Calming, enlightening, empowering... Deborah Jackson has written a book which comes as close as any to achieving all three for the carers of crying babies. She understands the anxiety, desperation, guilt and sense of failure which can so easily overcome parents who are struggling with an unsettled babe.
The book is laid out with stressed parents in mind, perfect for people who need comfort and reassurance in small doses, who haven't the time or concentration to spare on a weighty and prescriptive tome. Thought-provoking facts on parenting and babies intersperse longer passages of comforting, non-judgemental and pressure-releasing narrative.
She reminds parents that they are the ones who know their baby best, and that it can be better in the long run to learn to listen to their instincts rather than slavishly following a set of rules in a book or taking on board lots of well-meant but often conflicting advice.
Despite the tag-line to its title, this is not a book about rules. It's a book about reminders of how humans all over the world instinctively care for and live with young babies. She explains how adopting some of these natural practices, especially baby-wearing, breastfeeding on demand and co-sleeping can diffuse the tension that can escalate the problem of crying. In fact she points out, that sometimes babies just cry, for reasons other than a medical problem or specific discomfort. She suggests `encircling' and 'encompassing' the crying, rather than trying to suppress it. What a relief! This book nurtures stressed parents and reminds them of their instinctive wisdom. Highly recommended for anyone who is stressed by a crying baby.