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Off Topic > On the lookout for "scientific" books about having kids

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message 1: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (sawphie) | 2920 comments Hey everyone!

Tonight I'm asking you for advice on the behalf of one of my friends. She is 4 months pregnant and wants to read books about having kids. As a psychologist (although work psychologist, same as me), she's interested in getting advice based on studies and theories. Sadly, she hasn't found yet what she's looking for.

Does anyone of you know of a book like that? Thank you :)


message 2: by Bec (new)

Bec | 786 comments I can't help but the babies don't follow the rules anyway :P
I kept saying - I've read the manual but my baby hasn't!!


message 3: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments I saw a book posted in one of the A-Z threads, Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child - that might be something that interests her?


message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna | 982 comments I would recommend Amazing Baby: The Amazing Story of the First Two Years of Life by Desmond Morris.

I've read many of his books, his writing is enjoyable and easy to follow despite being scientific.

The synopsis on Goodreads (it's bl**dy long, but your friend can judge whether it is interesting or not):
Renowned zoologist and scholar of human behavior Desmond Morris ("The Naked Ape") reveals a baby's incredible powers of development and extraordinary growth patterns. Through informed text and stunning photographs and artworks, this insightful reference surveys the biology, physics, chemistry and other forces which drive the rapid changes that occur in a baby's body every day.

Amazing Baby is a discovery tour through a baby's first two years. The story progresses from the moment of conception through each phase of development in the womb and beyond as the baby is born and matures into a talking, walking individual with a unique personality. Chapters are organized by both stage and type of growth.

The book features 250 large and beautiful color photographs and illustrations in an innovative layout that invites both browsing and study. Full-color tracing paper overlays illustrate the many intricacies of infant anatomy. Throughout the book, retrospective glimpses of life in the womb remind the reader of the profound influence of those first nine months.

This beautiful visual reference is designed to appeal to anyone -- especially parents -- interested in how the human body evolves and works. It is also an ideal book to use with siblings of a new baby.

The contents include: "In the womb" the miracle of life; how baby develops; what baby feels, sees, hears and senses "Growing" muscles and bones, hormones, sustenance, sleep and dreams "Staying healthy" powers of self-preservation, reflexes, immune system, hormones, self-repair "Movement" mastering movement- holding the head, rolling, sitting, crawling, walking "Communication" hard-wired crying, babbling, speaking, listening, body movement "Learning" intelligence, awareness and understanding, exploring "Emotions" personality, experiences, bonding, relationships "Becoming independent" why humans take so long do so -- longer than any other mammal.

Some of the fascinating facts in Amazing Baby: Babies cannot distinguish between night and day until they are about ten weeks. Instead, they rely on their stomachs to regulate their day. Within a few days of birth, a baby can distinguish between the touch of brush bristles that are of different diameters. Within 45 hours of birth, a newborn knows his/her own mother by her smell. Babies have about 10,000 taste buds, far more than adults do. These are not just on the tongue but on the side, back and roof of the mouth as well.

Desmond Morris' landmark book, "The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal," was published in 1967. A worldwide best-seller, it examined how humans feed, sleep, fight, mate and raise young and compared human behavior with that of apes. Controversial at the time, the book shed new light on the subject and helped change popular perceptions.

As in all his books, Desmond Morris reaches a popular audience and demystifies science. (less)


message 5: by Marta (new)

Marta (gezemice) | 784 comments A book about kids and parenting, not specifically babies, NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children is an amazing, eye-opening book that is based on scientific studies and debunks several accepted parenting myths. It is a great read about psychology in general, too, not just for parents! Highly recommend.


message 6: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 374 comments Congrats on your friend's pregnancy! This is going to sound a bit controversial, perhaps, but bear with me please. A family member got two dogs recently, we never had one when growing up, and it's been an interesting ride so far.

We've read quite a bit from different sources, and at this point the conclusion is that not a single one of the "gurus" have a method that is fool-proof constantly. When there has been an issue of some kind, we've explored various sources, then tried to see what works. Sometimes one writer's trick has worked, another time someone else's.

I don't have kids yet, but am fairly certain I'll end up doing exactly the same one day, if I ever become pregnant. Consult many sources, then see what works. I doubt anything in life is absolute truth when it comes to child rearing, except always being present, showing warmth and caring, and setting boundaries. What all that means in practice will vary from child to child, and suffice to say I detest "experts" who claim there is one single truth (regardless of context really).

I'm also very much into learning more about sex and gender, whilst trying to recall that what looks like one thing on the outside, may very well become something else when growing up. This view isn't very popular among the crowd that adores pink on girls and blue on boys, adheres to traditional roles, and abhors "non-normal" anything, but I'd like to at least have thought the idea that my future child might not feel like a girl in a girl's body, or might be born intersex, become transgender rather than cis-, etc. Not sure parenting experts bother to discuss this in their books, so internet would be her friend then.

Best of luck to your friend!


message 7: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (sawphie) | 2920 comments Thanks for all your messages, I forwarded them to my friend.

Even if I'm not a mom yet, I totally agree that every child is different and you can't expect having a recipe to follow. On the other hand, it is natural for new parents to want to read about this amazing new adventure, the proof is the massive number of books on the subject. Sadly, a lot of them are written by people who think they "know" the best way, when it is only based on their own experience or beliefs.

That's why Emilie is interested in "sciency" stuff, even if it's not the holy grail of parenting, some advice are at least based on theories and research on a relatively big number of kids.


message 8: by Erica (new)

Erica | 472 comments I picked this up as a teacher, but I'm about 25% through a think your friend might be interested in this. Not a baby book, but it cites lots of studies and could be useful to a parent as well: How Children Succeed by Paul Tough.


message 9: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 374 comments Haha, my parents read Spock when I was born. Like thousands of other nervous parents. Spock recommended sterilising the bottles before each use, until dad exclaimed he had enough of the boiling water and burning fingers, and thereafter they simply washed them under the tap. Lo and behold, I suevived to write these words ;) Lol.

I'm all for credentials and citing original articles, but there can be lots of truth also in personal non-scientific experiences, so my plan is to go for both, and read as much as I can. Most likely I'll end up following my parents in their footsteps, like many others before me have done. We might think we want to do everything differently, but often the values we have received are the guide, and so ingrained that we won't deviate much at all from our own upbringing. At least this is what all my friends have found out :D I'm already rolling my eyes, but very prepared to act spontaneously just like my mom... *sigh*


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