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The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two
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The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  7,105 ratings  ·  587 reviews
The "baby bible" of the post-Dr. Spock generation, already embraced by hundreds of thousands of American parents, has now been revised, expanded, and brought thoroughly up-to-date -- with the latest information on everything from diapering to day care, from midwifery to hospital birthing rooms, from postpartum nutrition to infant development. Dr. Bill and Martha Sears draw ...more
Paperback, 784 pages
Published March 31st 2003 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 19th 1993)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  7,105 ratings  ·  587 reviews


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Kelly Cooke
Mar 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it did not like it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
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 rated it did not like it
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.
Janey
Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting-read
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
Inder
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, parenting
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
Lauren
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: family
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
Marie Anderson
Mar 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Amy
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Holly
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Gretchen Decker
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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
Mariana
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jim
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Shannon
Jun 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Christopher
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
It seems the consensus pick for the modern Dr. Spock is Dr. Sears. There's a lot of good stuff here, and I largely agree with his philosophy, although I don't buy into everything he promotes. Much of this book's material is available online on his website, last time I checked, so one doesn't even have to own the book, necessarily.

Dr. Sears focuses on nurturing the newborn. The first big thesis of this book is establishing a physical bond with the baby, which is essential for any new parent. Dr.
...more
Katy
Jul 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
If you do not have PPD (post-partum depression), this book will help you suffer from it. Its so-called "attachment parenting" philosophy revolves around making you feel guilty about everything you do "wrong" as a new parent, including choosing not to co-sleep because it's unsafe.
I'm happy to report that my now 7-year-old slept in his own bed the whole time, and does not suffer from the many ills and evils the Sears franchise warns unsuspecting new mothers against. Oh, and he's very attached to b
...more
Irina Rizaeva
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent guide to parenthood. If only it was all this easy in real life...
Alisha
Mar 15, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Einar Nielsen
This book has a ton of useful tips for baby care, it is also massively sexist!
Jessica
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 would pr ...more
Jennifer
Feb 19, 2008 added it
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
Sheila
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Amy
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: babies-pregnancy
No lies, did not read every single word. It is a massive book and I was borrowing it from a friend while visiting USA for a few weeks.

What I did read was a few hundred pages of really great insight, ideas, methods and reminders of baby care. Didn't make it through the toddler section. Might visit and borrow it again next year after our baby is born.
Nick Thorne
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Generally helpful & I learnt many things. Many sections are really for reference only and some of the information is rather out of date. ...more
Louis
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Like some other first time parents, we got ourselves a small bookshelf of pregnancy and parenting books when we found we were expecting. And these stayed readily available at our bedside, referenced almost every night during pregnancy, and during the middle of the night during the first several months (since we were up anyway). Pregnancy was more straightforward (we joked that our son was taking the checklist approach, pretty much everything that the books said would happen did to some degree). ...more
Lora
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When we finally managed to have a child, we had been married for over nine years. So, there I was, holding the screaming changeling of all medieval mythos, and loving her so hard it hurt my brain and all parts of my torso, and I had no idea where to even begin. Not only had I limited child raising experience, but this child was not like anything softly photographed in any parenting magazine. From the moment of her birth, when she had screamed bloody murder at the world she found herself in, I kn ...more
Roman
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
The book can be split into two parts: general recommendations about baby care like medical advice, and attachment parenting philosophy of bringing up children. The chapters that can be attributed to the former are quite useful and are often entertaining: they are insightful and written in a lively language; you can feel the wisdom of an experienced pediatrician and serial parent. However, they are quite wordy, which may be a problem given that new parents don’t often have much free time. For a m ...more
Alyce Wilson
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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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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