Books for first-time parents

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  July 30, 2012 06:00 AM

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In deciding what to give at a baby shower to my friend's daughter who is expecting for the first-time, it probably will come as no surprise that I'm choosing some parenting books. Here are my choices:

1. "Your Baby and Child," by Penelope Leach. The mom-to-be actually has this on her baby registry list and it made me smile to see that my friend Penelope, who I've interviewed many times over the years and shared tea with at the old Ritz in Boston, was still making a new mom's must-read list. I couldn't agree more!

2. "Your Baby Is Speaking to You," by Dr. Kevin Nugent. I love this book, I've been waiting to have someone to buy it for since it was published last year. This is not a typical parenting book, in fact, it's almost a cocktail table book with gorgeous photos by Abelardo Morell and an artsy format that you can dip into, reading only a page at a time. That alone is a sure sign that the author knows not only about babies but also about the life of a baby's parents. Nugent is director of the Brazelton Institute at Children's Hospital, Boston.

3. "You Raising Your Child, The Owner's Manual from first breath to first grade," by Michael F. Roizen, Md, and Mehmet C. Oz, Md. This is one of those big, all-encompassing books, and I like it for its combination of simple explanations, practicality and common sense.

4. "Put Yourself in Their Shoes,
Understanding how your children see the world," by Barbara Meltz. You didn't think I would have a list of books and not include my own, did you? It's not written for parents of newborns -- it kicks in at the tantrum stage -- but surely
it belongs on every parent's night stand, don't you think?

I hope you'll share your suggestions for books for new parents.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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1 comments so far...
  1. I like to recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth but with a caveat. Some parents think he is a beast with is "cry it out" method of sleep training. Forget that to start. There's a lot of really good, solid information in this book about a child's sleep needs and the cycle of the day. Babies need a lot more sleep, a lot more often, than new parents think. They need ridiculously early bedtimes - sometimes earlier than adult schedules can accommodate. When they get themselves riled up and overtired, that's when the trouble starts. This book can help parents start the sleep/feeding cycle in a way that builds up to a predictable, workable schedule in an older baby. As with so many things in life, (unless other biological/health problems are in play) sleep problems are easier to prevent than they are to correct. Start as you mean to go on and you'll never have to wonder whether you should let your baby cry it out.

    Posted by RH July 30, 12 08:59 PM
 
1 comments so far...
  1. I like to recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth but with a caveat. Some parents think he is a beast with is "cry it out" method of sleep training. Forget that to start. There's a lot of really good, solid information in this book about a child's sleep needs and the cycle of the day. Babies need a lot more sleep, a lot more often, than new parents think. They need ridiculously early bedtimes - sometimes earlier than adult schedules can accommodate. When they get themselves riled up and overtired, that's when the trouble starts. This book can help parents start the sleep/feeding cycle in a way that builds up to a predictable, workable schedule in an older baby. As with so many things in life, (unless other biological/health problems are in play) sleep problems are easier to prevent than they are to correct. Start as you mean to go on and you'll never have to wonder whether you should let your baby cry it out.

    Posted by RH July 30, 12 08:59 PM
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About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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