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The Babytalk Insider's Guide to Your Baby's First Year    by Editors of Babytalk Magazine order for
Babytalk Insider's Guide to Your Baby's First Year
by Editors of Babytalk Magazine
Order:  USA  Can
Wellness Central, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai

Remember when ... as a new mother-to-be you read and re-read baby book bibles, memorizing how to be the best mother ever! Once the baby arrived, you felt devastated when you were unable to match up to the super mom ideal outlined in those well-known, well-thumbed tomes.

Boy, have times changed! This is the first baby book that I have opened in over twenty-seven years, and my main reason for doing so is that I will soon become the interfering grandmother! I must admit my expectations were not high, but I was certainly pleasantly surprised. This book does not preach, does not lay down the laws of parenting, and is very much on the same wavelength as most new mothers, making sure that they realize each little bundle is completely unique and cannot be pigeonholed into any one compartment.

The chapters are easy to read, and include: a positive introduction to the challenges of becoming a parent; a chapter outlining those first difficult six weeks, where the whole family feels as though they could easily walk away from the experience; a great chapter on the pros and cons of breastfeeding vs. the bottle - the new mother is shown that the breastfeeding option is great, if you can manage it, but that it is no crime to move to the bottle should the breast not work out; chapters on sleep, keeping baby calm and a look at baby's development, which does not, thankfully, intimate that certain milestones should be reached by a specific month (or else!); a well-thought-out chapter about vaccinations, the pros and cons, and one on introducing solid foods; babyproofing and first aid, what you'll need in terms of strollers, cribs, change tables, etc.; a chapter about special needs for preemies or children with medical issues; and finally, a chapter on multiple births, and adoption.

Years ago I gave up on reading any baby book and certainly never followed any of the advice I just went with my instincts, and this is what this book teaches so well; the new mother often knows her baby better than anyone else, including some doctors, and should not disregard her own abilities. The Babytalk Insider's Guide to Your Baby's First Year is well researched, well written and gives a broad scope of advice and anecdotes from mums, pediatricians and other specialists without sounding preachy. I will certainly pass on this volume to my daughter!

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