Question: My baby is 10 weeks old and some
friends are suggests to me that I try to train him to
sleep through the night according to the method in Gary
Ezzo's book Babywise. I followed that plan for a few
days, but now my baby seems miserable and cranky during
the day and he sucks on his fist after a good feeding.
What do you think?
Answer: Many young parents you will hear from
are against Babywise and for Attachment Parenting, I am
personally against both strict Babywise and
This is what I did: I nursed my babies on demand,
especially up until they were at least 6 months old. I
don't make a ton of milk and if I had tried to stick to
Ezzo's 2 1/2 to 3 hour nursing schedule and early
sleeping through the night, I would have lost my supply
far too soon. In fact, with my second child, I was lax
about nursing her often because she didn't seem hungry,
and at her 6 month check up, was shocked to learn that
she had gained NO weight for the last 3 months. Frequent
nursing does make a difference.
Unless you have an abundant milk supply, and a chubby
baby who does not seem hungry and is gaining weight
well, please nurse more often than Ezzo recommends.
If your 10 week old is sucking his fist after nursing
he is hungry!!!! I have had a thumb sucker, but
she acted differently, she did not suck her fist right
after eating. (And she was gaining well and nursed
often.) Forget Ezzo and feed your baby.
About sleeping through the night: If you are sure
your baby is not hungry (and is gaining well) and he is
waking up 4 or 5 times a night, then I might try getting
him down to waking up only once or twice a night, but if
he is only waking up once or twice, let him. That's fine
and normal. My 8 month old still wakes up once during
the night. Most of mine did until they were well over a
year old. At that point I did train some of them to
sleep for longer periods if I felt it was a problem.
NOTE: I always looked at that middle of the night
feeding as an easy way to keep from getting pregnant too
soon after the last baby. It seems to me that that may
be the way God intended it for most women. It doesn't
work with everyone, but for me, as soon as I cut out
that middle of the night feeding, I'd start my cycles up
again and get pregnant. For many women, nursing on
demand, and once or twice during the night, does work as
On co-sleeping: I felt best keeping my young babies
(up to at least 6 months) in a bassinet or play pen
right next to the side of by bed rather than in bed with
me. I found it very easy to hear them when they woke at
night, pick them up, nurse them, and put them right back
to sleep. It was just too much to go stumbling down the
hall to the baby room, so that only lasted a couple of
days with my firstborn and that was it. Now I have a
crib at the foot of my bed (because the air conditioner
blows by the side of my bed) and I still get up once
during the night with my 8 month old to feed him, then
we both go right back to sleep, no big deal.
I don't object to "some" scheduling, but I
just finished reading Babywise for the second time and
although Ezzo says he does not advocate "hyperscheduling"
that is exactly what he does, if you ask me. (And Sears
goes overboard the other way.)