02 October 2012

More Baby/Parent Book Recommendations

A while back,  I posted about several baby and pregnancy books I devoured in my first few months of pregnancy. I got a lot out of those books but realized maybe I need to read some more about parenting this child.

Here is a quick review (and recommendations) of the parenting books I have read so far:

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman: Amidst all criticism I see on the internet for this book, it still ranks pretty high in the New York Times best sellers list. I was thrilled to see our library had several copies (yeah free books!) and I snagged one immediately. I devoured the book in about 3 days. I found it very interesting. Pamela begins her parenting in France, where she quickly sees a difference in child rearing. Even little 2-3 month old tykes are sleeping through the night! Pamela dives into the psychology and the practicality of the French parent. I really think they have some great points. Getting your child to eat bleu cheese and carrots from the start really is possible.  Although that part of the book got a lot of criticism in other articles I read, one article stressed that of course this seems strange or cold to Americans, given our relationship to food we can hardly get ourselves to eat bleu cheese, let alone our children!

I found the book to be extremely interesting and made me question some common American practices that could really use a change. Isn't it good for everyone if my child shows respect and social skills at a young age? And the task of keeping my child out of obesity statistics is only going to increase, a statistic French parents rarely deal with.

On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam: Another kind of controversial book according to comments on various websites. Many of the criticism comes from the  "tough", baby on a schedule talk the book has. Although it might seem a little extreme to some people, babies have the ability to get on a schedule and do well. If they learn how the world works, the book argues, they can be more independent, appreciative and even more attentive during awake times. I am a believer in raising children who understand their schedule is not the end all to be all every day. Moms and Dads have schedules, commitments and even time away from the children too. I liked the books approach to the first few months of your baby's life. I plan on using some of the tools when necessary. Even with harsh criticism abound, I'd say give this book a try at least.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvery Karp: I will admit the title of this book was what jumped out to me at the library. I think the author did a great job giving concrete things to help you baby sleep better. I love his tips on swaddling, getting your baby to settle down and even how to do so with the fussiest babies. Since it is quite the guessing game as to the temperament of your baby before he starts wailing, the "tool kit" Dr. Karp gives is a great start. My husband even joined in on the fun of this book and we tried our hand at swaddling some teddy bears. He also read part of this book and found the advice to be practical. I hope the pre-reading will pay off!

I recommend this book for its practical, and hopefully useful advice. I think the books is a great start to finding ways to calm your baby, even with no babies to practice on.

So there you go, a few more books for those parents-to-be. Happy reading! Happy parenting!

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