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Dr. Matthew Aney

Dr. Matthew Aney is a pediatrician currently practicing in San Juan Capistrano, California. He is an advocate of attachment parenting and has been a very vocal critic of the Ezzos centrist advice offered in On Becoming Babywise (Gary Ezzo and Dr. Robert Bucknam) and the Ezzos' Along the Infant Way series.

In 1998, just a few years after he began practicing pediatrics, Dr. Aney wrote an opinion article for the AAP News which was highly critical of the Ezzos and the On Becoming Babywise book. It must be noted that the AAP News is NOT a peer reviewed journal, nor is it a "medical" journal of any kind. It is a "newsy" publication intended for casual reading by pediatricians, and includes such things as Consumer Product Safety Commission warnings and applicable product recalls. It also gives pediatricians an opportunity to voice their opinions on issues that would be of interest to fellow pediatric physicians. Dr. Aney's article was an undocumented piece, giving only Dr. Aney's personal opinion, and did not in any way represent the views of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This important detail is consistently omitted by the vocal Ezzo critics.

Dr. Aney's practice website states that he was asked to "critique" On Becoming Babywise for the AAP News. From this statement one might be misled to believe that the AAP actually sought out Dr. Aney and asked him to write an article. For several reasons, this is simply not plausible and in the interest of truth and full disclosure, we challenge Dr. Aney to reveal who asked him to write the article. If the AAP were to personally request someone to review any book on infant care, they would certainly have chosen a pediatrician who was a full member of the AAP. Dr. Aney was only an AAP "candidate" at the time of the article's publication (a provisional and temporary membership status). They would also have found a physician who was board certified in pediatrics. Dr. Aney was not, and still is not board certified. In addition, it unlikely that the AAP would have sought out a pediatrician who had been in pediatric practice only a few short years to write an opinion article on such a topic.

Critics of the Ezzos continue to use that old opinion article of Dr. Aney's to attempt to prove that the AAP has issued a specific warning regarding the Ezzos and/or On Becoming Babywise. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all the years since Babywise was first published (1993) the AAP has never issued a warning against the Ezzos or Dr. Bucknam specifically, nor against their books and other teaching.* In fact, immediately after that opinion piece by Dr. Aney appeared in the AAP News, Dr. Bucknam, co-author of Babywise (and Board Certified member of the AAP) received a phone call from the (then) president of the AAP, Dr. Joseph Zenga. Dr. Zenga personally invited Dr. Bucknam to write a rebuttal article to be published in next issue of the AAP News. Dr. Bucknam's article appeared in the May 1998 edition, one month after Dr. Aney's article was published. You won't find that article on the critic sites, but you can read it here.

It is worth noting that Dr. Aney is NOT currently a member of the AAP (as of this writing in 2006), and according to the AAP, has never been a "fellow" (full member) of that organization. A pediatrician generally can only remain a "candidate fellow" for 7 years, without taking the board certification exam to achieve full FAAP status. Dr. Aney's 7 years were completed in 1999, by which time most pediatricians have already taken and passed their board certification exams. Dr. Aney applied for extensions for the next few years and was allowed to remain a candidate fellow until June of 2004, at which time he allowed his provisional membership to lapse, never having completed the board certification process. Dr. Aney as a "candidate fellow" has never been allowed to put the "FAAP" designation behind his name.

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) confirms that Dr. Aney is not board certified. According to the ABP website, "almost all pediatric physicians seek board certification." However, Dr. Aney has chosen not to do so. This certification entails a rigorous examination process, and according to the ABP, "Board certification provides a standard of excellence by which the public can select pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists." Board Certification is so important that most hospitals, including the hospital where Dr. Aney currently has privileges, will not allow a physician to remain on staff more than 5 years without achieving Board Certification status.

So Dr. Aney, whose opinions the critics use to indict the Ezzos, has never passed his pediatric boards, is not a member of the AAP, and he cannot maintain longterm hospital privileges without board certification. In addition, his own attachment parenting philosophies (specifically, shared sleep with infants) carry stringent warnings from the AAP, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. And yet remarkably, Dr. Aney's opinions are accepted by Ezzo/Bucknam critics simply because his philosophy aligns with their own.

In contrast, Dr. Bucknam is co-author of a 10 year, bestselling book, On Becoming Babywise, IS board certified in Pediatrics, IS a member in good standing of the AAP, has privileges in three area hospitals, was Chairman of Pediatrics, Avista Hospital, and currently has a thriving 4 doctor practice of over 15,000 patients. Dr. Bucknam has also been a Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine, and has many awards and accolades to his credit. (See below for a comparitive list of the credentials of these two physicians.)


*Note: The AAP has issued a warning against "scheduled" feedings, or using a schedule alone to determine when to feed a baby (hyper-schedling). This type of "scheduled" feeding is not what is taught by Dr. Bucknam and Gary Ezzo. See the Infant FAQ page for more information and specific quotes from the books which verify this. The Ezzos and Dr. Bucknam themselves warn parents repeatedly against rigid schedules, and encourage parents to feed a baby whenever the baby is hungry. Warnings against rigidity and hyperscheduling can be found throughout the Babywise book as well as the Along the Infant Way class.

Dr. Aney

Attachment Parenting Advocate
Not Board-Certified in Pediatrics
Not a member of the AAP
Medical School: Autonomous University of Guadalajara
Dr. Bucknam

Co-Author of Babywise
Board Certified in Pediatrics
Member of the AAP
Medical School: USC School of Medicine
Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Avista Hospital, 1993, 1995
Clinical Adjunct Faculty, University of Colorado School of Medicine 1995 - 2001


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