A panoramic handbook for mothers.
Ingram characterizes her nonfiction debut as “a baby book for moms,” a multivoice, multistage journal designed to chart the mother’s journey as separate from the baby’s. Ingram designs the book for maximum reader involvement; each chapter contains many themed prompts like “Looking back at the birth I think it went…” or “My baby is the most like me when....” Each chapter deals with different months and weeks of a baby’s infancy, and each section is filled with tips, funny quotes, interviews with a broad range of mothers, checklists, and a wealth of fascinating facts peppered throughout the text. “Baby gas is often caused by an immature digestive system and your baby’s inability to process milk or food items properly, or by ingesting too much air,” readers are told at one point, and “Grown-ups have exactly 206 bones, but experts disagree about exactly how many bones babies have—most say somewhere between 270 and the low 300s.” (Also, fascinatingly, research shows that the age of menopause is matrilineally determined.) All the trials and odd details of motherhood are touched upon, from mood swings to losing hair to returning to full-time work to, of course, chronic sleep deprivation, and Ingram maintains throughout a tone of upbeat humor and gentle understanding that new mothers especially will doubtless find very encouraging. The quotes from mothers in all walks and stages of life likewise reinforce a feeling of camaraderie and solidarity, and Ingram’s inclusion of inspirational and humorous quotes supplements this, constantly reminding mothers to pay attention to the positive sides of their experiences. Ingram’s prose is bright and accessible, and the book’s many moving parts are perfectly designed to keep readers entertained and involved.
A warm, involving, and ultimately uplifting journal for mothers caught in the distracting whirlwind of caring for a new baby.