Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Recommendations: Books on baby development and child care

Market is flooded with child care books and like in everything else, the internet comes handy in selecting just the right one for reference. I would also suggest discussing with fellow mothers. It always helps to get recommendations from others in the same boat. And at the end of the day, follow your instincts.

What to Expect: the First Year by Heidi Murkoff (with Sharon Mazel) – This book is only for the first year of the baby, so it addresses all the issues which you might have during the first year, and at 800 pages is pretty exhaustive in exclusively addressing the first year of a baby’s development and care.
It is divided into 4 Parts:
Part 1. The First Year – This gives you month by month account of a child’s development, what to expect each month and various issues one might face, for example, feeding issues, colic, baby necessities, child-proofing, etc.
Part 2. Of Special Concern – This chapter deals with concerns like baby’s health in changing weather, planning for travel, when baby is sick, most common health problems, first aid do’s and don’t’s, special needs baby, adopted baby, etc.
Part 3. For the Family – Concerns of a new mother, notes for father, when you have an older child at home
Part 4. Ready Reference – It contains baby’s first recipes across months according to his development, Common home remedies and Common childhood infections.
This book is pretty detailed and extremely useful for the first year, but it will be almost redundant after that.

Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care – Another favourite with new parents, this book will be handy till the time your child is 18 years. It is divided into 6 sections:
Section 1. Your Child, Age by Age: It covers all aspects from before your child is born till the time he is eighteen years of age
Section 2. Feeding and Nutrition: From Breastfeeding to starting solid foods and addressing eating disorders; the chapter focuses on the food-related issues and nutrition.
Section 3.  Raising Mentally Healthy Children: Emotional needs, balancing children with work, discipline, sexuality, stresses – are some of the issues addressed in this chapter
Section 4. Common Developmental and Behavioural Challenges: Sibling rivalry to annoying habits, toilet training to therapies – this chapter focuses on the behavioural challenges in children and how to address them
Section 5. Learning and School: This chapter covers the areas related to school, from starting to various problems faced by school going children.
Section 6. Health and Safety: General medical issues, immunizations, overall health and common childhood illnesses; are part of this chapter
Of course, since this book has a wider scope, diverse topics have been touched upon. It has been a good reference book so far.

Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different – How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men – Let’s face it, girls and boys are different, their inherent natures and tendencies are usually different. A mother, most of the time, is the primary care giver for children. With girls, we have our own experiences to fall back on a lot of times but it is a little different with boys. If you have observed, girls are usually more talkative and like to play with toys, while for boys ‘action speaks louder then words’. They need a lot of physical activities to release their energy. We end up getting frustrated with this inherent need of boys.

This book at 200 odd pages, attempts to help us understand boys, so that we help them develop into happy individuals. It covers the three stages of boyhood, the role of dads, mothers and sons, developing a healthy sexuality, sports, etc. It is a great book. (There is another book Raising Girls too but I have not read it, so would not be able to comment).

By the way, since I am at it, I would also recommend this article: Raising Boys - A dad's parenting advice for moms.

All these books are good reference books but every child is unique and a mother must follow her instincts to decide what is best for her child. The books will only act as guides to help you take informed decision. They are generic. Only you know what is best for your child or what your goals are.

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  1. Well, I had been searching for right kind of books in the category and was flodded with so many that I got confused... Thanks for ur Blog... It makes my choice narrow. I am an wud b father and hope ur bliog post helps me... Thanks again
    do visit me at Krazy Memoirs

    1. Really nice to find a would-be-father hunting for reference books, it is usually the would-be-mothers! I am glad my suggestions were useful for you. I also went through your blog. Quite impressive. I would visit often now. Thanks for dropping by :-)