Those who know me know I don’t generally read baby books. I looked the things given me in the Bounty pack when I was pregnant with Kieran, and promptly got scared and cried, certain that I couldn’t be a mother. From that point, I pretty steered clear of baby books, choosing to follow my instincts and what worked for us. This meant throwing out some preconceived ideas I had and ignoring the well-meaning advice from others if it conflicted with what felt right. Of course I looked up information if a question arose, or asked people for advice, but always with the idea that I would do what worked for us. Over the years I’ve researched a lot, and discovered that my parenting style has a name (Attachment Parenting), but I’ve not sat and read an entire baby book.
Until now, that is. I somehow saw that Megan Massaro and Miriam Katz of Attachment Parenting International had written The Other Baby Book and that it was available on Kindle. My curiosity piqued, I decided to download and read it, and I haven’t regretted it. The first thing that struck me was the introduction, where they are clear about the book not being a hard-and-fast rule of parenting, but simply some evidence-based practices that you can take or leave according to your own needs. Tha right there is refreshing, as so often the parenting “experts” seem to imply you must follow their way, regardless of what you and your child want (it’s entirely possible the other “experts” don’t actually imply that, it is just my impression from the snippets I’ve seen; I put expert in quotes because I think the best experts on a particular child are that child’s parents).
The book covers such things as birth, safe co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, elimination communication, relating with love, and going with the flow. The authors are quick to point out that there is no one set way of doing these things. Neither are they condemning of those who don’t do things a specific way. Instead, the authors simply seek to give evidence-based information so that parents can decide, which is what I think is best. The book also helps dispel some notions about attachment parents, since there is no guilt trip in these pages, nor does one get a sense of smugness or superiority.
Now, I’ll concede that my positive take could be influenced by the fact that I do practice attachment parenting, but I’ll also point out that I don’t do everything in this book. I keep trying to convince myself to do E.C., as I know all the arguments and benefits and such, but I haven’t made myself take the plunge yet. There are other examples, too, but never did I feel condemned or inferior for not doing everything listed in the book. Instead, I came away with more food for thought, but the sense that I needn’t adopt any practices I don’t want. I will therefore willingly endorse this book as a good resource for any interested.