[and other Babywise myths that hooked us.]
"Of COURSE you can rock your baby to sleep! Just don't make it a habit." Before I had my baby, this actually made sense. After I had her, I remember thinking: "How much is a habit? I did it once yesterday ... can I do it again today? What if I did it twice in one day?" Not to mention that if a newborn baby is crying and you comfort it by rocking or nursing, it will almost surely fall asleep. So, basically, "Don't nurse them to sleep" has to translate into "Don't comfort them." But of course, Ezzo never SAYS that! My, how I'm twisting things! No--but it's important to realize how this really works.
"But Ezzo says to feed a hungry baby": Yes, but this is trumped by warnings about the baby's metabolism if feedings aren't spaced properly. I remember being worried that my baby's metabolism and everything else would be screwed up when I fed her early. How sad to RELUCTANTLY feed your baby, because you're scared that the feeding will damage her!
"Take some, leave some--use the book flexibly": Ironically, most Ezzo fans would say THAT was the problem when issues arise: The parents followed it too strictly! But that doesn't really make sense if you're familiar with the materials. It's not "a book of random suggestions," it's a program that's critical to follow. If you're only doing some of it ... you're not doing it!
It's one or the other: While Ezzo classes may initially be presented as just one possible parenting tool, Ezzo quickly presents parents with a series of extreme scenarios like, do you plan to carry your baby in a sling 24 hours a day and have them sleep in your bed until they're five? Do you want to be frazzled and depressed and exhausted all the time? If not, then the Ezzo method is perfect for you. Believing it was a simple choice between one or the other was what hooked us.
Anti-Ezzo warnings on the web were from weird extremists. I had actually read a lot of anti-Ezzo stuff during my pregnancy. And I was somewhat concerned by what I read. But I thought, "Well, our church friends who are teaching this have kids that seem happy" or "Well, the Ezzo critics never tried it!" or "I guess they are into humanism." MANY people in our church at the time swore by it, and they seemed like decent people, so I figured that anti-Ezzo voices on the web were weird extremists--not people who had good reason for their concerns.
Sleeping through the night: I had really gotten the impression that once you did Ezzo, your baby would sleep through the night at two months, and ta-da! No more sleep issues! I remember being shocked when someone told me that it took about a year for their baby to consistently get good sleep, between teething, rolling over and everything else. I mentioned this to my Contact Mom [Contact Mom is the title for GFI volunteers who provide mother-to-mother advice and support] and was surprised to hear her say, "Yes, those things can all cause problems." Boy, was I dumb! I thought once they slept through the night, you were set!
You can take it or leave it if it doesn't suit you. One of the reasons I thought Ezzo was great was because I had NEVER heard or read of former Ezzo users who became disenchanted after having trouble with the methods. It seemed like EVERYONE I knew who tried it, swore by how wonderful it was. And everybody who hated it had never tried it and never wanted to try it. So I assumed I was quite a failure when it didn't seem to be "working" for me. I've noticed there seems to be an almost "hush-hush" feeling about trying Ezzo and not sticking to it.
You can take it or leave it if it doesn't suit you, part two. We quit using Ezzo at three months. And then it took me at least another three months to "recover." What other parenting books have that effect on people?