What do newborns need their parents to know?
Well, for a start – that life will never be the same again. Oftentimes those overwhelming first weeks and months of a baby’s life is all about going back to basics for parents, and having to wade through the pages of schmaltzy parenting books that focus on the emotional and spiritual joys means little when faced with colic or projectile vomiting.
DK books are renowned for being informative, direct and well-laid out – and The Essential First Year delivers (‘scuse the pun) when it comes to fast-tracked aid and quick-find knowledge for this vital time in your child’s life.
Written by Penelope Leach, world renowned child development expert and the ‘Dr Spock of our age’, this new guide to pregnancy and parenting may be direct and informative, but it is also written with warmth and reassurance.
Beginning with pregnancy and birth, the author makes it clear that prepping for baby’s arrival and becoming informed on what to expect with birth and the early weeks is a wonderful way to make early parenting easier and to bond more quickly with baby. From pregnancy health hazards to antenatal testing, Leach covers exercise, relationships, birth plans and practical planning for baby’s arrival, including birth options and special care babies.
In section two, the author moves on to the new arrival, covering bonding, feeding, crying and sleep – a chapter that will be no doubt become well-thumbed. Although practicalities are intensely covered, the emotional side of new parenting is also embraced, and a fine balance between parent and child point-of-view is presented wherever possible. Small text boxes provide extra and informative notes on research findings and what you may or may not notice about your baby, providing a wide scope of fascinating information that can be plucked at your choosing.
In section three, parents can learn more about baby as things begin to settle into routine. Feeding and settling is covered in more detail, as is sleeping, growing, development and sociability. Causes of crying and ways of comforting will comfort more than baby.
In sections four and five, the author covers the later months of the first year, again focusing on the major ‘obstacles’ of feeding, sleeping and crying – adapted to suit a growing baby. Crawling, walking, seeing and doing, touching and talking are all covered – and fascinating information on your baby’s brain and learning through play round out a comprehensive book that covers baby’s first year in great detail, offering knowledge and advice at the quick (and convenient!) flip of a page.
For those interested in no-nonsense, effective information, handed over with an objective and intensely-researched hand, this will make an indispensable addition to any new parent’s bookshelf.