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Recommended books/reading on baby care for first-timers?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So... I told myself that in the 3rd tri I'd start reading about baby stuff-- newborn care, vaccines, etc. I'm finding it hard to weed through all the crappy "What To Expect" style books and find ones that match my goal of having a reasonable balance between smart, scientific info and compassionate, loving, natural care.

So far, I think I'm going to get:
The Parent's Concise Guide To Childhood Vaccines
How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

I'm having trouble finding something more general though-- like one of those baby care handbooks that covers symptoms and development. Ideas?

What books do y'all like?
post #2 of 19
Julie, I am a first timer myself, but here is what's on my reading list:

Dr. Sears's The Baby Book
Dr. Sears's The Vaccine Book
The Happiest Baby on the Block
Vaccines: The Issue of Our Times
post #3 of 19
Absolutely, Dr. Sear's The Baby Book and vaccine book. We still use our "The Baby Book" and our oldest is nearly six. We give it as as gift to all of our friends who are newly expecting.
post #4 of 19
I gotta 3rd The Baby Book. Also add What your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations by Stephanie Cave. It's a little outdated (unless there is an updated version) but still very good info.
post #5 of 19
Originally Posted by CraftyMcGluestick View Post
Yep, Sears Baby book and Happiest Baby on the block!!!
Have to agree with this list,
post #6 of 19
I liked the Sears Baby Book as well. The Vaccine Book was also helpful. How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of your Doctor was good, but definitely dated. I also loved Our Babies, Ourselves.
post #7 of 19
I vote for How to Raise a Healthy Child, and Stephanie Cave's book, also.

We actually read anything we can get our hands on. The conservative folks (like Mendelson) make it sound like setting foot into your doctor's office is going to kill your baby. The AAP/mainstream side make it seem that if you don't go in for every little thing, your baby is going to die. Somewhere in the middle is true.

So, when our babies are sick, we first reference an AAP book. (I think it's called Your Baby's First Year), and then How to Raise a Healthy Child. Usually, the AAP book makes it sound like some horrible thing, and then the other book tells us WHAT the issue is, and when we sound be concerned. It's really nice to be able to balance one extreme with the other.

I also recommend:

What to Do About Your Brain Injured Child (by Glenn Doman), and the remaining series from the Better Baby Institue. Now, we didn't do all the stuff they say to do with babies, and I don't even know that I think it's a good idea. But, the way he encourages interaction with the little ones, with it's simplicity and clarity, I feel has made a major positive impact on the development of my children. Also, the information about his theory and what led him to his conclusions in the Brain Injured Child book was fascinating to me. It was a very worthwhile read. Heads-up...many people find his tone off-putting, and the material may be a bit dated. One thing I like is that over and over and over again he says that your child is YOURS, and YOU are the best teacher, and that YOU know what they need the best.

The other book is Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder by Karen Serousi (I think). It's an antedoctal story of a mom who "cured" her son's autism, and their story along the way. Lots and lots of food for thought, and helped start me on the no vaccine path.
post #8 of 19
I wanted to add...do please stay away from Ezzo. His stuff is really bad. I don't really want to go into all of it, but I've read some of it, and talked to several people who have used his methods. It's awful...it's appalling...it's...ugh. Just don't go there.

post #9 of 19

Also wanted to add that I wish I'd started in on toddler reading a bit sooner. I recommend "Raising your spirited child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. It's a great book to read whether or not you think your child is "spirited."
post #10 of 19
Sears Baby Book is a must-have.
The other 2 books that I found most helpful
The vaccine guide : risks and benefits for children and adults By Neustaedter, Randall
Circumcision : a history of the world's most controversial surgery by Gollaher, David I liked this because it's a history - not inflammatory. It was the main book that I used to educate DH.
A friend gave me So that's what they're for! By Tamaro, Janet. It was a good BFing book.

I have heard wonderful things about Raising Your Spirited Child. I really should get that.

I had a whole bunch of people (not on this forum) recommend the Ezzo (Babywise) books, so I checked one out of the library. Horrifying to me. I would advise against it as well.
post #11 of 19
I think that Positive Discipline by jane Nelsen is great, though I'm having a tough time implementing them now that my dd is 4 (i got the book a year ago). I think I need to go back through it and read it again now that #2 is coming. It's also hard when you're in an area that 99% punishment oriented.

I need to look into Raising your spirited child.. My dd is def. spirited.

I loved Dr. Sears books, any of them really. I have like 4 different books by them.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the recco's ladies! This is exactly what I was looking for - keep 'em coming!
post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by Lit Chick View Post
I have heard wonderful things about Raising Your Spirited Child. I really should get that.
*looks at 14-month-old* I really should get that, too. I'm hoping the currently gestating one will take after his dad and be a bit more mellow.

I only have the Dr. Sears, and it's really great. Not only for the AP stuff, but for the plain old day-to-day baby care stuff, in the back there are huge lists of illnesses, symptoms, first aid, etc.
post #14 of 19
A friend got me The Pediatrician's Bible and I really like it. It goes through each age and stage and talks about common things that you may be going through (e.g., moving, considering expanding your family, starting day care, etc.). It also has an exhaustive list of medical symptoms and conditions that you can use for reference that is very helpful. I skip over any part about sleeping, because this book is NOT a good reference for that (traditional baby in crib theory) but it doesn't spend much time on it anyway. Also, someone recommended to me Your Baby and Child (Penelope Leach) which I liked. Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby is essential if you have a collicky baby, but the video is even better -- seeing the techniques done in person is sooooo much better than reading about them. But, don't go there until after you have baby!!

Inevitably, you will eventually be reading every book you can get your hands on about sleep. Common ones are The No Cry Sleep Solution (which may give you some help and thoughts, but is really not a solution -- my favorite tip was that baby may not be done with nap when they first stir/wake, and you can get them back down sometimes by doing the same thing you did to get them down in the first place), the Baby Whisperer (similar to Ezzo in that baby should conform to your life, not you to his, but at least does not advocate cry it out), Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child (advocates "extinction" cry it out, which is awful, but may have a few tidbits here or there... like, you can't make a baby sleep!). Ultimately, the answer does not lie in any book, but rather in your instincts and in what works for you and your baby. The best book to help structure your life around prioritizing sleep is Sleepless in America (also Kucinka).

Other books I have liked are Raising a Spirited Child (but no need to read this during pregnancy, you'll have time later) and Discipline (by Brazelton)
post #15 of 19
The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Cohen
post #16 of 19
Oh yes - the Happiest Baby on the Block is a great vid. Did not read the book, but the video was a lifesaver. My boy was not collicky at all, was actually very mellow. But he LOVED being swaddled. And white noise... YES. Makes sense, DH and I cannot sleep without a bit of white noise either. The vid is best though, because I was useless at swaddling until I used his technique.

Also, ditto to this:
Ultimately, the answer does not lie in any book, but rather in your instincts and in what works for you and your baby.
When it came time to do some sleep training for our son (at about a year, when he night-weaned) I read pretty much every book, and ended up with my own little of this little of that approach. The one thing that pretty much every book emphasizes is ROUTINE. Very true. What that routine entails will vary wildly, but babies and toddlers do best with a consistent routine.
post #17 of 19
Another idea for health books...

We have several (my dh IS a Marine) books like "Where There Is No Doctor", and similiar. We also have the Merck manual.

It's nice to see what to do about stuff when the doctor isn't even an option. The Merck manual is good for seeing what the doctor is going to say, prognosis, etc.

Oh, I also recommend going to the CDCs website and reading every single thing they have about vaccination. Read all the stuff for the parents, but, more importantly, all the stuff for medical professionals. Reading their website is what convinced me to NOT vaccinate my children.
post #18 of 19
Dr. Sears' The Baby Book- it's my standard baby shower gift, plus something else, a Moby Wrap for my closer friends/family. I call it our baby Bible. It's got all that little stuff you'll fret over like developmental milestones, when to worry about coughs, when you can use Tylenol, and what to dose at, etc.

And Happiest Baby On the Block also bears repeating! I wish I had had this with my colicky, high needs, DD as an infant. Later on Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution was very helpful too!
post #19 of 19
Some how I got a copy of Ezzo's Babywise, I read part of one chapter, and put it in our burn pile.

Happiest Baby on the Block is great, but I actually would recommend the dvd over the book. The book is fine, but you can learn everything you need to know a lot better by seeing it done I think. But that's just my opinion.

I LOVED Debra Jackson's Three in a Bed. It's a co-sleeping book, but she talks about everything, I thought it was great. And Jean Leidloff's Continuum Concept.

I've also heard that Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves is good, but personally I've never read it.
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