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on August 18, 2006
There are people who already have a great depth of infant care experience when they have their first child--have changed so many diapers they can do it with their teeth, can get a onesie over a newborn's head without waking her, can swaddle a baby into immobility with a flick of the wrist. We are not those people. We needed help, and we found a lot of it here.

My husband and I both read this book cover to cover before we brought our son home from the hospital, and referred to it often afterward. It has terrific practical advice for the new parent, with informative illustrations--such as demonstrating how to get those cute new outfits on your infant when they have clearly been designed by someone who has never actually dressed a baby-- and is written in a casual, clear style that makes it easily readable and memorable. We went back to it often: "What colors of poop did it say were okay?" "What did it say about the difference between projectile spit up and vomiting?" (Asked as something ran down a wall two feet away.) "Is it possible the baby really wants to eat every 45 minutes?" We suspect its discussion of growth spurts saved our sanity, if not our lives.

This book focuses on the nitty-gritty of the new obsessions you'll have with the bodily functions and sleep habits of your new arrival, and how to balance them with your own. It is a cheerful, engaging, sympathetic and nonjudgmental guidebook, and we appreciated it tremendously in our early weeks home. Highly recommended.
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on February 1, 2006
I registered for this book after having read great reviews of it. My mom laughed at the name, "from birth to reality!?" but she was so wrong. This is my first child, and although I knew I didn't know everything there is to know, I did have the opportunity to watch my brother be born when I was 12 and help take care of him as a newborn. Now, of course, this book doesn't (and couldn't) cover every facet of raising a brand new baby, but it gets 5 stars because it is so enjoyable to read and it is a great reference book! I know I will bring it with me to the hospital and when at home it will always be nearby on the coffee table. I couldn't imagine not being able to easily figure out what to do in certain tricky situations when under loads of stress and suffering mind blanks from very little sleep!

The writers don't try to sell you on breastfeeding, which as far as I have seen is pretty rare; they just give you tips on either breastfeeding or bottlefeeding, and you quickly learn the pros and cons of each. They also do a very good job informing you about pacifiers.

They go into great detail about poop and pee, and whether your baby is doing enough etc. Also some pretty good info on gas, spitting up and vomiting.

The doctors who write the book help you understand what will really happen as you try to get enough sleep for you and your baby, bathe, and soothe crying. They even have great diagrams on how to wrap up your baby to sleep, change diapers, dress your newborn, and bathe her too.

The section on leaving the houseis invaluable! I would have never felt ok with staying in for weeks, even though I already knew I would probably have to. Most mothers go through this very dilemma. You even get great ideas on flying with your baby!

The end is full of doctor visits, and body part care, sickness, etc., and also really helpful.

I can't suggest strongly enough that any mother (or father) to be reads this book before going home. I will make sure any friends or family that are preparing for their first baby read it, and you should too!
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on March 24, 2007
Most infant care books fall into two groups: those written by doctors and those written by moms. The books by doctors are usually dry and boring but are packed with information - lots of which you'll never need. The books written by moms are easier to read but are usually one sided - if you don't do things their way, you're a bad mother.

This book is written by two doctors who are also moms. They know what is best for most babies but they also know that new parents live in the real world - a world that doesn't always work out just like the text book says it should and that not all babies fit into a mold. In fun, short chapters they quickly tell you what you need to know to care for your newborn (0 to 4 months).

The book is an easy read and a great reference during the first, chaotic, sleep-deprived months of a baby's life.
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on January 17, 2006
The problem I found with most other books of this type was that they went into TOO MUCH detail about what could go wrong... and this book strikes a wonderful balance between delivering the most important information and not scaring a new mom, who's likely already hyperattuned to every little snort, cough, and cry, half to death! The tone is friendly but professional, like a doctor with a good bedside manner, and readable in short bursts (when you snatch the time between feedings and changings). I particularly like the arrangement of topics and the helpful hints embedded in each chapter.

I'd recommend reading this book BEFORE you deliver, to give yourself a leg up on the learning curve. The sections on feeding and diapering are indispensable... this is a great gift book for a mom-to-be, from a friend or from yourself!
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on August 17, 2007
It is a good quick synopsis. A caring for your newborn cliff notes. They address all the major topics, deciphering cries, poop, bathing, diapering, sleeping, car safety, illnesses etc. If you are going to buy several books regarding your baby than you could do worse than to purchase this one. However, if you only want to purchase one book, get
what to Expect the 1st yr. They have an entire section devoted to newborn care. It basically gives all of the information that you could find in here. Plus, you are able to use it as a resource for more than just the first few weeks.
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on September 15, 2005
I have been working as a neonatal intensive care clinical pharmacist for the past 5 years and I learned a lot from this book! Instead of giving you a bunch of medical jargon, this book is written for real parents who don't have time to sort the day to day info from the worst case scenario stuff. It is very well written, to the point, and funny! I was able to read the whole thing after my baby was born and only skipped the chapter on formula (exclusively breast feeding). The authors seem very knowledgable about current recommendations of the AAP on many topics. A must have for new parents!!!
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on June 4, 2005
My wife and I have read MANY books in preparation for the birth of our child and most of them read more like a clinical manual, but this book is full of common sense answers to the "real life" things that can and WILL happen while raising a child. If you plan to raise your child in a bubble, you can save your money--otherwise this book is a MUST HAVE!!
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on December 9, 2010
I bought this book after seeing it recommended in a magazine and read it cover to cover before my baby was born. I felt so clueless about how I was going to know what to do after my son was born, but this book gave me the confidence I needed to trust myself (and realize that it is okay to ask for or find help when I need it!). This book is an easy read, and that's saying a lot coming from someone who does not at all enjoy reading! It is enjoyable and thorough and the authors do not push an agenda. They simply offer information regarding common concerns of new parents in a well-organized format.

On a separate note...I sincerely owe my breastfeeding relationship with my son to this book because the authors (without endorsing either breast or bottle feeding specifically) encourage new mothers in the hospital to stand by their decisions. My son would not latch in the hospital and the RN told me I needed to bottle feed him after only one failed attempt, but I remembered what I read in this book and told her that I really wanted to breastfeed. A month later, my son finally learned to latch on his own...and we did it without a bottle...thanks to the advice in this book!
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on June 6, 2005
As a mother of two boys, ages 8 and 10 years, I found myself expecting a third child. This time it was a girl... I felt like a first time parent again and this book gave me the 'refresher' course that I needed. It was an easy read but provided excellent information. Many of the topics were items that most new mothers have trouble discussing, such as poop and baby private parts. The information is given in a fun, conversational way and provided practical tips to make life easier with your newborn. I HIGHLY recommend this book for ANY expecting parent, first child or third!
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on September 27, 2011
I'm sure the usefulness of this book depends on your level of information and experience with newborns. My information was limited: I'm a first-time mom with no prior experience with other newborns and this was the first (and only) book I read on this topic. For me the book was invaluable and provided all the necessary information. I read it when my daughter was a couple of weeks old and wished I had read it before she was born.

This book is like a manual for newborns written by experts (pediatricians who are also moms). I liked the balance the authors struck between making recommendations vs. giving readers the information to make their own decisions (although some other reviewers felt that it was too much of one vs. the other--this is obviously subjective).

If you are a first time parent-to-be with limited 'newborn' experience and information, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Read it before your baby is born--after the first few weeks, the topics are either no longer relevant or you will have already figured them out, although probably with much more pain than necessary!
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