What To Expect The 1st Year
- Simon & Schuster Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 27 May 2010
- Pregnancy, Birth & Baby Care
Showing 1-4 out of 6 reviews. Previous | Next
Great reference for the first year of life. Great medical information and other practical things.
I'm surprised this book doesn't have more reviews, seeing as this series is mandatory reading for all new parents. Like its predecessor, the main section of the book is divided into chronological sections, taking each new month in a child's life and focusing on the benchmarks and questions associated with that time. But why am I explaining the content of this book? Pretty self-explanatory. The real question for a nonfiction selection like this is whether it is useful. Yes, yes it is. With the thorough index and table of contents, you can find almost any information on typical first year issues and problems with kids. The text is very accessible and user friendly. I read it all the way through, because I am compulsive like that, but I can continue to use it as a reference now, just looking up the section I need. With more children on the way I plan to use this book time and again. If you have special concerns, this book probably won't address them, definitely not in depth, and I wouldn't rely on this exclusively - it's never a good idea to use just one reference guide. For a good overview of typical parenting issues during the first year, this book is indispensable. You can go without it, but why would you want to?
Better to call it "what to expect when you're paranoid" (both my OB & our pediatrician told me that about this whole series!)There are better parenting books out there. This one has too much emphasis on the bad things that might possibly happen, and really doesn't address some of the alternative ways to do things.That said, I gave it three stars because it actually did have some good information on what to expect and how to do things when you first bring baby home -- breastfeeding, diaper changing, first bath, swaddling, etcI would not at all suggest this book to follow milestones, though, or anything to do with behavior. I stopped referring to it entirely after the first 8 weeks.
I must admit, I was a noob at parenting. Being the youngest of two, I had absolutely no idea what it was like to take care of a baby. Fortunately, my wife was the oldest of her siblings, and as such, she had a little more parent-fu than I did. However, I found that books written by people on how to not be a noob parent tend to help.While ultimately, I didn’t like Murkoff’s book, I felt that it (or even something like it) was indispensable for the first few months of parenthood, not for any other reason than the fact that Googling just about anything having to do with babies tends to lead to chat forums that are truly terrifying for somebody who thinks that his newborn is as fragile as a hydrogen-filled balloon.The advice I heard, quoted by Cory Doctorow is: “Pick one book, any book, and only one book.” My take on this advice was that instead of reading every single book you can find in order to be a super parent, all I really needed was a life jacket to keep me afloat as I was hurled into the sea of parenthood. Eventually, though, my inner parent-fu would arise to the surface, and I’d start swimming. The first few weeks were fraught with “what do I do?”s. I’d madly flip through the book, using the index and my best ability to turn my question into something that might have and index entry. I would mark each entry with a finger until I ran out of index entries or fingers, and then read, read, read. Finally, I’d realize: “Oh, that’s natural.” And everybody would get on with their day.So, as far as parenting books go, this book is possibly just as good as Dr. Spock’s book which is just as good as any other parenting book. Ideally, you should generally agree with the overarching premise of the book (that is, don’t read “A Secular Humanist’s Guide to Raising Offspring,” if you’re a devout Christian, or vice versa). After enough page turning and baby care, your parent muscles will start to come to life. You’ll no longer need diagrams for changing a diaper or burping a baby or knowing which cry means “I’m Hungry” or “I’m Tired” or “Entertain Me.”That being said, while I owe this book a surmountable debt for helping keep me afloat during the wavy days of noobery (for at least myself and my daughter), in the end, it was not much more than jetsam when my inner parent took the helm.As I read the book, no longer looking to it like the guru on the hill, but more like any other book of advice, I realized: this book is very preachy. While not taking a definitive stance on any parenting issue unless the APA has done so, the book occasionally uses its rhetoric to imply that certain modes of parenting are “better” than the alternative, which, when going against my inner parent (and more importantly, my wife’s inner parent) didn’t jive. That added to the fact that our baby’s cognitive development is outpacing that of even the exceptional babies in the book led us to wonder what other passages may just be appealing to the lowest common denominator. Like examining your life jacket’s innards and wondering: “how did this sludge save my life?”It’s because you were kicking your feet and waving your arms.If you are soon to be a brand-new parent, or looking for a gift for the brand-new parent, this is possibly the least risky path you can go. It wembles enough to not offend most people, but provides a comprehensive (if not logically grouped) coverage of the first year of baby’s life. While ultimately, I found it a good floatation device, your mileage may vary. You may find, however, that any book will do. The important thing is that you’re comfortable, you’re relaxed, and you remember to kick.
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