Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 10 Radical Parenting Methods

Baby-wise Parenting

Babies don't come with a how-to manual, a fact cleverly captured in "Operating Instructions," writer Anne Lamott's account of her son's first year.

Enter Baby-wise, with a heavy-on-scheduling approach meant to lessen the guesswork and ease the frustration. Formulated by parenting educator/pastor Garry Ezzo and pediatrician Robert Bucknam, the method sets regular feeding, wake and nap times, so that baby fits in with the parents' lives, not vice versa.

Among the method's key principles are:

  • Feedings for newborns are every two and a half to three hours
  • Mother and baby should sleep separately for proper attachment
  • Babies should not always be picked up at the first sign of complaint and can cry themselves to sleep

Fans say the approach provides needed structure. But critics, like American Academy of Pediatrics pediatrician Matthew Aney, charge that the restrictive feeding times are linked to failure to thrive, dehydration and other serious problems.