzos’ teachings cannot be ignored.

Set the bar high but use encouragement, modeling and your positive relationship to help the child reach that bar. Read more about training a child in first-time obedience.

Myth #4: Babywise teaches parents to devalue the child

There is a commonly heard phrase in Ezzo circles: “The child is a welcome member of the family but is not the center of it.” The phrase communicates the belief that mom and dad must stand at the center of the family. This is not because the parents are selfish and more powerful than their children. It’s because putting the parents at the center helps to develop a strong family foundation which provides the child with security and a healthy model for love.

It’s true we do not make the child the center of our attention, but this is solely for the benefit of the child. It does nothing to devalue the child. In fact, it does the opposite. Read more on the perils of child-centered parenting.

Babywise bloggers

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am working with the authors of two other Babywise blogs to promote the benefits of Babywise and teach parents how to effectively implement its principles.

Chronicles of a Babywise Mom

Valerie Plowman is the author of Chronicles of a Babywise Mom. Valerie started this blog primarily as a resource for parents implementing the -wise series (written by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam). Over the years, it has grown to include a collection of multiple parenting books, and is now, broadly put, a “parenting blog.” Content includes anything a person might face as a parent. So far as parenting theories go, the -wise series is always her foundation, with strong influences from the Baby Whisperer books and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

Valerie is a stay-at-home mom to three children, ages 6, 4 and 2 and is very passionate about raising children into adults who are service-minded, intelligent, confident, successful in their own right, and loved. Every mother’s dream, right?

My Baby Sleep Guide

Rachel Rowell is the author of My Baby Sleep Guide. As you have probably already guessed, she writes about sleep, particularly how to get more of it! She covers all the bases, from short naps to sleep training to sleeping through the night, and everything in between.

Rachel knows that every baby and every family is different, so she includes information about various sleep training methods so you can find what works best for you and your family. She draws from her own personal experience as a registered nurse and mother of a spirited 3-year-old and adventurous 1-year-old, as well as from a plethora of books and the wisdom of hundreds of moms. Her hope is that her blog will decrease the stress that many parents feel over sleep, so that they can more fully enjoy their sweet little children.

Childwise Chat

If you are new to this blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Maureen Monfore and I am a mom to two boys, ages 7 and 4. My blog, Childwise Chat, is written for parents of toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children who are interested in the parenting principles originated by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. My primary resource is On Becoming Childwise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, but I also pull material from Growing Kids God’s WayOn Becoming Toddlerwise and parenting books from other authors. Childwise Chat covers the practical details of teaching the defiant toddler to obey to more philosophical thoughts on big-picture parenting.

Well versed in the many parenting books on the market, I have comfortably settled with the Ezzos. I appreciate that the philosophies are so very balanced. Although they suggest that we set the bar quite high, the books are full of thoughts on encouraging children, passing on our moral values, acting as a teacher, speaking their love languages, and more. And rather than focusing on single subset of parenting, the Ezzos’ books cover every scenario imaginable. Perhaps most importantly, their principles work! They give parents a veritable instruction manual on how to raise well-mannered, morally conscious children.

Comments

  1. Maureen, Glad to see someone doing this.

    I do have some advice on myth #3. I recommend leaving the word discipline out of any conversation having to do with Babywise since On Becoming Babywise only covers 0-5 months and never mentions any form of discipline. mixing the two subjects only created confusion IMHO. HOWEVER, it is important to point out the myth and educate on the truth about this one in comments where the bloggers allow it. I find that an anti-Ezzo (critic) blog post talking about spanking and Babywise in the same sentence is often a very good measure on whether the blogger has actually read a Babywise book for themselves. Another good indication of a blogger not having been personally exposed to the material is when they mix cry-it-out with Growing Kids God’s Way (GKGW). GKGW which does not cover infant issues at all. Just my two cent on myth #3.

    Let me know if ya’ll want some content from a Dad’s perspective. I’d love to participate.

    Keep up the good work. I love the site!!!

  2. Love this idea! I agree that perhaps Babywise and discipline really don’t belong in the same sentence, though certainly Toddlerwise and the other books deal with discipline. The books also make a distinction between discipline as the entire process of teaching behavior and character, and correction as the specific negative consequences that are meant to bring back in line or ‘correct’ the child’s behavior. Often people freak if I say I discipline my 12 month old because they associate discipline with just spanking, whereas what I mean is I tell him what I want, praise him when he does it, and correct him when he does not by either redirecting, a 1 minute time-out, or taking away the offending toy. So in this respect maybe discipline is an appropriate term when discussing even Babywise II.

  3. Good points, Hank and Manda. I was just using “Babywise” in a general way. More people are familiar with Babywise than Toddlerwise or Childwise. So I used it to label parents who follow all of the Ezzo books, not just On Becoming Babywise. Make sense?

    Hank, we’d love a dad’s perspective. Please email me so we can coordinate: maureen@childwisechat.com.

  4. MTNBCHGIRL says:

    I LOVE Babywise and can’ t for the life of me figure out what all the controversy is about. My child and my best friends baby are Babywise babies. Mine is now 2 and hers is 1. They are happy, and very healthy. They wake up from naps with a smile. Mine has the nicest manners and is well disciplined and all I have ever had to do was an occasional time-out. They just know what is going to happen and when so there is no confusion. People just need to take what works for them and their child and throw out the rest. My 2 year old play’s with her baby dolls and does the eat, play, sleep routine with them. It is so cute. I will forever be a Babywise and every other book they write Mom. The only complaint I do have is they write it for stay at home moms and although I would do anything to be one, I do have to work and would like a little more advise on how to handle certain situations that arise with two working parents.

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