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The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting Your High-Need Child From Birth to Age Five
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The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting Your High-Need Child From Birth to Age Five

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  383 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Does your baby fuss, cry, and want to be held all the time? Do you have an older child who's stubborn, opinionated, demanding - a real handful? Take heart. America's favorite childcare experts - the authors of The Baby Book and The Discipline Bookhave written a book just for you. In Parenting the Fussy Baby and High-Need Child, William and Martha Sears acknowledge the diff ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1987)
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After finishing this book I realized that the book should really be in two parts. Part one- parenting the high-need child, part two- taking care of the parents of high-need children. I would benefit more from part two especially if it included more information about postpartum depression and expanded the chapter on mother burnout.

Chapter 5, "Feelings Shared by Parents of High-Need Children" was especially helpful. This book is for parents who get a lot of criticism about their high-touch, baby
This book was recommended to me at a La Leche League meeting. An LLL leader came up to me after the meeting and said something like, "I think you may benefit from reading this book." Perhaps it was because Drew was being fussy for the entire 1.5 hour meeting?

Anyhow, I read the book but didn't find any more information than was in the Baby Book by Dr. Sears. They basically say that fussy, or high-needs, babies are just communicating their need for more attention, and attachment parenting will all
The only baby book that resonated. It's as if the book was written with my baby in mind. Great read for parents of high-needs babies. You learn some new things but mostly a validation of what you have already figured out about your HN baby.

You can now happily pay two hoots to all unwanted advice from well-meaning (or not) people.
Meagan Melgares
This book was quasi-helpful. Mostly it helped because I knew I wasn't alone. But most of the advice was basically "don't sweat the small stuff" and "this too shall pass". Not super useful when you are dealing with the thousandth meltdown of the day. A lot of the information was stuff I was already doing or had read about online. At the time I was more concerned about the chapter on "nighttime parenting", but as with Mayim Bialik's book, I found it wanting. I guess the only helpful part was that ...more
Aug 10, 2008 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any parent with a baby that seems to need a bit more from you than you may have expected.
Shelves: on-going
I have an insanely high-need baby with reflux and some allergy issues and was looking for some help to soothe her. This books is so fantastic because it not only gives you suggestions of how to help calm baby down (and mom too) but it explains whats going on with babies when they are so upset and/or not feeling good. Its really great insight to why your baby needs so much of your attention, closeness and attention. As a parent who may be frustrated and looking for ways to calm your baby so you c ...more
Jessica Nekuda
I'm highly disappointed in this book. Here I was thinking it was going to help me calm my son and the further I read the more I wanted to burn it. It talks nonstop about breastfeeding babies and how to avoid certain foods that may be making baby fussy. Well I wasn't able to breastfeed so thanks for nothing there. Rock the baby, hold him in a sling, bounce him, well yea I've tried all those, that's why I wanted this book come on! Best thing I got out of this book was how to avoid mother burn out ...more
I did not agree with some of the "attachment" suggestions (I was not going to attach my incessantly crying infant to me 24/7). BUT, this book saved my life. Read it.
I love this book! It helped me understand more about my very fussy, "high need" baby. I wondered what was wrong with my baby since I babysit my friend's baby who is 2 months younger than mine & he seemed like an angel. I have helped raise my 3 nephews & 1 neice & have babysat babies all through my teenage years but nothing could prepare me for the way my child is. I had never encountered a high needs baby before & this book helped me feel not so alone & made me realize that I ...more
Jul 10, 2007 Parthenos22 rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: moms to be
different approach to "crying it out" style; its a staunch attachment-style parenting book. he refers to these type of babies as "high need," which is a better term than blaming the parents for the kids' behavior--i like that. i read everything about babies (it goes on to preschoolers/older kids in other chapters). basically i agree with everything the doctor is telling me, and it makes perfect sense to my emotions, but absolutely no sense in reality for me to be carrying my baby around all day ...more
Gwenn Wright
I bought this during my first pregnancy and it was a lifesaver, especially since my first was very fussy. I need to get a new copy.
Jacqueline Weishaar
I wish I would have read this book months ago. While it has great practical suggestions, its biggest benefit is in telling you there is nothing wrong with your baby or your parenting even though your baby doesn't behave like all the "easy" babies of your friends.
This book saved my life ten years ago. If not for the sound advice and attachment parenting method I would have lost my mind that first year with my son. This book helped me to understand that my sons fussiness had nothing to do with me or him for that matter. The fact was he was simply a high needs baby I would like to say he grew out of it but he still ten years latter requires more than most children. This book heped me to stop feeling guilty and blaming myself. This book introduced me to att ...more
Eric Ward
If you have, or think you may have, a high needs child this book is worth a read. I felt like a lot of what was in the first section (mainly focused on young babies) seemed kind of common sense to me. I think that if you are an attachment parenting sort of person, this will mostly come naturally for you anyway, but it might help give you some additional perspective. I think that's a lot of what I found different with this book, I don't think it told me anything new, but it did have some good exa ...more
Very supportive resource for those with high-need babies. Reading this was like re-living my son's early infancy and some of the toddler stories also sound familiar too. It was so helpful and encouraging to find other parents who had been through similar experiences to my own and can talk about the rewards of having a high-need child. My only criticism of the book is in the title "The Fussy Baby Book". The word "Fussy" does sound negative and dismissive, whereas "high-need" more accurately descr ...more
This is just what I've been looking for. It's a little more geared towards having a new born high-need child. Wish I had read it when Sadie was born. There were helpful hints, but mostly it was just a relief to know there are other kids out there like Sadie. I keep telling myself now, "There's nothing wrong with me and there's nothing wrong with Sadie." I agree with their baby advice - not letting them cry it out, giving them lots of time and affection, being patient with their high demands, ect ...more
Nov 08, 2008 Jessie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All parents of babies!
Wow. This book is the BEST baby book I have ever read. I wish I had read it 3 months ago! (My son is 3 1/2 months old)

Soooo many options and solutions for how to soothe a baby are found in this book. There's actually a list of 36 time tested things to soothe your baby! Also explanations for baby's behavior. I found the book very relaxing and validating.

The entire book is written with a very warm fuzzy loving attitude and the advice seemed to follow my own natural mommy instincts.
Kathryn Bookclub
This book is tailored towards someone new to the concept of "high need." Unfortunately, that is not me. I was hoping to find survival tips and ways to get my baby to sleep for long stretches of time. I did not find what I wanted in this book. However, it does offer comfort and reassurance to stressed-out parents.
Kate Hyde
Wish I had this book when my daughter was born, although it's still helpful now (she's currently 3 1/2). So great to hear about other parents who have been through the same struggles I have. More than just stories, this book also gives lots of helpful advice on how to survive life with a "high-need" child. Most of the book is aimed at parents of babies, but they do tackle older ages in about the last third of the book.

Highly recommended!
This is an interesting book on how to care for fussy, high need babies. Luckily my first son, although extremely intense and definitely high need, was not as bad as some of these kids! I liked this book, but the solutions are not always practical, especially for women who choose not to breast feed. But worth reading if you can't figure out why your baby wants so much attention!
This book had a ton of useful information in it, and reaffirmed some things I've been doing "right" that others keep questioning, so from that perspective, it was great. The biggest drawback to this book is that it's geared at families where one of the parents will be/is a stay-at-home parent, so many suggestions/methods to help keep baby calm aren't as effective for working parents.
Excellent resource for parents. Top of my list.

Every time I picked it up, I felt more equipped to parent our baby in a way that was healthy, both for him and for me. It was encouraging and far better at helping me understand my baby and what he needed/how to give it to him in an appropriate way so that our family could thrive.
Apr 30, 2012 Leta rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents who are struggling with a fussy baby
A very positive book. Gives hope to parents with fussy babies.. they won't always be fussy.. unlike what others tell you. Will help you get thru this difficult phase with encouragement. They predict that the fussy baby grows to be an extra affectionate, emotionally in-tune person. Has been the case with our fussy baby:)
Right on target! Too bad I did not get this book right in the hospital. It is such a relieve to see that other babies also hate car rides, wake up with the slightest noise, have to be carried and sleep on top of their mom.

The book gives you advice for the comming years, because it is not going to be easy...
If you feel like you have a baby who is hard to please, you should read this, you may just find out that you a high needs child! My middle kids is a high needs kid, and this book helped me keep my sanity, and really understand what all the screaming was all about. I love Dr. Sears' parenting approach too.
MaryLiz LeBoeuf
My youngest epitomizes Dr. Sears' definition of a "high-needs" child. I felt very validated after reading this book. I am also a huge fan of Dr. Sears and his AP-parenting philosophy. That being said, I wish he had included a few more practical suggestions in the book. I did love the vignettes though.
The Sears books in general are very good, and this one contains helpful techniques for handling a high-need child. The Sears have a common-sense, attachment parenting focus that resonates with me. Their combination of medical, lactation and parenting experience really brings it all together.
Take this book with a grain of salt. The descriptions are good. It's nice to know that other people are going through the same thing. The authors, unfortunately, are very biased and believe in a one-size-fits-all solution that just doesn't exist. Their reasoning is a little extreme and unrealistic.
I'm not sure about nursing until age 4. Bust most of what he says I basically did though I never thought of myself as having high need babies. Nursing in bed at night was what saved me.
I really liked what he said about trusting your instincts when it comes to caring for your baby.
This book definitely saved me in my early days of being a parent. And well into the months there after. Dr. Sears has a way of assuring the parent in a way that helps you take care of your high needs baby better instead of just being a mess of tears.
This book was a life saver when we had our son, Jayden. It was wonderful to read about ways to survive the tough newborn stage. The suggestions helped us with our little high needs baby, who actually turned into a VERY happy 6month old.
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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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