Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way
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Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  1,079 ratings  ·  240 reviews
Mayim Bialik was the child star of the popular 1990s TV sitcom Blossom, but she definitely didn’t follow the typical child-star trajectory. Instead, Mayim got her PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, married her college sweetheart, and had two kids. Mayim then did what many new moms do—she read a lot of books, talked with other parents, and she soon started q...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,056)
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Kathleen
Who knew that Mayim Bialik could write such an engaging book?! I wouldn't have guessed. However, she did write a fantastic book describing her experiences with attachment parenting. I found her account of her own family's experiences really helpful and charming.

You know what's not helpful and charming? The people reviewing her book on Goodreads, using their reviews as a way to judge and condemn her parenting choices. Throughout the book, Bialik speaks very respectfully about other people's paren...more
Amy
This book was interesting, though for me she was preaching to the choir. And I do mean preaching. Though she tries to have a non-judgemental tone and regularly correct herself, the overall feeling is one of a sermon. I agreed with much of what she said, so it didn't bother me, but I can see how it would some. My only real beef with the book was her ragging on concept books for young children. I full agree that play is the essential "work" of early childhood and share he affinity for Waldorff edu...more
Ciara
okay, i am scoring this one kind of on the lower side, but not because i think that mayim bialik is a hopeless goody-goody or is harming her children via attachment parenting (which seems to be why most people are so critical of this book...though i do siagree with her anti-vaccination stance, just for the record). i guess i am marking it down because i felt that it didn't really provide much info. it purports to be a "guide to attachment parenting". i mean, it's right in the sub-title. but it r...more
Jasmin
I really loved this book. I have a seven month old son, and we have been using attachment parenting principles thus far. Not intentionally at first; initially we followed our instincts and our hearts. After he was born and I started wondering if how I was doing things was normal so turned to books to see how things are usually done. Through my research I found that we were using attachment parenting techniques, which makes sense since attachment theory basically says to follow your heart and tru...more
Sarah Eiseman
This was a very interesting parenting book. Bialik is a strong advocate for Attachment Parenting, as well as many other non-traditional parenting choices (EC: elimination communication, gentle discipline, etc). Many of her points resonated well with me, while others I was less sure of. I agree with her approach to "stuff". I think our culture is a little too stuff-oriented and not enough touch. We find things to "put" our babies in, instead of holding them. We find toys to interact with them, in...more
Delilah
I really wished that I had read this book before having my first son Jon. I know it has garnered a lot of negative reviews, but with every book, and as Mayim emphasized the book was on a glimpse of how she raised her children and it is up to you to pick and choose, agree or disagree with the views she had to offer. I love, love this book! There have been many times when I've been told I coddle my son excessively, I am not strict enough, I need to spank him, etc etc. But I look at my child and sa...more
Kelly
I was curious about attachment parenting, particularly because it has gotten a lot of (mostly negative) attention lately. I felt I owed this book a fair shake to see what it was all about. Who better to inform me than Blossom?

Overall, I thought it was well written, easy to understand, and much less judgey than was suggested by some other reviews I read before picking it up from the library.

In general, I think a lot of the concepts could work for us, and I'm glad I read it. It definitely gave me...more
Jenni
I am not a parent, and picked up this book only because I was curious about attachment parenting. I saw a segment on one of the morning talk shows that Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler on BBT) uses AP, and gave a brief overview on what is can entail. One comment made was that she never used diapers on her second child. EVER. I was intrigued.

More so, I was fascinated by the ideas in the book. In it she discusses what her family does, and promotes the idea that AP in and of itself is a theory and t...more
Megan Palasik
I loved this book!

Confession: I knew nothing about Attachment Parenting before about a month ago. I heard Mayim talk on Doctor Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio for about 10 minutes and was hooked. I came home, ordered the book and started reading. Soon after I ordered the book, I heard about the TIME Magazine cover "Are You Mom Enough?" and all the controversy surrounding that and I read more about AP. I'm hooked.

Mayim wrote a wonderful book. It's very easy to read and follow. I think it's just a...more
Mari
I wanted to love, love, love this book because I aspire to be a hippie mom of sorts and am drawn to attachment parenting. I respect this book and its approach for sure, but in the same way the "cry-it-out" type books leave me feeling like I'm doing it wrong, parts of this made me question what I'm doing.

This book is a look at one family's parenting strategies, and it's written by an actress with a neurobiology PhD. While some of her educational training does seep into the book overall this is a...more
Lessa
Jun 25, 2014 Lessa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: adult
Bialik tries to give a well-rounded, non-hippy sounding look at Attachment Parenting and gives her reasons to practice this style of parenting as mostly based on scientific research and intuition. She says over and over again in the book that Attachment Parenting looks different depending on the family and that there is no one right way to raise a child and she doesn't want to make anyone feel bad for their choices, but she also emphasizes a few points pretty regularly. Not having children of my...more
Amy
I have read what feels like a million books on various parenting techniques in order to form a way to assist my little man into a happy childhood with the goal that he will grow up to be a well rounded and adjusted adult. A lot of the issues I had with many was the "you have to do this..this way or else" mentality

screw that...I am cherry picking and doing it my way. one of two things will happen- it will either work, or it wont (and if its not working I will change something and figure it out)

ou...more
Carisa
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and found it interesting. I am not sure whether reading about a celebrity's life is what kept me turning the pages or whether it was the topic. I picked it up because I've heard the term attachment parenting tossed around a lot and I was curious about it. In the beginning Bialik does a good job summarizing the basic principles of the parenting style and I found myself agreeing with a lot of it. She then describes how she incorporates the principles on a daily...more
Bunny
Mayim Bialik offers the scientific reasoning behind her approach to child-rearing. (largely what is known as attachment parenting).

I think her book has been well discussed so I won't go into that here. I will address one point. She was vilified by some for supposedly insisting her somewhat extreme stances were the only way to go. When I heard her interviewed, she insisted that she wasn't telling anyone else how to parent, rather she was explaining her choices and the scientific validity to them....more
Jane
May 12, 2012 Jane marked it as triedtoread
I thought I was going to love this book, after all, she says, many times, that this is just her journey and not a "you should..." book.
First, although she says it's for you no matter where you are on your parenting journey, she talks a lot about "Baby". So, since I don't have a baby, I started skipping around.
Second, I live in Austin, I have enough friends who practice some level of attachment parenting that if I wanted this information, I'd ask them. She promised me the science behind it. The...more
Helena
A lot of the info in this book was stuff I'd already at least heard about over the last four years (I have some pretty "crunchy" mom friends), but it was still interesting to read about the reasoning and research behind some of these parenting choices. Bialik is careful to note that while these choices work for her and her family, they are not for everyone--and she doesn't judge anyone for making different choices. I appreciated the lack of judgment and guilt, both of which seem to be quite prev...more
Jessica
I guess I'm kind of an attachment parent. I didn't set out to be, because I didn't set out to be anything except a loving and nurturing mom. It just so happens that I follow a lot of the guidelines of attachment parenting. I picked this book up because I thought it would be interesting to read about another mother's experiences raising her children the AP way and I like to peek into the lives of celebrities.

This book fell a little flat. Bialik tries to do a few things: write a how-to for attach...more
Jessie
First of all, Bialik does a great job of explaining Attachment Parenting in an easy to understand way. She is also obviously wicked smart and a scientist, and uses her science background to make a case for the AP way of life. She is obviously very, very strict about her AP parenting. The writing style is readable and friendly.

The reason I only give 3 stars is that much like any other book written by a wealthy celebrity about how to live life, I just get irritated. I'm irritated that someone maki...more
Heather Miller
There were a couple of chapters that I enjoyed and felt I could apply to my life, but for the most part I found the ideas in this book to not suit my parenting style at all. I love to breast feed, but I won't be doing it when my kids are four. I don't practice co-sleeping with my kids. I don't think you have to have a natural birth experience to give your kids a good start and I think teaching your child the alphabet, colors, numbers, etc. is a GOOD thing. I did agree with the idea that we over-...more
Melanie
Apr 13, 2013 Melanie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I loved reading this book as it reinforces my innate wisdom (which exists in EVERY woman) as a parent. Trusting my instincts and not questioning my "methods" when they work for us, being able to relax around my kids and not force what is not natural in my heart, helping them to thrive and become who they were *meant* to be, all are tenets I share with the author. I appreciate she also has a science-based background which supports the way she raises her kids as I also believe my strong background...more
Katie
A lot of times I felt pressured that if I didn't raise my child in the ways she was dictating, my child would not be raised in the natural way that he/she was meant to be, and I would not be responding to my baby properly. She really drilled this home when it came to breastfeeding, cosleeping, and elimination communication.

However, I did think that parts 3 and 4 which dealt with discipline, your baby having 'stuff', home remedies, and how your relationships change when baby comes were the best...more
Laura
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I was prepared (cynically) to find it a bit off-putting - as in, an attachment parenting book written by a rich celebrity who has an easy life. In actuality, I very much enjoyed her writing style and found many of Nik's and my parenting choices confirmed by her writing and research. I would have appreciated some sources to back up her assertions (rather than just, "I have a PhD in neuroscience, I know what I'm talking about) - I think it...more
Katie Boggs
I wish that I had bought the paperback versus reading it on my kindle because it is a book I would like to go back and refer to. Not everything that Bialik describes is for me, but I agree with many of the bigger ideas. I would recommend it to any new parent, regardless of their philosophies, because it is so different from many of the traditional parenting books. All parents benefit from reexamining their ideologies and the ideas Bialik presents might inspire readers to think about why they mak...more
Kristina
This was a well-written book and while I certainly don't subscribe to many of the philosophies presented within the book, I wouldn't hold that against it by any means. The author was very fair in her discussions of the various, often highly controversial topics, such as co-sleeping, attachment parenting, breastfeeding, discipline, and just parenting in general. I did feel the book started to get a little long in the last 2 chapters or so, but appreciated the author's perspectives and the way she...more
Lauren
I give this book 3.5 stars (though I can't do half stars here). I agree with many of the principles Mayim presents, some in my own practice of parenting, and others, only in theory. Still, some of them were extremely 'out there' in my opinion. But I still enjoyed reading the book, and I feel it has made me realize that there are so many different ways to parent, and no one has it all figured out. I think the author did a nice job of presenting the ways her family does things without preaching to...more
Patty Spanjer
I was not sure how much I would get from this book. After all, I have five children and have mothered this way for close to 40 years. My husband and I work with young parents and their babies on a daily basis.

I did not learn anything new, but it was refreshing to read her view on things like "time-out", late developing children, family issues, time for mom issues, etc. These are ideas I developed many years ago, but rarely see mentioned anywhere.

I would still recommend the new (8th edition) Woma...more
Jessica
I loved this book. I loved Mayim's language, and felt like I was reading something from a trusted friend. (this might be because Blossom and I were the same age...but, maybe not). While I might not have agreed with everything that she does with her boys, I loved that she kept bringing it back to trusting our own intuition and our own Mommy-sense. She gives a great overview of attachment parenting, talking about what works for her, and what really doesn't work for anyone. The fact that she could...more
Sarah Lewis
It was nice to read a non-judgmental parenting book that didn't make me feel like I need to completely overhaul my own parenting methods. Maybe I enjoyed the book so much because my husband and I agree with Bialik's views on attachment parenting. There are some aspects the author described that are not for me (EC is not something I am willing to commit to and I'm not ready to have a family bed) but I really appreciate all she had to say about those topics and the rest of the topics she covers. I...more
Amanda Birdwell
Okay, I absolutely loved this book, and Dr. Bialik is not exactly preaching to choir here -- that's great that no TV and attentively watching her infants for signs that they are going to poop works for her. We are clearly not going in that direction, and I admit that this is probably because she is just a much more committed mom than me.

However, this book has a lot of awesome ideas in it, I do think a lot of the philosophy of attachment parenting is spot-on -- and it's very reassuring that at l...more
Jennifer
I really enjoyed this book. It is, hands down, the best parenting book I've read, and that is because Bialik (a neuroscientist!) takes a "use your instincts and do it your way" approach that not many other books have. She uses her family and her own kids as examples of things that have worked for them, including some very common things (co-sleeping) as well as some not-so-common (elimination communication).
Hers is a very natural, instinctive way of parenting. However, she does not knock other s...more
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Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as for her portrayal of the young Bette Midler in "Beaches." She has also appeared in Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water" and HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Bialik was born to first-generation American teachers and documentary filmmakers and was raised in Los Angeles, attending both public and religious scho...more
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