I've heard the spectrum of opinions on this book and decided to check it out for myself after meeting the super happy baby of friends who adhere (for the most part) to the advice provided in this book. As a woman who values structure with a reasonable level of flexibility, the first six chapters made a lot of sense to me and had me feeling more at ease as to what kind of routine we may be able to get into as our baby transitions through the various sleeping/feeding stages of the first 12 months.
All that to say, this book is not perfect, nor will I treat it like the end-all be-all of how I care for our daughter. Here are a few of the downsides: some of the material is very repetitive, the author occasionally has a condescending tone towards his audience, at times I felt like I was reading an infomercial that was supposed to convince me that all other methods were hogwash, and the author interjected advice in various places that felt inappropriate. For example, here is what the author warns regarding breast-feeding consultants:
"If you are receiving more parenting philosophy from the consultant than breastfeeding mechanics, or if you are told to feed your baby every hour, carry him in a sling, or any other extreme-sounding advice, consider looking elsewhere for help. If you come across a consultant offering advice such as the above, share her name with other moms as a warning, especially Baby Wise moms. Let them know what you discovered. Equally, when you find a consultant that is sympathetic and helpful, share her name with your friends."
Hmmmmm... Let's just say I skimmed over certain areas where the author got up on his high horse and poo-pooed everyone else that didn't think as intelligently as he did. In spite of taking a fair amount of the book with a grain of salt, I did feel like it offered a very logical, enticing, and healthy way to maximize the sleeping/feeding/wake times of one's child. Not only will Abigail be the healthier for it, but the rest of our family will also be able to enjoy a good night's rest. The book claims that parents who use the Baby Wise method will have infants sleeping through the night between 7- and 10-weeks of age. I wonder if they'll give me my money back if Abby turns out to be a night owl...