January 6, 2012

Baby Care Books and Websites Reviews

When I first got pregnant, I was very curious what was going on with my body week to week. I wanted to be sure I was taking care of zippy as best I could. But aside from eating well, and exercising, there’s not a lot I can do for zippy now. So instead I started turning my attention to preparing for Zippy when he/she arrives. It’s been a long time since I’ve been around a baby, and I had a lot to learn!


Baby 411A. It’s thick, and meant to be more of a reference than read cover to cover, which I find useful. If I have a question, I jump right to the chapter that covers it. The authors do have recommendations, but they’re clear about when they are given their own recommendations or general recommendations (e.g. from the AAP). They also do a good job of exploring different parenting techniques from parent-centric to baby-centeric philosophies, leaving the reader free to make their own choices to what’s right for his or her family.

The Happiest Baby on the BlockC. I had several issues with the book. First, it’s too long, without a lot of content. I agree with the amazon reviews that said it could have been condensed into a pamphlet. Dr. Karp is also highly repetitive, repeating many similar stories, which just makes the book seem even more wordy. I got about half way though the book on the plane, put it down and haven’t picked it up again since. At the half way point, the author still justifying his methods rather than explaining them. I also don’t really think there’s anything ground breaking in the book. Perhaps if I had gotten the DVD instead of the book I would have gained a little more use from it, since I could observe his technique. My last complaint about the book is it’s clear he’s not a data scientist. He makes observations about other cultures and draws conclusions based on those observations. It’s not that I think his conclusions are wrong, just the unscientific way he’s reaching them. Perhaps he’s over simplifying the researcher to reach a broader audience, but as a scientist and a statistician, I found his analysis a bit off putting.

Free Resources

BabyCenter’s YouTube ChannelB+. I haven’t poked around Baby Center’s website, but I’ve found their youtube channel, and their newborn care and development videos helpful, especially as a starting point.

Kaiser’s Newborn Care VideosB-. The videos are older, and not as great quality. My concern is that the videos may have recommendations that are out of date. The only thing I noticed was in the caring for the umbilical cord section, they mention using rubbing alcohol on the stump. My understanding is that is no longer the recommendation.

As a general note, I do like youtube for learning how to do things, but I always watch them with a touch of skepticism. There is so much information out there, it’s hard to know what’s good advice and what’s just old wives tails. With all things pregnancy and baby related, I try to find a reliable source I trust. For pregnancy, I look to WebMD and Mayo Clinic (in addition to what my doctor says) to trust if something is safe or not safe. For child care videos, I look for AAP guidelines.

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