Raising Babies by the Book

Bradenton Herald Reprint


Bradenton Herald

The teachings of Preparaton for Parenting, a parenting program written by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo, founders of the Chatsworth, California-based Growing Families International, contrast with those taught by the 53,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics, the world's largest organization of pediatricians.

Issues... What the Ezzos Teach... What DoctorsTeach...
Concerning Sudden Infant Death Syndrome They question scientific findings which indicate laying an infant down on its back may reduce the chance of SIDS. Research shows babies sleeping on their backs or sides are at a lower rate for SIDS.
On feeding a baby They warn parents of "demand feeding'' infants, saying it may produce a "high-need,'' baby with symptoms of colic (excessive unexplained crying), instability in sleep and feeding cycles, perpetual need for comfort nursing, limited self-play adeptness, a demanding toddler and a tired mother, among other things.

Breastfed and bottlefed babies should be treated differently

Breastfed babies should be fed more frequently than their bottlefed counterparts, particluarly whenever they provide signals such a nuzzling, making sucking motions, fussing or crying, commonly known as `demand feeding.'

On colic Characterized by unexplained bouts of intense crying, they say the condition is more prevalant in babies fed on demand. No research references are cited. Demand-feeding is not cited as a cause nor is any relationship established between colic and demand breastfeeding.
On a mother's ability to produce breastmilk They say longer periods of time between breastfeeding, to a certain degree, will create an increase in milk production in the mother. The milk-producing hormone prolactin is released while breastfeeding and breastfeeding more frequently causes her to make more milk.
On letting babies cry They say parents should not respond immediately to a baby's cries, but should instead check on the baby every 15 minutes. A baby may be left to cry to avoid a "predisposition to immediate gratification.'' The best way to handle crying is to respond promptly to the infant during the first few months. You cannot spoil a young baby by giving him attention; and if you answer his calls for help, he'll cry less overall.
On determining if an infant is getting enough They suggest counting the number of wet diapers, in addition to watching for other signs. Wet and soiled diapers should be counted, in addition to watching for possible signs of dehydration including a sunken in soft-spot, no tears when crying or lethargy.

Information taken from 'Preparation for Parenting,' a course written by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo and 'Your Baby and Young Child, Ages Birth to 5,' published by the 53,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics.

Information drawn from editions that were current at the time of publication.