Wow. I AM a big deal (on Facebook)!
Naturally, the first page I skipped to was where circumcision is mentioned. I had only first heard of the book when it went around intactivist circles because of the negative tone with which the authors discussed circumcision. I could probably devote an entire chapter to why circumcision isn't okay, but, it's not my book. I am glad the authors didn't pander to 'parent's choice' camp. And they touched on a few very important facts.
As I read the book from cover to cover, I would find myself internally cheering the authors on, using their research to validate choices I've made purely on intuition, and conversing with the moms in the "Overheard" excerpts. These little nuggets are words of mothers sharing their experience with the topic at hand. It's great to hear the point of view or personal experience and insight of another mother aside from the authors, showing that these aren't just the opinions and musings of the two women writing the book, but rather a community of women.
One of these excerpts I read made me tear up a bit. I loved it just that much. I immediately wanted to shout it from the roof top and take it on as my personal motto. I've long said the only parenting choices I regret are those I made against the urgings of my heart. Yes! This is good advice:
The best and most simple advice I've received is this: forget everything you've heard, everything you've read, and everything anyone has told you if it doesn't resonate with you. Take what you need and leave the rest. Your intuition and inner voice are the most powerful tools you have. Just make sure you keep an ear open because intuition usually speaks more softly that the rest of the noise. ~Alicia, mom to Emily and OliverIs there another book out there like this one? I'm not sure. I'm not huge on parenting books. I tend to find them overly wishy-washy on subjects I don't feel one should be wishy-washied about. I'm definitely a fan of the format of this book: "Here's the subject we're talking about. Doesn't sound like your gig? Okay. No problem. But consider XYZ" And I like that. It's probably how I approach the various topics covered in this book when I'm talking to another mother that isn't fully on board (or in the know) with AP.
Is this book about APing? I'd say it goes beyond AP. I consider myself "beyond AP", at least as Attachment Parenting International defines it. And this book definitely goes in depth into some more radical parenting stuff. The funny thing is, none of it seems real crazy to me. I do it all. Everything. Every single topic covered in this book is a part of my every day life. And I really appreciated a book that doesn't just *talk* about subjects like family bedding or elimination communication, but *recommends* it.
This book is unlike many other parenting books which talk more specifically of making your baby adjust to your former lifestyle. The authors make it clear that your life is about to change drastically and implores that you embrace it, that you work WITH your baby, rather than attempting to train him to fit your demands. We all have instincts to one extent or another to respond to our baby's needs. Many parenting books make suggestions for how to disconnect from those deep urgings that make our hearts ache when our babies cry. Rather, The Other Baby Book offers wisdom and research negating baby trainers and assures you that it's not only okay, but advisable to HOLD your baby.
|Our Family Bed|
They strive to provide insight into why your infant screams when you bathe them and offer a solution (co-bathing), which, by the way, I still do with my 28 month old from time to time (though we shower, not bathe since the bathtub no longer fits his length and my girth together). We reached that point of co-bathing with our son (our first) because he would SCREAM in the bath. He hated it and I felt like a terrible mother for subjecting him to it. But, I was fairly certain babies were supposed to be bathed frequently. After he developed a rash, we stopped using J&J products on him, thankfully, and went to straight water. The authors make clear not only how unnecessary bath products are for infants, but how dangerous they can be too. By the time our daughter was born, I was 'in the know' and bathed her infrequently in plain water, in the tub or shower with me.
I would have to say my two favorite topics covered in this book were elimination communication and baby led weaning (or baby led solids). Both can be difficult to understand or to find a lot of detailed information on out on the world wide web. The Other Baby Book packages the topics, complete with history, neatly and concisely alongside a whole slough of great information in one easy to read book.
Of course you expect to see breastfeeding information in a book about natural parenting, and they did a great job of highlighting various issues a mom might encounter on her breastfeeding journey, but I was especially glad to see information on milksharing, a topic near and dear to my heart. Of course I would just love to see IGT talked about in any kind of detail somewhere, but I can hardly fault them for missing it.
Overall, this book is a wealth of information. They even so kind as to include pages of references and resources at the back. Not only will this book go into my lending library for doula clients, but I already have a mental list of moms and moms-to-be that I want to loan it to.
Big thanks to Megan and Miriam for sending me a copy! And sorry if this is a terribly written review, I've never written one before. :)
You can order The Other Baby Book through Amazon in either paperback or e-reader format, and check out their website for more information, ideas, recipes and more: http://theotherbabybook.com/