Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Irony of Ezzo and AP, Part 1

Back before we had BD#1, a few of the young mothers at church read Gary Ezzo's On Becoming Babywise. I think someones friend gave one gal a copy & she mentioned it to a couple others of us. It was a casual mention--definitely not a church-sponsored Growing Kids God's Way class or anything like that. I know at least one mom or two of the moms used the ideas from Ezzo's book with reasonable success. I was intrigued enough with their comments about BabyWise that sometime during my pregnancy with BD#1, I picked up a copy of Ezzo's book & skimmed it.

His presentation was straight-forward enough, though perhaps a bit over-bearing (to the point of obnoxious) and derisive of anyone who didn't see things his way. Obviously there was no love lost for those poor deluded attachment parents with their constantly interrupted sleep and chaotic child-centered child-dominated lives. But his presentation of his own ideas sounded reasonable enough... We're all happier with predictability and routines, right?! Therefore:
  • Work the baby into your schedule instead of rearranging your entire life around the baby--baby will feel more secure that way.

  • Get baby into an eating schedule as soon as you can (starting 2 weeks after birth)

  • Be aware of (and take steps to promote) baby getting full sleep cycles rather than cat-naps

  • Feeding baby at regularly spaced intervals will help regulate baby's metabolic processes which in turn help baby sleep through the night sooner than demand fed babies (because your baby will get full meals instead of snacking, therefore less waking during the night from hunger.

  • Eat-play-sleep routines (rather than play-eat-sleep) will lessen the likelihood of baby being nursed to sleep which in turn cuts out the lay-sleeping-baby-down and tip-toe out of the room with-fingers-crossed exercise.

  • Put baby down to bed while awake--teaches baby to fall asleep alone rather than with "sleep aids" and eliminates that dreaded tip-toe routine.

Having done my fair share of baby-sitting as a teenager, I was a bit too familiar with the rock-baby-to-sleep and lay baby down only to have him or her wake up howling to be held again. As annoying as that was to me as a teen-aged baby-sitter, I couldn't imagine having to go through that routine every night for a year or so with each kid we might have. No thanks!! Plus, the concept of attachment parenting, co-sleeping, etc., was one I was NOT interested in. No way, no how. My bed is MINE thankyouverymuch!

Ezzo's ideas all sounded reasonable enough to this order-loving first-timer, but we had child-birth classes to take and furniture to re-arrange so I didn't put too much more thought into the book or Ezzo's ideas until after BD#1's arrival. Once BD#1 was in arms instead of in vitro I had no mental energy to re-read anything. All I could remember was Ezzo's claim that an eat-play-sleep routine would be best for all of us, so off we went. And it worked. Really. It worked.

A bit too well, in fact. He slept so well on is own early on that he never learned the art of falling asleep outside of his crib. So when Memere came to visit, snuggling baby to sleep was a no-go. (Partly because I was a new momma and insisted on trying to keep baby on his "routine" (bag over head--Sorry Mom!!!) But once he aged past that wonderful snuggly newborn phase (hastened I'm sure by my insistence that he sleep in his crib at all naps & nighttime), he absolutely would NOT fall asleep anywhere outside of his crib.

SO... word of warning to those who think not rocking a baby to sleep every night will bring you freedom--it won't!! You'll have to be home by the baby's bedtime--every time, 'cause he won't fall asleep anywhere else. And to this day (almost 4 years later) it's still true. Bed ='s sleep. Therefore, no bed ='s no sleep.

To be continued...

Couple of links from others if you're interested in more information on Ezzo...

From the horses mouth:
Growing Kids God's Way

From those who jumped off the wagon:
Jenn's story
TulipGirl's files
ChewyMom's files
KatieKind's files
Camille's adventures becoming an attachment mom and her research on Ezzo.

Deconstructing the wagon:


Meliss said...

I have 4 kids. Three of my babies were the no bed, no sleep kind. My fourth (almost three) can fall asleep anywhere and does not go to bed as easily his older bros. and sisters. There are advantages and disadvantages either way. With our fourth, it actually fit our family better for him to be able to sleep "on the go". We weren't always tied at home for the nap, and he got his sleep. When they get older, it isn't all that important...

The Savage said...

Yeah, I agree Meliss. The older they get the less it matters... or maybe the older *I* get the less I care about where they sleep, as long as they sleep!! ;-)

I'm also more willing to admit that each kid has his or her own sleeping preferences & not get bent out of shape if they don't line up with my ideals, LOL. So far though, I haven't been too tested on that one as I've got 3early-sleep-all-nighters. (Praise be!!)

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Hi! I'm a wagon-jumper, too. I'm here via TulipGirl and am so enjoying your thoughts on this.

Off to read part 2 . . .