On Becoming a Wise Baby Book Review
In fact, I am a little nervous to review this book. This much-debated approach to parenting is often loved or hated. Baby Wise uses a parent-directed eating-play-sleep and feeding cycle. Eating-playing-sleeping is simply getting your child to eat, getting stimulated for a while (time depends on age), and then making them sleep until it’s time to feed again. Baby Wise states that most babies lack sleep and that it is important for your child to have a regular feeding and sleeping schedule. Baby Wise also claims that babies will sleep through the night at 8 weeks if you use this method. Although the book states that direct parental feeding is not a clock feeding or demand feeding approach, you will soon understand through further reading that it is basically a clock feeding approach with a bit of leeway.
Pros: There are lots of great parenting tips and reading Baby Wise has been helpful for me. I try to use an eat-play-sleep cycle (not like Baby Wise does, see the Cons). Baby Wise is strict in teaching babies to fall asleep on their own. I don’t take care of my son until he falls asleep and personally I think it is healthy for babies to learn to fall asleep without the help of others. When my little one was born, I used a feed-on-demand approach. I now use a clock feeding approach more because I have learned how often you need to eat and it is good to have a schedule. This transition was slow and a learning process for me.
Another thing I appreciate about Baby Wise is your caution in instinctively feeding your child when he is crying. If my little girl is crying and she’s not likely to be hungry, feeding her may end up being worse for her. It could be gas, colic, or something else. It could also mask the real reason for your unease. Personally, I don’t initially feed her when she’s fussy. I want to find the root cause.
Cons: I think the reason this book is loved or hated is because of the rigidity of its approach. If you are unsuccessful in your method after weeks or months or of trying, many people become bitter and believe that it is all nonsense.
First of all, I will say that my baby sleeps wonderfully through the night; she has been doing this for 7 weeks. (I know I am blessed). This is not because of Baby Wise. I hadn’t even read the book then. I like the eat-play-sleep cycle. My baby eats, then plays, and then sleeps, but doesn’t sleep until the next feed. I have tried and tried to get my little one to nap longer than 45 minutes. She will not. She eats, plays, sleeps, plays, sleeps (sometimes) and then eats.
My son is not a nap. She is not meeting the “expectations” of the Baby Wise method. At first, that made me feel like a failure because I heard all the stories from parents who were raving about how great the methods in the book are.
Baby Wise leaves no room for individual differences in a baby’s personality or habits. Yes, I certainly believe that babies are different even when they are so young. Not all children fit the Baby Wise mold. That is my biggest criticism after reading the book and trying its methods. My other precaution is to use the parent-directed feeding approach (basically clock feeding). Until you meet your child, I would not recommend clock feeding. And really always be flexible with your schedule based on your child’s needs.
Price: You can find this book for $ 15 or less. The Kindle version costs around $ 10. Used can be cheaper.
I could talk a lot more about this book, its reviews and praise, but if you are so interested, read it yourself. I think it will be useful to you. If your child doesn’t fit the Baby Wise mold, don’t worry. Certainly DO NOT base your parenting ability on this book. However, it is worth reading.