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81 of 93 people found the following review helpful
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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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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. An intervention that might make intuitive sense to you (like praising your child "early and often") or interventions that might work well for adults do not always work well for children. One illustration Bronson and Merryman give is that increasing awareness of gratitude is almost universally helpful in adults, but often produces a negative or contradictory effect in adolescents. Again, while Ms. Berman's book is a good introduction and I appreciate the strength of her convictions, I would caution the reader to use the offerings as hypotheses only and to be sure to do your own testing, observation, and notation as to what really works for your individual child. I would also suggest following up Ms. Berman's book with "Nurture Shock" to get a more nuanced and mature understanding of the current research.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I think this book is fabulous and presents some really great ideas for new parents who want to go beyond just offering normal care for their child. As with any baby book, authors will have strong opinions and it's up to you to decide what is important to you, but I don't think this is a negative feature of the book. Sure, most of us won't be able to learn a new language or buy everything organic, but it's great to hear such ideas and incorporate what we can into our baby's lives. I appreciated the samples given for talking to your child and the list of educational books. I have read and re-read this book many times and my daughter is only a month old. Highly recommended!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm an early childhood educator, and I've read many books on parenting and child development. "Superbaby" introduces a fresh, positive approach to parenting that is based on solid research and best practices. Dr Berman provides a model for parenting that is based on a child-centered approach that encourages parents to develop a healthy relationship with their child. She details specific strategies for supporting early learning in a fun and developmentally-appropriate way.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Superbaby! Who in their right mind would want to turn down the opportunity to review a parenting book? Of course, at first I was a bit skeptical when I saw the title but thank God I surfed around to get more information about the book and decided yeap, this is the one! And thank God that Emily, the representative from Sterling Publishing gladly agrees to send me a copy for review! Awesome!

Now back to the book, it is broken down into 12 chapters, which I will note down my feedback in red for your easier reading:

# 1 - Talk the Talk: Respectful Communication
My feedback: I love the section about the advantages to using narration when communicating to our child and agree with the 10 reasons why we should not spank our child. You should also read about the 10 pillars of respectful communication and the 10 rules for effective praise. Great points there!

# 2 - You Got Me! Responding to Cues
My feedback: I love the 10 points that prevents parents from responding to their child's cues and couldn't agree more (guilty too!). Am making my best effort to do away with all the interruptions stated in the book.

# 3 - Tick-Tock: Creating Security and Predictability
My feedback: In this chapter, I get to understand the reasons to putting our child on schedule and totally agree with it. We used to have irregular going to bed time for Ben few months back, he would sometimes sleep at 9pm, or 11pm or even past midnight, but after a couple of weeks of following a schedule, now Ben goes to sleep around 10.30pm or so. We will be on the lookout for signs of tiredness or sleepiness around 30 minutes prior or after his usual bed time.

And I also agreed with the beauty of keeping a log book, something which I always do as I actually logged down info on Ben's feedings (what and how much), pooping and all when he started his solids at 6 months old. All this helps when we bring Ben for his routine check-ups or when Ben has problems pooping.

# 4 - Let Your Fingers do the Walking: The Importance of Touch
My feedback: This chapter touched the 8 physical benefits of touch and the effects of touch deprivation. For example, a couple friend of mine dare not touch or carry their baby (he was about 2-3 months old then) too much as they feared their baby will get used and wants to be carried around all the time. I find this sad as they are losing out precious memories and time as children grows up very fast, I mean, if you don't touch and hold your baby now, when do you want to do that?! In this chapter also, I learned a new term called kangaroo care or K-care.

# 5 - More Than Chitchat: Promoting Language Development
My feedback: I enjoyed reading the 15 simple things parents can do to promote language development and I love the extra note on what to do when you have no clue what your child is saying, some of which I personally have been practicing with Ben, such as asking him to repeat what he has said and also telling him mummy don't understand what he is saying but that mummy really wants to know.

# 6 - Talk to the Hand: Sign Language
My feedback: For those of you who uses sign language with your child, do read up on this chapter on why using ASL is better than baby signs.

# 7 - Babies Without Borders: Foreign Language
My feedback: I've been trying to speak in other languages with Ben, but so far, still reverted to English most of the time. I'm a Cantonese Chinese while hubby is a Hokkien Chinese (for those of you who are confused, we're still Chinese, just that we are of different dialects in terms of speaking in Chinese) but it is interesting to read about this chapter on the benefits on getting your child to learn other languages.

# 8 - Baby Got Book: Reading
My feedback: I love it that the author includes list of recommended books for the appropriate age and the reasons why some books should just be kept away for our children. I'm glad to see that one of the book I reviewed recently which is "26 Big Things Small Hands Do" is listed in this chapter! And yes, I do want to cultivate the reading habits in Ben!

# 9 - A Different Kind of Toy Story: The Importance of Play
My feedback: I learned about the importance, developmental and emotional benefits of play in this chapter and why blocks rock! And I am very concerned when I read the sentence "The more a toy does for a child, the less the child needs to do." This statement is so true! Think of the toys available in the market nowadays... are our children engaging with the toys effectively? I also love the list of toys and games recommended from birth to age 3. Very useful!

# 10 - Thinking Outside the Box: Screen Time
My feedback: Let me tell you, as you read this chapter, your worries for your kids grow more and more. You read about the 14 risks for children when they watch TV (even an hour daily is bad enough!) Luckily, this chapter came with steps you can take to gain control of the remote control and get TV out of your life! Seriously, after reading this chapter, I became more wary when Ben is being exposed to TV. Prior to this, the MOST I allow him is one hour of TV time, which he spends while playing at the living room downstairs with my MIL. Nowadays, I tried not to be tempted by the TV.

# 11 - It's Easy Being Green: Reducing Exposure to Toxins
My feedback: In this chapter, I read about lead poisoning, PVC and Phthalates, Parabens, flame retardants, cigarette smoke (I hate smokers!), plastic and BPA. You will get to read the 6 simple ways to reduce toxins at home.

# 12 - Food for Thought: Eating and Nutrition
My feedback: In this last chapter, I read on how to build a better intuitive eater, benefits of breastfeeding (hooray to breastfeeding! I'm entering 20th month soon!). You also get to read about feeding tips for the first 3 years, and what' really in our children food (scary, scary!)

There are also a few appendixes on child care, preschool, sample schedules for your child and how to reduce risk of SIDS.

Apart from the above feedback for each of the chapters, I also like the fact that the book included "From the Experts" sidebars from leading experts and many others. Plus, I totally love the colors used in the book, red nice and easy on the eyes fonts. The one thing I don't like about this book is the jacketed flaps. Too flimsy and waste of paper. Other than that, this book is just perfect!

For those who are already a parent or going to be one or a friend or relative to one or considering to be one, PLEASE, PLEASE, I beg you, consider getting a copy of this book. You will not regret it!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I often wonder (as I raise two boys) if I'm doing everything wrong. I wonder if I'm talking to them enough. I wonder if I'm holding them enough, without it being too much. I wonder if I'm interacting with them enough. We've turned the TV off for the 4 year old (with the exception of when I have to take a shower in the morning) and he's really been getting creative with his play time. To that end, I was really happy to get to read this book. I have all kinds of "do this to make a happy kid" books and this will make a wonderful addition to that shelf. I knew that it was important to encourage another language in early childhood (have a friend who's kids are bilingual and I think it rocks!) but didn't really know how to do that since I don't speak another language. This gave me some ideas and hopefully I'll pick up some new words as well! I really liked the chapter on play time because I'm not sure what I need to be encouraging in the 9 month old at this time. This gave me ideas as well as a list of toys that are appropriate for him. So, all in all, I was really happy with this book and the ideas/tips is has in it. This may be the book I give expecting parents rather than my usual book which tells them what to expect as the baby grows.

I received a copy of the book in return for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you to Emily at Sterling for allowing me to review this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I love love love that this book gives real life scenarios of the challenges we face as parents and then breaks down what a typical reaction would be against what should be done and the reasoning behind it all. There are also bulletted lists which makes it an easy read for dads (you can show him key points without losing his attention). This book has a lot of research in it, it's not just one mom's opinion on how to raise your kids.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is an impressive work by someone who has a strong passion for the subject of parenting and helping others raise children. The book is structured perfectly and could be read cover to cover or be used as a reference guide. I recommend this book to parents who want to avoid saying in the future "I wish I read this book earlier and not have to learn all these things the hard way, I could have reduced anxiety in my children while they were babies." To put it simply, this is the best $$ you can spend for your family. I stumbled upon Dr. Jenns show on satellite radio some months ago and called in with few questions about our 18 month old son. I could sense while talking to her how incredibly passionate she is about this topic and how much of her time was dedicated to this research and the final product which is Superbaby. Dr. Jenn actually sent me a free copy of her book after our call with a personal note of encouragement. This made a big difference in our lives and our development as parents. The impact on children was seen immediately. The advice in this book is priceless and gives parents tools to navigate through these challenging times for babies/children/teens/parents
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift, brought it home, and put it on top of a stack of books I already had. I've been telling my husband to read up on the books because I've been busy with school and work. He's the kind of person that EASILY gets bored with books so all those other books have been tossed aside with only a few pages touched. Not the case with Super Baby. This book is now sitting next to his night stand and is the only book he reads. It's really interesting, easy to read, and makes a lot of sense. It's nice to see that there are references in the back of the book if we want to see where the information came from. Would recommend this to everyone! Even my husband's sister who's nowhere close to having kids thought the book was captivating!
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