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SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years Hardcover – September 7, 2010

51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Berman (aka Dr. Jenn), a Los Angeles psychotherapist and author (The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids), focuses on development in the first three years of life. The mother of toddler twin girls, Berman quickly points out that her purpose is not to create an "uberbaby." In fact, the author flatly rejects such approaches as Baby Einstein, flash cards, and "infantainment." Instead, she guides parents though 12 crucial steps that help children grow intellectually and emotionally, devoting well-researched chapters to communication, responding to cues, creating predictability, the importance of touch, language development, sign language, foreign language, reading, play, the hazards of screen time, living green, and food and nutrition. Berman threads the work of respected parenting experts and scientific evidence throughout her text, shoring up her message that the first three years are vital for forming attachments, developing a sense of self, and learning to trust. In each chapter, she explains both why and how; for instance, play helps kids problem solve, and, among other benefits, aids in social development and impulse control; she follows up with creative toy and play ideas. The author doesnÖt just talk the talk; in her chapter on language, she notes that her own toddlers have learned Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. BermanÖs absorbing new book will help parents give their youngsters a nurturing head start and a firm foundation for growth and learning.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Dr. Jenn Berman, a marriage, family and child therapist in private practice, is a regular on The Today Show and The Early Show; she has also appeared on Oprah, The Tyra Banks Show and hundreds of others. Her award-winning "Dr. Jenn" parenting column has been published for over eight years by Los Angeles Family magazine and four others.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; First Edition edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402770332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402770333
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Jenn Berman is a Marriage, Family, Child Therapist in Los Angeles. She has appeared as a psychological expert on hundreds of television shows. She hosts a daily call-in advice show called "The Love and Sex Show with Dr. Jenn" on Sirius/XM. She is the author of two LA Times best selling parenting books. Her "Dr. Jenn" parenting column is printed in five magazines and she is on the Board of Advisors for Parents Magazine. Dr. Jenn has an eco-friendly clothing line for adults and children www.ShopRetailTherapy.net. Dr. Jenn lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Rosario on May 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading this book and although she has some great ideas, I'd like to issue a word of caution to new parents who are reading this book as a manual for how to parent their first child. I have two children, one who is six and one who is six months. With the now-six-year-old I didn't read any parenting books, but just followed the advice given to me by many...read, read, read, and then read some more to your child. My daughter and I literally read hundereds of books together...and we're still reading! While I'm sure that this would meet with Dr. Berman's approval, I know that some of the other practices we follow would not. She advocates buying organic food, green-friendly, non-motorized toys, and banning ALL TV, even DVD's, for at least the first three years (even playing in the background is not OK). We buy regular food from the supermarket, my daughter's toys were of the Fischer-Price/Playskool assortment, and many of them had bells and whistles. Plus she loved watching Dora, Backyardigans, and so on. And yet she does not seem any worse for the wear as a result of my "bad parenting". In fact she is very social, imaginative, and loves to learn. She doesn't have ADD or ADHD. And she tested borderline-gifted in her kindergarten class (although the gifted program for our district doesn't officially start until 2nd grade). I do think this book has some great ideas, but had I read it when I was pregnant with #1 I might have been overwhelmed by EVERYTHING that I needed to do to be a great parent to my daughter. Take heart new parents....you don't have to be perfect to raise an amazing child. Read this book definitely, but know that even if you only put into practice half of what is preached, you're still giving your babies a great start. And read, read, read, to your children...it's absolutely the best thing you can do.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Walker on August 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book really delivers on the subtitle that promises to give your child a "head start." I feel like reading this has given me a head start as a parent of an infant (I wish I had read it with my first child!). It is really well researched, fun to read, informative and helpful. I love the illustrations of baby massage and baby sign language! It has lots of great tips. Who knew that using a doormat could reduce lead dust in the house by 50%? I had no idea that reading three books a week could increase my child's vocabulary by 15-40%.

Now that I know that, I am reading to all my kids a lot more so I really appreciated her recommended book list in the reading chapter. I have been so tired of reading the same books and she got me discovering a bunch of new ones I never even heard of. Her list is really comprehensive and divided by topics (cloth books, ABC, potty training, big bed, animals, starting preschool, etc.).

In the main chapters, Dr. Berman covers twelve different topics:
Respectful Communication
Responding to Cues
Creating Security and Predictability
Touch
Language Development
Baby Sign Language
Foreign Languages
Reading
Play
TV
Toxic Chemicals
Feeding and Nutrition

In the additional chapters she also covers:
Child Care
Preschool
Baby Schedules
SIDS
Resources

She also includes all these "From the Experts" boxes from some of my favorite books and experts like: Dr. Karp, Dr. Sears, Positive Discipline, Love & Logic, Super Baby Foods, Signing Time, and Sleepy Planet. I am so glad I got this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BBlair on October 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
There are many good aspects to this useful book. I think its strongest use is as an introduction to child development and for people beginning to think about what would be some useful interventions to do with their child. Jenn Berman's breezy writing style makes the book very accessible and interesting to read and, unlike other child development books, it has many practical suggestions that parents can use in real life. Ms. Berman (since she does not list any designation or credentials anywhere on the book, I hesitate to call her "Dr") also writes as a parent to parents, which is certainly a plus.

That being said, there are some drawbacks to be noted. The first is the author herself admits to a strong bias in some areas, which needs to be corrected for by the reader when approaching the book. The second is illustrated in Chapter 5 on language acquisition. She highlights the landmark Hart and Risley study but fails to mention that this work is over 15 years old. Since that time other researchers have shown that the sheer quantity of language the child is exposed to is apparently not the dominant factor in language acquisition. For example, the speed and amount of response to the baby's vocalization is also key. While Ms. Berman briefly touches on this, her emphasis on language quantity is misplaced and speaks to her resources being somewhat outdated.

The third drawback is more subtle and is certainly not confined to Ms. Berman's work. As highlighted in the excellent book, "Nurture Shock" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, a summary of the current research indicates that intervention in the world of children is a deeply complex undertaking.
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