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The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know…
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The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to… (1992)

by William Sears, Martha Sears (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
definitely a lot of good information, and a book worth having to refer back to over and over. that said i found his attitude really annoying. i think if you have a platform like a book it's fine to use it to highlight your opinion, and to put forward your theory on parenting (attachment in this case). what bothered me was how often he'd say things like, "do what feels right to you" or "this won't work for everyone" and then gave advice that only took into account his parenting strategy. he totally acknowledges that not everyone will do attachment parenting, or not all aspects all the time, and then berates them for it in a subtle way. two men (or one man) parenting are going to find it extremely difficult (or cost prohibitive) to give breast milk, so allow for other options without the guilt trip (since you say that's what you're doing). ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 2, 2013 |
Overall, I've really appreciated this book in my seven-plus years as a parent. The most useful portion of the book for me was the large section devoted to "normal" or "needs attention" ailments in infants and toddlers. I first used it when my daughter was an infant seven years ago to look up the dosage of infant fever reducers, which never are listed on the medications themselves. It helped keep me calm and out of an unnecessary ER visit several times when my daughter had croup as toddler, and I referenced it just last month when my son started "whooping" during coughing fits. He's vaccinated, so pertussis wasn't really even on my radar, but when I looked up "persistent coughs" in the book and saw the paragraph describing whooping cough, I knew I needed to call our doctor. (Even then it took two doctor visits and a huge amount of time watching pertussis videos online to reach the pertussis diagnosis and get appropriate treatment.)

The conventional "baby in another room" parenting books didn't work for me with my first because I had a baby who refused to be set down or to sleep unless she was in direct physical contact with me. I would think back to my vast experience babysitting and think, "Isn't she supposed to, you know...sleep?" Conventional parenting books only made it worse; my baby didn't do any of the things they said she was supposed to do, and it was clearly my fault. But if I'd had my second child first, those kinds of parenting books might have seemed perfect for us, and I might have found the Sears's book weird (my second is a child who will let me set him down and accepts---and even demands---routines).

I had learned about attachment theory before I'd read The Baby Book, but the book offered helpful suggestions about what attachment parenting might look like. More important, it suggested that maybe it wasn't horrible---and might actually be "normal"---that my baby slept only on me or my husband, and it provided the support of reading about a family who'd lived it (not only with the children they'd birthed but also with their adopted children). I especially liked the section about infant massage and the section that describes the unique comforts that a father can provide to his infant, like a broader, flatter chest on which to rest, a resonant voice to soothe a fussy baby, and confidence in trying off-the-wall holding positions to relieve tummy complaints. And the information about food allergies was integral to identifying the root of the problems my daughter was having and giving me the confidence to change doctors when ours wasn't listening to me.

As much as I've liked The Baby Book, it didn't always accurately reflect what was going on with my child, either. There was one section in which Dr. Sears assures us that if our toddler doesn't want to go to sleep, we shouldn't worry. Just leave him alone for a while and soon we'll find him asleep in the middle of the living room floor. Whenever we were up until all hours with my daughter, my husband and I would joke with each other, "Don't worry. She'll be asleep in the middle of the living room floor in a few minutes."

For the diversity of real-life experiences I needed to witness to make my own choices about day-to-day parenting issues, I relied on the moms I met at the monthly La Leche League meetings I attended. They were the moms who finally taught me how to wear a sling. I swear, I threw that darned thing in the trash half-a-dozen times only to fish it out again and sit down with the demonstration video and try it all again. It's difficult to practice babywearing, no matter how much you buy into the idea, if you can't figure out how to do it.

Basically, I find The Baby Book to be a great reference, but like with parenting advice from any source, you can't rely on it as your only resource. Each child is different, and the dynamics of each family are different, so no advice is going to be helpful (or even reflect reality) for everyone. But if you're able to take what works for you, leave the rest, and look around for support from a variety of other sources, this is a great resource to have available. ( )
1 vote ImperfectCJ | Dec 31, 2012 |
I borrowed this book from a friend, and read it the December before I gave birth. I wanted to know as much about babies as I could before I birthed them.

I was disappointed. I wanted to learn about child development and to find a balanced view about what is best for babies. Instead, I found the authors ascribed to a theory I had never heard of, "attachment theory", and while some of it I found interesting, I was annoyed by much of it. There was little to no evidence for his assertions about the theory. And it was always layered on with a trowel: no subtlety to be found in that manual!

The manual is huge, partially because it is so repetitive. Yes, we get it - breastfeed your babies! Don't sleep train! Carry your baby everywhere! These three concepts are throughout the entire book, even where you least suspect it will pop up. The book is also filled with quotes from one of the author's personal journals of using attachment theory in raising her child. I found her tone to be smug, and eventually I had to stop reading her entries.

A lot of reviewers have focused on the various provisions of the theory: sharing a bed, breastfeeding on demand, carrying your child everywhere, etc. It is true that the authors are proponents of these activities, and you will not find a balanced view of any of them. If you want to make up your mind as to whether you should sleep with your child or breastfeed on demand, you will need to find another volume for the pros and cons. I have no opinion myself on whether anything suggested by the authors are good or not, and I suspect that how you raise you child really depends on your family and your baby. No one should judge your parenting style, even the Searses.

However, all that said, I give the book three stars because I find the chapters on what to expect when your baby reaches, say, two months old, to be invaluable. I have also enjoyed the chapters on first aid and health issues. I also agree with the authors on the importance of getting to know your child and following his or her lead in the infancy.

My recommendation? The book is an absolute must if you want to use attachment theory in raising your child. If you want a balanced discussion on the various ways to raise your bsby, find another book, or read this one with a grain of salt. ( )
1 vote RcCarol | Oct 30, 2010 |
This book is amazing. Even if you aren't into attachment parenting there are some extremely helpful passages, charts, diagrams, and other leagues of information that can be devoured. This is more helpful, at least I found, than the American Academy of Pediatrics book. ( )
  ohdani | Oct 2, 2009 |
Nine months into parenthood, my previously pristine copy of The Baby Book is rather dogeared and tattered. I have referred to this book on countless occasions with countless questions about physical development, illness, feeding, and sleeping. As parents, and as a physician and a nurse, the Sears' provide gentle, thoughtful advice on baby care. I highly recommend this book to any parent or caretaker of babies. ( )
  sarahes | Jul 14, 2009 |
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William Searsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sears, MarthaAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316778001, Paperback)

In their excellent (and hefty) resource guide, The Baby Book, attachment parenting specialists William Sears and Martha Sears have provided new parents with their approach to every aspect of baby care basics, from newborns to toddlers. Attachment parenting is a gentle, reasonable approach to parenting that stresses bonding with your baby, responding to her cues, breastfeeding, "wearing" your baby, and sharing sleep with your child. For those parents who worry about negative effects of this attention, the Sears say, "Spoiling is what happens when you leave something (or some person) alone on the shelf--it spoils."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:31 -0400)

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Features information on every aspect of infant care, including the treatment of illnesses and infant nutritional requirements, and focuses on a baby's five needs: eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort.

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