There are many myths and facts surrounding this fairly controversial parenting style. On the whole, many pediatricians frown at the idea of using the parent-directed feeding (PDF) approach described in Babywise. However, when I look into the matter I find very little evidence to suggest that it is in anyway harmful. In fact, when I look around at parents that use it, I find just the opposite – well-adjusted, happy babies that have well-rested, happy parents. This post serves as a collection of all my research on the topic and our own personal experience.
It is really that bad?
When I first started looking into Babywise, I found a wealth of very negative information. Looking more closely at who was writing all the negativity, I found that it was coming from people that did not really have any personal experience with Babywise. It was more a philosophical hatred for Babywise than it was a failed personal experience. I am continually amazed at how often people criticize things they actually know nothing about. Things with which they have no personal experience. On the other hand when you talk to people who have actually used the Babywise approach, you generally get a very positive story. Since, I am an independent thinker, I decided to look into the situation a little more to see if there was anything to support the negative claims made by the anti-Babywise people. Here is what I found:
Does it Work?
You bet it works! Of course I cannot just take someone’s word for it, I had to try it out myself. For me, if I want to be able to speak intelligently about something, I really need to have some personal experience with it. While my experience thus far just involves our first child, I do feel that I can draw a few conclusions and report on our experience. Of course, I am sure you will not want to take just my word for it either. I strongly encourage you to talk with other parents who have used the approach. See what they have to see and pay close attention to their kids. I caution you though to be skeptical of someone who bashes the approach but has not ever actually tried it. Here is what we found the first time around:
When the going gets tough…
Despite our best intentions, sometimes babies get mad. Sometimes they just do not follow the rule book. While I believe in the process and outcomes of a PDF approach, the path to success was much harder than I anticipated. Perhaps it was because of our son’s temperament. Perhaps it was because our expectations were too high. Whatever it was, we did run into problems. Some we solved right away. Others took more time. Here are the major problems that we encountered and what we did to solve them: