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Get an earlier edition
on 9 February 2014
Dr Spock's Baby and Child Care is a great book, but this applies only to the versions written by Dr Spock himself.
Sadly, since he died in 1998 the publishers have used his name as a brand for many books that were not written by him. You might think that this book would be different, seen as Benjamin Spock is listed as its author, but it isn't. The book has been extensively rewritten in such a way that almost everything good about the old versions has been lost.
The beauty of Dr Spock's own version of the book is that speaks sensitively and helpfully about both the emotional and the practical aspects of being a parent. It integrates the two, which is a rare thing. What has happened since is that the book has been rewritten by medical doctors who lack Spock's psychological training. As a result, the later editions focus far too much on giving factual advice. They are crammed full of facts and information (this edition is more than twice the length of the earlier ones), and have been stripped of the wonderfully thoughtful passages that made the original great.
My advice is to get a used copy of the book published before 1998 (when Spock died) - I bought the 7th edition. Later editions do not live up to the book's reputation, but the earlier ones really do and are worth 5 stars!