on July 1, 2003
For the record, I'm only up to the 7 month chapter, with a 10 week old baby. I picked up this book at the library because my last baby was 9 years ago, and I couldn't remember certain things (when to start solids, when to try sitting him up without support, teeth, etc.). While this book has a lot of interesting information on baby development (especially reflexes, and what they can do even when they look like they can't do much), Dr. Brazelton glosses over some things that I'd have spent more time on, like jaundice, the benefits of breastfeeding, and normal "problems" versus something you should do something about now. I had no idea that jaundice could cause my baby to become too lethargic to eat until I was in Emergency with it. While jaundice can be mild, a list of things to look for would have been a lot more helpful. While I've breastfed all three of my children, I never really knew how much better breastfeeding is for them until I went looking for help online. Dr. Brazelton doesn't cover this either. He also doesn't cover the kinds of difficulties you can encounter with breastfeeding. He says that after the nipples "toughen up" (which breastfeeding websites deny happens), everything is wonderful. He completely ignores latch problems, thrush, plugged ducts, and other problems which can cause a mother to give up breastfeeding, particularly if she doesn't know there can be a problem. I also would have liked a "these things are normal at this age" list, and a "these are things you should ask your doctor about" list. While I've come away with a favorable opinion of the first 6 chapters, I can only hope there are no more glosses of useful information in the remainder of the book.
on January 28, 2002
Reading Dr.Brazelton's book feels as though you've got the support of a kind & loving elder, listening intently to the upset ramblings of a first-time parent -- and reassuring you that everything is normal, perfect and on-track with your child. I find his advice to be most effective when baby is upset - and I (therefore) have gotten myself upset; it helps me to take a deep breath and look at the situation from baby's point of view -- taking myself out of it -- I've learned that nine times out of 10, "It's not about me!". Most of the time, I find that not standing on ceremony for ceremony's sake solves the problem and that THIS IS NOT INDULGENT towards the child -- it's simply MEETING THE CHILD'S NEEDS. There IS a difference. As with all books, take what you like and use it and leave the rest. I feel as though Dr.Brazelton wants all new parents to know: there really is a time and a place for everything.....and know when to "never say never." It is a very respectful approach to raising your child.
on December 10, 2001
After reading this book, I can't decide if this book is supposed to be about parenting, or about Brazelton's personal experiences as a pediatrician. I don't like his advice on letting kids "cry it out", "pushing" nursing infants to "organize" themselves to your own schedule, and how he says that allowing your child to sleep with you (under any circumstances!) will cause problems. He also talks a lot about unrealistic parents' expectations as if they are a reality or the norm around the world, which I found annoying. Not everyone thinks these things-- in fact, many of the negative "expectations" that he said were normal had not even occured to me until I read about them in the book. I actually think it is somewhat damaging that he mentions them in this way, in that it creates an expectation for the expectation to form, when previously, perhaps the parents had never even considered it. For example, he describes parents' tendencies to "compete" with each other for the baby's attention as if this is a fact in every family situation. He also doesn't offer much advice on what to do-- instead he says "try everything" -- if I don't know what "everything" is, then how can I try it? He also doesn't seem to emphasize the importance of breastfeeding enough, as he talks about formula feeding as if it's a choice that is just fine to make, when I believe it should be a last choice in dire circumstances, as it is so much less healthy for infants. I also found Brazelton's tone somewhat condescending, especially when describing how he views parents coming into his office. I would certainly never choose him as a pediatrician after reading this book, and would be offended if I were a current client. I recommend Caring for Your Baby & Young Child : Birth to Age 5 instead. It is basic, clear, and pleasant to read. I also recommend practical classes on baby care and development, as I found them much more useful and reassuring than this book.
on December 3, 2001
What I liked about this book is that it's easy to read and understand. In part 1 of the book, Brazelton discusses a variety of topics in different stages of age development, from newborn to 3yrs. Some topics he writes about are bonding, teething, discipline, learning, toilet training and more... In part 2 of the book, he discusses the challenges in development a child may face. Some of the topics are allergies, developmental disabilities, divorce, hospitalization and sibling rivalry. In part 3 of the book, the author discusses people who may be involved in your child's life which includes the parents. Others are grandparents, friends, caregivers and your child's dovtor. At the end of the book, there are 14 useful addresses and phone numbers you may contact for more infomation about child development. I rated it 4 stars because I disagreed with a few specifc issues. One being, he mentioned that toddlers don't need snacks between meals until age 4-5yrs. I also disagreed with what he has to say about trying to schedule your baby's feeding at every 4 hours.
on February 22, 2001
I enjoyed reading this book and got a lot out of it, since it is well written and compiled in a helpful and easy format. Dr. Brazleton offers some valuable insights using his unique "touchpoint" terminology; his observations regarding highly sensitive newborns are indispensible for parents of premature babies or other "stressed" infants. I also appreciated his child-centered approach to issues like feeding and toilet training, which can easily become the source of harmful and unnecessary "power struggles".
However, in the area of moral development, I thought the book left something to be desired. The disciplinary "limits" advocated by Brazleton seem oriented towards a functional morality. The child learns to operate as a productive member of society; he should learn to make and keep friends- but little else. The better course for parents, I believe, is to promote moral principles such as justice and honesty. Of course, these will not be learned in the abstract sense until adolescence, but even a small child can learn that some things are wrong, not just ineffective or inappropriate.
I also tend to think that Dr. Brazleton puts too much emphasis on independence, to the exclusion of reasonable parental leadership. I am referring more specifically to his advice to permit children to work out their own social problems, both as siblings in the home and in larger social groups. While it is important that parents not be hovering or overprotective, we need also remember that it is precisely with siblings and peers that children learn to be fair and compassionate. How will they learn these things if parents and other adults refuse to teach? In addition, children, like adults, desire a just and orderly society where rules protect the interests of the weaker members. Nobody likes or truly thrives in a "jungle". Therefore, it is important that parents and other adults understand when to step in and inspire or demand better behavior. I did not get too many insights from Dr. Brazleton as to how or when to do this. I would suggest the works of Dr. James Dobson for a better discussion of moral and peer/sibling issues.
So while I may refer to this book from time to time for help with practical matters, it will probably not offer me too much with regards to some of the more abstract issues of development and parenthood.
on August 27, 2000
As a first-time parent, I bought about every parenting book I could get my hands on. This was not one of the better ones. I forced myself to read the first few chapters, but never picked it up again. I couldn't get past the sense that Brazelton wrote with an air of egotisism when he wrote this. It sounded more like self-exaltation to me ("I see this [pregnancy] as the first 'touchpoint' . . .") than as nitty-gritty practical adivce for parents. At first I thought is was just me, but Iv'e talked to other people who have thought Brazelton seems awfully full-of-himself in this book. Brazelton is, however, one of the leading authorities on infant development, and a very gentle, family-centered physician. The strenghts of this book lie with his good insight into coliky babies and his interesting views on potty-training. I have decided to keep the book until I am done potty-training for this very reason, even though it is not one of my essential references.
on March 31, 2003
This book follows in the tradition of previous publications and advice given by Dr. Brazleton in that it is delivered in a way that highlights the genuine love of children and assisting parents of the author. Dr. Brazleton's vast experience with children and their parents shines through as does his thorough and respected scientific experience. Dr. Brazleton seamlessly combines those areas of experience to offer this book as with all his advice. Dr. Brazleton addresses that each child and each parent has unique and individual needs and characters that will influnece the nature of the relationship that develops between the two. He addresses possibilities for not only "textbook" children and development, but offers suggestions and encourages parents to be creative for those "non-textbook" situations as well. Dr. Brazleton has again shown himself to be more than the average self-appointed "expert" on children.
on May 20, 2000
Being a "nervous" first-time parent of a premature baby (who isn't!) I was recommended this by the community early childhood nurse. In the plethora of child-rearing books on the shelves, I would recommend this as the pick of the bunch. Brazelton discusses all sorts of issues to do with children in their early years, always from the child's point of view, but never talking down to parents.
I found his words enormously helpful in getting thtough some tough times with colic - it didn't make it any less stressful, but I was able to hang on and get through it, knowing a bit more about it and what was happening to that little person.
Brazelton sounds like a wonderfully caring and compassionate pediatrician - I wish he could be cloned! At least you can get his book. I have bought it as a gift for a couple of new-parent friends, and they too have found it enormously useful.
on February 9, 2004
I bought this in conjunction with the "What to Expect" series. Read together they give an interesting and excellent mix of information. Dr. Brazelton approaches topics in a very personal way, and talks about different situations he approached in his career.
Moreover, he demonstrates how important it is to respect children and their fears of various situations. As an adult, it's easy to get caught up in everyday life and forget how TERRIFYING a trip to the doctors office can be. Dr. Brazelton covers how to discuss things with a very young child in a way they will understand, and a variety of other very important issues.
This book came highly recommended to me by a friend of Dr. Brazelton, but I recommend it to you only because it is a wonderful book, and worth every minute. I have read mine several times now, and find it very helpful with regards to approaching children.
on June 17, 1998
Whether you are a first-time parent, or an expert, this book is a valuable guide to understanding your baby and toddler as he or she develops. Dr. T. Berry Brazelton virtually climbs inside the heads of his patients in order to provide the reader with the child's point of view on such issues as feeding, sleeping, walking, and general independence as he/she matures. I have a gorgeous 10-month-old son, and am obviously approaching the all-important toddler phase, and Dr. Brazelton has already made me aware of what I can expect over the next 6 months or so. Some of it is already happening. Thank you, Dr. Brazelton. I love my son's pediatrician, but I respect your advice and can take your observations to my doctor for further discussion at his next check-ups. I will definitely look for more of your books, and have already recommended "Touchpoints" to my friends.