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The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting Your High-Need Child From Birth to Age Five Paperback – September 1, 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting Your High-Need Child From Birth to Age Five
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  • The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library)
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  • The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"High-need" babies crave touch and motion, can't self-soothe, have difficulty sleeping, nurse often and well into their toddler years and are intense, draining and demanding, say pediatrician Sears and his RN wife, parents of eight children and authors of The Birth Book and 12 other parenting titles. Informed by their experience with a high-need daughter and by observations of patients, the Searses outline how to handle such fussy babies, rehashing their theory of "attachment parenting"?carrying the baby in a sling, nursing on demand, sharing the family bed and responding rather than letting the baby "cry it out," etc. Parents are encouraged to focus on the positive: a high-need baby, the authors say, "cries impressively" and "values being with you"; he or she isn't a "difficult sleeper" or "clingy." Desperate parents will be grateful for the many tips and the mommy-burnout survival list. But veteran moms and pops may have trouble swallowing some suggestions (bounce gently on a trampoline with baby). Readers may also yearn for substantiation of claims that fussers grow up to be confident, expressive, responsible teens and adults. Still, the authors' warm-fuzzy "You're okay, baby's okay" outlook may be just the right medicine for many anxious parents of demanding children.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

William and Martha Sears, a pediatrician and a nurse, respectively, have written this book to provide guidance and support for parents of children who have high needs for comfort, feeding, and the like from birth. The authors cite both their own family experience and the stories of their patients and others. The guidance they provide flies in the face of parenting advice of the last several decades, but the positive results of high-touch, intensive, attachment parenting?a concept the authors first introduced in Baby Book (LJ 2/1/93)?are evident. This well-organized book will most likely appeal to educated baby-boomer, baby-buster parents. Recommended for consumer health collections.?Mary J. Jarvis, Methodist Hosp. Medical Lib., Lubbock, Tex.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316779164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316779166
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly VINE VOICE on October 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Our daughter was THE "poster child" for colicky, fussy babies. She had colic so severe [crying 10-12 hours a DAY for first 12 weeks!] that our Pediatrician told us "This isn't colic, she just has a bad disposition." [UGH - we don't use him any more needless to say - and the crying stopped abruptly at 12 weeks]. After the colic passed, she continued to be a VERY "hands on, high need" baby. She was quite a challenge to parent that first year.
Thank goodness I found this book! I can still remember the first time I read it - the sigh of relief that I wasn't alone and the wonder at all the great ideas and suggestions in the book. We put these suggestions to work in our parenting and followed Dr. Sears' advice to the letter. Now we have an angelic two year old - she's a joy to be around. She is now the easiest kid in the world to parent - the most easy going, friendly, and sweet kid you could imagine. Now my friends all say how lucky I am to have such an easy toddler! I think it is due in great part to Dr. William and Martha Sears and their wonderful insight and advice - their suggestions certainly worked for us!
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Format: Paperback
I have gathered a vast collection of child care books, and none of them were as helpful as this one. It was frustrating when my friends/family just didn't understand how it was that I simply "couldn't put my daughter down" until she was about 7 months old... how it was possible that she didn't like to be touched, but had to be held all the time... how she simply didn't nap... I was told that I was only making it worse by indulging her ("let her cry a bit!", "teach her to be patient!", etc.) Well, when I read this book, I felt an enormous sense of relief that my baby wasn't the only one like this. I was also thrilled to learn about concrete ways to care for my not-so-ordinary baby. We have ended up with a happier child and happier mom, too! This is THE book for parents of high-maintenance, high-sensitivity, high-needs babies.
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Format: Paperback
My first child was very difficult. I feel like I read a lot of books, and asked a lot of friends for advice, and just tried everything.
Nothing worked, the binkies, the sleep training, the 5 S's, the white noise, the lovies, the music, the routines, going to sleep earlier, going to sleep later, different foods, nothing.
All he wanted was for us to hold him * all * the * time *. And if we did that, he was perfect.
The only problem was, we were exhausted. He never slept. He nursed for 1-2 hours at a time, around 12 times a day (yes, do the math there ...). He woke up at least 5 times a night until he was 3 years old. If we let him cry, his cries just got worse and worse and worse, but he never calmed down. He wouldn't fall asleep from exhaustion. He would stop crying when we finally gave in and just held and nursed him. It wasn't that ignorable sort of whiny whimper either - it was all out the world is ending holy s*** I think I'm dying kind of crying.
So all those books, all that advice (from people who had never had a baby like this and had no idea) just made me feel like a failure.

Then I found this book.

This book didn't make me change anything, really. It just made me ok with what I was doing for survival already: taking my cues from the baby, holding the baby if he needed to be held, sleeping with the baby, nursing on demand. It made me feel like I wasn't a failure and it felt so good to read some of these stories from parents going through what we were going through.

And, eventually that time passed, and he is now a very sweet, kind boy.

We had another child, and she is nothing like our first child. She is a pretty typical baby and responds well to all the other sort of techniques parents use. She doesn't especially like to nurse or be held all the time. She's pretty independent. She was just born that way. It just drove home for me that every person - including babies - is unique.
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Thank goodness for the Sears family. My first and only baby was and is very fussy. We tried everything to figure out what was wrong. We thought she wasnt being fed enough, or that she had food allergies etc. Sleep was a major issue. Till this day she has never slept in her own crib. She is only happy while being held. And even though i bought this book to figure out what to do with the baby; i realize its more about what to do with myself and how to get through the stressful moments.
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Format: Paperback
As a first time mom I was dismayed when my baby cried all of the time and only seemed somewhat less miserable in my arms. He wanted, no needed to be touched all of the time. He nursed a lot, and slept very little. He had colic for SIX months and I think I cried along with him every day.
We went to the doctor but there was nothing physically wrong with him. I felt like it was our fault,that we were doing something wrong. Until I found this book and bought it out of sheer frustration.
Thank goodness for this book and for the Sears! Finally, someone who understood what we were going through. Finally, someone who gave solid advice and ideas for how to deal with the situation. Not to break the baby of his behaviors, but how to deal with them, diffuse them, roll with them and help him grow. I was able to get past the feelings of guilt and failure and be a better parent to the baby we had.
As time went by, he slowly grew out of the high needs behavior and now he's a happy, spirited six year old who brings us joy every day. Fortunately, our second wasn't high needs and slept through right away but he's now a very spirited toddler, so I have used this book again, as a reference.
For people who expect every word in this book to apply to them evenly, I think you'll be disappointed, that isn't what a reference book is or does. This book will help you in many ways but not everything will be applicable to every single thing, nor is it supposed to make you feel bad if you don't do every single thing they suggest.
It's a great reference for those parents who are at their wits' end in dealing with a high needs baby and I am so very glad I found it!
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