Ezzo parenting: A threat to baby's health?

"In biblical times, a new mother did not lounge around in her bathrobe for weeks attempting to establish a bond with her child" the course states.

The Ezzos instead teach parents to put their newborns on an every three-hour feeding schedule -- and to let babies sometimes cry, with the goal of having babies that sleep through the night by eight weeks.

"When your baby awakens, do not rush right in. Any crying will be temporary, lasting from 5 to 45 minutes" they say of a six week old.

They deny any human instinct exists, so responding to a baby on emotion grates against the "sobermindedness" spoken of in the Bible.

"The baby should be a welcome member of the home, not the center of the universe" they teach.

Questions, Concerns, Fears

Breastfeeding experts and many health professionals are chilled by the Ezzos' methods

Perhaps the harshest criticism comes from a 1996 report from the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Orange County, California. In reviewing the curriculum, the committee says in the wrong hands, the course could lead to abuse.

Marjorie R. Nelsen of Longwood, Florida, an early childhood development expert with more than 30 years of experience and director of the not-for-profit "Partners in Education" said the Ezzos seem to have little understanding of the natural stages of child development -- crucial to a child's healthy up-bringing.

"The first year is gaining a sense of trust" she said. "The baby is learning that 'My food supply is there. My needs are being met. I am in a safe place.' And the language God has given children is the cry."

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