On Becoming Baby Wise, the Bestseller: What’s the Fuss All About?

The Publisher and Distributor’s complete Babywise page with purchasing options, blog index, FAQ’s and other Baby Wise resources.

Baby WiseOn Becoming Baby Wise: Giving your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep

By Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam, M.D.

A perennial bestseller, since 1993. Baby Wise is the de facto parenting manual for naturally synchronizing your baby’s feeding time, waketime and nighttime cycles, so the whole family can sleep through the night.


↓ BabyWise Distinctions & Statistics
↓ Baby Wise Book Description
↓ What version of Baby Wise do I need ?
↓ How Babywise can Help (Dr Robert Bucknam)
↓ Selected Babywise Book Reviews
↓ Origins and History of Baby Wise
↓ What Health Care Professionals Say about Babywise
↓ Babywise Friendly Blogs


- 2012 edition. The Revised and Updated 5th Edition.
- ISBN Print ed:  978-1932740134
- ISBN eBook:    978-0988739901

Buy Print Books:  Amazon Barnes & Noble

Download eBook:  Amazon Kindle,  B&N Nook,  Apple iBookstore,  Kobo


More External Babywise Resources

 → Parent-Led Baby Schedules ~ BabyCenter’s Expert Advice

 → BabyWise Success Stories Blog Index 

 → 12 Video Testimonials from Moms on Baby Wise


Babywise Distinctions & Statistics

  • over 3 million sold
  • translations in 16 languages
  • 1600+ 5-Star Reviews on Amazon
  • a consistent top 200 book (of all books) on Amazon
  • the #1 bestseller in “sleep disorders” on Amazon
  • the #1 eBook download in parenting on Apple’s iBookstore


Babywise Book Description

Babywise continues to gain global recognition for its common-sense approach to parenting a newborn. The infant management plan offered by Gary Ezzo and Dr. Robert Bucknam in this book helps parents successfully and naturally synchronize their baby’s feeding time, waketime and nighttime cycles. The results? Happy, healthy and contented babies who sleep through the night on average between seven and nine weeks of age. Babywise has everything you need.  Get your copy today, and find out what the fuss is all about.

Babywise newborn training brings hope to the tired and bewildered parents looking for an alternative to sleepless nights and fussy babies. The Babywise Parent Directed Feeding concept has enough structure to bring security and order to your baby’s world, yet enough flexibility to give mom freedom to respond to any need at any time. It teaches parents how to lovingly guide their baby’s day rather than be guided or enslaved to the infant’s unknown needs. The information contained within On Becoming Babywise is loaded with success.

Comprehensive breast-feeding follow-up surveys spanning three countries, of mothers using the PDF method verify that as a result of the PDF concepts, 88% breast-feed, compared to the national average of only 54% (from the National Center for Health Statistics). Of these breast-feeding mothers, 80% of them breast-feed exclusively without a formula complement. And while 70% of our mothers are still breast-feeding after six months, the national average encourage to follow demand feeding without any guidelines is only 20%. The mean average time of breast-feeding for PDF moms is 33 1/2 weeks, well above the national average.

Over 50% of PDF mothers extend their breast-feeding toward and well into the first year. Added to these statistics is another critical factor. The average breast-fed PDF baby sleeps continuously through night seven to eight hours between weeks seven and nine. Healthy sleep in infants is analogous to healthy growth and development. Find out for yourself why a world of parents and pediatricians utilize the concepts found in On Becoming Babywise.

The authors demonstrate how order and stability are mutual allies of every newborn’s metabolism and how parents can take advantage of these biological propensities. In particular, we note how an infant’s body responds to the influences of parental routine or the lack thereof. In the latter chapters, we explore the everyday aspects of infant management. Included is an explanation of the three basic elements of daytime activities for newborns: feeding time, waketime, and naptime.

Because every philosophy of parenting has a corresponding pathology, we invite new and expectant parents to consider, evaluate, and decide which philosophy is best for their family. Review all the options. Examine carefully the alternative theories and approaches, and specifically observe the end results. Determine which parenting strategy is right for you, especially when it comes to infant nurturing.

The best evaluation of any parenting philosophy, including Babywise, is not found in the reasoning or the logic of the hypothesis. End results speak clearly. Let your eyes confirm what works and what doesn’t. You will be most confident in your parenting when you see the desired results lived out in other families.

On Becoming Babywise is more than an infant-management concept–it is a mindset for responsible parenthood. The principles presented will help any parent develop a plan that meets both the needs of a new baby and of the entire family. This plan will not leave mom ragged at the end of the day or in bondage to her child, and dad will not be excluded from his duties. These principles have worked for thousands of parents and, when faithfully applied, will also work wonderfully for you!


Which version of Babywise do I need ?

The latest version is the 5th edition, February 2012.  We highly recommend ONLY purchasing the newest and most current version of On Becoming Babywise which is the version linked to from this website.  It has a new chapter, several important revisions, the latest in medical updates, and is 19% longer than the former version.  In becoming one of America’s leading infant management guides, On Becoming Babywise has continued to improve its methods and practices throughout its 24 years and this latest version is the result of all the best over the last two decades.


How Baby Wise Can Help (from Dr Bucknam’s Foreword)

After completing medical school and serving my residency in obstetrics and gynecology, I felt knowledgeable enough to be a parent. Between my wife’s degree in child development and my medical training, how hard could this parenting thing be? We would just do what comes naturally and follow our instincts. Right? Wrong!

Soon after the birth of our first son, we quickly found our enthusiasm and confidence turned into exhaustion and frustration. My wife was up four times at night, and my son was excessively fussy during the day. The unsolicited advice typically offered by colleagues was to feed more often, since it was assumed my son cried because he was hungry. We did feed him, around the clock, every two hours. As we found out later, that was the cause of the problem, not the cure.

Scientists can put a man on the moon, but they cannot answer the most basic problems of early parenting: how to have a happy and contented baby who sleeps continually through the night like the rest of the family and a mother who is not in a perpetual state of exhaustion.

Through our common interest in children and parenting, my wife and I became acquainted with the work and accomplishments of Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. The Ezzos’ basic and loving concepts for nurturing newborns virtually eliminated the problems listed above and many more. I have personally observed infants who were guided by the Ezzos’ principles and those who were not. It became obvious that parents equipped with the right information do make a difference.

That was one reason why, over 20 years ago, I made the transition from obstetrics to pediatrics and with the switch came the medically sound principles of Babywise. They work consistently, not only for millions of children already touched by the work of Gary and Anne Marie, but also for my four children, my colleagues’ children, my friends’ children, and all my patients.

To say the least, Babywise has brought a needed reformation to pediatric counsel given to new parents. When parents come in looking exhausted and discouraged and tell me their woeful stories of sleepless nights and fussy babies, I can give them a positive prescription that cures the problem—I hand them On Becoming Babywise.

   ~ Robert Bucknam, M.D. Louisville, Colorado 


Selected Babywise Book Reviews

  1. Babywise book review at The CatholicMom.com Meg Matenaer
  2. Book Review at the Baby Sleep Guide
  3. Bible.org Book review of Babywise


Origins and History of Baby Wise

The principles of On Becoming Babywise were first shared in 1984.  Sarah was the first baby girl raised with the principles; Kenny was the first boy.  Both thrived on mother’s milk and a basic routine, and both slept through the night by seven weeks.  It was that easy.  From friend to friend, city to city, state to state, and country to country, the positive message continues to spread.  On Becoming Babywise has now spread to multiple continents and has been translated into 16 different languages.  Today we no longer count the success stories in thousands or even in tens of thousands, but in millions of happy, healthy babies who were given the gift of nighttime sleep.

As with previous editions, this update does not provide parents a list of do’s and don’ts.  We wish parenting were that easy. Rather, our larger objective is to help prepare minds for the incredible task of raising a child.  We believe the preparation of the mind is far more important than the preparation of the nursery.  Both can be a lot of fun.  Your baby will not care if his head rests on designer sheets or beside Disney characters, nor is your success tied to his wardrobe or bedroom accessories, but rather to the beliefs and convictions that will eventually shape your parenting experience.

It is our opinion that the achievements of healthy growth, contented babies, good naps, and playful wake times, as well as the gift of nighttime sleep, are too valuable to be left to chance.  They need to be parent-directed and parent-managed.  These are attainable conclusions, because infants are born with the capacity to achieve these outcomes and, equally important, the need to achieve them.  Our goal is to demonstrate how this is done, but only after we explain why it should be done.

We realize there are a number of parenting theories being marketed today, most of which come gift-wrapped with unrealistic promises and unnecessary burdens. In light of the many options, how can new parents know what approach is best of their families? Since every philosophy of parenting has a corresponding outcome unique to that philosophy, we encourage new and expectant parents to consider, evaluate, and decide which approach is best for their families.  This can be accomplished by observing the end results.  Spend time with relatives and friends who follow the La Leche League/Attachment Parenting style of infant care.  Observe whose who practice hyper-scheduling, and certainly evaluate the outcomes associated with On Becoming Babywise.

In which homes do you observe order, peace, and tranquility?  Don’t take any marketing plug or some strangers word for truth.  Search for yourself.  Consider the marriages as well as the children.  Is mom in a perpetual state of exhaustion?  Is she nursing every two hours or less?  Is Dad sleeping on the couch?  What is the family life like when a child is 6, 12, and 18 months old?  Is Mom stressed, frustrated, or lacking confidence?  Is the baby stressed, exhausted or insecure?  When the baby is nine months old, can the parents leave the room without the baby falling apart emotionally?  We believe the best evaluation of any parenting philosophy, including the one found in On Becoming Babywise, is not found in the reasoning or the logic of the hypothesis but in the end results.  Let your eyes confirm what works and what does not. You will be most confident in your parenting when you see the desired results lived out in other families using the same approach.  Look at the fruit and then trace it back to its seed source.

The Appendices section in On Becoming Babywise contains charts, worksheets, and additional information relating to infant care.  Appendices of a book should never by considered less important than then general reading, but only of different importance.  Please read them in the order in which they are referred to in the chapters.

There are some matters of terminology that we would like to address.  When you read through each chapter, you will see that we predominantly used the masculine gender in our illustrations.  This was done for our convenience.  The principles will, of course, work equally well with girls.  Also, in our attempt to speak directly to our community of parents, we often use the pronouns you, your, and yours to address our readers.   While we realize that not everyone reading the book is a parent, the vast majority are, thus we toggled between second and third-person expressions.  Finally, the name of the child most often referred to in the book is “Baby.”

The principles contained within the pages can help parents develop workable strategies that meet the needs of their babies and the rest of the family.  These have worked for millions of parents, and when faithfully applied can work wonderfully for you!  However, your pediatrician or family practitioner should always be consulted when questions arise about the health and welfare of your baby.  Enjoy the journey of parenting!


What Health Care Professionals Say about Babywise

Parent-led baby schedules: Baby Wise, Gina Ford, and others”  ~ comprehensive “Expert Advice” article from BabyCenter

       (reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board )

My introduction to On Becoming Babywise came over 20 years ago when a discerning member in my practice noticed my frustration with the growing numbers of fatigued mothers, fussy babies and their sleepless nights. I was handed a set of audio tapes of this series. Being profoundly impressed with the insightfulness and relevance of the content, I began applying the principles in my practice. The change was dramatic, as I watched the incidence of colicky babies, sleep- disturbed and frustrated parents drop precipitously. Word of mouth among our community has helped our practice grow exponentially. I cannot imagine any pediatrician that has come in contact with this resource not making it part of their practice.

      Jim Pearson, M.D. Johnson City, Tennessee

As family physicians and a husband-wife team, we are often asked questions related to parenting and the general care of children. Most of our basic responses are found in On Becoming Babywise. For answering parenting questions, it has become a practical guide, giving us a sense of competence and confidence as physicians and as parents. When the principles are put into practice, parents reap abundant rewards.

     Tony Burden, M.D., and Margaret Burden, M.D. Bellingham, Washington

Babywise provides sound parenting advise and common sense pediatric care to many parents who are confused, frustrated, and downright sleep deprived. As a pediatrician and father of four, my wife and I routinely receive positive feedback regarding our chil- dren’s behavior and sleep habits. Parents feel confident and relaxed when they have a plan and a goal for their infant and family. Once a family has found success with the principles in Babywise, they pass along their satisfaction to every new parent they meet. Simply put, “It works!”

     David M. Miller, M.D. Superior, Colorado

I am a practicing pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics. Residents and new mothers I work with have found On Becoming Babywise overwhelmingly successful. My residents report a positive difference in the confidence of new mothers who work with this plan compared to those who do not. The freedom Babywise provides a new mother is so refreshing. Life is predictable, allowing her to be proactive in parenting, not reactive, which usually produces less- than-desirable results. My parents become baby-wise with Babywise.

     Linda Meloy, M.D. Richmond, Virginia

As a pediatrician, I cannot argue with the success of On Becoming Babywise. It is such a practical approach to parenting. It provides infants with needed structure and stability and brings the joy and love so needed in our homes today. The effects of not using On Becoming Babywise show up very quickly. That is why I have made these prin- ciples a priority of discussion in every well-child care visit. Parents constantly tell me, “It changed our lives.”

     Janet Dunn, M.D. Chatsworth, California

As a practicing pediatrician, husband, and father, I enthusiastically recommend On Becoming Babywise. I found the principles contained within to be a sigh of welcome relief to sleepless, weary parents, and more than an ounce of prevention for those who adopt these con- cepts from the start. I am convinced that the well-tested principles of Babywise produce confident parents, secure and content infants, and peaceful and orderly homes.

     David Blank, M.D. Longmont, Colorado

As an obstetrician and a mother, my concern for a healthy out- come continues beyond the moment of delivery. Because the prin- ciples of On Becoming Babywise are so effective, I consider it part of my extended health care for the entire family. The principles are simple, yet amazing. They consistently produce babies who are healthy, content, and who sleep through the night at an early age. Feeding a baby on demand simply cannot compare to the overall healthy benefits of Babywise. The concepts take the guesswork out of early parenting and provide new moms the confidence of knowing what happens next. Not following the principles of Babywise is a potential health concern.

     Sharon Nelson, M.D. Glendale, California

Medical school in no way prepared me for one of the more demanding aspects of my practice: dealing with infant feeding. The theory of feeding a baby whenever it cries, which was standard teaching, was not only without justification—it simply did not meet the needs of my patients. Since being introduced to the principles of On Becoming Babywise, I have been convinced of its effectiveness in estab- lishing sleep patterns and in decreasing the frequency of problems associated with infant feeding. If thriving children and happy, rested parents were not enough, my greatest commendation of On Becoming Babywise is that my own children are being raised by these precepts.

     Craig Lloyd, M.D. Brisbane, Australia

As a Mom, I parented both ways. As a certified lactation educator, I know how discouraging it is to feed a baby around the clock with no apparent advantage and how fatigue will affect her milk supply. I also know how discouraging the first eighteen months of parent- ing can be without a plan. I know, because with my first child, I did everything the opposite of what is taught in this book. Before my second baby was born, I was introduced to the Babywise concepts. Applying the principles revolutionized my thinking. Instead of being in baby bondage, I was liberated to be the mother God wanted me to be. I have consistently used this series with the women I counsel. These mothers have met with tremendous success, whether bottle or breastfeeding.

     Barbara Phillips, R.N., C.L.E. Los Angeles, California


The original medical advisory board

Kenneth Beckett, M.D.

David Blank, M.D.

Tony Bürden, M.D.

Margaret Burden, M.D.

Kathryn Cashner, M.D.

Donald Cline, M.D.

John Curlin, M.D.

Craig Cook, M.D.

Ron Fessenden, M.D.

Donald Frame, M.D.

Carl Hays, M.D.

Earl Hoffer, M.D.

Bruce Jung, M.D.

Peter Kim, M.D.

Paula Kruppstadt, M.D.

Pennock Laird, M.D.

Saphry May Liauw, M.D.

Brad Lowery, M.D.

Mike McCoy, M.D.

Linda Meloy, M.D.

Jim Pearson, M.D.

Carl Pfansteil, M.D.

Bonnie Premo, M.D.

Tom Reed, M.D.

Van Schalin, M.D.

John Scott, M.D.

Chris Smith, M.D.

Rusty Turner, M.D.

Jeff Welsh, M.D.

Robin Welsh, M.D.

Ginger Williams, M.D.

Eleanor Womack M.D.


Babywise Backcover Endorsements

“From a pediatrician’s perspective, this is a sigh of welcome relief for sleepless, weary parents.”

“Since being introduced to the principles of Babywise, I have been convinced of its effectiveness in establishing sleep patterns and in decreasing the frequency of problems associated with infant feeding.”

“Babywise provides sound parenting advice and common-sense pediatric care to many parents who are confused, frustrated and downright sleep deprived.”

Babywise Friendly Blogs