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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parent by their principles, not all the details
I'm a full-time working mom of a 2.5 year old, incredible boy.
Initially when I read Sears my reaction was that to be a good parent I would have to quit working, spend my whole day breastfeeding and wearing my baby and never get a solid's night sleep again. (And, I've have to grind my own wheat, grow my organic vegetables and move to an unpolluted island...well, not...
Published on June 28 2004 by Nina Abbott

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Ideas but PLEASE get other views as well
I started my pregnancy with the Dr. Sears pregnancy book and also read the breastfeeding book and I loved his natural, gentle approach to everything so I registered for The Baby Book. I devoured this book and loved everything I read. I felt so confident going into parenthood! Then I had my baby and I was shocked to find I was completely unprepared in some ways. I...
Published on March 11 2004 by Shirley Lane


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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parent by their principles, not all the details, June 28 2004
By 
Nina Abbott "Nina" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
I'm a full-time working mom of a 2.5 year old, incredible boy.
Initially when I read Sears my reaction was that to be a good parent I would have to quit working, spend my whole day breastfeeding and wearing my baby and never get a solid's night sleep again. (And, I've have to grind my own wheat, grow my organic vegetables and move to an unpolluted island...well, not quite, but that seemed to be the general drift.)
But, what the Sear's approach or Attachment Parenting approach to me comes down to this:
Know your baby.
Respond to your baby's cues.
Understand that your baby isn't a mini-adult who just happens to live in a diaper. Understand that your child comes with his own personality and developmental timetable. Understand that when he cries he needs you. Understand that cuddling, holding, touching your baby is good for him and is not "spoiling" him. Understand that being given a brand new soul to nurture can be exhausting, but that everything you do which demonstrates empathy will come back to you 10 fold in the bond you will have with your child.
I do wish that the AP "movement" was less associated with "crunchy granola" types of parents. AP (and the Sears as the best known proponents) is really doing what comes naturally: We are hardwired to pick up our babies and care for them when they cry. We are hardwired to feel the intense desire to protect them from discomfort. This isn't a "movement" this is how we are made, and Mother (and Father) Nature are brillant!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOHM who supplemented with formula loves this book, March 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
I think this book is full of very interesting and useful advice. Granted, I took the advice that applied to my situation and left the rest behind. I can't understand why some reviewers seem to think that they can only recommend books that completely agree with their views.
Unfortunately, I didn't buy this book until after my first child was born and I was having problems breastfeeding and getting him to sleep in his crib (and getting no rest myself in the process). I believe that if I had I read this book before my son was born, I would have had a much easier first couple of months. I used much of the advice in the book when my daughter was born and can say that her infancy brought us much more enjoyment and relaxation.
Yes, Dr. Sears is a breastfeeding, cosleeping, and attachment parenting advocate, but I consider him in expert in these areas. I much preferred the helpful breastfeeding advice in this book to the damaging breastfeeding advice I found in the What to Expect books. I welcomed Dr. Sears' comments that letting my child sleep with me wouldn't cause the psychological harm and bad habits that the What to Expect books lectured me about.
No, I'm not an attachment parent or a stay-at-home mom. I've used more formula than I'd like to admit. However, I found this book useful and informative and not at all "preachy."
I've given this book to several expectant mothers and have always been sincerely thanked.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FABULOUS baby book--the only one you'll need!, Feb. 24 2004
By 
Lisa Manske "natural mamma" (Wauwatosa, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
I was quite skeptical of reading the series of parenting books by the Sears, as "shared sleep" was so foreign to me. But, having read this and a few of their other books, I am now thoroughly convinced that attachment parenting is a wonderful, beautiful, low-stress way to raise children.
This book covers EVERYTHING you need to know about taking care of an infant, including day-to-day things like bathing, feeding, burping, to major and minor medical situatations. My husband and I find this book very reassuring when, in the middle of the night, our newborn is acting strange or when we get lots of unasked for advice and we second-guess our parenting.
Frankly, I don't understand the criticism that says that the Sears preach an all-or-nothing method that makes parents feel guilty. The Sears do promote attachment parenting but they don't believe that "sharing sleep" is necessry for every family. They specifically write that each family is different and has to find what works best for them. There is an extensive section on how to continue breastfeeding if you are going back to work and how to make formula feeding a positive experience, if you feed with formula.
Give this book a read and form your own opinion. I am so glad that I did!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Empowering Theory, March 20 2004
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
I think this book truly empowers parents to get to know their baby, and to choose the parenting style that is best for them. The things they advocate strongly, like breastfeeding and carrying your baby for much of the day, have been shown in scientific studies to be very beneficial for children. There are also many researchers who are finding much evidence in support of co-sleeping. However, we do NOT co-sleep, and I feel no guilt from this book. Over and over again he insists, "if you resent it, change it" and "where mom and baby both sleep best is the best solution." He advocates taking weekly dates with the spouse, and emphasizes that moms MUST take care of themselves to take care of their babies.
The big downfall to this book is the lack of practical advice. For instance, while he acknowledges that co-sleeping isn't the best solution for some families, he doesn't offer much in the way of other advice. I really recommend supplementing this book with Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Sleep Solution (read when your baby is a newborn!!) and Gentle Baby Care. These, especially the sleep book, offer great, hands on practical advice to supplement the responsive, loving baby care theory that Sears promotes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Initially wary, but my fears were wrong, Feb. 9 2004
By 
Avid Reader (Cambridge, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
If you are attracted to the child-centered basics of Attachment Parenting: babywearing in slings, a shared family bed and lots and lots of bonding to produce independent, happy, trusting children--then this is the book for you. It is very comprehensive (and LARGE!), so you don't need to buy separate books on health & medicine, breastfeeding, developmentally appropriate toys, etc. This will get you through age 2, at which point you probably don't need to be consulting books.
I almost didn't buy this book, based on the negative review I read from the reader from Stockton, California. He stated that in this book, "my role in the care and rearing of my child is relegated to being secondary to that of my wife's." That scared me! I didn't want this to be the model my husband and I use raising our children. But I gave this book a thorough read (the latest edition--maybe this reviewer read an older one?) and found his claim to be completely wrong. Over and over, Dr. Sears and Martha Sears discuss the roles that fathers can play in their children's lives. A couple typical samples besides entire sections entitled, "Attachment Parenting Includes Fathers," "Bonding After Cesarean Births: For the Father" and, "For Fathers Only" in their Postpartum Family Adjustments chapter, among others:
Page 44: "studies on father bonding show that fathers who are given the opportunity and are encouraged to to take an active part in caring for their newborns can become just as nurturing as mothers."
Page 94: "For dads who are novices at caring for babies, massage is a hands-on course in baby handling. Also, it's important for baby to get used to dad's touch as well as mom's. Babies thrive on different strokes."
Dr. Sears also gives some man-to-man advice on sex after childbirth and instructions on an especially comfy sling position just for dads called the "neck nestle." He even writes (page 293), "I felt a real high the first time I put Stephen in the neck nestle and snuggled him securely against my chest for a walk. As we strolled together, I felt a sense of completeness. Sometimes I wore him for hours at a time."
Additionally, we find out from the text that Martha is active in her career as a lactation consultant and R.N. in the family pediatrics office, and that Dr. Sears writes his books from home, common practices that modern parents employ to balance work and family. There is even an entire chapter entitled, "Working and Parenting." This is a child-centered philosophy, so it follows that cutting back on work hours or working from home, if possible, are encouraged. They DO have 8 kids, which makes them definitely not mainstream America (!), but their claim that this makes them baby experts is pretty convincing. They share really practical tips, especially regarding feeding active toddlers and all sorts of medical information that you definitely want to know when (or before) something is wrong with your child. Special sections address topics like adopting kids (the Sears family includes an adopted daughter) and parenting disabled kids (they also have a son born with Down Syndrome).
My only criticism of this book would be that it might be awkward for me to read this as a single mother; the authors don't seem to be adept at understanding the circumstances of this situation beyond expressing sympathy and suggesting father substitutes.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth..., June 8 2004
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
Mothers, Mothers, Mothers ...we need to stop being critical of one another. I was appalled at some of the negative reviews I read for this book. If you do not agree about something fine, but women need to support one another in mothering. I feel Dr. Sears did an excellent job of providing that support. The information is excellent and beneficial for our babies. Note: babies do not come into this world with an instruction manual. It is our duty as mothers to follow our own instincts and wisdom.
The negative reviews brought up guilt alot. Let me ask you something...Do you feel guilty when you don't use a car seat? Guilty if you smoke in the house? Guilty if you drank while pregnant? Sometimes guilt is a good thing.
If we are honest, truely honest with ourselves, we can use that as an indicator of what is not working. Go with what is in your heart...if it doesn't feel right, it's probably not. And what about baby?... If they could choose how they would be mothered what would THEY choose?
Listen to your baby, listen to your heart. Let that determine your parenting...it is priceless.
A wonderful book on parenting for both mothers and fathers is
LET THE BABY DRIVE...Navigating the road of new motherhood by
Lu Hanessian. A powerful book for ALL MOTHERS!!! NO GUILT TO BE FOUND!!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Ideas but PLEASE get other views as well, March 11 2004
By 
Shirley Lane (Metro-DC Area) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
I started my pregnancy with the Dr. Sears pregnancy book and also read the breastfeeding book and I loved his natural, gentle approach to everything so I registered for The Baby Book. I devoured this book and loved everything I read. I felt so confident going into parenthood! Then I had my baby and I was shocked to find I was completely unprepared in some ways. I followed some dangerous advice about not supplementing her with formula while my milk was coming in and she ended up in the hospital dehydrated and with dangerously low blood sugar. The day we left the hospital I bought the American Academy of Pediatrics book "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child," and this is my new bible for illnesses in my baby. It is much more thorough, and I feel comfortable knowing this is what is reccomended by a community of professionals instead of one Dr with one philosophy. Anther example, we tried the family bed until she was five months and we never let her cry for a second. At four months old she was fussy, clingy, and was sleeping less that ten hours a day. I finally broke down and bought "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." After some gentler approaches and limited crying it out she will only sleep through the night (12 hours) in her own bed because our moving wakes her, and she gets about 13-15 hours of sleep a day. She is happy every morning and much more playful and engaging, and our bond is even stronger. My point is that you really need to find your own approach to problem solving the ups and downs of parenthood, and this book will only present you with one method. I still practice attachment parenting, but I also respect my child's needs to sleep and to play on her own. I love Dr. Sears and Martha's loving approach to parenthood, but I have developed my own loving approach now thanks to the input I have gained from other professionals in the field.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Sears Empowers Parents Not Preaches to Them, March 10 2004
By 
Butler (British Columbia, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
Why are people so angry at this book??? Dr. Sears says over and over again to parent with what works best for you and your family. His whole philosphy is that mothers and fathers know what is best for their child.
I think he offers a greater range (more than you'ld find in most "mainstream" books) of possibilities that parents can try with their child. Many of his options (e.g. co-sleeping, wearing your baby) have been used successfully for centuries before in our own and other countries.
The options are compassionate, empathetic and feel natural once you rid yourself of many of our societal hangups. It is a back to basics book that doesn't require the parents to go out and buy tonnes of baby furniture, equipment and toys to raise a successful child.
My child is now 8 months old and we have used many of the ideas in the book. I get many compliments from people I know and don't of how "good" (I like to think "well-adjusted") my baby is. What they don't know is that my husband and I work really really hard everyday putting into practice ideas that work for us from the book.
We find many of the child-rearing options to be empowering to us and our child. I'm so glad we bought this book. I don't think me or my child would have the relationship we do now without this book giving me the courage to take back my power to mother with what works best for us.
If you want to wake up 3 or 4 times a night to a crying baby in another room, and then need to go all the way into your kitchen to heat a bottle, then trudge down the hall back to your screaming baby this book isn't for you. If you're looking for a better way than this, READ THIS BOOK.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wanna Feel Bad? BUY THIS BOOK!, Feb. 29 2004
By 
Happy Shopper (Bothell, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
I read and re-read this book for about the first 2 weeks of my son's life! I felt SOOO stressed out about absolutely EVERYTHING that I couldn't sleep even WHEN the baby was sleeping!
Wearing your baby? GREAT IDEA (sometimes)
Sleep with your baby? Not if you want to sleep!
Feed them EVERYTIME THEY CRY? Super unless they just ate 5 minutes ago and you are frantically trying to figure out what is the matter with the poor little thing!
Some other advice:
"Don't pen me up!" Don't put your child in a playpen unless it is for safety...like when you get a hot dish out of the oven.
Every time they cry, PICK THEM UP! EVERYTIME! If you don't, your own PRECIOUS little child will NOT KNOW THAT YOU LOVE THEM!
Like you needed some more guilt here, RIGHT?
Feeling worried about WHAT TO EXPECT? Feeling like you want some advice? Well...if you read this book you will see that your life will NVER BE PREDICTABLE AGAIN! And that this is the BEST WAY to raise your child...
It is almost like...the more hectic your life is? The better mother you are!
I don't need this!
I thought FOR SURE that my child was unhappy because i was doing something wrong! AND I TRIED AND TRIED to do what these people suggested...I held him all of the time...wore him in a sling...breast fed him ALL OF THE TIME...let him sleep with us in our bed.. GOOD GRIEF!
My husband finally asked me WHERE IN THE WORLD I WAS GETTING ALL OF THIS INFORMATION~ And when I showed him the book, and he read it, he suggested a sacrificial BURNING of it in the back yard!
The book has some REALLY VALUABLE information about illnesses, emergencies and what to expect developmentally and physically about your baby..BUT THAT IS ALL!
Like I said before, if you want to go on the mommy guilt trip train...READ THIS BOOK!
Right after you have your baby, you might find yourself feeling particularly open to suggestions that you would have found "goofy" at another time! THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO DOUBT YOUR IDEAS ABOUT CHILD REARING! If you are someone who would normally think these ideas are a little OVER THE TOP...be forwarned...at your moment of hormonal weekness...you too may succomb to the COMPLETE BRAIN WASHING of this "BOOK".
Talk to your friends, find someone who has the kind of relationship with their baby that you want to have..and then get their suggestions!
Find a different book! Enjoy your child! Enjoy your life! Be close to your child when you want to be and when they need you! But be yourself too! It is possible to have a VERY HAPPY BABY sitting in a bouncy seat watching you cook dinner. YOU DON't HAVE TO WEAR THEM IN A SLING AND BREAST FEED THEM HALF OF YOUR LIFE TO MAKE THEM HAPPY!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST baby book on the market, Feb. 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
Comprehensive, clear, well written, factual--this book tells the truth: parenting is hard if you do it right, but it is the most rewarding work on the planet. Not every thing that our culture tells us about babies is true (for example, that "good babies" sleep through the night or that breastfeeding is optional, like vitamin drops or something). The risks of not breastfeeding and of not really connecting with your baby are great, and books like this help a new parent overcome challenges to successful breastfeeding and attachment. Too many books on parenting take a very "devil may care" attitude toward the enormous gift and responsibility of raising a child. Mothering through breastfeeding and attachment parenting have changed my life, and if I hadn't had this book to rely on (along with a supportive partner, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, a couple of other books, La Leche League, and other supportive people whom I have sought out since our son was born) I might well have compromised on what I knew was best for my baby.
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