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Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five
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Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  582 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
This newest edition of Penelope Leach’s much-loved, trusted, and comprehensive classic—an international best seller for twenty-five years, with nearly two million copies sold in America alone—encompasses the latest research and thinking on child development and learning, and reflects the realities of today’s changing lifestyles.

In her authoritative and practical style, Lea
Paperback, Revised Edition, 560 pages
Published September 30th 1989 by Knopf (first published January 1st 1978)
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Jun 04, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
a very important contribution to this subject; probably the best childcare manual type book i've come across. she has a very wise and loving perspective. i absolutely love that she finds a way to be respectful to babies while not ignoring the needs of parents (i find some of the attachment parenting people a bit extreme... at some point, you really do have to put the baby down and wash the dishes or cook a meal.) the advice in this book is very humanistic, gentle, loving- yet also extremely prac ...more
Dinah Williams
Dec 05, 2014 Dinah Williams rated it it was amazing
I was clueless. Bombarded with countless well meaning 'do-gooders' and 'advice-givers'. THIS BOOK WAS THE BEST 'adviser' OF THEM ALL. My 3 babies slept and ate like dreams because I followed Penelope's simple, logical, natural and 'baby-led' techniques. Give EVERY New mum and dad THIS book!
Doree Burt
May 10, 2008 Doree Burt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down the best child care book ever. I loved it so much (my kids are old now) that I would even consider Penelope a great name for a kid!
Aug 23, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
My Bible for raising MY copy is dogged ears and ragged..much loved
Jan 18, 2012 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five is a very thorough and thoughtful book that addresses the development and practicalities of raising a child from birth until about school-age. The book is split into sections that address specific age groups: what you can expect about how the baby is developing, typical problems or illnesses that may arise, ways that the child can be played with in order to increase mental and physical stimulation. The book concludes with an appendix/reference section ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Rebekah rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to come across this book as a young teenager and read it from cover to cover. It was eye-opening for me at the time, as the parenting methods that had been used around me never seemed "right" and I finally had a book to resort to when I had questions about them. Penelope was a breath of fresh air for me as I helped care for younger siblings, and then babysat, and went on to work in the childcare field. I am eternally grateful to the greater universe for helping me find this bo ...more
Jun 29, 2009 Lesli rated it it was amazing
I like this book very much: it's rational, written with a comforting tone that lets a first-time parent know that really, everything will be just fine. Leach sets out the choices, and rather than coming down on one side or another, tells you the likely consequences. For instance, on the issue of a family bed, unlike Dr. Sears (who is so pro family bed that one feels guilty for having a crib), Leach says, "Start the way you mean to go on." Both choices are fine. But each has consequences.

The one
Feb 17, 2010 Sabine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book rocks. I mean, seriously. Best baby book ever.
As a young mother, I was petrified with worries. What to do and not do, what could be dangerous etc. This book was bought is a second hand shop. It was published in 1978, so not long after I was born.
It relaxed me so much I cannot tell. So this baby book told me what to do in a 1978 fashion, and in the year 2000 everything had changed about babies. So in the end, I did as I felt it, with much love, and I didn't do anything wrong. My babies
Jan 27, 2011 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Truly my favourite parenting book. Penelope Leach may actually be the reason that I have such lovely children ;) and I'm (mostly) still sane. I referenced everything and she always had an answer: nursing problems? she's got you covered. Baby won't sleep? here are some ideas. Freak outs and tantrums? Better than super nanny. Gaping wound? You're good to go. This is a book I buy for expectant mums. I'll buy it for my own kids when it's their turn. Thank you Penelope!
Apr 20, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I haven't gotten past age two or so but I figure when I need it I'll get there! I really like the voice of this book, not judgemental and no hard and fast rules - just a lot of information and advice with the first rule being do what works for your baby and you. I borrowed this from the library but ended up asking for it as a registry gift so we have it as a reference, and I've already used it several times.
Nov 16, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all parents
This is a great parenting book for first time parents. I recommend this to parents who are "readers". I actually did an analysis of this book for one of my classes and the reading level is much higher than what is recommended for most literature that we give out to the public. There are good efforts made to make the children pictured more "diverse" and I believe the photos and illustrations are one of the book's strengths.
Kelly Murch
Apr 02, 2014 Kelly Murch rated it it was amazing
My mum bought this book when she fell pregnant with me, and gave me her copy when I fell pregnant at only 19 with my own daughter. It's been read & referred to so much it's fallen apart (& been taped together!)
This book was my absolute bible as a nervous young mother! Sensible, informative advice, told lovingly & without condescension.
May 30, 2010 Christine rated it it was amazing
A helpful and loving guide to parenting.
May 09, 2009 Traci rated it it was amazing
Of all the baby books I have read, this one is my favorite. Penelope Leach has a gentle and common sensical approach that is both helpful and reassuring.
Pam Brown
Jul 15, 2013 Pam Brown rated it it was amazing
I've given this book as a gift to several friends. I LOVE preventing problems by knowing what to expect ahead of time.
Sep 24, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This is my go to mommy book. Love it!
Mar 28, 2009 Susie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, the best baby book! Not only, good information, but also beautiful writing and great pictures.
Jul 13, 2010 Martha rated it it was amazing
Love how this book covers such a broad age range (though by the time my child was 5, I had stopped consulting it). Really practical advice, on just about any subject that comes up in childhood.
Feb 14, 2009 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this book literally to bits, and the cherished pieces of it are up on a high shelf.
Apr 24, 2008 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully sensible and caring insights and advice. I love Ms. Leach.
Aug 29, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Most everything she says is so sensible and logical. And it works.
Jan 01, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing
Along with "What to Expect the 1st Year," I think it's one of the best baby books out there.
Sherri Smith
Jan 09, 2013 Sherri Smith rated it it was amazing
Best book for new moms or moms to be!
Unit of Raine
Jan 01, 2017 Unit of Raine rated it really liked it
Solid, common sense advice. Granted, I'm using my mum's 1970's version so there is some outdated advice. But the general info is pretty spot-on.
Dec 21, 2012 Hilary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me by my sister-in-law, saying it was her favourite baby book, and I have to agree - it's one of the best. I like the common-sense attitude, the non-judgemental practical advice that seems timeless rather than geared towards the latest parenting fad(s), allowing you to make the best decision for you, and the pictures showing a variety of babies, parents and situations. (She does not recommend forms of crying it out.)

I am reading it in conjunction with one of the week-to-we
Feb 05, 2008 Frangipani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I wanted to throw this book out the window at times. But I had been forewarned by snippets from Kaz Cooke's book "Kid Wrangling" what this one was like. A great book to get ideas from, and to confirm your own ideas with. Also useful as a door stop and a cockroach killer. But Leach's constant references to Nanny's and Au-Pairs are very irritating. This sort of help is just not the norm where I come from, thank-you-very-much. I suppose if you are a clueless blue-blood this book would be a godsend ...more
Aug 06, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction, health
I think this book has some really fantastic information in it. However, it isn't very light reading. There are a lot of words and a lot of long paragraphs. That isn't a bad thing, but I have a hard time sitting down and devoting the time required to read through all of it. Maybe I just need a book that is more to-the-point, with bullet points or something. Either way, I would recommend this book for parents who need a complete guide to raising and caring for a baby. I would not recommend it for ...more
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
i've only read the toddler section so far -- but this one's given me a lot of food for thought. it's insightful into development and historical background, as in describing how working a farm is much easier for kids to participate in and learn from than our modern economy. and what we can do to help our kids have opportunities for play in appropriate ways.
this book is dense and wordy, and sometimes too opinionated, but i think that many parents would be better off if they knew this stuff! it wo
Mar 07, 2016 Sasha rated it liked it
This seems like a nice resource, since it touches on a lot of obscure details, such as common newborn skin conditions, and many elements of newborn care so basic that other books may skip them.

However, there are omissions. For instance, the various instances an elimination diet for breastfeeding moms would be valuable, and how to do them, is barely touched on. This just means that despite its size and relative thoroughness, this book is not comprehensive. A good thing to read, but definitely not
Apr 30, 2010 Nicky rated it really liked it
Such a fantastic book! Penelope Leach is a no nonsense advocate for children, which she demonstrates in almost every sentence of this book. It's so good to read something that is child-centred. This book's focus is to help you understand your child's mind, how they think, what they need and how to parent them so they feel loved. My only qualm is that the style is a little formal and takes a while to get into.
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Dr. Penelope J. Leach (born Penelope Jane Balchin) is a British psychologist who writes extensively on parenting issues from a child development perspective.
More about Penelope Leach...

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“Twenty Inches and Eight pounds of infant can, and undoubtedly sometimes will, reduce two or more intelligent, competent, organized adults to anxious, exhausted incompetent jellies.” 0 likes
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