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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 (133 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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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 + Your Babycare Bible, The most authoritative and up-to-date source book on caring for babies from birth to age three
Price For All Three: 38.04

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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: 1.8 x 19.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lucy Atkins is an award winning author and journalist. Her novel, The Missing One, will be published by Quercus in January 2014. She is the author of several non-fiction books including First Time Parent (Collins). She is a Sunday Times book critic and has also written features 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, Grazia.

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
7 of 7 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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14 of 14 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I'm still pregnant, so I can't say how good the advice in this book will be when actually put into practice but even if it turns out to be nonsense, I still count this as 8 well spent because after reading it I feel so much better about the prospect of looking after my baby! For a start, it's immensely practical with step-by-step photo guides to all those things you just don't know how to do until you've been let loose on a real baby (nappies, swaddling, bathing, burping, getting the baby to latch on...). The author is also very honest. For example, she relates the official advice that you should never heat up a bottle in the microwave before going on to admit that she doesn't know an experienced mother who doesn't use the microwave and providing instructions on how to do it. Her advice on the potentially fraught areas of sleeping and eating is very commonsense and reassuring. The first couple of pages, which tell you what you actually need to buy, are a godsend!

I had got my husband to read a book on how your relationship changes after baby, which we both agreed was a bit of a waste of time. However, I'm glad he's read this one as I think the author's (brutally) honest description of the challenges of doing simple activities after childbirth/while trying to look after a baby have convinced him of the necessity of stepping up to the plate around the house and with baby care more than any amount of hand-wringing self-help books.

Some people are complaining that they would like more detail. I can see why they might say that but this isn't really meant to be a childcare encyclopaedia. By all means buy a big fat book to use as a reference when you need it (I have: "Your Babycare Bible", which is fine), but actually read this one!
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54 of 61 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 19 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would really recommend mums to be to buy this book. Not too much or little info it's written in plain English and straight to the point. I have recommended this to my friends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 4 days ago by inga
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Funny and informative
Published 4 days ago by Fiona Heavey
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend
Im not gonna lie, I read a lot of this book and found it to be very helpful. Some thing I didnt agree with but i would recommend it to nay first time parent with no expirience!!
Published 5 days ago by Tanja
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 7 days ago by SJ Webb
4.0 out of 5 stars Good starter !
Present to my pregnant daughter with her first child. She finds it blunt and no nonsense - that's her style ! Read more
Published 14 days ago by Alissa Laloutre
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this because it wasn't preaching a method to you ...
I loved this because it wasn't preaching a method to you like other parenting books.
It is a clearly written book with information that makes sense and is helpful throughout... Read more
Published 19 days ago by DMCD74
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
I haven't had the baby yet so currently not quite sure how good the advice is but it seems to be a lovely book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. A
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is better than any friendly advice you'll get
Really comforting book and great read for the last trimester. Informative and honest and written just a if the author was in the room chatting to you over a cup of tea. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dara McKenna
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
I found this book extremely informative and although I didn't finish reading until after I'd had my child I found that what I had already read was helpful and also as it says on... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. M. Petrie
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is so informative and useful!
many pregnancy books speak quite generally about what it's like to become a parent, but this book is really hands-on, goes into details about many issues and gives great insight... Read more
Published 2 months ago by L. Bertolatti
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