Kirkus Reviews QR Code


A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year

by Dawn Dais

Pub Date: June 4th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-58005-484-3
Publisher: Seal Press

A behind-the-scenes look at childbirth and a newborn's first year.

No book and no amount of personal advice can fully prepare a woman for pregnancy, birthing and the first year of a child's life. However, Dais (The NonCyclist's Guide to the Century and Other Road Races, 2009, etc.) provides a comprehensive take on the very real and not-so-pleasant aspects of parenting, from the various and often yucky scenarios that can unfold during the birthing process to the seemingly endless waste an infant can create. "My intention is not to frighten you or to scare you off having children,” she writes, but she does want to prepare women for the completely topsy-turvy world they are about to enter. She uses intimate details of her own child's birth as well as stories from many other mothers with infants and toddlers to bring a much more realistic slant to an event that "changes everything." The humorous revelations offer insight into a natural process that can and often does completely overwhelm the mother. Birthing without drugs, the bodily functions of the mother and infant, and the sheer amount of stuff needed to maintain your new infant are just a few of the subjects she explores. Although humor abounds, topics like postpartum depression, the difficulties in breast-feeding and sleep deprivation are real issues, and Dais' willingness to tackle such issues lets women know that they are not alone in their struggles. "Knowing you are not alone actually helps a little,” she writes. “Trust me, misery does love company, especially during 3 a.m. feeding sessions." Dais' information will help ease new mothers into child-rearing and offer comic relief for those who have ventured onto that path.

An amusing and accurate examination of life with an infant.