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Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,474 ratings  ·  310 reviews
Dr. Spock meets Judge Judy--finally a parenting book that separates fact from fiction. What if you could bottle the wisdom of all those parents who've come before you...and combine them with the sold medical advice from an award-winning pediatrician? Baby 411 is the answer. ...more
Paperback, 616 pages
Published December 7th 2017 by Windsor Peak Press (first published 2004)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,474 ratings  ·  310 reviews

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May 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I am not giving this book 5 stars is because it freaked me out a little. I'm not sure it is wise to read about every little disease, virus, and genetic abnormality that your baby could have before you give birth. Nevertheless, this is a GREAT reference for all things parenting in the first 2 years of a baby's life. I'm glad I read it so that in case anything should go wrong with my little one (heaven forbid!), I'll know where to start.

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Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I regularly fantasized about setting this book on fire. The organization was great, but it seemed every time I looked there was chastisement for something or other, and a fair amount of me-me-me, it worked for me and so it must for everyone. It was a necessary reference for about six months, and then I decided I didn't need to deal with this tone anymore. ...more
A Yao
Mar 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Generally innocuous tips but some snide and sanctimonious bits, which I can do without in an advice book on parenting. Claims that night nursing causes cavities, so makes me worry what other inaccurate information the authors are spreading.
Apr 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read enough of this now to mark it as "read". I really don't intend to read through the whole doom and gloom section on rare illnesses. Much like Baby Bargains, it was helpful, but a bit sloppy and repetitive. It was hard for me to trust the authority of the contributing pediatrician when she has bad reviews from local parents. (I live in the area where she works, so came across info on her practice when I was researching pediatricians.) Nonetheless, I did refer to it many times and did tak ...more
Brian Rosenblat
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
super helpful the first time around. not so fluffy like some fo the other books in this genre. more like a FAQ for how to take care of a baby- which is exactly my speed.

this time around, didn't quite finish re-reading it. much more helpful the first time. 2nd time parent means fewer questions. more than advice i this time i could use sleep....

but would recommend to any first time parent!
This is a whopper of a book, so it was a little daunting to pick it up, but I am glad I did. Dr. Brown has clear, concise, easy-to-understand answers to hundreds of questions that parents have asked her or other doctors (or google, if we are being honest). As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, I agreed with around 98% of her advice and the rare things that I didn't were more matters of opinion. As a future first-time mama, I appreciated her candor, humor (this is definitely not a dry textbook!), an ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've really been reading the 6th edition but that doesn't seem to be an obvious option here on goodreads. Anyway, lots of good info that is both reassuring (for what it seems I've already been doing "right") and daunting (the things I probably SHOULD already have been doing by now). I do wish there was more info on babies teething and sort of more-specific info on how to serve babies without any teeth meat, but I guess I'm really just looking for a straightforward how-to guide there. Helpful inf ...more
Alice Rachel
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best book about babies I’ve read. It offers a lot of excellent advice that actually works.
Allysia K
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great, information-packed book on baby's first year. It covers pretty much every topic you could hope for (feeding, sleeping, development, etc). It's very thorough. My only issue was getting paranoid after reading the second half of the book, since it's all about viruses, illnesses, and other freaky things that could go wrong. It's good to know, but not fun to think about. ...more
Alex of Yoe
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
This is a good, thorough book on issues you can expect to have in your child's first year of life. It's more of a reference book than one you pick up and read through, but various sections are good for a new parent to read ahead of time and be familiar with. I especially enjoyed their discussion on vaccines and developmental milestones. Very informative and insightful! However, this book should not be used in place of a pediatrician. I use it to help, but if I have any questions, I always run th ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has been an absolute lifesaver for me and my husband during our baby's first months of life. Calm, reasoned advice without judgment or hyperbole - just what we needed. We kept this on the coffee table and looked up every little question we had! I don't recommend that any new parents read it cover to cover: there's information about rare problems and diseases that will just make you worry. Save those bits for if/when you actually need them. My favorite part was how factual and non-judgm ...more
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read this book from cover to cover (who really does that with books like these?), but I have found myself going back to this book over and over with questions about my new baby. My pediatrician gave us this book at our baby's two-week checkup, and I have looked at it for something multiple times a week since. I'm pretty sure I have avoided calling the doctor's office because of the excellent information in this book. It's incredibly reassuring to look something up that my baby is doing ...more
Christina Hager
Good information and tidbits but I could do without some of the chiding and what feels like sanctimonious comments. One example that sticks out in my mind was among the lines of there's something wrong with you if you're still nursing your child to sleep/in the middle of the night by the time they are getting teeth (like 6 months). just kind of struck me that as new parents we don't need passive aggressive lecturing interspersed with important safety information ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely the best baby book I read. Good for both a straight read-through and for use as reference. I had a few quibbles with a few answers that essentially said "the science suggests that X is OK but why not avoid it out of extreme caution?" but it was far more evidence-based than most books. I also find it interesting that this book was recommended to me by a number of people with wildly different parenting philosophies. ...more
Standard fair as every other "Baby's 1st year"-type book, so I would say skip--except for 1 chapter. The chapter on sleep has a great summary and ratings of the basic baby sleep theories out there. Definitely worth the read of that chapter to save you reading all the sleep books--or at least only reading the one for your favorite theory. ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
This book makes me wish I hadn't spent so much time/money wading through all the *other* parenting how-tos. I want my time/money back!

Seriously amazing - comprehensive, an emphasis on the actual science, very well organized, helpful tone and it even manages to be funny on occasion. I feel like I stumbled on the holy grail of parenting.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Excellent reference guide to caring for a newborn written by docs. Bookmarked a ton of things and imagine I'll be looking back at this a lot.

My parents ended up getting us the paperback version and it's a lifesaver to have to flip thru (we originally had kindle version).
Divyesh Patel
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Very good reference book that answers every possible question you can have about your baby. Written in a easy to understand way, and also provides resources or links for further research should you want to do that.
Nov 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could I give this no stars without it looking like I did not vote? Okay, I'll give it the one star but that's quite generous. ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good but, there are better baby books.
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
one of the better baby books i have gotten from the library
Sarah Beth
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written largely by a pediatrician, this book gives useful information and advice on baby health, sleep, and nutrition through the first year of life. Designed as a reference text, the book is broken up into categories and has questions and answer formatting throughout for parents to turn to as needed. While I originally intended to use this book as a resource and consult it as needed, after flipping through this book one day and finding it informative, I ultimately decided to read it straight th ...more
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was exactly what I was looking for: a super comprehensive guide to babies that was more readable than the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Caring for Your Baby book. You can definitely just keep this handy as a reference and not read the whole thing, but I really didn’t know anything about babies before having one, so I read this all the way through, except for the lab test and glossary sections at the end. Much of it is in a handy Q & A format, with other little blurbs sprinkled throughout ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended by my veteran Mom friends and our pediatrician. Have not read every page of this book... yet, because my baby is only 1 month old and some advice is age specific. But, this book is full of amazing evidence-based and practical advice that you really need. Worth having his book even though we live in a time you can google anything because when it comes to childcare the internet is a black hole of anxiety and judgement.
Isabel Giraldo
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m shocked it’s not 5 stars across the board! If a baby care book DIDN’T mention infections, diseases, etc., it would be a bad baby care book. I don’t advise skipping past the “scary” sections because it actually made me feel better- it tells you what is (surprisingly) normal and what is not normal so you know that most things are actually nothing to be worried about and you know when to call the doctor.

The whole thing is organized into FAQs parents ask pediatricians with short and easy answers
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was quick (despite its length) but thorough. It seemed up to date and very informative. It took a while to get used to the Q&A style and I think I would have appreciated a more standard format when reading it straight through. The focus on questions and answers also left a lot of the smaller details on the wayside. Though the only way around that is to make it even longer. Still one of the best books on the subject I've read yet. ...more
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Similar to “Expecting 411” by the same authors, this book is FULL of good info. Really the same and/or similar to what I get with my daily reading on the “The Bump,” and my “Babycenter” app, but this felt way more comprehensive and I learned lots of good extra nuggets along the way. I highly recommend this book to expecting PARENTS (not just moms) because there are lots of good partner tips along the way and great strategies for raising, disciplining, feeding, teaching, and loving on littles. Ne ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most useful books I found the first year of George's life. This really helped me get a handle on what I needed to worry about and what not to worry about. It also helped me understand his ever-changing needs and rapid development and growth. A true life saver for my sanity! It's also easy to use and reference throughout the year. ...more
Lindsey Orlando
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reference, especially if you get the ebook version. The writing style doesn't read like a textbook but also doesn't make me feel patronized, and the layout is easy to skim if you need to skip or return directly to a section for reference (i.e. fevers, rashes, medicine dosing charts, etc). I also love that they only offer well-vetted info based in science. ...more
Jenny France
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I basically used this as a manual for my baby's first year. I have already purchased the Toddler version. The information is fact-based without sounding overly clinical and leaves enough room for parents to make their own decisions. I found that this approach gave me confidence and peace of mind.

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“It depends on the baby. Stick with the perfume-free and dye-free rule, especially for babies with sensitive skin. But, that does NOT necessarily mean that your baby’s laundry needs to be washed separately with his own expensive detergent. The whole family’s laundry can be done with a product like ALL Free and Clear or Tide Free. For the baby with sensitive skin, pre-wash items that will be touching him. It may also be helpful to double rinse the laundry. And remember to avoid dryer sheets (they all contain perfume).” 0 likes
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