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Baby Wisdom: The World's Best-kept Secrets for the First Year of Parenting Paperback – 7 Feb 2002
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This is the best book on bringing up babies I've ever read, and that's saying something. by Georgina Metcalfe -- Daily Mail, February 22, 2002
About the Author
Deborah Jackson is a parenting author and freelance writer for newspapers and magazines including the Independent, Daily Mail and Guardian. She writes a regular column for Natural Parent. She has three children.See all Product description
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If you liked the Body Shop's "Mamatoto", you will love this. It's a similar idea, but gives us much, much more. I particularly valued the quotes which gave names and voices to women from around the world, rather than just relying on the anthropologists' reports.
The book sets out to describe the 'difference and sameness' between babycare practices around the world. It does this without giving way to the temptation to take the moral high ground over issues which we know are close to the author's heart. There is no preachy tone, just some witty, some humourous, and some thought provoking remarks. (Not least the revelation that in a Somerset hospital there was a correlation between birth weight and net chocolate weight of y=3349+0.52058x, where the chocolates were the thank you present.)
One regret is that Baby Wisdom is not illustrated. I have some of the books sourced, and find the old black and white photos the anthropologists took as fascinating as the texts. However, any interested reader could follow up the references if they wanted to find out more about the cultures featured.
One thing is for sure: however quirky your baby is, however far you stray from the health visitor's advice, you need not feel alone in the world. You can take comfort from the wisdom that somewhere in human evolution there's a reason for every baby's babyness.
If you want to re-examine western attitudes to babies, mothers and their care, read this book, it will help to set you free to be the mother/father that you instinctively want to be.
I am expecting our second child in October and this book has strengthened my resolve to do it "my way". With a back up of millions of other mothers around the world!
'Baby wisdom' cannot be compared with any other book or manual about babies and child rearing. Let us take as an example the chapter about crying babies. Most baby books focus on recipes in order to calm a colicky baby. Deborah Jackson first helps us to realize that crying is the universal language of infancy. Thanks to her highly concise style she just needs one line: "Rhesus monkeys coo. Ape babies scream. And human infants cry". After that we are curious to know about the interpretation of infant crying in different cultural milieus. When our curiosity has been amply fulfilled, we are ready to accept that our western interpretations set us apart from most of the world.
Browse through 'Baby wisdom' and you'll learn about human nature from an authentic expert...the mother of three children.
Doula and grandmother
It made me realise that I was normal after all, and just going through what every new mum experiences.
It was a massive comfort to me in the early months after having my first child.
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