The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two Paperback – 3 May 2005
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'Encyclopaedic, clear, modern and engaging… Among the best parenting books out there.' Junior
‘The authors of this comprehensive volume (who share their own parenting experience along the way) are assured and reassuring experts.’ Publishers Weekly
‘This is a timeless way of raising babies, with as much detail and practical information as any parent could want.’ Steve Biddulph (author of Raising Boys)
‘This book is a great primer for parents who want to understand attachment thinking, and apply it to their own parenting. It is written with a lightness of touch that makes it a pleasure to read.’ Sue Gerhardt
About the Author
William Sears, M.D, and Martha Sears, R.N., are the paediatric experts on whom American parents rely for advice on all aspects of pregnancy, birth, childcare, and family nutrition. Dr. Sears was trained at Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital and has practices paediatrics for more than thirty years. Martha Sears is a registered nurse, certified childbirth educator, and breast feeding consultant. The Sears have a Family Paediatric Practice in California.
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It covers everything you need to know for the first 2 years of your child's life in an easy to use quick reference style. Also there is some information on preparation for birth, details of attachment parenting (which is the style of parenting introduced by the Sears), and lots of detail about breastfeeding which I've found very useful.
It is very biased towards attachment parenting but they make it clear that this approach can be flexible. For example, whilst co-sleeping is recommended by attachment parenting they clearly state that this doesn't suit everyone (in fact I wanted to co-sleep with my daughter but found that neither of us slept very well so I've opted for a bedside cot as they suggest and this works very well).
The Sears have a wealth of experience in childcare and it is clear in this book that they are caring sentitive people who believe mothers should follow their instincts and 'listen' to their babies.
What I think I like best about this book is that it makes me feel confident that what I am doing naturally isn't wrong. For example, I love holding my baby while she is asleep which seems to be forbidden by many experts. I doubt I'll look back and think 'I wish I'd held her less'. I also love breastfeeding her to sleep, rocking her to sleep and reading this book made me realise that nightime parenting can be a joy rather than a chore (I have certainly had many lovely moments holding my daughter in the middle of the night while the house and neighbourhood was still and dark). I don't feel I have to apologise for having my daughter in bed with us (as so many mums I've met do).
The book has a useful breakdown of you child's development from birth to 2 with details of games etc. to enhance development. There is also a chapter on weaning and details of problems you may encounter in toddlers.
Another book which I've found useful which provides a slightly more balanced and objective approach is 'what to expect in the first year' but this book is definitely one that I will keep coming back to.
The authors seem to have great experience (8 children!) and the book was very easy to read. Great to read through first time all the way through but also easy to skip to particular sections if you needed a reminder. I didn't agree with everything they said (specifically sleeping in the same bed as baby) but the authors give many other options for almost everything. The idea being to do what works best for you. I liked the way it combined their medical knowledge, practical experience and the experience of other parents to build a full and detailed view of baby care.
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