Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BEYOND THE SLING by Mayim Bialik


A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way

by Mayim Bialik

Pub Date: March 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-1800-6
Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

An alternative-methods parenting guide.

Feeding and sleeping schedules, potty training and early independence. These are the three maxims actress and mother of two Bialik claims parents must let go of in order to raise a child in the attachment parenting way. This “green” method of parenting “seeks to create a generation of children who love and respect people and the earth because they have been loved and respected by their parents.” Guidelines set by Attachment Parenting International include natural childbirth, breastfeeding, sensitivity to the child and bonding. The author provides examples from her own experiences regarding these strategies. She recommends the use of midwives and doulas to help with childbirth in lieu of doctors and painkilling medications. Bialik explains breastfeeding on demand, holding the baby in one’s arms or via the use of a baby carrier and the use of a family bed. Other advice includes saying no to all the gadgets and stuff available for babies and toddlers, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor for minor ailments and alternative approaches to discipline. Perhaps the most controversial suggestion is the idea of elimination communication—the ability to learn when a child, even a newborn, needs to pass waste products. Bialik claims that any child would prefer to eliminate into a potty rather than a cloth or disposable diaper. By learning the nonverbal signals that all children demonstrate, a parent can determine when the infant or child needs to use the potty and rush him or her to the appropriate location. The author admits parents must be willing to endure numerous accidents before the method is foolproof.

Reminiscent of the back-to-the-land parenting methods of the 1960s, the book provides alternative ideas on childbirth and childrearing for today’s modern parent.