E.A.S.Y vs. BabyWise vs. Ferberizing

Pardon any typo's, I enjoyed perhaps one too many glasses of wine this evening :)

As a Newborn Care Specialist I come in contact with many child rearing techniques, philosophies, styles, troubles and successes. Undeniably there are those I like, those I dis like, and the ones I don't understand. Nevertheless, it is my job to understand, respect, and be able to work with all of the different techniques out there, so I like to review and post and get your comments on them as often as possible! 

Since we posted on Attachment Parenting recently I thought we should look at the other popular schools of thought on parenting today.  We will look at Ferberizing, EASY, and BabyWise.

FERBERIZING, by Dr Richard Ferber
This would be the opposite approach to Attachment Parenting, both being the extreme.  This is also known by many as the "cry it out" or "CIO" method.  It is the approach most exaggerated in negative light probably by misunderstanding and misuse that lead to some sad expereinces.  Admittedly, I am turned off by anything called after the guy who came up with it, and since when do we mommies want to learn parenting from a man anyways?!!  No offense but parenting seems more like a woman/mother's domain to me.  Most effective households I am familiar with are run by women and the dads follow her advice and lead. 

Despite all theses inital negative reactions, this method is quite sensible and certainly works when taken as a guide rather than doing it exactly by the book.  It is very important that any extreme method be adapted to each family and child, and is best employed with help from a professional out side of the family.  A professional can help adapt the method to the family and baby, and has an easier time carrying out the less emotional more methodical approaches.  As a new mother and Newborn Care professional, the Ferber method is much easier with other people's children than your own! 

According to BabyCenter
      Why is Ferber's approach so controversial?
      Not all parents and parenting experts believe it's okay to leave a small child alone to cry, even for a few minutes. "No cry" advocates consider Ferber's approach harmful to children, and argue that it could undermine a child's sense of security in the world.

      Some of the controversy surrounding the Ferber method also springs from widespread misunderstanding  about what his method actually involves.

      The new edition is a more flexible approach. Ferber's tone in the updated volume is a little warmer and more relaxed than it was two decades ago. Years of working with families have taught him that a wide range of approaches to sleep can work, and in the new book he encourages parents to adapt his program to the needs of their particular child and family culture.

       Rumor:  Ferber says you should let your child cry it out alone in his crib until he falls asleep.....

Baby Center goes on to ditinguish the facts from the rumors

Dr. Ferber himself addresses the hard questions from the good and bad experienes parents have had with his approach and what his true intentions are....

BABY WISE, by Dr. Gary Ezzo
"On Becoming Babywise is more than an infant-management concept; it is a mind-set for responsible parenthood."
                 ~from the ParentWise site by Co-Authors of On Becoming BabyWise

I personally couldn't get through this book because of the condescending tone of the author(s), but the general method is pretty close to what I do with my baby, and recommended by my very caring middle of the road pediatrician.

A great critique from an Attachment Parenting mom out there:
"Babywise Is Anything But Wise": (click underlined title to follow link)
Gary Ezzo reduces parenting to lists of do’s and don’ts. This would work if babies were machines. But they are not. His feeding schedules are considered medically dangerous, producing a fair number of malnourished
babies. His methods of ignoring a babies cry are known to lead to depression and attachment disorder. He teaches parents to ignore their basic parenting instincts and stick to his schedule instead. He claims that parenting instincts don’t exist. Well, I have three sons, and I can tell you that my parenting instincts are alive and well, and helping me each and every day to be the best parent I can be. According to Dr. William Sears, Dr. Jack Newman and Dr James Dobson (all of whom have verifiable credentials and have published excellent books on the same topics covered in Babywise) parenting instincts are an extremely important aid in child rearing... Babywise completely misses and undermines all the most rewarding and exciting parts of parenting."

EASY, by Tracy Hogg, The Baby Whisperer

As a parent I chose to take the E.A.S.Y. route by Baby Whisperer Tracy Hogg. Tracy teaches that a human's natural rythm is to eat, be active, then sleep, rather than to eat and go right to sleep. Like me, Tracy believes in teaching and preparing babies for real life in our culture by respecting them as capable individuals (to an age appropriate extent). She debunks attachement philosophies that encourage parents to cater to babies as completely dependant and insecure little beings. In the company of the late Magda Gerber, Ms Hogg advocates respecting children and babies to learn and accomplish and resolve things on their own with our support but without our unnecessary interferences. Throughout her Baby Whisperer series Tracy teaches nearly the exact same tenants as Magda did with her RIE method that I have loved and incorporated into my life for the past 5 years.

No Matter Which Approach you decide to try, if you are having trouble knowing what to do consider consulting a professional who can come in with an outside objective perspective. Professionals have experience with all these methods and many different babies/families, and can more easily select the best and discard the worst of each method to fit your family.


Anonymous said...

I think you have to go with what works for you and your baby. Having said that, I can't find a person who is getting a good night's sleep unless she used the cry it out method. One of my sons and one of my daughters had no trouble sleeping, but my other two kids were cranky as crazy. I knew with my easy two that if they were fussy, something was really wrong; so I didn't let them cry it out because they didn't need to. With my cranky ones, once I had deduced that they weren't wet, they weren't hungry, they were just cranky, I let them cry it out. Five years and three years later, all four of my kids are on a regular sleep schedule and sleep soundly through the night. If I had to do it all over again, I'd still let them cry it out.

Jolie Molino said...

I have 3 boys, twin 6 year olds and a 2 year old. The twins came first and for the first 8 weeks we held them everytime they cried. Then one would cry, the other sleep.Then the sleeping one would cry and the other would sleep. So after checking to make sure nothing was wrong, diaper, eating(eating every 3 or so hours so they do NOT need to be fed again, course a baby WILL eat if you give them the breast or bottle, but it doesnt mean they need to eat) too warm or too cold, we had to let them cry it out. WHY? Because as a Mommy, I needed sleep. I thought it was more important to be functional and happy for my children during the day and I was slowly becoming depressed because of the crying all night. We read "Happy Sleep Healthy Child" and that was a big help on understanding sleep. The boys NEEDED sleep to be healthy, and so did I for that fact. So we let them cry it out. One cried for 1 hour for one night only and has slept all night every since. The other one took four nights and he has slept all night ever since. I think it is in fact a LESS cruel method then the other method that draws out the issues for months on end. We did the same thing with our now 2 year but he only needed one night too! This method provides such a calmer family atmosphere because it works so quickly and my boys and I are well rested so I can have fun loving on them all day!

Heather Rickard said...

Jolie I love that book too (if you were indeed referring to Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Dr Weisbluff)
Thank you BOTH for your expereinces shared!!

miriam said...

I HATE the healthy sleep habits happy child book. it made me feel like what i was doing was wrong. babies shouldn't be forced on to a schedule, they should be nurtured. and if your baby is waking up just to see that you're there, you should be there. maybe not to pick her up, maybe not to feed her or rock her back to sleep, but you should be there.

and i think that fathers are just as important to parenting. when i'm not around, ryan is the parent and if i'm the one making all the rules and deciding how things are done, then how is he going to be able to keep things up the way i do them? because i work to, it's important that ryan be just as active in the parenting as i am.

AslansLady said...

Quit trusting the "experts". There was a time when women trusted their mothers or other older women who had raised their children. Our system of trusting every new psychologist that comes along is not working; take a look at our nation as compared to the way it was 50 years ago...has it gotten better?

I'm a grandmother who is helping her daughter who had a c-section a little over a month ago. Because the doctor and the hospital screwed up the operation, she got a staph infection, and will most likely have to go back for surgery to correct the botched one. She has also tried to nurse but due to all the stress her milk dried up. Tonight, she was a crying, depressed mess due to putting pressure on herself because all the "experts" say you shouldn't let a baby cry.

Grandma took over. We had a little crying for a little while on baby's part, but now she's asleep. I'm going to use "tough love" with both of them so that my daughter can finally get some rest and baby will stop crying every time she's not being held. Having raised 3 daughters on my own as a single mother and considering they all survived and are now productive citizens and decent people, I've really come to believe we need to go back to tribal or community ways where people learn from their elders rather than the latest expert.

By the way, I'm no hack. I got my Bachelor's degree in Psychology-Family Studies. I graduated with my Master's degree in Human Services-Counseling Studies, and I'm working on my doctorate in Psychology. I graduated top of my class and I am 60 years old. I have both life experience and education and I've learned that the "experts" aren't experts on MY family...I am. Just my 2 cents worth.

Post a Comment