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149
4.7 out of 5 stars
BabyCalm: A Guide for Calmer Babies and Happier Parents
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2012
This book is a gem!

When I was pregnant I was nervous about what to do and how. I bought a baby book by a different author, misled by the title into thinking it would teach me how to make my child happy. I remember my husband commenting on my contorted facial expressions when I read about bizarre rituals where the day was broken into 20 minute slots dictating how long I bath my baby, how much milk I should express and when, when I eat my breakfast, and specifically what I must eat.

Unsurprisingly it turned out the author of that book had never had children. It went in the bin, so no one else could read it.

Baby Calm is the delightful antidote (written by a mother of four) and I so wish it had been published 6 years earlier!

Every parent should read this book if they want sensible advise on how to deal with becoming a parent and the needs of a newborn, while maintaining their own calm and sanity,

If you're going to be a parent, you need this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2013
I wish this book had been around when I was a new mum 10 years ago! The very prescriptive books weren't for me, but everything else I read or was told was so confusing and contradictory, and no-one seemed to recognise the difficulties of wanting some peace but having a baby who screamed when she was put down, unless she was cuddled to sleep. I needed a book which would offer ideas and strategies whilst supporting me to follow my instincts, and for me this is that book. Sarah offers reliable, evidence-based information in a way that's accessible, supportive and easy to read. You could read it cover to cover, or just dip into the chapters that seem relevant right now - it would still make sense. The whole ethos of the book is about helping parents to find the confidence to trust their instincts and value their innate knowledge, recognising that each parent will find their own way to having a calm and contented baby. Sarah recognises that doubts, struggles and making mistakes is normal, common and OK, which is very reassuring, and suggests that the best way to help mothers develop their parenting skills and confidence is to offer lots of support, rather than lots of instructions. Anyone who is looking for information and support to enable them to do what feels right as parents will appreciate this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2013
This book has come 6 1/2 months too late for me but is reassuring nonetheless. It is SO supportive of mothers and their natural instincts that its had me crying with tears of relief that we have been doing OK all this time regardless of what the 'experts' say.

It is very general, so don't buy this book if you want to know what to do and when to do it with your baby, its all about trusting your instinct and going with what feels right.

The secret is that there are no magic answers, there are suggestions in this book that may help but my baby cried a lot, even though we co-slept and he was 'worn'.

I don't agree with everything in it. We don't let our son cry it out but he usually cries a bit before he goes to sleep because he's tired. There's a big difference between that and leaving him to scream until he collapses to sleep. As with all books take from it what is useful to you.

If you are going to buy a baby book I'd urge you to buy this one and avoid The Baby Whisperer et al like the plague they are likely to make you feel a failure and make you and your baby cry even more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2014
After reading books by people like Tracy Hogg which made me feel like I was doing it all wrong & whose ideas about sleep training went against everything I wanted to do, this book gave me the confidence to do what I thought was right! So happy I read it, it's made me a happier more confident mum & my baby is happier too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2013
I did know the philosophy behind BabyCalm before I read this, but I still found it a pleasant surprise that the opening chapter goes straight into the idea that it is the reader who knows what's best for her child not the author. Repeatedly throughout the chapters the reader is reminded to trust her instinct. This makes it different from a lot of other books on parenting as it immediately shows that it respects the reader.

It also comes at parenting from the perspective of what the baby needs as opposed to what the parent should do to it, which I like. I particularly liked the chapters on parenting around the world, as this illustrates just how alienated from our own true nature that we have become, and how normal it is to keep your baby close to you at all times.

I like the way that it is organised too - with just enough info in each section. It's easy to read, understand, digest and apply. It is affirmative as much as it is informative. I also found it to be a bit therapeutic - over 2 years after my birth, even having written my birth story a couple of times, I found reading the chapter on birth trauma allowed me to peel away another layer of this experience for myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2013
This was such a pleasure to read! In my personal and professional life I have so much to say on responsive, natural parenting - particularly on days when I feel I am one of the few sane people left in our so crazy society that many people suggest that I write a book. I have no plans to reinvent the wheel as this book says everything I would want to say.

It is logical, informative, very easy to read and follow, contains a good balance of references, research, parental anecdotes and personal opinions and running through the book is the recurring message that parenting methods are personal choice, but preferably informed and aims to instill confidence in all new parents to become their own experts to their babies.

It is thought provoking; it offers non-threatening alternatives and explanations to current popular parenting methods and really helps parents make a truly informed choice. The author makes no demands of the reader, there is no step by step, "you should do this with your baby", "your baby should be doing this by now" and from the very start, it is made clear, this is not another "I'm going to tell you how to tame your baby" manual (thank God!).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2012
I loved this book!

It is really clearly written and covers so much. It's not a baby-raising manual but there is plenty of useful information in it about how to calm your baby, sleeping arrangements, feeding problems. However, what I gained most from it was a sense of confidence as a mother, that I don't have to listen to other people's 'advice' and I should follow my own instincts. Some of the stories from other mothers in the book were really moving and there was lots I could relate to. I was in tears in several places because what Sarah Ockwell-Smith writes about hits home so much. It makes me sad that this book or BabyCalm wasn't around where I live two years ago as it could have saved me a lot of stress and sleepless nights when my son was born.

It is a really interesting read and should definitely be read alongside any other parenting book you might want to read or have recommended to you. I thought it was a really refreshing change to the mainstream advice we are given and it's so nice to be told that you are doing a good job and you should do things your own way, even if you don't know what your way is yet.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2012
As an antenatal teacher, preparing new parents for life with a baby, this is the book I have been waiting for. I will recommend it to every new parent. Finally someone talking some sense and encouraging new parents to trust their instincts. What we now need is a companion copy written for dads because (like most parenting books) this is primarily aimed at mothers and in order to support women to be the mothers they want to be, her partner must be on side with her decisions.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2012
This book has finally given me the confidence to trust my own instincts and forget all the 'expert' advice the so called professionals like to try and force on you.
Now a 2nd time mum, I have found this book just in time to be able to use some of the wonderful tips so I don't miss a precious moment of my baby being a baby! As it really does go too quick... I will never feel guilty again for cuddling my baby 'too much!' in fact I have just ordered a new baby carrier so that we can be close even more.
I will be buying this book for all of my expectant mum friends and recommending it to everyone I speak to.... finally a book that values what it is to be a mother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2015
I really loved this book. In a minefield of experts and expert advice this book gave me reassurance that following my maternal instinct and not a harsh routine, is the right thing to do. When a lot of mums seem to be fretting over rigid routines and seem to be tying themselves in knots about their babies "sleeping through the night" (an unrealistic expectation for a young breastfed baby but which seems to be the parental holy grail) this book gave me the confidence to know that it's not the end of the world if your baby doesn't. More than that though, the writing is backed by sound research and clinical study. Emotive in places this booked encourages mums to forget about unattainable routines and understand and connect with your baby on a completely different level. I've thrown all other books out, apart from The Food of Love by Kate Evans, they are the only two I need!
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