My first pregnancy was a surprise pregnancy, and I spent the first two trimesters in a state of complete shock and stress. I bought a couple of mainstream baby books, and skimmed through the daunting amount of information with a mixture of dread and confusion. Nothing made sense to me, having a baby on a sleep and feeding schedule sounded completely unnatural and frankly sounded like a lot of hard work. The confusion and dread worsened and I decided to stop reading anymore baby books and just 'wing' it.1
I never completed a single one of those books, and they remain in my library, picking up dust. It was only once Jesse was born that I stumbled into a natural way of parenting, quite ... naturally - Jesse slept better beside me and was happiest when he was held, and so I did that. I started reading natural parenting blogs and found the Natural Parents Network and dove head first into attachment parenting, as a complete novice, my son thrived.
Still, there were gaps in my parenting philosophy, because although I love to read and learn new things there is just SO much information out there, and unless you stumble upon an article on why your shouldn't bathe your newborn immediately after birth, chances are you are going to follow your mothers advice and bathe your baby.
The Other Baby Book is a fantastic resource for new mothers [and fathers!] who have the inclination to parent naturally. It is comes from the refreshingly natural angle which just makes so much more sense to me than baby-training. It is SO easy to read, user-friendly and everyone will enjoy Megan and Miriam's colloquial style of writing, which makes the reader feel completely at ease and comfortable. Megan and Miriam write from their personal account of becoming a new mama, and the book is the result of the in-depth research they did whilst trying to find the best way to raise their children. I love how their easy-going personalities come across in the book, and how non-judgmental they seem. In particular, I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter on vaccinations where Megan and Miriam give a thorough account from both sides of the 'great debate' as one of them follows a vaccination schedule fully and the other has decided, like myself, to not vaccinate.
This book skims over EVERY topic which needs to be addressed by new parents, without overwhelming one with loads of information. It does a fantastic job of informing parents of the essentials, with chapters on topics such as birth, touch, milk, sleep, potty, and so on. As a mom of a two-year old, and one that is constantly reading natural parenting blogs and websites, there was still a ton of information that was new to me.
The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year guides new and expecting mamas on a journey past “shoulds” and “musts,” back to the heart of true joy and relationship. Motherhood has been targeted by advertisers, and bombarded by opinions masquerading as medical necessities. Our intention is to help mothers reclaim a simpler, more connected first year with their babies.
Readers will find eight fun-to-read chapters filled with baby-friendly practices, along with stories from moms in-the-know. In a soothing and sometimes sassy voice, the authors present compelling research on topics like birth, holding your baby, breastfeeding, infant sleep, pottying babies (yes, really!), sign language, baby-led solids, and self-care for moms. The book also features contributions from leading practitioners in baby care: Dr. James McKenna, Dr. Janet Zand, Naomi Aldort, Gill Rapley, Nancy Mohrbacher, and more.
I loved reading this book, and am so glad I came across it before I have more children. At least I will be better informed the next time! The Other Baby Book is now my go-to new mom gift for baby showers!
1 I do not advise this way of getting through pregnancy, as I was completely unprepared for the wave of decisions I had to make the minute Jesse entered the world.↩