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The Baby Book: How to Enjoy Year One

Lion Hudson, 2006
RRP $13.95

Reviewed by Rev Linda Hanson, minister with the Cooroy Pomona Uniting Church

I was meant to write this review over a year ago, but the first time I picked up the book, I found it hard to finish.
The fact that it was recommended by a celebrity as a great source of assistance also made me read it with cynicism.
It claims to be “a must for all those given the responsibility of a new born baby”, but this is a claim I disagree with.
There are much better books on the market today that I would recommend.
The Baby Book is written by English woman Rachel Waddilove who has worked for many years as private maternity nurse and now runs a consultancy service.
As the book is English, I expected some information not to apply.
What I didn’t expect though was information contrary to recommendations by SIDS in relation to sleeping and information contrary to common dental practice such as giving babies juice in a bottle.
There was also some other information in this book which contradicts current practice and which was unhelpful for mothers who would like to succeed at breastfeeding.
However despite these negatives I found the first few chapters quite helpful.
This was also the only book I have read which has mentioned night sweats.
I found this part in particular to be very valuable, as before this, I thought night sweats were just happening to me!
As with all baby books, it is good to take information on board that you would find helpful and ignore the rest.
Thus, I skipped Chapter 6 about establishing a flexible routine as I prefer a routine much more flexible than what Rachel advises.
Chapter 13 on the spiritual needs of a child was a welcome surprise as I have never seen this topic in a baby book before.
Journey readers will be pleased to know that Rachel discusses the beneficial qualities of the fruit of the spirit in child raising (without using these terms), and recommends prayer, especially praying for your child, as an important part of life.
Despite this Godly perspective, I will not be keeping this book for future reference as overall, it does not match my views on parenting.
However as with all opinions on child rearing, everyone is different and you may find this book useful.