Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
on 30 March 2013
Clever Baby is a book purporting to be about offering ways for parents to foster their baby's development. It is just a list of mostly everyday activities with almost no development context offered at all. There are far superior blogs with much more insightful ideas. If Clever Baby were a blog, it would not be visited. The only thing clever about Clever Baby is that it has enticed people into purchase.
Clever Baby is divided into three parts, 0-6 months, 6-12 months, and 1-2 years. The last section takes up half of the book which makes sense as there is much more to do as babies get older. The first section is incredibly basic. The list of activites starts with pulling faces - something pretty much everyone does almost as a reflex response with a new baby. It goes on to include making sounds, having the baby look at new things, talking to the baby, putting the baby on its tummy, letting the baby watch the parent move around, having a bath, using a mobile and so on. It is limited entirely to the breathtakingly obvious.
There is a benefit to offering parents the obvious in the form of reassurance. It is reassuring to know there is not some magic button that the parent was unaware of. Is it worth buying a book just to be reassured that what is normal is fine?
Each of the items in the list comes with a small box discussing the benefits. These benefits are not massively inspiring and nor are they in themselves reassuring. There is no evidence that the author Caroine Fertleman has done anything more than draw from headlines rather than dug deep into the science behind child development, there are just a series of assertions which in theselves fail to lend credibility to the work.
There are dozens of good baby care books, most of them contain a short section on child development. Those that do make Clever Baby entirely superfluous. There is no real value added to the book. Creative blogs describing interesting ways to make play different and keep the baby and parent engaged are much better than this.
Clever Baby is a waste of money. Surely no parent could have forgotten about the concept of 'Outside Play' (no 42). Are there many parents who never thought of 'Sing Along' (no 90)? Be smart, do not waste time or money on Clever Baby. There are so many worthwhile baby books out there, get one of those instead.