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The Aware Baby Paperback – 1 May 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Shining Star Publications; Revised edition edition (1 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961307374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961307370
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Author

Aware Parenting Institute
"The Aware Baby" (now translated into German, French, Dutch, and Italian) combines attachment-style parenting, non-punitive discipline, and acceptance of emotional release. For more information about this philosophy, please visit my Aware Parenting Institute web site. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I heard about Solter's theory, I was keen to read her book. I am an AP parent and I believe that it is important to listen to, and empathise with the feelings of toddlers and older children. I think it is important to encourage them to express themselves and not stifle them by distracting them. I was pregnant at the time, and interested to see how this might apply to babies.

When it comes to babies, however, I think Solter takes her theory to extremes, and is in danger of being dogmatic. She argues that once a baby's primary needs are met, then parents should simply hold and listen to a crying baby. She argues that the need is often a "need to cry". I am sure that there may be times when this is true, and simply listening is the best we can do as parents. However, Solter suggests that babies have this need to cry often (e.g. daily), often citing birth trauma as an explanation. Of course, this cannot be backed up with any evidence. She says that babies may need to cry for many minutes, months down the line, to release repressed birth trauma. But I need to clarify here that she is not talking about a specific pain, such as might be relieved by a cranial osteopath, but the psycological trauma of birth. Personally I think that assuming a baby is crying for such a reason is extremely risky.

She also argues that an older baby (I forget the exact age, possibly over 6 months) who is waking for breastmilk at night, has most likely been emotionally repressed. The baby is waking up in the night to try to cry, and by not letting them cry the mother is once again repressing this need. I had to really think about this - perhaps it's true... but Solter doens't provide a grain of evidence for this theory.
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By A Customer on 11 May 2002
Format: Paperback
In 'The Aware baby' we learn about attachment parenting from the author's personal perspective of 're-evaluation therapy'. The importance of meeting a baby's basic needs is explained, as in other books on the subject, but with huge emphasis on the perceived need in babies to 'discharge emotions' by crying. Many of us view crying as a behaviour rather than a need in itself. The main interest of the book is that it challenges this assumption, and presents crying as a positive activity.
The many ways in which we discourage babies from crying are set out, and reasons why these could be harmful are given. I agree that babies often have good reasons to cry, and that to hold them lovingly while they do so is both comforting and affirming. However, I found it difficult to reconcile some of the principles of attachment parenting with the advice about encouraging crying. In particular, comforting through rocking, feeding, carrying, dummies, bottles, thumbs etc, is all seen as inappropriate, and as sabotaging the baby's need to cry. I think this argument is taken to far. For example, the advice to breastfeed infrequently (3-5 hrs) concerned me greatly. As did the way crying is described as 'healing', when in fact in is hugely stressful for a small baby, and unbearable to a nursing mother - for good reason. It seems unwise to give explicit advice that comes between a mother/infant dyad. The basic mothering instinct of comforting a crying baby is not acknowledged. Neither is the fact that American babies cry 24% more than babies elsewhere in the world, or that in some cultures babies hardly cry at all, by our standards.
The book is psuedo-academic in style, with very little current, published research cited to back up the ideas. Most of the references are simply other authors' opinions. In general I would agree with the basic premise, but I found the book repetitive, confusing, and narrow.
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Format: Paperback
A few days after the birth of our child, Aletha Solter's books were recommended to us. What a relief! In the first instance, I felt so much calmer because I knew why my child was crying and stopped spending energy trying to coax her to stop. We also better understood how to respect our child's needs and desires.

Now when I take my daughter to Nursery, parents and nursery-nurses alike tell me how alive and curious she is, how easy she is, how well adjusted she is. Thanks Aletha!

If you want an easy childcare system, don't by this book, buy a dummy and a cot with high sides. If you're prepared to spend the time with your child to hear their stress, to comfort them - yes even at 3am - this book is for you.
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By A Customer on 14 July 2005
Format: Paperback
When I first discovered and read this book my second child was 6 months old and my first child already 3 years old. The book answered nearly every question I had agonised over during my first few years as a mother: it is full of well-researched and honest information about babies and their legitimate needs. After the reading this, and Dr Solter's other two books (Tears and Tantrums and Helping Young Children Flourish) I remember walking down the road with my two children feeling absolutely liberated and for the first time since having children I was not anxious or frustrated or worried about whether O ws 'doing the right things' at every juncture. I wished I had heard of Dr Solter's work before; that someone had recommended these three books to me earlier, because in my opinion every parent or parent-to-be would benefit from reading her work. I felt that every mother (and father) in every maternity ward ought to be given a copy of The Aware Baby to read!! It is such an important book, and one which is full of support for parents. In a world where babies and infants are so often misunderstood and consequently so often suffer - even with the best intentions in the world - it offers clear and in my opinion intuitively sound advice in an otherwise confusing sea of information, from conflicting medical advice to an array of methods passed down through the generations; advice and methods which new parents - often in urgent need of 'solutions' - follow, even if it goes against their better instinct or judgement.
Put simply, this book tells the reader about baby's emotional world and needs, and how to care for and meet those needs, and thus how to care fully for your child.
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