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January 18, 2007

Fifty Years for Florida Physician

(Like the alliteration of that title?)

"Knowing your patients is one of the benefits of a practice in a small town," (Dr. Arnold) Tanis said. . . The doctor, whose patients affectionately call him Dr. Bud, has 40 families that he has been seeing for three generations. "I'll see a kid who's causing terrible distress and I'll look at the father and say `You did the same thing, you know.'"

As chairman of the Health & Accident Prevention Committee of the Florida Pediatrics Society, Tanis was part of the movement to get the state's first child restraint law passed in 1979. . .

The pediatrician is also a staunch advocate of breastfeeding. "It is the healthiest, both for the mother and the baby," he said.

Besides promoting safety and breastfeeding Dr. Tanis was among the pediatricians who early on questioned the soundness of the medical advice given in Gary Ezzo's "Babywise." This led to an AAP review and warning issued about scheduled feeding, such as what is promoted by Gary Ezzo.

Resolution 53SC: Evaluating Infant Management Programs
Resolution 22T: Investigating the Ezzo Program and FTT Infants Associated With It
Dr. Tanis's notes to The Florida Pediatrician

Read the full tribute to pediatrician Dr. Arnold Tanis .


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Interesting post on scheduled feeding (Dr. Ezzo). I recently read (mostly re-read) Dr. Ezzo's book, "Babywise" and find some logic to the system, though I would never sacrifice my baby's health for any system. It appearred to me, however, that the authors of this book took more of a middle approach when it came to feeding. They did not necessarily support the "feeding on demand" approach, nor did they support a full view of "scheduled feeding" (primarily for health concerns of the child). The authors appeared to express the opinion that getting into a predictable feeding schedule with an infant promotes feelings of security for the child, more restful sleep, as well as other benefits. However, this routine should never take importance over the needs of the child (I believe the authors called it "Parent Directed Feeding). Therefore, if a child appears hungry, he or or she should be fed regardless of the preset schedule. I am interested in reading more about the debate, however, specifically with concern to the philosophy and opinions expressed in "Babywise". My first child responded very well to a schedule and still does. I understand, however, that each child is different and unique. One specific technique or parenting philosophy may not work for every child, which is why I'm always interested in listening to opposing arguments and viewpoints. Thanks for the post!

Posted by: Rebecca at January 21, 2007 09:32 PM

The title of this posting sounds like a prison sentence. I was reading while holding my breath, waiting for the part where he killed or abused a patient, or performed terrible experiments on them...

Posted by: Joe St at January 22, 2007 04:40 AM

Well, first of all, it's MISTER Ezzo - Ezzo is NOT a doctor of any kind. He is NOT a Pediatrician, he is NOT a child Pyschologist, he's NOT a child THERAPIST. His book doesn't take a "middle approach" either. And he proves this when he says things like, "If the baby is hungry, then feed him, then re-evaluate why the baby has an uncooperative stance". It's really quite simple - FEED A HUNGRY BABY! If you always are feeding a baby that is hungry, then you won't have issues.

As for schedules, I would say that most babies eventually work out a "routine" for themselves. But it is extremely critical for breastfeeding Moms to feed the child WHENEVER he shows signs of hunger. If you want to read more about the controversy, I suggest you visit www.awareparent.net or www.ezzo.info

Posted by: Becky at January 22, 2007 08:29 AM

What has always puzzled me about this Ezzo controversary is that he was not the first to advocate scheduling feeding times.
I've mentioned this before, but it was my mother-in-law who first told me about having a feeding schedule and she learned that from a Health Canada Manual given to her at the birth of her first son.
That was in 1977. Ezzo's books weren't around then.
The other question is why do so many babies thrive on a schedule? If Ezzo is so wrong and his practices dangerous, why do adhering moms with happy healthly babies recommend this book to other moms?
It was an adhering friend of mine who recommended his book as she had found it very helpful with her first son. She now has three boys under the age of four and still uses the patterns and routines she learned for the first.
I'm not an Ezzo fan, I just happen to see success from his suggestions and advice.
I realize that some parents may not be balanced in their approach. They neglect obvious signs of "failure to thrive" but how does that speak for the many who have been successful?

Posted by: Heather at January 22, 2007 02:18 PM

To answer Heather's question, I would guess that it's similar to what a mother of my own mother's generation might have said about carseats. Obviously carseats been helpful in some situations, but how do you explain the many children who have done well without them?

:0) Silly, I know. The problem is that, as with carseats and automobile accidents, you can't tell in advance which baby will do ok on a parent directed schedule and which baby will not.

But if you allow the baby to set the pace for feeding, his appetite proves to be a very accurate, God-given guide. It is directly tied to his individual requirement for food, fluids and antibodies. His mother's milk supply is, in turn, regulated by the baby's intake. Her milk supply also experiences ups and downs due to factors in her life, and ebb and flow also affects the baby's appetite, which increases or decreases in accordance to the amount of milk his mother supplies. It is a beautiful, intricate balancing act--and I'm only sketching the bare outline of the factors that affect the fine-tuning in the balance. It is truly astounding.

It's odd that a book would put so much emphasis on achieving a certain schedule when miracles like the above system are there to be had. It's odd indeed that at infancy, during a child's most vulnerable months, a book would have parents looking to discover the fewest possible feedings the baby can survive on. Experienced parents will tell you to chill out and enjoy the baby. Eventually he'll eat like a grownup. It's a bit unrealistic to expect a 6 month old to do so, however.

Meanwhile, it's just really sad when a mother who wanted to breastfeed finds she can't keep it up past 5 or 8 months because the Babywise system undermined her milk supply. Sad for the baby, too.

Posted by: Kathy at January 22, 2007 11:20 PM

We had a doctor that practiced for around 50 years here in my small town, he was a really nice doctor. It was sad when he got sick and later died... his whole practice was so different from the way most younger doctors practice.

Posted by: busybusymomma at January 23, 2007 11:23 PM

You crack me up. It's nice to see the good doctor honored.

Posted by: DebraBaker at January 28, 2007 05:35 PM

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