Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam

During this season of anxious anticipation of the arrival of Baby Williams, Jamie and I have been reading a wide variety of books on all that we are embarking upon. The most recent of these books has been On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam.  The book was recommended by a good friend, and while my book queue has been growing longer, I figured it was a worthwhile move to bump this text up on the priority list. It was a fairly easy and straightforward read.

Living in a time when there are probably about as many schools of thought on caring for an infant as there are infants, Jamie and I have kept a mindset of “Test everything and hold on to that which is good” in our reading and applications. We feel like our parenting will likely be as unique as our child, but we are grateful to be building on best practices from a few thousand years of bringing up children.

The focus of the book is working to get an infant on a consistent sleep schedule early on because that will increase rest for both parents and the infant, and that, in turn leads to a healthier baby, healthier parents, and a mom who is well rested and able to produce food for the child. I found the tips to be pretty practical, and the outline seemed to reinforce what we had already been learning from watching a few of our friends working with the rhythm of their infants.

One of the best pieces of advice in the book other than its emphasis was this note. Our child does not need to be the center of your world, it needs to see a family that loves each other, and that as parents, our best gift to our child is demonstrating that they are a part of something greater, that, while they are important, they are no more important than Mom and Dad are to each other, and I would add, that both of those relationships need to be secondary to our primary relationship with God.

Much like any book on child rearing, parenting, or even pregnancy, the book seems  to hold some strong positions, but rather than get caught up in those positions and any sense of guilt or disappointment that could arise over how individuals raise their infants, I find it easy to take a step back and apply those pieces that seem to make sense, and again, to ‘test everything and hold on to that which is good.’ Looking to learn? I recommend giving this book a read, but also taking time to explore other major schools of thought on helping an infant develop, and discussing these different concepts with pediatricians and other parents, but by all means give the book a read.

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