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Let the Baby Drive: Navigating the Road of New Motherhood Paperback – June 16, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hanessian's memoir is not a how-to but, rather, a what-I-learned book about motherhood and is a very pleasant and thought-provoking read. The author recounts with humor her experiences after having a son who stretches her to her limits both physically and mentally but also inspires a profound and deep attachment that Hanessian expected (as do most mothers) but couldn't truly understand before it happened. The author laments what she calls the "grandstanding" that so many parents engage in now, a sort of parenting one-upmanship that involves bragging about your two-month-old sleeping through the night and looking askance at those whose children are "high-needs" (it's their faulty parenting that made them that way). Her epiphany came when she decided to view her infant son's wants as his needs instead of constantly worrying that she was being manipulated by a baby. Beth Leistensnider
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Do we dare Let the Baby Drive? Lu Hanessian humorously and sensitively makes it clear why the answer can only be 'yes' if we are to become the kind of mother our precious child needs. It's about focusing on the baby for guidance, and then having the courage to trust and act on what we have learned. An important book. (Marian Tompson, co-founder, La Leche League International)

This is the book Henry David Thoreau would have written if he had been a mother. It is absolutely revolutionary! (E. Jean Carroll, author, advice columnist, Elle)

Lu Hanessian is extraordinarily attuned to her child's needs and her own, in a way that promotes truly wonderful developmental growth. Her book Let the Baby Drive captures the essence of good parenting with a true blend of Baby Knows Best in tandem with Mother Knows Best. It's a winning combination reflecting the heart of child developmental theory, and guarantees raising a happy, healthy child with a solid identity. (Dr. Jane Greer, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, marital and family therapist and author of Gridlock: Finding the Courage to Move On in Love, Work and Life)

This book is written with the excitement of the first time mom who stands in awe at the wisdom she received from her baby by listening to him. Lu proves that mothers and babies are a lot smarter than they are usually given credit. What a joy to share with other mothers and help them be happier, more fulfilled, stronger to follow their conviction! (Tine Thevenin, bestselling author of The Family Bed and Mothering and Fathering)

Finally, the book I have been looking for to recommend to my clients. Lu Hanessian has put into words what I have strived to teach for thirty years. There are many books out there that try to give a 'cook book' approach to making your children more independent, sleep through the night, be happy and healthy. This book gives you the confidence to find your own approach-your own way with your child. (Ann Anderson, RN, AAHCC, IBCLC, childbirth/parent educator)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031232698X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312326982
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,636,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Laurent on August 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I think I am the first man to write a review about this book. I usually don't write reviews. I have actually not read so many books that fit in this category, but this has been a unique experience for me. I read on the way to work in the bus. I always wondered what people think of a guy who reads a book which cover is mostly pink and purple. The fact is people on the bus must think I am a little strange because they see me everyday either grinning uncontrollably, trying to suppress exhilarating laughter, or unsuccessfully hiding the fact that I am crying. Yes, guys do that. When they are parents, and read books like Let the Baby Drive, and think about their babies, what they have gone through raising them, and they feel an incredible bond with a writer because she has lived the same emotions, anguish, joys and pain. I recommend this book to every man out there who wants to know what their partner has gone through emotionally in these first years of our children's lives. I recommend this book to every man who wants to read the words that we so often are not able to find, but express so clearly and so justly the emotions that we have all felt with our beloved little boys and girls.I recommend this book to every man who wants to get a revelation. Parenting creates a melting pot of emotions and thoughts that are so hard to see through. Lu Hanessian writes with the clarity and the intelligence that helps us find the clues in our own experiences about where we really want to "drive" with our children. Like an other reviewer said, Let the Baby Drive is not a "how-to" book. It does not lecture us about what we should be doing with our children, but helps us find the answers in our own thoughts and experiences.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kate Rifkin on June 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is by far the most important book I've read about motherhood. It is Lu Hanessian's memoirs of her life with her son for the first couple of years. There were so many times when I was reading this book that I wanted to shout "Yes! That is exactly how I felt!" It is the first book that I have read that talks about the deep and complex emotional aspects of motherhood. I had a hard time putting this book down, I have a 14 month old daughter, and I read this book every chance I got (during naptimes). This book is so well writen, not only do I agree and apprecitate the author's view on parenting I also appreciate her sense of humor, she seems like someone I would be good friends with. What I found to be most valuble was the basic message of learning to trust your own intuition, even if it goes against popular culture. Also, really listening and understanding your child for who they are as individuals. This book was so validating and empowering for me to read, because my daughter has never been a "textbook" baby, and I've had to learn to honor and respect her needs. This is my new baby shower gift for everyone, I love it and I think every new mother should read it!! Thank you Ms. Hanessian for sharing your experiences and thoughts on motherhood, hopefully it can help more mothers parent conciously and lovingly while trusting their intuition.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dawn on August 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished "Let the Baby Drive"", so it is fresh in my mind and heart. To say this book inspired me is an understatement. In fact, I don't recall the last time I read a book that quite literally changed the way I think about myself my children, my husband, my mother and my friends.

I am a mother of four, 15, 13, 9, 7, two girls and two boys. I have read a lot of books in my life, and taught literature for a number of years. After I saw the author on CNN a few months ago, I picked up this book for a friend's daughter who is expecting her first baby in less than a month. I thought I'd skim the first few pages out of curiosity. But I couldn't put it down. I ended up dog-earing so many pages that I ended up keeping it and buying another one for my friend.

Lu Hanessian is an exceptionally gifted writer. There are parts of this book that stunned me, moved me to tears, made me LAUGH out loud so hard I had to put the book down and think about what I had just read. So much of the book just pulsed with an energy and a vibrancy of spirit.

I am awestruck at the author's ability to express in words such profound insights and share them with such ease, humor, tenderness, and truth. She gets to the very heart of the matter, using cleverly written stories, really interesting anecdotes, and has this unique way of letting the reader in on her struggle, then sharing in a very casual and humble way these incredible insights and lessons that make you go "Wow, I honestly never thought of it like that before..."

The book is divided into Year One, Year Two, and Years Three& Four. There are seven sections within: FRONTIER, VOICES, IDENTITY, REFLECTION, RITES, HOME, and WORLD.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on July 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Babies know a lot more about being babies that adults, doctors, grandmothers, how-to specialists, psychologists, and talk show hosts do. I was blessed with a first child that was born to nurse and taught me everything I needed to know about breastfeeding. He was single-mindedly determined to nurse for 20 out of every 24 hours. Everyone thought I was crazy, but it was the only thing that truly kept him happy. He nursed while I slept, nursed while I went grocery shopping, nursed while I brushed my teeth, nursed while I ate dinner - and didn't mind when I dropped spaghetti on his bald head. If he was nursing, he was content, and so was I.

Lu Hanessian's book is a thought-provoking confirmation and affirmation for those of us who bucked lots of resistance in various areas of child-rearing, taking our cues from our babies, trying what seemed to make sense, and sticking with what worked, no matter what flack it caused among those peripheral to the immediate family. Babies don't manipulate their parents; they don't even know the word for such a concept. But babies know what they need. It's too bad they have to waste so much energy trying to convince some of us to just slow down and listen to them.
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