I'm not usually one to jump into controversy, but when Gary Ezzo's Babywise materials came up in a conversation this week, I thought I'd jot down why I am leery of them.
First, Gary Ezzo has been excommunicated from two churches, including John MacArthur's Grace Community Church, for character issues. Read the statements from Grace Community's Elder board and Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship .
Christianity Today published an article about this, part of which you can find here . Focus on the Family has also issued a statment of concern .
Another concern about Ezzo is that his advice on sleep training and scheduled feedings are actually medically dangerous. AAP News printed an article called Babywise Advice Linked to Dehydration, Failure to Thrive . Scheduled feedings also go directly against the AAP's recommendations in this media alert . Famlies have experienced this first hand . (This is just one of many, many testimonies available.)
In his book Parent Project Dr. William Sears explains that "In the case of infant sleep, research suggests that God had the best interest of babies in mind when He designed babies' sleep cycles. Active sleep protects babies. [italics his] Suppose your baby slept like an adult, meaning predominantly deep sleep. Sounds wonderful! For you, perhaps, but not for Baby. Suppose Baby had a need for warmth, food, or even unobstructed air, but because he was sleeping so deeply, he couldn't arouse and act on these needs. Baby's well-being could be threatened...
Encouraging a baby to sleep too deeply, too soon, may not be in the best survival and developmental interest of the baby. This is why new parents, vulnerable to sleep trainers' claims of getting their baby to sleep through the night, should not feel pressured to get their baby to sleep too long, too deeply, too soon."
Finally Gary Ezzo encourages parents to ignore the cries of their little ones. Crying is the only "language" that babies have, and typically when a new baby cries, he has a need--physical or emotional. Furthermore, our Father God comforts and responds to us when we cry out to Him.
"How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you." Isaiah 30:19
"For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones." Isaiah 49:13
"As a mother comforts her child, I will comfort you." Isaiah 66:13
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Note: All the links I provided are from ezzo.info because it was easiest to find them all in one place. However, this information is available at other places on the web as well. And incidentally, ezzo.info is a great source of information for those who want to dig deeper!