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Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems
Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems
by Richard Ferber
Edition: Paperback
165 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars It works!, Nov. 19 1999
We used the Ferber method with all three of our children and it worked like a charm. I recently recommended the book to my sister and her husband who had been co-sleeping with their 10 month old and were exhausted. She had been attracted by the exalted claims of Dr. Sears and other attachment parenting proponents, but the reality was that neither she nor her husband was sleeping well with their baby in their bed and the lack of sleep was taking a toll on all three of them. She tried Ferber (with some trepidation) and, in a few days, her baby was sleeping through the night in her crib--and my sister and brother-in-law reported that they felt like they had a new life together. One of the earlier reviews reported that Dr. Ferber has recanted. That's an inaccurate statement. In the New Yorker article that was referred to, Dr. Ferber stated that he didn't have a problem with co-sleeping, if that's what the parents truly feel comfortable with. He certainly does not recant his advocacy of the Ferber method for those who do not want to co-sleep with their baby. Any implication that Dr. Ferber now believes that his method is harmful (as some of the sillier attachment parenting disciples claim) or that co-sleeping is more desirable is simply untrue.

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your baby From Birth to Age Two
The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your baby From Birth to Age Two
by William Sears M.D
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 29.10
65 used & new from CDN$ 1.73

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Vastly overrated, March 31 1999
What makes "The Baby Book" different from many other equally comprehensive baby care books is the authors unrelenting advocacy of what they call "attachment parenting". The Sears' claims for "attachment parenting" are hyperbolic and the reader's reaction to many of their assertions may well range from skepticism to alarm. The Sears' identify the 5 AP concepts as 1) connecting with the baby early, 2) reading and responding to your baby's cues, 3) breastfeeding, 4) wearing your baby and 5) sharing sleep with your baby. According to Sears, adherence to these principles will "improve behavior, development and intelligence." New fathers who had hoped to play an active role with the new baby will find that their role is different than they had hoped: According to Sears, "[T]he father's role is to create a supportive environment that allows the mother to devote *her* energy to the baby" and "Father's job is to nurture the mother so that *she* can nurture the baby" (Emphasis added). On a section regarding bottlefeeding a breastfed child, Sear suggests that the mother enlist the help of an experienced bottleffeding grandmother or bottlefeeding friend to give the bottle--the possibility that Dad might want to feed his child is curiously omitted. But perhaps not so curious after all--Dad is given pretty short shrift throughout the book, particularly in the chapter on "Nighttime Parenting". "The Baby Book" is full of paragraphs that begin "Studies show" --unfortunately there are no citations to any of these studies and the lack of citations leaves the reader wondering. For example, at one point he writes of a study that contrasted 2 groups of children, one "securely attached" and one not. The reader might well wonder how "securely attached" was defined and determined. This question crops up throughout the book,particularly when Sears speaks of his own "surveys"-- his biases are so evident thoughout the book that it is hard to much stock in the objectivity of any of his "surveys." The zealousness of the authors in their advocacy of breastfeeding is obvious, however it doesn't excuse their discussion of bottlefeeding. Despite spending 72 pages of the book discussing the benefits of breastfeeding, the Sears cannot resist pening up the (extremely short) bottlefeeding chapter with this comment: "Do infants thrive on formula? Formula fed infants appear to grow normally, but the question is not only do infants grow but do they thrive? Thriving takes growth a step further: growing and developing to an infant's fullest potential. This is an unanswered, perhaps unanswerable question." This is an astonishing statement. Has Sears really never seen an infant who has "thrived" on formula? Amazing if true, since I personally know of quite a few. And the "unanswerable" nature of his rhetorical question is one that can be applied to many of Sears' assertions. One of the most troubling sections in the book concerns mothers with HIV and breastfeeding. This section is buried in the back of the book, instead of included, as one would expect, in the chapters on breastfeeding. Sears acknowledges that HIV can be passed through breastmilk , but then states that there have been cases where babies have not contracted the virus through breastfeeding. Instead of an unequivocal NO to breastfeeding when the mother is infected with HIV, he simply concludes that the mother should discuss it with her doctor. The chapter on "Nighttime Parenting" is predictable. The Sears advocate what they call "shared sleeping." They have little patience with concerns that many parents consider to be significant--inability to sleep with a baby in bed, the affect of co-sleeping on the couple's relationship, etc. As always, a false dichotomy is set up between the responsive "attached" mother and the "detached" mother. The Sears apparently cannot countenance that it is possible for parents to be very attached to their children but to also want them to sleep on their own because they truly believe that it is best for their children. For that matter, the dichotomy of "attached" parent v. "detached" parent is set up, both explicitly and implicity, in just about every discussion of the Sears 5 attachment "concenpts". "The Baby Book" also raises a lot of questions. The Sears claims that when a mother breastfeeds, "wears" (with a sling), and shares sleep with her baby, that the baby will inevitable grow up to be a more empathetic, sensitive and caring adult. If so, then how to explain the genocidal tragedies of recent years in Rwanda, Liberia, Somalia and other countries where the vast majority of babies are bfreastfed, worn and slept with? Shouldn't it be obvious that there are many other factors that are vastly more significant than how a baby is fed and where it sleeps? And aren't there millions of happy, healthy children (and adults) who are very attached to their parents and families, despite not being raised by the Sears AP tenets? Unfortunately, these are questions that the Sears apparently cannot discuss objectively.

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