Pediatrics/babywise

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Question -
How do you feel about the feed/wake/sleep schedule that Gary Ezzo recommends in his Babywise book?  My first child was a terror when it came to sleeping through the night.  I'd like to try something different and thought maybe Babywise would be a good choice.  I plan to formula feed.  What do you think?
Answer -
Hi, Keri,

The notion of highly scheduled feeding proposed in this controversial book is contrary to the approach I and most pediatricians document for baby feeding.  I does, however, seem more reasonable for bottle fed babies.  It is not safe, as far as I and others are concerned, for breast fed babies.  I think the book is full of unsubstantiated claims and don't recommend it for this reason.

Good luck with your new one!  Dr. Olson
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Thank you for your quick reply.  So, is it scheduling feedings every 3 hours that you are against?  Or is it keeping the baby awake for an hour or so after each daytime feeding that you don't agree with?  I do not want to harm my baby but I would like to get her on a routine and have her sleep well.  Like I said, my first child never slept.  We were miserable for a whole year!  Thanks.


Answer
Hi, Keri,

This approach is probably OK for a bottle fed baby.  The main reason by far that babies don't sleep has nothing to do with feeding schedules, but has everything to do with how the baby is put to sleep and what his/her last waking memory is.  Babies at 4 months don't need to eat for 8-12 hours and if they still are, this is due to how they are put to sleep, not to their feeding schedule.  I don't think the Babywise advise is a good way to get babies to sleep through the night, but I also don't think it will harm a bottle fed baby.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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David Olson, MD

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I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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