"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" – John 3:16
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine.
As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health. (Source www.AskDrSears.com)
‘The Baby Book’ provides practical guidance from birth to two years old. The parenting style promoted by the author is called ‘attachment parenting’, which stresses the importance of parents’ responsiveness to a child’s needs in their development into a secured, confident, competent, independent, trusting and loving individual. A lot of advice and practices mentioned in this book are based on attachment parenting.
The book is divided into five big sections. The first section covers the basic baby care including choosing the birthing environment, postpartum family adjustments, nappy changing, bathing, and massaging. The second section details infant feeding (both breastfeeding and bottle feeding) and nutrition. The third section is about babywearing, infant sleeping, fussy and colicky baby. It also mentions working and parenting, and some special situations like adoption, twins, single parents, and the Down’s Syndrome baby. Section IV provides a guide over each stage of baby development by listing out typical skills and relevant activities to help the development. It also covers discipline and toilet training. The final section focuses on keeping babies safe and healthy with chapters on how to baby proof your home, how to keep baby healthy by check-ups and immunisation, how to deal with common medical problems, and how to perform lifesaving procedures and first aid.
This book is very comprehensive covering a wide range of topics. I mainly use it to look up the relevant information when I have questions rather than read them cover to cover. A lot of practices in this book are very controversial. In particular, the author encourages breastfeeding, carrying/ wearing your baby a lot, and co-sleeping as ways to help attachment parenting. He also stresses the importance of the mother’s role in the child’s development in the first two years and seems to support the mother being with the child during this period of time instead of working. I really think there are no right or wrong answers. People tend to like the book if the ideas work for them. If those practices sound ridiculous to you, I really don’t recommend it.
Personally I quite like this book, not that I have learned to do anything new from reading it, but more because the book supports what I have been doing and hence gives me peace of mind. I have always liked to breastfeed and luckily it did work out for us so that I’m still able to breastfeed her now. I had never thought of co-sleeping, but we ended up doing it so that I could rest while breastfeeding her during the night. I like the idea of baby carrying, but actually haven’t had much chance to use it, especially as the weather has gotten much colder. I had been thinking about a break from work, so spending time with her in her first two years just comes as a good opportunity.
I know some parents who didn’t like the attachment parenting practices but still bought the books for the developmental and medical advice. I must admit they are quite useful. I like the activities suggested for playing with your child at each development stage. The medical advice is very sensible, thorough and in line with other sources. But I don’t use this book as the only or main source for those purposes. There are a lot of other books about development. I also receive weekly emails from the baby centre app detailing what development to expect for the week and what activities are suitable for the child’s age. When it comes to any medical problems, I prefer to see doctors in person and use google rather than just read a book.
I will continue adding reviews when I read more of the book.