Anti-Babywise Articles

I’ve said it before that this blog isn’t for debates and this remains true even though I am about to talk about something controversial. I am writing this as information and NOT to open up a debate on my blog. Go elsewhere if you are looking for debates on this subject matter. This is not the place because I will not engage you in debates.

But, the fact of the matter is, I am tired of Babywise getting a bad reputation! I am tired of reading articles that claim Babywise leads to “failure to thrive”.

Contrary to what many people believe, Babywise does not advocate feeding a baby just by the clock!!! Yes, Babywise is about scheduling, but Babywise does NOT mean you feed your baby by the clock with no other factors involved!

To me, it comes down to two simple words: common sense. If your baby is hungry, you feed him/her, regardless of what time the clock says and when the next scheduled feeding is suppose to happen!!

To make himself clear on this matter, the author of Babywise, has clearly stated to feed a hungry baby multiple times throughout his book!

See for yourself:

[Please note: These quotes are taken from the book but I gathered these quotes from an article that Babywise Mom wrote on her blog.]

  1. Both the variable of hunger cues and the constant of time guide parents at each feeding." page 37
  2. "When the hunger cue is present, the clock is submissive to the cue, because the hunger cues, not the clock, determine feedings." page 40
  3. "Responding promptly to a newborn’s hunger cue is also a central part of Parent Directed Feeding." page 64
  4. "The first rule of feeding states: Whenever your baby shows signs of hunger, feed her!" page 74
  5. "Sometimes it may be less and sometimes slightly more, based on your baby’s unique needs" page 74–talking about how often to feed baby
  6. "As stated, there will be times when you might nurse sooner than 2 1/2 hours…" page 74
  7. "There is only one Babywise feeding rule for the first two weeks. Mothers and fathers should take their clocks, turn and face them against the wall." page 77
  8. "…even feeding as often as every two hours." page 79 (in discussing jaundice)
  9. "Be careful not to compromise your baby’s nutrition while attempting to establish healthy sleep patterns." page 98
  10. "Remain mindful of growth spurts that may require additional feedings for a few days." page 113
  11. "As stated, your baby’s normal feeding periods fall between 2 1/2- and 3- hour intervals. But there are times when you may feed sooner than those time increments." page 115
  12. "…it might be that she is hungry and in need of another full feeding. If that is the case, feed her again…" page 115
  13. "…just know that hunger is always a legitimate reason to feed less than two hours." page 115
  14. "There also may be medical reasons for feeding a child more frequently. For example,…premature newborns…jaundice…" page 115
  15. "…it’s okay to deviate from the 2 1/2- to 3-hour feeding norm." page 116
  16. "Don’t be afraid to add an extra feeding if you think your baby needs it." page 118
  17. "If you feel you need to add an additional feeding during the day, do it." page 121
  18. "Our emphasis and encouragement is to first approach the 45-minute intruder as a hunger problem, not a sleep adjustment problem. Try feeding your baby first." page 144
  19. "Feed the baby during these growth spurts and adjust your daily routine to allow for a few more feedings during the day." page 144
  20. "By feeding sooner than normal you are not going backward in your routine but are making the healthy and proper adjustments needed to move into the next phase of your baby’s development." page 145
  21. "With a reflux baby consider feeding more often than the general recommended 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Try feeding every 2 hours. This may be easier on your baby…" page 167
  22. "Possibly for a couple of days you might feed every two hours. That’s okay." page 192 (in discussing jaundice)
  23. "If baby is hungry, feed him." page 196
  24. "Probably she is going through a growth spurt. For the next couple of days, add a feeding or two to her routine." page 202
  25. "When your baby goes to the nursery, leave a bottle of water, formula, or breast milk and give the nursery worker freedom to do what he or she thinks is best." page 214
  26. "We are encouraged by the fact that so many parents understand the value of order in their lives and their children’s lives. But sometimes people redefine order to mean rigidity, and that leads to imbalance. Balance includes both structure and flexibility." page 214
  27. "If you are breast-feeding, these [growth] spurts may necessitate some extra feedings for a couple of days…" page 219

And, here are some quotes from the 1995 printing of Babywise.


  1. "Second, our conviction is that a baby should be fed when he or she signals readiness. With PDF, a mother feeds her baby when the baby is hungry…" page 39
  2. "If your baby is hungry, feed him or her." page 132
  3. "If you have a baby who becomes exceptionally and continuously fussy, consider the possibility that that he is hungry." page 134 (in reference to late evening fussy periods)
  4. "If your baby is hungry, feed him" page 181

I’m always the first to say that Babywise isn’t for everyone! There is no one method that is going to work for all families and all babies. But the bad reputation Babywise gets, I believe, comes from people who believe Babywise is strictly hyperscheduling (feeding baby by the clock only).

And, if you take the time to read the book for yourself and really understand the philosophy and theory behind the methods, you will see it is not hyperscheduling at all.

If you are using Babywise with your baby, please understand that no where in the book does the author tell us to keep a hungry baby from eating until the clock says it is time to eat!

Once again, just use common sense.

If your baby is hungry, feed him or her!!!!

The End.

Ok – I guess I really wasn’t done, because I have one more thing to show you.

Do you see this baby?


This cubby, roly poly, thunder thighs baby?

She is a Babywise baby. From birth, she was fed on a schedule, but, if she is hungry before feeding time, she gets a bottle. What a novel idea!

Ok, ok, she is formula fed. Must be because of the formula that she is so chubby…

Take a look at this baby!


She is actually only 5 days younger than Sweet Pea but look at that chub!!! She is 20 pounds at 9 months old and she has been a Babywise baby since birth. And she has been exclusively breastfed since birth.

“Failure to thrive” on Babywise?! I think not…because their mamas use common sense!!

I’ll say it one more time and then, I am done.

"When the hunger cue is present, the clock is submissive to the cue, because the hunger cues, not the clock, determine feedings." page 40 {emphasis mine}

The End.

7 thoughts on “Anti-Babywise Articles

  1. Thanks for posting. I actually just started reading Babywise, and learned quickly that people have very strong opinion when I posted about something I like about the book and got some crazy responses on the blog from people I didn’t know, many of whom have clearly not read the book. I do not agree with some of the ideas especially until 12 weeks but that is simply because I am naturally drawn to a more attachment style of infant care. I do think that BW has some great principles for older babies and will be using it as a reference once our little guy is a few months old and has learned to self soothe. Thank you for your views and sharing your experiences. I think it is important to show the positives that can be a result of following these principles. Blessings x

  2. What gets me are people who are anti-babywise, but pro- baby whisperer, which is the EXACT same theory, only couched in cute British sayings.

  3. Here Here Elaine….both my babies and several of my friend’s babies were all babywised….and none of them had any failure to thrive! The bad rap came from parents who followed babywise without truely reading the book and the method and just scheduled. AND….who is to say those babies didn’t have other issues leading to the failure to thrive. There are always sooo many factors that lead to that which are never brought to the surface. Thanks for posting this. More people need to see the black and white print telling the parent to listen to their baby.

  4. as if that wasn’t enough, a girl i know posted on FB recently that she hated it (despite not reading it) b.c of the CIO in the book. she once said that her baby had NEVER cried and he was like 6-7 months at the time. i mean really? you’ve never had to leave a crying baby to use the bathroom? hehe! everyone has their opinion but i’m so tired of people trying to say bad things about things they don’t know. millions of babes have been baby wised and they’re great…just b/c it’s not your style…don’t say bad things about it.

  5. Great post! I linkmto it the next time someone is critical of babywise. I just mentioned a Dreamfeed on someone’s facebook post the other day and another commenter mentioned they hadn’t heard the term before. I commented where it was from and that I had done Babywise with my daughter. She then commented that she had never read into it because her doctor was very critical of it due to failure to thrive. I told her that you always feed a hungry baby but thus post spells it out even better.

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