Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Are you for real?

I'm a big believer in the concept of live and let live. That's why I’m perplexed by this comment that I received concerning my post on Babywise:

“Christy - I hear what you say about using your heart and your head but if you take the "Preparation for Parenting" classes, it's all about making a child under the age of 12 weeks cry. I actually spoke to a Contact Mom in my area when my first child was 5 weeks old (and she KNEW my child). Her advice to me was to put my son in his crib, put headphones on and go OUTSIDE and set a time for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, go in and quiet my child and then go back OUTSIDE. This is a Contact Mom who was with my church. THAT is what is being promoted - and that type of advice is scarey [sic] and frightening.”

To Yellow Rose Mom, the author of this comment, I say welcome to my little slice of the internet. I have just one question for you: Have you personally read the book or taken the class?
I have to believe the answer is no because if Yellow Rose Mom (YRM) had read the book she would know that the Prep. classes are not “all about making a child under the age of 12 weeks cry." They are about giving your baby a routine to allow him to eat well, play well and sleep well.
It’s interesting that the most vocal opponents of Babywise have not read the book themselves. It is also interesting that the opponents are so committed to their point of view that they cannot simply live and let live. If they don’t want to employ the techniques offered in Babywise they shouldn't. But they aren’t satisfied that they aren’t doing it; they don’t want anyone to do it.

My goal is not to defend Gary Ezzo. There is quite a bit of compelling, albeit circumstantial, evidence that he may not be a nice man. That is a shame since I found the majority of his advice in Babywise to be so helpful. I am not going to ignore good advice just because the guy who wrote the book is, quite possibly, a bozo.

And, YRM, about the Contact Mom who “KNEW” your child and advised you to let him cry for ten minutes… I want to muster up some kind of compassion for you but my common sense just won’t allow it because everything within me is screaming, “So what?” Are you seriously claiming that you wouldn’t allow your child to cry for ten minutes? There were times I was holding my babies and they cried for ten minutes. Sometimes babies cry. We cannot massage everything away, even though you and I want to make their precious lives as easy as possible.

I did a very quick Google search and found several sites with advice on getting babies to sleep. Each one ecouraged parents to either follow a daily routine or allow a modicum of crying, or both, just like Babywise:

http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/519
http://life.familyeducation.com/behavioral-problems/sleep/41726.html
http://www.parents.com/baby/sleep/issues/getting-baby-to-sleep-through-the-night/?page=5&plckCurrentPage=3
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1729156,00.html
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1728755,00.html
http://www.sleepeducation.com/Topic.aspx?id=8
http://theparentingdoctor.com/getting-7-month-old-baby-to-sleep/

No one is asking you to neglect your child. Ten minutes of crying will not harm your baby.

And FYI, YRM: If you don’t want a routine for your baby, don’t have one. I’m not sure why you’re campaigning against Babywise, but I wish you and the others on your site would quit going around the web claiming Babywise is “scarey [sic] and frightening” just because you don’t approve.



PS: I'm not even addressing YRM's libelous comment concerning the Ezzo’s and their relationship (or lack thereof) with their daughters. Unless she knows them personally and has their permission to discuss personal matters she is gossiping. Why drag that into a discussion about babies sleeping through the night? It adds nothing to the conversation other than to make the Ezzo’s look bad, which, I imagine, is her goal. So sad.