Most parents of newborns will get along fine with a combination of Penelope Leach and maybe Dr. Spock; for those with a...
THE FIRST YEAR OF LIFE: A Guide for Parenting
by ‧RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 1983
Most parents of newborns will get along fine with a combination of Penelope Leach and maybe Dr. Spock; for those with a special interest in child development, Frank Caplan's The First Twelve Months Of Life is ideal. But parents who find themselves in a conflict-situation (with each other, a mother or mother-in-law), or without a patient pediatrician, may be grateful not only for the specific and detailed guidance here, but for the Q&A format (adapted from the curriculum manual of the Early Childhood Development Center in New York). The emphasis throughout is on responding immediately and appropriately to a baby's needs, on consistency in signaling approval or disapproval, on enjoying mothering and fathering; the breakdown into four-week periods does not bring rigidity. Concerns addressed range from loose green stools (normal in breast-fed babies) to the use of pacifiers (not prescribed, as Burton White does, but not opposed either--for babies ""who need more sucking"") to slapping and spanking (""Those who have been restrained verbally, in a way appropriate to their age, tend to settle their differences verbally""). The questions allow common resentments to surface: a new mother, reproached by her mother for refusing to slap the baby's hands (""I brought up five and they are all fine""), may well think of the psychic scars she and her siblings suffered. Similarly, Lief and Fahs deal separately with fathers' expectations and reactions; with anxieties over separations--for work or a vacation; and with special occasions--visits, holidays. Overall, the book is best suited to the anxious mother who's ""getting lots of advice"" and doesn't know which way to go.