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First-Time Parent: The honest guide to coping brilliantly and staying sane in your baby's first year [Paperback]

Lucy Atkins
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Book Description

30 April 2009

Forget unrealistic childcare manuals – this is the book you really need to help you cope brilliantly with those first chaotic days and months ahead.

As a health journalist and mother-of-three, Lucy Atkins is familiar with both the medical aspects of childbirth and baby development, and the reality of day-to-day life as an exhausted first-time mum or dad. In her feisty, humorous style, she begins with that first mind-blowing day and addresses the issues unique to the first-time parent who stares at their newborn and thinks “Where are the instructions?”

Anticipating the questions and concerns of all new mothers–Why does my baby cry so much? Will I ever lose all this weight? Am I a bad parent because…?–the book provides practical advice and level-headed reassurance. It addresses the needs of the baby and, very importantly, those of the parent during the first year of their baby’s life.

Contents include:

• Starter’s orders – the equipment and kit you really need, as opposed to what the department store tells you
• Hello – how to cope with the first few hours
• Start – coming home, bonding, how to survive the first few days
• Sleep – for everyone!
• Cry – why your baby cries, what to do, why you'll want to cry, too
• Eat –breastfeeding, supplemental feeding, moving to solids, nutrition
• Grow – baby's physical and mental development
• Play – yes, you two actually can have fun
• Thrive – health considerations for baby and parent
• Live – adapting to your new life, the changing mother-father relationship
• Work – coping with being at home and with going back to work
• Also includes information on single parenting, and on adopted, multiple and special needs babies.

The First-Time Parent is on your side, and reassures that you can cope brilliantly with your new baby and your new life.

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Frequently Bought Together

First-Time Parent: The honest guide to coping brilliantly and staying sane in your baby's first year + Your Baby Week By Week: The ultimate guide to caring for your new baby + What to Expect the 1st Year
Price For All Three: £30.07

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (30 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007269447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007269440
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lucy Atkins is an award winning author and journalist. The Sunday Times called her debut novel, The Missing One (Quercus, January 2014; Quercus USA February 2015) a 'gripping page turner'. She is also the author, co-author, or ghostwriter of eight non-fiction books including First Time Parent (Collins). She is a Sunday Times book critic and feature journalist for UK newspapers including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Express, The Times, and magazines such as Red, Woman and Home, Psychologies and Grazia. Her second novel will be published summer 2015.

Product Description


‘A great book for any first-time mother.’ Sarah Beeny, TV property expert and mother of four.

‘An honest, down-to-earth guide.’ Mother and Baby

‘You can't go wrong with a book as comprehensive as First-Time Parent.’ Tidewater Parent

‘Eminently more friendly than most baby manuals.’ Sunday Express

About the Author

Lucy Atkins is an award-winning British journalist and author. She writes for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and a range of women’s magazines. Lucy has been a first-time parent - as well as a second- and third-time one - and currently lives with her family in Boston, USA.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This has to be the best baby book I've read, I just wish I bought it earlier whilst pregnant and binned all the other patronising, dull and text-booky type ones (written mostly by unbearably bossy midwives). If you only choose one book to have I would totally recommend this one-it's honest, funny, down to earth, concise and written by someone who has recent personal experience of raising 3 young ones. It's written and formatted to easily dip in and out of (which new parent has the time or energy to wade through huge hard backs?), has all the important up to date guide lines and government info and even covers topics that other books I've read don't cover such as traumatic births and suggested web sites etc.
Even though it's not as comprehensive as other guides ( like the 'What to expect?' range or Dr. Mirium Stoppard for example)it really does cover everything you could possibly need to know and more. My baby is now 5 months old and in the few weeks I've owned the book I've used it so many times and it has given me not only more confidence and insight than all the other books put together but it has genuinely made me laugh too- something I haven't done properly due to sleep deprivation for quite some time!It really does keep it's promise to help you cope, stay sane and feel normal. Personally, what I have really valued is the authors way of helping you feel like she is on your side and not to feel so pressured by everything (it's your baby, trust your instincts!) especially as a first time parent so many things can make you feel lost or overwhelmed.I have found that so many other books make you feel guilty or incompetent and tell you what you 'should' be doing. Cannot recommend highly enough and look forward to more guides by same author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOD SEND! 28 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
amazing i bought this when i was 25 weeks pregnant as they say nothing will prepare you... but this at least helped with what the rough guideline are to parent hood. helped alot and gave a sense of confidence.. would recommend to ALL parents not just new!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars first time parent 4 Oct 2010
Easy to read, and full of useful information.
Because some of us do need a step by step photo guide to putting on a nappy.
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it. Would give it 10 stars if I could! 25 Nov 2009
By A. Lee
We were swamped by books on how to bring up our child when expecting a baby; this was the only one that actually sounded like the writer was a mother herself, AND realised that not everyone in the world thought as she did on parenting, or had a child exactly like her own.

Lucy Atkin rounds up all the most common strategies advised where parenting is concerned and offers them with neutrality. She has an honest but non-directional attitude to the great breast v bottle dilemma, she talks with sympathy about women who need to choose childcare early and offers tips on how to spot a good option, and she has some of the most sensible words on diet for toddlers I've ever read. She also recognises that children are simply hard work, as well as exciting, challenging and fantastic. It's such a change to read something that isn't a series of orders, sickly and unrealistic, or depressing. She really conveys what having a first child is like, in all its messy, confusing, glorious excitement, while offering the most down to earth and sensible advice possible. There isn't, anywhere, that depressingly common conviction that anyone whose parenting style is different to the writer's will scar their child for life.

Last but not least, she has listed all the very best resources for new parents - from Mumsnet to Crysis, via the wonderful breast feeding clinic at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Calming, humerous & informative 16 Aug 2011
By Birdy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book may be small compared with others but it's full of all the basic essentials that you'll need to know in an easy to read style - so much so that you'll find yourself laughing out loud!

In the early days of motherhood I reached for this book regularly - it answered lots of questions about problems in breastfeeding when you feel like the only person in the world having problems and has since helped with long haul flights and numerous other things that crop up along the way.

Although other baby books answer questions regarding sleep schedules how many tell you in detail how to change a nappy or what to put in your changing bag?!!!

We used this book to keep me sane together with another baby book to help in more detailed things (William Sears). This book is also good for the father to read - rugby ball and bottom springs to mind from the book!

I would recommend this book if you want just one easy read but you may find it to be quite basic in information and end up buying another anyway.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Motherhood comes with a lot of propaganda these days, from the cast-iron sleep routines of Gina Ford to the brick-like tome of authority that is What To Expect When You're Expecting. There are a lot of experts out there ready to tell you everything they know about your baby.

But there is no law - yet, anyway - that says you have to listen to them. I didn't want to be drowned in schedules, rules or timetables. It's not a boot camp, I told myself (then had a slightly worrying vision of the feral children that awaited me).

Then I was lucky enough to come across First-Time Parent. `You may be bonkers, but you're not stupid,' says author and mother-of-three Lucy Atkins, `and in your baby's eyes you're the only expert that matters.' She goes on to cover everything you actually need to know, from what to pack in a nappy bag to how to swaddle a newborn, sprinkled with words of reassurance to the clueless - `your baby doesn't know any better than you do how he should be bathed or fed. The right way, in short, is your fumbling, inept, loving and slowly evolving way.'

I liked the sections on breastfeeding, how to establish a sleep routine from early on, and sixteen things to try if a baby won't stop crying. She also offers sound advice on things like long-haul flights and trips to the supermarket: `shop online. You know it makes sense.' And there's a brilliant chapter on how to keep your relationship with your partner on track: `one word: babysitters'.

In short, if you're after solid advice without the preaching, this is an excellent resource, complete with gorgeous photos of newborns. Like a lot of things, parenting is something you learn by doing, but practical, essential information, conveyed in an adult-to-adult tone, is invaluable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great book, much more user friendly and practical than a lot of other baby books.
Published 9 days ago by Laura Newton
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
This book really helped me out, it's a great read for any first time parent/parents .
Published 12 days ago by molly23
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Bought this book for my daughter when she was pregnant and having all the normal worries a first time mum has. It was like a bible for her. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Mrs L M Burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars great book very helpful
My brother loved this and it has helped him a lot.
Published 18 days ago by richard
3.0 out of 5 stars this book is too bossy and doesn't have any touch ...
this book is too bossy and doesn't have any touch of personalisation to the care it delivers it is more clinical but I does deliver what you need to hear. fascinating and exciting.
Published 20 days ago by megan rebecca jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book. Only book I had bought so far ...
Amazing book. Only book I had bought so far and it is great. Very helpful and easy to follow.
Published 20 days ago by N DRAPER
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book. Great advice. Definitely recommend.
Published 24 days ago by Rebecca McDaid
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Straightforward, without jargon.
Published 1 month ago by Yashoda
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I thought the author was talking sense until she mentioned ignoring your baby's cries - tantamount to neglect in my opinion.
Published 1 month ago by Emma Gill
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