The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition)

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Product Description

In their excellent (and hefty) resource guide, The Baby Book, attachment parenting specialists William Sears and Martha Sears have provided new parents with their approach to every aspect of baby care basics, from newborns to toddlers. Attachment parenting is a gentle, reasonable approach to parenting that stresses bonding with your baby, responding to her cues, breastfeeding, "wearing" your baby, and sharing sleep with your child. For those parents who worry about negative effects of this attention, the Sears say, "Spoiling is what happens when you leave something (or some person) alone on the shelf--it spoils."

Brought thoroughly up-to-date-with the latest information on everything from diapering to daycare, from midwifery to hospital "birthing rooms," from postpartum nutrition to infant development-THE BABY BOOK remains the one must-have resource for today's new parents.

In this perennially bestselling and encyclopedic guide, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears draw from their vast experience both as medical professionals and as parents to provide authoritative, comprehensive information on virtually every aspect of infant care. THE BABY BOOK focuses on the essential needs of babies-eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort-as it addresses the questions of greatest concern to parents today.

Customer Reviews:

  • Very Helpfull Book On Child Birth
    Book arrived within 3 days of order and was exactly the way it was described when i ordered it. Will look for items from this person again in the future.....more info
  • informative
    I bought this for my son and his wife, who just had their first baby two weeks ago. I have not read it myself, but they have told me repeatedly how they love this book, and are always reading it and learning why their new daughter does some of the things she does, and what is normal, etc. It appears to be a very useful book, and very thorough....more info
  • Essential!
    This is a must have for anyone about to have a baby. I am a doula so I've had to read just about everything there is on baby books. This is my top favorite, and all of the Sears books are good. It has a very extensive amount of information. You can find just about anything you need to know here.

    I deducted one star for two reasons: 1. Though there are some pictures, I feel they could have more. Sometimes when you're an exhausted parent it's easier to just glance at a picture for some help, rather than trying to read page upon page without falling asleep. and 2. The information on vaccines is that of a doctor's point of view so of course you're not getting the whole truth. But anyone with a brain can weed out what they need from this. All in all, best book out there!...more info
  • Wonderful book
    This is a wonderful book for complete baby care. I bought it a month before my due date and I wish I had read it before my baby was born (it would have saved a lot of heartaches in the early months). I thought I can reference to it whenever I need, but little did I know there's simply no time for any reading. Now after 10 months, I start to read it and there are so many things I wish I had done differently. The only thing is it's so big and bulky, but with all the information, I guess you just can't make it compact....more info
  • Best Resource Around
    This is hands down the best book to guide parents. I can't tell you how many times it has helped us as we learn how to care for a newborn/baby. Organization is intuitive and advice is clear and concise. Everything you need to know is in the book....more info
  • A "1st time" parent staple!
    Rcv'd this as a baby shower gift---one of the best. I definitely know what I'll get any other 1st time parents for future baby showers. This book is extremely resourceful because it covers so many topics/issues that you and your baby are bound to go through. There were chapters I avoided hoping that I wouldn't need to go there (fevers/colds...)---of course, I eventually did and it helped me and my husband deal with the stress 1st timers go through---I swear it's better than most advice your pediatrician will give you---it's like having one at home! ...more info
  • Amazing book
    I bought this book for my son. It is an amazing book, filled with detail information. It was told by my daughter in law and sons doctor to purchase this book, and it is so well worth it. I would have paid more money to get this book with all the important information in it, very reliable....more info
  • Best baby book ever!
    I love this book! I read it every since my daughter was born. I usually read it while breastfeeding her. I love Dr Sears!...more info
  • Never use this book
    I never use this book. I really don't like it.
    It is all attachment parenting based and not at all as I would like to approach caring for my baby.
    It is all about never letting your baby cry, carrying them with you all the time, sleeping with them etc. Not my style at all.
    Would not recommend it...more info
  • Only baby book you'll need
    This IS the best baby book you could ever get yourself. With kid #2 it's still my bible. If you want to be an informed parent and are willing to choose the very best approach to child rearing (not always the easiest!), but the most mindful approach of the very best interest of your child, then this will be your favorite baby book too. And Dr. Sears doesn't disregard an individual's choice (dictated often by life's challenges and circumstances). He provides a wealth of information and support to everyone no matter what path your on despite his obvious promotion of what he, as an experienced physician and father, believes is the healthiest (body, mind, and soul!)approach to child rearing for the whole family.
    ...more info
  • Very informative!
    I got this book for a baby shower gift. At first I was over-whelmed by it because there is so much info. Then I started using it as a resource after the baby was born. Now I feel like I use it all the time, instead of constantly calling the doctor about little things. I am now buying it for a friend who just had a baby....more info
  • Comprehensive and easy to read
    This book offers comprehensive information about babies and toddlers. A big help to the new mom. And it is written in an easy to read style. I felt well-prepared for starting my journey into motherhood....more info
  • Great Book!
    It's a great book, which provides tons of useful information and great tips for new parents. I would strongly recommend it to my friends. Although, during my child birth classes all nurses and pediatricians recommend that parents buy a book written by the American Academy of Pediatricians. They say it's the best book for parents. ...more info
    I was very excited about this book when I first bought it and followed Dr. Sears' advice to the letter. It presents a warm and fuzzy, loving parenting style that greatly appealed to me and echoed many of the tenets of parenting that I believe in. I found the chapters on Developmental Milestones and Nutrition/Introducing Solid Foods to be very valuable and the sketches to be beautiful and hilariously lifelike (hence the 2 stars). The primary complaint that I came across from other user reviews was the amount of time that was required and the difficulties of trying to fit this parenting method into a working lifestyle; but since I chose to take a year off from work to be with my baby I didn't feel like this concern applied to us.

    It is now six months later, and I would like to hurl this enormous book at Dr. Sears. My daughter was sleeping through the night by 6 weeks, with a rather easy-going personality, aside from one fussy phase in the evenings just before bed. But over time, by following Dr. Sears' parenting techniques, she has gradually developed into what he calls a "high-need" baby. I wonder, how many of these high-need babies were made and not born? How many of Dr. Sears' parent-clients are "blessed" (to use his word) with these children in comparison to other pediatricians' clients?

    Thanks to the babywearing, she wants to be held ALL of the time, and throws screaming tantrum fits if put down for even a second. And although I exercise respect for baby's cries (as he admonishes) and attempt to differentiate between the cries of frustration that she is capable of working through on her own and the hysterical cries of a baby in need, she has quickly learned to bypass the small cries and jump straight into hysterical screaming in an attempt to get what she wants. Forget going to the bathroom, fixing dinner, cleaning the house, etc. Despite the beautiful, happy sketches in the book showing parents accomplishing every household task while wearing baby in a sling, there are plenty of activities that cannot (or should not) be accomplished while wearing a baby. For example, who cooks dinner with simply a bowl and a wooden spoon as demonstrated in the picture? From my experience, it helps to use knives and burners, hot pans, boiling water, and occasionally the oven. I found through actual trial and error, that there are many basic chores that require setting a baby down, if just for 10-15 minute segments. But my daughter goes into fits the second I bend over - before I have even set her down. This poses a developmental dilemna as well. She does not receive nearly enough tummy time or floor time to develop the muscles needed for motor skill development. She hit her milestones up until the 3rd or 4th month, and then they started slowing down as she stopped trying to work through her frustration and started demanding to be held instead. Even when I ignored her protests, choosing to get down on the floor with her, encouraging play and finding new ways to stimulate her into rolling over and sitting up, her energy was directed towards fussing rather than motor skill development.

    Worse than this, however, is the nighttime behavior that has developed. Gone are the nights of 6 or 7 hours of sleep in a stretch; gone are the nights of 3 or 4 hours of sleep in a stretch; walking out the door are the nights of 2 hour stretches. Thanks to the combination of on-demand breastfeeding and co-sleeping (and Dr. Sears' sage advice to nurse a fussy baby to sleep), I have become the human pacifier. Around 4 months of age, my daughter hit a growth spurt that caused her to return to a middle of the night feeding, which then increased to two feedings. I thought it was a short-lived phase that would pass with the growth spurt. Instead, it became part of her nightly routine. Now, any attempt to extract my breast from her mouth following a feeding, results in her snapping awake and screaming - she wants a warm, soft, mommy-scented pillow, filled with her favorite food, to suckle and nurse from throughout the entire night. And I've barely slept for months.

    Several months ago, had I read this review, I would have been tempted to think, "Foolish mother - somehow you've done something wrong. You've taught this behavior to your child. You obviously aren't following Dr. Sears' directions properly. I know better than to make your mistakes with my baby." And I would have been half right - I DID teach this behavior to my child, but not by deviating from Dr. Sears' instructions. And it could happen to anybody who doesn't exercise great caution when using Dr. Sears' attachment parenting style. I wonder how many of the 5 star user ratings were written when the parents first received this impressive and exciting book, before they attempted to follow its practices. I wonder how many discontented parents chose not to write reviews of their own, for fear of looking like bad parents. I wonder how many exhausted, worn-out parents have been unable to find the time, energy, or desire to sit at a computer and review a book they received months ago to warn other parents from following in their naive, well-intended footsteps....more info
  • The Baby Book: Everything you Need to Know About Your Baby Birth to Age Two
    The Book is easy to read and digest. I like the format of the book to use as a good reference guide after the initial read. I am a grandmother and I think this book is a useful tool for the new to be parents as well as grandparents and caregivers....more info
  • This book should be called "Instinct Parenting"
    A friend of mine just lent me this book because she said everything I did with my 2 1/2 year old is in the book, which I had never read. I had the What to Expect books that someone had bought for me, but I didn't really like them and I did my own thing. I didn't realize it was called attachment parenting, I thought it was just common sense. I had a natural homebirth from the beginning with my husband and midwives. Sure, we were scared when they left us without an instruction manual, but we just figured it out. I nursed and slept and was on her schedule, which worked out for us. We coslept with our baby and I carried her in my kangaroo pouch wherever we went. Intimacy was not a problem, because we don't have the "night time only rule" in our house. We have a pretty laid back kid who loves to travel via airplane and car. She's never had a schedule, she's too busy having fun. We know friends who are tied down to schedules and their kids seem to cry an awful lot. Who wants to hear a kid cry all the time? Not us.
    ...more info
  • Wow! A baby manual!
    This was such an important part in helping me raise my son! I didn't agree with some of the "babywearing" methods and ideas, but the basic baby care was fantastic! It really helped me calm down when he was sick or hurt and figure out what to do. I give this book to all my pregnant friends too! Thank you so much! ...more info
  • If you buy one "Baby How-To" book, make it this one.
    Buy this book and keep it on the shelf for reference! This is the one book I go back to time and time again for all my raising babies questions. From Fevers to Feeding, how to play with baby, how to WEAR your baby in a sling, developmental stages, etc. I started out getting it at the library and realized it was the ONE book I needed to BUY so I could refer back to it when necessary and it's proved its worth!...more info
  • Fabulous gift for a first time mom!
    The Baby Book is the perfect gift for a first-time mom, pregnant friend, or any new family. It is written with a light, gentle and positive tone, but is eye-opening at the same time. On the surface, it seems to be a "baby guide" like so many others on the market, but The Baby Book is different.

    Dr. Sears and his family coined the term "Attachment Parenting," which is a philosophy of parenting that embraces instinctual bonding behaviors like breastfeeding, babywearing and cosleeping. If these terms are foreign or even off-putting to you, that's okay. The Baby Book contains all the fun facts to prepare and guide moms and dads with new babies. It just adds another dimension, empowering parents to care for their children with respect, and encouraging them to develop a deep relationship that can carry them through countless tough decisions in a lifetime.

    Rather than parroting the tired mantra of "check with your doctor," The Baby Book presents the data you need to make informed choices on your child's behalf, or tells you where to find it if you want to know more. And you will want to know more after you read this book. It will give you the sense that it's okay to question the status quo and make your own way as a parent.

    If you think you are the type of parent who likes to take charge of your child's health and well-being, rather than leave it up to an "expert" who hardly knows him (aka the pediatrician), I would also recommend reading Healing Our Children: Because Your New Baby Matters! Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting (ages 0-6) by Ramiel Nagel. ...more info
  • Dr. Sears is trying too hard to make us believers
    While there are some useful nuggets of information in this book, I have two main complaints which is why I've scored it only two stars. First, Dr. Sears tries too hard to sell his parenting style he calls "attachment parenting." I am a true believer that the Eat -> Play -> Sleep cycle is the best way for babies to be healthy/strong eaters. Dr. Sears basically says to feed your baby every time it cries. Since I employ the Eat -> Play -> Sleep style of parenting, I know my child is tired if he fusses an hour after he's had a full meal. Second, Dr. Sears incorrectly refers to "bottle feeding" as formula feeding. I am proud that I've been able to bottle feed my four-month old my breast milk, thanks to the wonders of mechanical breast pumps. I found it irritating that Dr. Sears continually discouraged bottle-feeding by assuming these children are getting formula. There are people like me out there who, even with the help of lactation consultants, were unable to nurse. Fortunately, my child will get the health benefits of my breast milk via a bottle, a scenario that Dr. Sears doesn't seem to understand....more info
  • The Baby Book Review
    This book has been my baby bible. I referred to it daily when my baby was just months old. Now that he is 15 months old, I still use it for a great reference! I highly recommend it!...more info
  • Baby Encyclopedia
    By the title of my review you can tell I refer to this book as my baby encyclopedia! It's great. Lots of helpful information for the first years of life. Information is easy to find. I have also read, but do not own yet, the fussy baby book and I really liked that book too. I realized I was doing attachment parenting and didn't even know it! ...more info
  • Very informative
    I love this book. I refer to it many times. As a first time parent it is wonderful to have this as a reference....more info
  • Lots of Good and Practical Advice
    This is one of the few books on parenting that is lacking in BAD advice. Most of the advice is positive, supportive, and aimed toward understanding your infants needs. Dr. Sears actually says that it is good for our children to eat saturated fats, which is so true. Although unfortunately they make the mistake of recommending soy milk or rice milk for growing children, rather than raw grassfed milk. This book is extremely detailed, so much so that I wonder what all the details are about. It's almost like Dr. Sears home doctor companion because I am certain that it will be hard to find a question that is not answered in the book.

    For those who want more nutrition and attachment parenting see Healing Our Children: Because Your New Baby Matters! Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting (ages 0-6)...more info
  • Some useful information - technique not for me
    There was some useful information in the book, but it was too buried in the attachment parenting lectures. And they aren't statements, they're lectures. The book also does a good job of making you feel like if you don't practice the attachment parenting style they preach, you are a bad parent and condemning your kid to a horrible life. Great message to send to first time parents - make them completely doubt themselves. Yeah.

    There is so much more useful information in What to Expect....more info
  • Really good book!
    This book has been very helpful with answers to several questions. However, parents have to remember that even the Sears' are human beings and can't know everything--in particular YOUR baby.

    For example, I love the idea of babywearing, but our baby girl hated the sling until about four months old (and I even bought the Dr. Sears model!). She became happier in it around five months; and now at almost seven months, she's at the point that I can wear her around when she's tired and she will fall asleep. Babies won't all "forget" to fuss just because they are in a sling.

    We have co-slept since birth, and that works great (sometimes hard to sleep but mostly only if something is wrong with her, ie. gas, etc.--which actually makes it easier than trodding down the hall when she's screaming).

    We breastfed exclusively to six months; tried babyfood for a couple weeks, realized how messy it really is, and have basically gone back to exclusive breastfeeding...I give her little tastes of things here and there.

    The questions it didn't answer were about what their eyesight/vision is and when (we wanted specifics; it's too vague). Also, frequency of bathing between NB and toddler stages.

    All the various books differ on some things slightly. And the "put them to sleep with a car ride"--even in this book--forget it for us. She despised her car seat for the first few months until I bought toys for it. For a while she was fine for the first ten minutes or so; now she's basically back to really not liking it. She'll tolerate it for a bit. One of us always sits back with her when we drive together.

    Overall, I do recommend the book. It's been very helpful. Just remember, it is not the ultimate gospel on parenting: use the book as a resource, read your baby, enjoy him/her, and do the very best you can (don't just try to convince yourself you are doing the best you can or what's best for your child...really do it). The title should be "What You Need..." rather than "Everything You Need..." You can't put everything into one book. ...more info
  • You need this book!
    I think this is one of the best all-in-one books you'll ever have. I've used it for my last 2 kids and wish I'd had it with my first. You can look up just about any question you have, find answers and solutions and excellent suggestions quickly. More times than I can count, I used this for breastfeeding problems, sick kids, behavorial issues, normal things to expect, weird questions, normal questions, you name it! It has been VERY good for my emotional health and my children's emotional and physical health. You'll get lots of ideas you won't get elsewhere....more info
  • Practical Advice from All-Around Parenting Pros
    I will be giving this book as a gift for every baby shower I go to from now on. The first month of my baby's life I spent constantly referring to the couple of books I had, and was frequently disappointed by the vague coverage of such basic topics as crying. My baby was fussy for hours at a time and it wasn't until I stumbled upon the website that I felt like I was getting very practical advice. I bought the book soon thereafter and it has been my primary resource ever since. I trust the experience, both as parents and children's health professionals, that the Sears family brings to the book, and I have had great success with attachment parenting.

    Like everything else to do with parenting, your mileage may vary depending on your personality, and that of your child. But any parenting philosophy that emphasizes physical and emotional closeness with your baby can be generally relied upon to deliver happy results....more info
  • Good Reference Book from Attachment Parenting Perspective
    I checked this book out of library when my first child was a baby. I now use website. This book is very comprehensive and a good reference book from attachment parenting perspective. I would also recommend to read about other perspectives.

    If you need to go back to work then you may find that some ideas are not practical, but overall it is a good book. It talks a lot about breastfeeding, carrying your baby in a sling and co-sleeping. Sears don't tell you that you are a bad parent if you are not following all the ideas, they tell you to find what is best for your baby AND you. If offends you or makes you feel guilty to hear a lot about attachment parenting, then this book may not be for you.
    ...more info
  • Lots of Info, Heavy on the guilt
    First I will say that Dr. Sears sincerely loves kids (he has 8, I think) and that I really believe that he and his wife think they are giving the best advice available. And, no one can deny that they have a lot of usful information in their books...everything from feeding your infant/toddler, to nighttime issues, to medical issues, and beyond. They also cover the birthing process to a point (and make it clear that they feel anything but a natural birth is bad parenting).

    They are heavy on Attachment Parenting (in fact, I think they may have been the first to call it that). In fact, I follow I myself follow many of the philosophies of Attachment Parenting (baby-wearing, co-sleeping, holding when crying, etc.)But just because I parent that way doesn't mean the rest of the world will fail at being parents if they don't. Unforunately, while the book does talk about 'other ways' to raise your child, they leave no doubt that they think anyone who does something differently then they preach is doing wrong. I think crying-it-out is a dangerous practise, but, things like babywearing and co-sleeping shouldn't be pushed as they are in this book. I do them, but I do them because they work for me and my little one, I don't do them because of the guilt trip Sears puts you on.
    I get, literally, panicky every time I pick up the book, because all too often my baby isn't quite on track with what they say she should be doing, and because I was unable (and I mean unable) to breastfeed. They make it sound like I should understand every whimper and every look from my baby...and I don't. We are very close, but I don't always know why she's crying, and they make you feel as if you are a bad parents for that. Also, parents of special-needs babies beware...according to the Sears if your baby has to spend time in the NICU (as mine did) you are loosing bonding time that you will never be able to replace. This is not so. My little girl and I are very, very close, even though her first week was spent hooked up to machines and being cared for by nurses. (I was in the NICU as much as allowed).

    Another problem was pointed out by my husband, who is a very invovled and caring father...the Sears make it sound like the father's job is primarily looking after the mother, and don't leave much room for him to bond with his baby, because they want the mother to do all that. Yes, I am the primary nurturer of our baby, but my husband is far more invovled then the book suggested. I think that father invovlment is very important!
    They mean well, but unless you are prepared to be served a huge helping of guilt with a side of impossible standards for parents, I wouldn't get this book...or, at least, I would get it with the thought in mind that you are going to do your best, but realize that your best is all that you can do.

    Like I said, I certainly don't believe in crying it out or anything like that, but the Sears make it sound like you will cause severe damage if you don't allow your child to swallow up your being in their cause. I agree that breastfeeding is best, that crying-it-out is unhealthy, and that the baby should be loved on as much as possible...I also know as a mother of a four month old that there is nothing wrong with taking pain meds while in labor (I mean, come on, how many women have died because they didn't have that option?), occasionally taking a break, that bottlefeeding is not going to kill your child (mine is thriving and not overweight), and that not sleeping with your child isn't going to cause them to think you don't care. Anyway, there are good things, but be careful if you tend to take baby-care books seriously. ...more info
  • Fantastic book!!!
    I love this book! It is informative and down to earth. I read it cover to cover with my first child, and now I am re-reading it with my second child. I give this book as a gift to my friends who are new Moms. I have found this book to be a most useful resource!...more info
  • Fantastic book
    [...] is my go to web page for questions and info. The book is an excellent addition to anyone's parenting library. It covers a wide range of topics, with sound researched child-centered advice. The section on attachment parenting is a must read for all parents. I have used attachment parenting techniques with both of my children, and the results are worth it. ...more info
  • The worst baby book of all time
    Someone recommended this book to me. I thought it was a kinder, gentler book on taking care of your baby, so I bought it. Well, after having an unplanned caesarian, trouble breastfeeding, and some post-partum depression, I turned to my trusty book for some answers. I realized this book is nothing but Dr. Sears's opinion on parenting.

    He recommends wearing your baby until the baby falls asleep. My daughter was so collicky she would cry the whole time. The bottle-feeding section will just make you feel bad about not breastfeeding, which is not so good when you have post-partum depression. I also tried co-sleeping with failure. I would wake up at the tiniest sound she made. After two weeks of co-sleeping, we put her in the crib, where she has stayed since then. Thank goodness because I had to go back to work in three months.

    My daughter is now 3. She is independent, happy, healthy, smart, and active and she sleeps in her own bed every night thanks to the AAP childcare book and the Dr. Weissbluth sleep book.

    Poor Mrs. Sears! She must be exhausted after having eight children!...more info
  • Skip this book...
    ...if you're looking for a one size fits all child rearing formula!

    This book recognizes the fact that babies are just as individual and unique as their parents. It provides a wealth of information about baby care as well as a variety of ideas to help balance family life with an infant. Most importantly, the author makes it clear that attachment parenting is philosophy anyone can follow. Parents need not worry about following a checklist or formula, they can simply be parents. ...more info
  • My Favorite Baby Book
    I guess I'm this book's target audience. I am a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, stay at home mom. I have found great advice and support in this book. I never viewed my parenting method as radical, it's just the way I want my child raised. If you are already following an attachment parenting model this book is an excellent guide. If you are an absolute "traditional" parent this book probably isn't for you.

    ...more info
  • A heavy, but worthy tome
    It is a bit early to review this book, as we are going to be parents, just next January. Probably within 5 years or so we will see, whether Dr. Sears is right :)

    But as a book, it is fascinating reading and it gives us many news aspects on how to interact, communicate and handle our forthcoming baby....more info
  • great reference
    this is an excellent resource...answers to all the questions i have. and they are trustworthy answers from a dr./nurse and parents who not only are genuine loving parents but also up on the latest research. i highly recommend this book for all parents. ...more info


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