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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2017
It's ok
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on 7 July 2011
As a mother of three children, including my youngest who is now ten months old, I picked this book up out of curiosity rather than expecting to learn anything new. I was particularly interested as both of the co-authors are also mothers of three children so I wondered how closely their experiences and views would match my own.

I found the book to be really accessible, clearly written and well structured as the book is split into sections according to the age and development of your baby. Throughout the book, there are loads of simple ideas for activities and interacting with your little one. What I really liked was that the book didn't assume that a parent has an unlimited budget and unlimited time, unlike other parenting guides! Many of the suggestions cost absolutely nothing and can be carried out as part of everyday activity, just remembering to include baby in everything that goes on (which most of us do anywhere through necessity.)The book suggests bath sharing, playing water games, using a baby carrier (which I found to be a life saver anyway) and also had ideas for making first toys and simple games to play with little ones, according to their age.

The majority of the stuff suggested was really simple and would appeal to any Mum, no matter how lacking in cash or creativity they may be. The only drawback to this simple approach is that some readers might feel slightly let down, particularly if they are already fairly vocal and vigilant about interacting with their baby already. There isn't really anything here that stands out as being very innovative or surprising, but I did find that quite reassuring as I already seem to be doing everything to promote my baby's development and didn't end up feeling inadequate after reading this!

Overall this is a really fun, positive read that should inspire new parents to feel good about the time they spend with their children and interact with them at a level that is appropriate for their level of development.
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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on 26 May 2011
Thank you so much for this beautifully illustrated book. It's given me endless entertaining, stimulating ideas and makes playtime amazingly good fun.
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on 31 December 2012
Concise and practical, the author excels in giving entertaining activities for babies starting from the age of birth.quick read for busy mums, and lots of advices, I am not sure it makes bsbies smarter, but sure it keeps them busy and entertained in various ways.recommended.
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on 13 July 2011
Most parents get anxious about how to play with their babies and how to help them to develop through play. This book gives you insight on their little world and it's brilliant. It also gives you peace of mind that you are doing everything for your little one to develop on the maximum of their capacity.
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on 16 October 2012
My grandaughter was born at 29 weeks gestation so I bought this to help the family stimulate her development.
It is a great little book with loads of play ideas, easy to read and dip into for ideas.
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on 16 February 2012
A really clear and well presented book - I bought it for ideas on activities to engage my 8 week old. It offered a few new ideas as well as reassuring me that the things I was already doing were worthwhile. It also tells you why activities are developmentally effective, but keeps it concise for busy parents. Good for inspiration if you feel like you're doing the same activities over and over.
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on 7 August 2011
As mum to a baby and a toddler, I've found this book really useful for coming up with play ideas when I often don't seem to have the brain capacity to do it myself! The first chapter, for 0-6 months, has really helped me to entertain my baby, as I found it hard to know where to start when it comes to playing with a baby of this age. The ideas all help with bonding, so are beneficial as well as fun, and you don't need lots of spare time as they can all be fitted into your normal routine.

The second and third chapters, for 6-12 months and 1-2 years, give lots of ideas for encouraging your baby or toddler to try things that you might otherwise have thought they were too young for, so it's given me the confidence to try things that I might not have thought of yet.

If you want to make the most of playtime with your baby or toddler, I'd really recommend this book.
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on 8 April 2013
I did quite like this book to flick through, but to be honest most of the ideas will occur to you to do naturally without being prompted. Nobody knows your child like you and you will know what stimulates them better than a 'one size fits all' book. If like me, you're pregnant with your first child when buying this book, and thinking you need all the help you can get, I promise you, you'll be playing games with your child that come to you naturally, this happened with me and I thought I was a stereotypical career woman with no clue what to do with children, ha, how times have changed!
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