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Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care: 9th Edition

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,659 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Dr. Benjamin Spock is America’s most trusted name in child care and parenting, and his essential guidebook has topped bestseller lists for over sixty-five years. This fully revised and updated edition of the classic manual provides first time and experienced parents the best information about caring for new babies, toddlers, and adolescents in the twenty-first century.

Paperback, 1152 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Gallery Books (first published July 14th 1946)
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Another book I am reading for the book I am writing. One of my favorite outtakes thus far from this book updated in 1962:
"[A father:] might make the formula on Sunday. If the baby is on a 2 A.M. bottle in the early weeks, when the mother is still pretty tired, this is a good feeding for the father to take over. It's nice for him, if he can, to go along to the doctor's office for the baby's regular visits. It gives him a chance to bring up those questions that are bothering him and that he doesn'
Susan Baranoff
Mar 18, 2009 Susan Baranoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: parents-to-be and parents of kids under the age of 12
Probably the most important book in my library for the first 10 years of my kids' lives. It was the book to turn to when they had spots or fevers or just would not go to sleep.... Dr. Spock always gave common sense advice. The reference guide to symptoms in the back was invaluable more than once in answering the huge question every new parent has -- it is 2:00 in the morning - "should I call the doctor for this, or can it wait until morning?"
Mike Smith
Dec 09, 2012 Mike Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me, genius
This is a wonderful book for ALL parents to read. Actually, it's a wonderful book for ANYONE to read, even children. It discusses human development in a way that is useful for those who are guiding a child's development and those interested in their own development - which should be everyone. Most importantly the book is written to educate and encourage, rather than to preach and frighten. It helps the parent approach every situation with the basic knowledge needed. It also gives great resources ...more
Alyce Rocco
My mother gave all her daughters, daughter-in-laws, many nieces, then started with granddaughters as they made her a great-grandma, a copy of Dr. Spock's Baby and Childcare. My copy was a much earlier edition than this one.

I referred back to the book many times as my babies matured into toddlers, and so on. I say it was okay, because I never read it cover to cover ~ it got boring.

Many of my peers felt intimidated by the book's advice, fearing they would do something wrong. I do not recall exact
Brandon O'Neill
May 20, 2010 Brandon O'Neill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We've read though the chapters on pregnancy. Now I guess it is almost time for the infant section. Yikes!!
Sep 13, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Resource for quick infant/child health info.
Cindy Pomerleau
Jun 16, 2017 Cindy Pomerleau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I blog about Postwar America and bought a copy of the first edition (1946) on eBay in order to read the version my mother relied on. A classic. A couple of brief comments:

1) The conservative preacher Norman Vincent Peale, in an oft-quoted sermon, blamed Spock's "instant gratification, don't let them cry" approach for the violent demonstrations that occurred during that era. More immoderate commentators went even further, demonizing Spock as being more or less single-handedly responsible for the
Madhulika Liddle
Benjamin Spock Robert Needlman – Baby and Childcare

When my baby daughter arrived, advice, much of it unasked for, poured in from friends and relatives. Buy a pillow for her. Put honey on her pacifier to help her through teething. Give her orange juice. Put her to bed with a bottle full of milk so she doesn’t need to get up in the middle of the night to be fed.

All of which, thanks to Dr Spock’s Baby & Childcare (9th Edition, with Dr Robert Needlman), I managed to discover – well in time – to
Feb 24, 2017 Dia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
საკმაოდ კარგი რჩევებია. გუგლი რომ არ არსებობდა, იმ პერიოდში ბრწყინვალე საშუალება იქნებოდა. ყველა საკითხი ერთადაა თავმოქუჩული.
This is a book that I read the sections I need when I want to know, rather than reading cover to cover. Unlike some guides, it's arranged topically rather than by age, so skipping around is really a necessity. It gives some great advice and gives a lot of the "whys" of childcare - why shouldn't you save the extra food from the baby jar? Body fluids are sterile to the body they came out of... so what if saliva gets into the rest of the food? Turns out that (here's a reminder from 4th grade scienc ...more
Jun 10, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Except we're reading the 1954 edition. The "in place of a crib, you can place your baby in a bureau drawer or a clothes basket" edition. His take on post-partum depression is pretty good, too. Honestly, it is. Gotta love it. Mostly reading it for fun and because Mom gave it to me. Worked for her. I don't think any of us turned out that horribly. Can't find the chapter where he says it's ok to put netting on top of a play pen (poor Edie!), but I"m sure it's in there.
Jul 22, 2013 Annelisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has entered our cultural legacy as one of the most important ones published within the last century. I've been able to appreciate it for that fact, but it hasn't stopped my overall disillusionment with the book and its premise. Part of it may stem from the fact that the book is constantly being updated. (I much prefer the older, original versions, even if solely for its value as an historical document rather than a must-have for parenting advice). Naturally I understand why, as the wo ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes there's reviewing a single book on its own (like with a novel), but other times you have to review a book in the context of other books out there (like with a parenting advice book). Dr Spock's classic baby and child care book is definitely a case of the latter category. Reading it now, after having read many more detailed books, I can't help but wish that this was the only book on the subject I ever read. I like to imagine myself as a low-stress mother who only felt the need to consul ...more
Oct 11, 2013 Marvin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I never read this book and don't plan to because I don't like books about baby and child care. But I want to warn you people that Dr. Benjamin Spock was a really nice guy. I met him in 1970 during a anti-war rally. He was very approachable and loved to chat. I found out that his proudest moment was not when he wrote his book and it became a huge bestseller but when he won a gold medal in the Olympics in 1924. (that is a fact!) He swore a little when he talked about President Johnson (He called h ...more
Sep 28, 2013 Leah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
terrifying. could not finish.

This passage: "Even when feelings during pregnancy are primarily positive, there may be a letdown when the baby actually arrives. Parents may expect to recognize the baby immediately as their own flesh and blood, to respond with an overwhelming rush of maternal and paternal feelings, and to bond like epoxy. But in many cases, this doesn't happen on the first day or even in the first week. Completely normal negative feelings often pop up. A good and loving parent may
I'm currently reading the 40th edition of this classic book. Of course, some of the information is dated, such as how to prepare bottles, but so far Dr. Spock's general philosophy on child rearing seems reasonable. Interestingly, my parents used this book when I was a baby; hopefully that's not where they got some of their funny ideas! I guess I'll find out as I read more.

I quit reading this as it was so dated. I found the Sears books to be more up-to-date and relevant to my parenting approach.
Max Ostrovsky
So with a daughter on the way, I've found myself reading rearing books. I'm getting great information, but only made it as far as the twos.

Where are the dragons? Ninja assassins? Robots and their laws?

There wasn't even one chapter on where in the nursery is best for katana placement. Seriously. I have no idea where to put my swords. Spock was no help for that.

It's funny saying (or rather thinking) that. Usually, most Vulcans are good in a pinch.

I think that joke is too old, but that's the mo
Mar 16, 2013 Sophoula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
my mother read this when my brother was born, and i assume she read it when i was born, too. as far as i can tell, i grew up in tip-top shape, so i think i have dr. spock to thank for that, (THANK YOU FOR KEEPING ME ALIVE), since mothers, understandably, cannot even begin to comprehend the 24,243,259,964,395 needs of babies. truthfully, i still have that well-worn copy my mother toted around when my brother was little, and sometimes i like to look at it and reconcile its message with the feminis ...more
Jonathan Smith
Oct 22, 2016 Jonathan Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly thorough and all-encompassing.

As a parent and school-based Speech-Language Pathologist, I highly recommend this book. It has sections about every topic you can think of relating to kids. It is a long and factual book, so it is not a quick read. Some might find it better to use like a reference book, as needed. Others may want to skim parts that they already feel well-versed in. Dr. Spock was ahead of his time, and this book is completely up-to-date and fact based.
Jan 15, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intended as a resource for parents who have children of all ages, I would only this book as a supplement to a more detailed book. Spock's aim is for breadth, not depth. Although what it written seems sound ( I highlighted and dog-eared relevant pages), I stopped about 20% in, since I only have a two year old and am expecting our second child. This book contains up to date information and resources, but by the time I will need to use the adolescent section, this book will be outdated. Still, I ma ...more
Sound, practical advice, particularly on medical issues. (It's a bit light on developmental/emotional issues.) It should be noted that Dr. Spock did not actually author this edition of the book, though he is quoted liberally throughout it.

This book does contain what were when I read them my favorite twenty words in the English language: "An occasional glass or two of wine or beer for a breastfeeding mother will do no harm to her baby."
Sep 14, 2011 Asho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-we-own
My favorite thing about this book is its matter-of-fact tone. It isn't alarmist as so many baby and child care manuals are. It doesn't lay out a step-by-step plan or push a particular philosophy, so this isn't the book to read if you're looking for, say, a detailed guide on feeding solids or sleep training. However, it's a very good overview of all things child rearing, and it has a large reference section for further info on a variety of topics.
Nov 28, 2016 Ekaterina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a good read for wanna be mother's. it's still nice to participate in some parenting practical classes. the book is really useful for calming your mommy self about the illnesses your baby may face up until her first year. Doctor Spock was a great hero among our grandmothers and mothers. maybe it's a good idea to know of his methods for upbringing of kids but mix them with something a bit more updated too.
Aug 03, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I still think this is the best baby and child care book out there. The Spock authoritative parenting approach is loving and sensible, and the health and medical advice is easy to find, clear and succint. I can't tell how often I have turned to this book and found the answer I need, easily indexed, to one after another childhood injury, illness, or behavior conundrum. And advice on issues of sexuality, food, and learning is truly progressive.
Lisa James
Sep 05, 2011 Lisa James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is full of advice to new parents & parents of young children from an expert in the field. I read it too, many years ago, but later discovered that babies don't come with instruction manuals, & that following a book to raise my children was just dumb.

Little asked question: How did Spock become such an expert on children when he was never a father? Hmmm...To me that contradicts ANY believability & credibility he is supposed to have.
Jun 21, 2009 Aynge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't have any children, but I have a gang of nieces and nephews, plus I've babysat a lot of tykes. I found an early edition of this book at a tag sale for a quarter and couldn't resist. If this was required reading in school, the world would be a much better place. Not only is it jam-packed with information on everything about babies and children, but it's written in an engaging, down-to-earth style.
Aug 28, 2012 TailFeather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My mother in law gave this to us when I was pregnant. She meant well, but I could only slog through a couple of chapters before I gave up in disgust. This was the 80's, not the 50's.

I can't remember exactly what I read, but it took him a long time to get to the point. Which, after awhile seemed like he was grasping at supposition a lot of the time. I do remember thinking, "Oh give me a break!" more than once. I'm glad we were smart enough not to take this book seriously.
May 15, 2008 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Dr. Spock so much. This is where I learned how to take care of my daughter.

This book made me think seriously about why I wanted to be a mother, what I wanted having a child to mean. I hadn't really thought beyond having a darling little baby to love and care for. I realized that what I wanted more than anything else was to teach her my beliefs so that she would be a strong Christian and have a good, happy, productive life.
Aug 16, 2008 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: babies
This is a good overall book on raising a child that has a good amount of reasonable advice and it is written in an easy to read way. The thing I like about it is that it is not alarmist, it is written like advice from a kindly doctor. It doesn't make you feel like a bad parent or like anything you do is going to kill your kid. It's probably my favorite "how to raise a child" sort of book that I've read.
Jan 09, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a very valuable addition to any library. It covers just about any kid-related topic you can think of. My biggest complaint is the size of the book. For a reference type book with so many pages it would be much easier if the book were larger. The standard paperback size is much too small for a book like this in my opinion.
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Benjamin McLane Spock was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Its revolutionary message to mothers was that "you know more than you think you do." Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand children's needs and family dynamics.
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“The children who are appreciated for what they are, even if they are homely, or clumsy, or slow, will grow up with confidences in themselves - happy. They will have a spirit that will make the best of all the capacities that they have, and of all the opportunities that come their way. They will make light of any handicaps.” 32 likes
“Your baby doesn’t need a pillow for her head, and you should not use one. Likewise, it’s best to keep stuffed animals out of your baby’s crib or cradle; little babies don’t care much about them, and they may pose a suffocation” 4 likes
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