Pros:Gives a compassionate, gentle approach to caring for young babies; lots of tips and suggestions
Cons:Can't really think of any
The Bottom Line: This is a great reference book for new parents as they are setting patterns and getting to know their newborn.
Our baby was on the way! We had so many decisions to make, and one of the biggest was how we would parent our little one. Most of the baby parenting philosophies I had heard about tended towards extremes: in a nutshell, it seemed that either you were to feed every time the baby cried OR you were to put your baby (and yourself) on a rigid time schedule, and if he cried before it was time to wake up or be fed, then so be it--he would just have to cry. Neither of these sounded like a good fit to me. Demand feeding sounded too completely unpredictable, while scheduling seemed to disregard a baby's unique needs. I know, I know--there are those of you out there who swear by one method or the other, but I needed a "middle ground," and that is what I found in this book.
Tracy Hogg presents the E.A.S.Y. routine (Eat, Activity, Sleep, time for Yourself) which cycles about every three hours depending on your baby's signals and needs. Her basic theory revolves around respecting the baby as an individual person while still keeping the parents in their proper position as parents. Using this routine, parents and child aren't locked into a strict time schedule, yet they can anticipate what will be happening next during their day. The author devotes a chapter to each part of the cycle, giving anecdotes from her experience and helpful tips on how to promote each one. She also presents information on what an infant's various cries and body language often mean, helping parents to interpret their baby's "language" and aiding them in determining when alterations in the routine may need to be made.
In addition to the chapters on the E.A.S.Y. routine, the book also contains chapters titled as follows: "Loving the Baby You Gave Birth To," "S.L.O.W. Down (and Appreciate Your Baby's Language)," "Great Expectations: Special Circumstances and Unforeseen Events," and "Three-Day Magic: The ABC Cure for Accidental Parenting." The titles are fairly self-explanatory.
It probably goes without saying that not everything in this book will fit every family; I certainly didn't follow it to the letter. As with any baby book, you glean from it what works for you and your child. I read it once before our baby was born then referred back to it many times after his birth. And as simple as the routine and understanding a baby's cues may sound, babies just don't come with an owner's manual--not this book or any other one. Getting to know your precious little one and building a relationship takes time and patience (incredibly well worth it, I might add!), just like it does with any person. In a sense, it's a dance that you learn together, and new steps are constantly being added. My point is that the transition into parenting, though exciting, isn't going to be perfectly smooth and stress-free no matter what method you follow, but this book is a great starting point for building new parents' confidence and understanding of their infant. Personally, I want my children to grow up respecting me as their authority while trusting that I am looking out for their best interest, and I believe that this book offers many tools to help begin building that type of relationship right from the start.
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