Baby Book
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Baby Book

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  4,532 ratings  ·  494 reviews
A comprehensive baby care book features information on treatment of illnesses and infant nutritional requirements, and focuses on a baby's five needs: eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort.
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Published November 16th 2008 by Little, Brown & Company (first published January 19th 1993)
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Kelly Cooke
dr. sears is not for everyone but he may be for you. are you distressed or angered or bewildered by modern parenting advice? do you prefer to rock and sing or nurse your baby to sleep rather than make her cry herself to sleep? does it seem weird to you that baby sleep "experts" implore you not to pick your baby up (whatever you do!) when she's crying at night? do you prefer a baby sling to wearing a f*$%ing 30 pound car seat on your arm? (i have seen women do this while shopping. it's bizarre.)...more
Jennifer
Jan 01, 2008 Jennifer rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gluttons for punishment
If you want to feel bad about yourself as a mother, a woman, and a member of Western Civilization, this book is for you. Full of positive information about how if you don't spend every waking minute of your life hugging and soothing (preferably with your breasts) your newborn you are setting them up for a life of failure. Every possible problem your child might have can be traced back to your shameful willingness to let them cry or be without you for any period of time. Although they don't come...more
Deborah
Jun 16, 2008 Deborah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents. Soon-To-Be-Parents. The tired and frustrated parent in need of fresh ideas.
Shelves: kid-stuff
The key thing I learned from this book and the key thing I wish to pass on to any parent or parent-to-be looking for THE magical answer book is this: Trust your instincts. They will truly serve you better than anything written in a book. That said, this book will time and again ask you to do just that. Listen to your gut and your heart when it comes to your baby. Many of us have been doing what is called "attachment parenting" all on our own without the fancy label for years. I found many things...more
Elyssa
Thankfully, I did not buy this. I read most of it at my sister-in-law's house. Dr. Sears provides some good practical advice. I will give him credit (in the form of 2 stars) for that.

A huge part of the book promotes attachment parenting (with little proof of its effectiveness) and the book is easier to digest if you agree with him. My big problem is that his theories are very mother-centered, so the father (or partner) are relegated to support the mother as she is caring for the infant, i.e. we...more
Kimberly
May 14, 2007 Kimberly rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Shelves: parenting
I wish I could give this book less stars. Aside from the Sears family's love of soy, I think they do a great injustice to society. The expectations they put on women to do things exactly the way they did is insane. People need to tak ethis book with a grain of salt before it make sthem crazy, insecure and unhappy.
Inder
We love this book and refer back to it often. But then, we are generally unapologetic co-sleeping baby-wearers. My hippy parents and their friends practiced attachment parenting before the term "attachment parenting" was coined. I spent my early years in a commune where small babies slept with their parents, were never left to "cry it out" in a crib down the hall, and spent most of their time in someone's arms. This approach may not be for everyone, but because I was raised this way, it feels na...more
Marie Anderson
This book has been a great resource book for my first year as a mom. I've used it mainly as a reference book when I have a specific topic I want to look up. It really does a good job of covering the main areas and providing me with the information I'm looking for. I've really appreciated the developmental section which includes ideas on how to play with your child at each stage and what some of their favorite games and activities will be. This has been so helpful for me and I have received some...more
Gretchen Decker
This book is great from the practical standpoint of figuring out how and when to take your baby's temperature or what the signs of an ear infection are, but don't get me started on parenting advice given by pedeatricians and based on their own personal experiences. The Sears corporation is a big proponent of what they call "attachment parenting," which if you read before your baby is born makes you think everything will be very smooth and wonderful if you just "learn to read your babies cues," w...more
Holly
Jan 16, 2008 Holly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who cares for a baby, or expects to do so anytime soon
When I first read The Baby Book -- an earlier edition, when my son was a newborn in 2001 -- I found it incredibly reassuring. At last, someone who could provide logical reasons that everything I was doing (for example, refusing to just ignore it when my baby cried) was RIGHT! I continued to use it as a general medical reference long past the time my younger child turned 2. Sears assumes that parents have a clue, and his advice about handling various illnesses is a lot more helpful than "call you...more
Amy
Lots of good information. Contrary to what some other reviewers have said, the Sears ABSOLUTELY state over and over again that you need to do what works for YOUR family. The information is NOT presented in a way that should make anyone feel bad about that caregiving. Nor is "my way is the only and right way" preached or expected. Attachment parenting is the foundation of the book and if you are not comfortable with this kind of parenting, then perhaps this isn't a great book for you to read, how...more
Lena
Jul 30, 2007 Lena rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pregnant people
Excellent book!!!!! Written by Dr. Sears, a baby doctor and a baby nurse (married) with 30+ years of experience who also have 8 kids! So they are writing from personal and professional experience. I liked it especially because it challenges the "conventional wisdom" and "old wives tales" you may have been told by your mother, and supports what they say with lots of evidence. One thing they advocate is to sleep with your babies (called co-sleeping). Most people say "OH NO! You'll roll over on you...more
Joni Cochrane
I wonder if anyone else noticed that the negative comments about this book were hostile and aggrivated. I used to be like that, before treatment and counseling. I was a "cry it out baby". This book changed my life. It is full of scientifically based information on what babies need most. My daughter has been on antibiotics two times in her eleven years, strep throat and swimmers ear. She is self-confident and fun. She is a joy to be around. I didn't have to do anything but follow my instincts and...more
Janey
I am not a fan of "Babywise" or "What to Expect When..." books. This is my go-to baby book. It has, literally, everything you need to know. Time and time again I'd check the awesome table of contents and there was the answer to my question or challenge. I call it my baby bible. I love their focus on "The Seven Baby B's of Attachment Parenting".

1. birth bonding
2. belief in the signal value of your baby's cries Quote: "Pick up your baby when he cries. As simple as this sounds, there are many paren...more
Lauren
I avoided Dr. Sears while I was pregnant. Most everyone who tend towards the same lifestyle choices we make seemed to be fans, but there was something that just struck me wrong, so I spent time with other books: the Mayo Clinic book, Heading Home with Your Newborn, the Working Woman's Pregnancy Book, etc etc.

And then we had our little one and I found myself spending virtually every minute of those early days nursing, he was always in our arms, and he was sleeping in a bassinet in our room rathe...more
Shannon
While some of the things in this book are a bit over the top as in Dr. Sears' other books, I really like his approach that parenting should be about the baby and not about fitting the baby into your schedule as a parent. This may be because I'm happy to find someone actually write in print that if Sarah naps better on me and I need a nap too, it's perfectly fine to let her sleep on me rather than in her cradle where she will awaken in approximately 5.4 minutes. But as a parent the overall tone t...more
Jessica
I have very complex & conflicted opinions about this book. I did read it cover to cover, and that took me several months to do. It probably wasn't necessary as the second half of the book was mostly reference-y, but it was also really the only quality part of the book. The first half of the book was mostly Dr. Sears' opinions on various parenting topics. Whether I agree or disagree with his opinions, I was infuriated by the way he presented them. He said he had done 'research', but then woul...more
Sharon
Jun 15, 2007 Sharon rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents who can take what they need from it and ignore the rest
Shelves: parenting
When we first got this book, I considered it my parenting bible. Now that I have an actual baby in the house, I've stopped reading it and only refer to it when I have specific questions.

A lot of the attachment parenting that the Sears family advocates is common sense: babies need a lot of touch and interaction from their parents. Things like babywearing and cosleeping promote attachment. This is all good, and there's plenty of practical how-to, as well as useful information about babies in gener...more
Mariana
Had to ban this book from my household as it was only pushing me toward PPD with its impossible expectations towards young mothers to become round the clock slaves to their babies.
I'm giving it two stars as I assume that some of its content was groundbreaking and useful 20 years ago, when formula was promoted as the better nourishment and crying-it-out was standard, but I don't see what the book could provide to any of today's educated women except guilt. I do respect some aspects of attachment...more
Alisha
I read this book while expecting my first son and put it's theories to the test. Short story: they didn't work. I was exhausted and cranky and so was my son. Now that I have 3 children and I'm feeling well rested, I can't believe what terrible advice he gives!! The book could be renamed "Forgetting Yourself: How to Let Children Tear you Down and Ruin Your Marriage". Following this book is not good for the mother, baby, or family.
Jim
I want to rate The Baby Book more highly — but I can't. That's a shame, since it's full of incredibly practical tips I might never have thought of on my own. But here's the problem, and it's a big one: I can't trust this book.

The Sears family is quite clear in their intro: this is not an all-purpose baby guide. It is instead a work of 100% advocacy for one particular child-rearing style: attachment parenting. (Imagine a book called "On Cooking: Everything You Need To Know About Food" that only d...more
Jennifer
Feb 19, 2008 Jennifer added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the fireplace
One mans well intentioned error of opinion. Quoted and misquoted so often it is now touted as fact. I've even heard it often mistakenly referred to as the "Bible" of child rearing books. I read the book and was sorely disappointed that I had given into popular opinion and bought the useless thing. The book cites no studies to support his views other than his own opinion and observation of his own family. Also, there is no actual proof offered as to the efficacy or psychological benefit of attach...more
Erica
This is one of two books I love buying for new moms. Whatever your approach to parenting, this book is chalked full of wonderful information!!! Sears does advocate attachment parenting, but the book is still very valuable even if you don't take that approach. I've never read it cover-to-cover, but it's such an excellent resource to have on the bookshelf for pretty much any topic you may want if you have little ones. I used this and a couple of other books to diagnose my nieces condition at 10 da...more
Alyce Wilson
I'm finding that my favorite baby books were ones recommended to me by family and friends, and "The Baby Book" by William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N., was recommended to me by one of my oldest friends. As with any parenting book, I would recommend taking from it the parts that you find most useful, acknowledging that there might be sections where you disagree.

Dr. Sears and his wife, Martha, are proponents of attachment parenting, a term which is often misunderstood. But even if you're not...more
Elizabeth Abney
This is really two books in one: a primer on attachment parenting and an overview of how to car for your child from birth through age two. The Sears are proponents of a parenting style that boils down to the simple adage of know, and respond with empathy to your baby. They outline their “rules” for positive attachment parenting, but acknowledge that every parent/baby dynamic is different and you have to figure out what works best in your situation. The baby care part of the book is an invaluable...more
Ibrahim Al-bluwi
This book is packed with information about almost everything that has to do with babies. I found it very useful and I think that I will return to it every now and then to check how to do a certain thing or to understand why my baby is behaving in a certain way.

The authors are strong advocates of what they call "Attachement Parenting" and they keep preaching about it over and over again, which some times gets annoying. This is especially true if you do not agree with them and you want "neutral" i...more
DaNette
I mostly used this book as a reference. Although I am a major supporter of baby wearing, breastfeeding, and rocking your baby to sleep, I don't completely agree with all of his ideas on attachment parenting...I'm not ready to let my kid sleep in my bed till he's two even though Dr. Sears endorses it. He does address these issues and note that they are not for everyone, BUT I do find it's a great reference guide for the funny things that happen to baby. A must have for any mom that wants an all-i...more
Char Theriault
A wonderfully supportive and informative guide to attachment parenting whether you're a stay at home or return to work Mom. Validates those quiet, and not so quiet early motherhood instincts.
Miranda
I bought this book before I had my baby. I figured the thing is huge so it must have all the information I need in it. Plus I'm into attachment parenting so this book will be great.

After I had the baby I felt guilty whenever I read the book. I can't wear my baby all the time and I don't want to be a night-time parent. Plus, its hard to find what I'm looking for ever when I use the index.

Now, I'm just not buying what Dr. Sears is selling.
Cathy Heinz
Very good comprehensive book to prepare moms for babies. My only concern is that the lactation portion hasn't been fully updated in at least a decade. It does talk about tongue ties, but is definitely dated from the understanding we have now. It talks about the "milk sinuses" that we have known do not exist for at least 5 years.
Sheila
I loved this book when my daughter was an infant. Dr. Sears is such a practical man. He made being a new parent easier, and made me feel comfortable with the things that I always knew I wanted to do with my baby, things like co-sleeping, baby wearing, breasfeeding, and other attachment parenting things. I would recommend this book to any first time mom.
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24805
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his "little patients" call him, is the father of eight children as well as the author of over 30 books on childcare. Dr. Bill is an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Dr. Bill received his pediatric training at Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in T...more
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“A newborn who is used to this cue-response network learns to trust her caregiving environment.” 0 likes
“After years of watching newborns smile, we wish to deflate the gas bubble. Newborns do smile, and not because of gas (unless after passing it). As veteran smile watchers we divide smiles into two types: inside smiles and outside smiles. Inside smiles, occurring in the first few weeks, are a beautiful reflection of an inner feeling of rightness. Some are sleep grins; some are only a happy twitch in the corner of the mouth. Relief smiles occur after being rescued from a colicky period, after a satisfying feeding, or after being picked up and rocked. During face-to-face games is another time to catch a smile. Baby’s early smiles convey an “I feel good inside” message and leave you feeling good inside. Be prepared to wait until next month for the true outside (or social) smiles, which you can initiate and which will absolutely captivate all adoring smile watchers. Whatever their cause, enjoy these fleeting grins as glimpses of the whole happy-face smiles that are soon to come.” 0 likes
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