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99 Reviews
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars helpful
new mom here, living in brooklyn and going to tribeca ped. i got dr. sears' "the baby book", i got the enzo's "babywise" (these seem to be on opposite ends of the parenting philosophy spectrum) and i got this one. this seems to strike a good balance and has sensible suggestions for sleep training, food training and discipline.
the alphabetical...
Published 18 months ago by Jocelyn L.

versus
32 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I am extremely disappointed in this book. Much of the advice on breastfeeding is outdated by about 10-20 years. I find it particularly disturbing that a pediatrician would present such a biased picture of lactation consultants. As in any profession (including pediatricians) that have styles that make mothers more anxious or who may not follow the standards of their own...
Published on February 14, 2004


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars helpful, January 16, 2013
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This review is from: The New Basics (Kindle Edition)
new mom here, living in brooklyn and going to tribeca ped. i got dr. sears' "the baby book", i got the enzo's "babywise" (these seem to be on opposite ends of the parenting philosophy spectrum) and i got this one. this seems to strike a good balance and has sensible suggestions for sleep training, food training and discipline.
the alphabetical organization is a little unusual, and i wish there were a better way to separate the parenting philosophy-type sections--ie: "breastfeeding" "napping" "colic" "discipline"-- from the more straight medical sections, like "pinworms". don't agree with everything he says but all babies are different and with trial and error you will find what works for you.

note that it appears that all of the content is available for free online at thenewbasics.com, arranged alphabetically like in the book (click on "book excerpts" at the bottom).
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed perspective on child care, March 23, 2005
By 
Rachel (mother of 3) - See all my reviews
Dr. Cohen's common sense approach to child care is a much needed perspective in pediatrics today. Too often doctors prescribe medication/intervention solely for the parents' benefit (so that they can feel a false sense of control). I think the hardest thing for most modern parents to accept is that they cannot "fix" many of their child's problems (colds, potty training, sleep issues, etc.).

It turns out there are many times when raising children that medical/parental intervention is not the best answer, and patience is the only solution. I think it is commendable that an MD is putting forth this perspective.

I also think it may be difficult for some parents to accept his advice, because it challenges some tenets of child care that have been accepted as gospel for many years. However, I have seen Dr. Cohen's observations repeatedly supported by my experience with my own 3 children. If approached with an open mind, this book will save parents quite a bit of frustration, and make for a much less neurotic household.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful advice! Every new parent should own it!, October 23, 2005
This review is from: The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent (Paperback)
Having a medical background, I didn't feel I would need a book telling me how to take care of my new baby. Boy, was I wrong. After the first week of my daughter having difficulty nursing, crying for no apparent reason and doing all the other strange things that new babies do, I was feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by the situation and by the even more strange and conflicting advice I was receiving by well-intentioned family and friends. I decided I needed help. At the nearest book store I was faced with an overwhelming array of baby books. After reading thru many books, I picked up Dr. Cohen's book and knew it was the one. He offered just the type of sensible, relaxed and reassurring advice that I was needing. And it allowed me to know that what I felt in my heart, what I already knew was correct from my medical training...was really OK!

His methods in no way distract from the love your child feels, instead it sets boundaries and instills gentle discipline so that they will be happy and more comfortable in their environment. He disspells many common and extremely distressing wives tales which were at the heart of my own frustrations. I especially appreciated the sections on colic and sleeping. I have seen so many people drive themselves and their babies crazy trying to "work through" the colic by rocking, walking, you name it! When my daughter would fuss for a nap or bedtime, my aunt would immediately pronounce "Poor baby, she's colicky again!!". At which time she would begin the barrage of advice on how I should give her drops, rock her, sing to her and change her diet. Needless to say, all of her four children had the "worst case of colic" and didn't sleep thru the night "till they were nearly teenagers". Following his advice, my daughter was sleeping thru the night (8 hours plus!) by 8 weeks.

My daughter is now a year and a half and has benefited very much from this book. Friends and family all amaze at how well adjusted and calm she is. It is no accident that she is like this! I have bought this book for all my friends who have had babies. I still use it regularly and appreciate it just as much as I did during those first nervewracking months!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Have for Baby Library!, March 11, 2007
...Contrary to negative reviews, this book presents excellent, alternative answers to common baby/toddler questions. The answers are simple, concise and listed in alphabetical order according to topic. Cohen is unapologetically forthright about caring for your child.... encouraging parents to RELAX and enjoy their lives with little ones! As a father of his own three kids, I'm certain his "unconventional" advice is given out of love! If you like the natural, laidback approach... this book will be extremely informative. It's not for the parents that run to the doctor with every runny nose or feed their infant new food in a "color order." Many pediatricians recommend the book, even here in the traditional Midwest... Cohen must have something right, his patients in New York are crazy about him!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good choice in the pantheon of New Baby books, December 28, 2005
By 
Ian Young (Fridley, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent (Paperback)
With the impending arrival of our unexpected 3rd child, my wife and I picked up this book at a local store. Dr Cohen's straight forward, no nonsense approach appealed to both of us immediately. With each of our 2 older children we gained numerous baby care books, all of which had nuggets of usefulness, but what we found so appealing with Dr Cohen's book was that he does not infuse emotion, fear, and trepidation in to his writing. With our eldest, now 9, we "suffered" the pains of "colic"; we rocked, we patted, we sang, we walked and we did everything else the other books suggested, but still we lost months of sleep, and the dark rings around our eyes got darker. With our newest offspring, we followed Dr Cohen's advice to "leave Lucy in a dim light and warmth in the bassinet" - we passed on the dim light as she was sleeping in our room. Did she cry? Of course she did, but she also got over it faster than her older siblings and was sleeping through the night within 3 months. She is now 8 months old, sleeps soundly and is the happiest, most well adjusted bundle of "on the go" joy that one could hope for.

This is but one example of the reassurance and confidence gained from Dr Cohen's book. Does this book have all the answers to all new parents' questions? Of course not! Is it the only new baby book to have on the shelf? Certainly not! But it presents effective solutions and information in a clear, cogent, straight forward manner that will be a boon to the mother or father who is dealing with the doubts of what to do in many situations.

This book has been such a comfort to us that we now give it to all of our friends who have had babies.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Texans love Dr. Michel!, March 24, 2004
By A Customer
We love Dr. Michel! He's taken care of our kids since we moved to NYC 3 years ago from Texas. He's kind and he's funny, and our kids love him. (Our nanny is in love with him.) What's important though is that none of the girls gets sick as often as they used to. When they do get sick they recover faster.
For instance: our oldest Joanie took over two years to fall asleep in her own bed back in Austin. Annie, born here, did it inside of a year after we started following Dr. Michel's instructions. You can see how we did it in the New Basics.
We bought copies of this great, helpful book for all our friends back in Austin so they could try his approach. From immunizations to antibiotics to thumbsucking and earaches and even earpulling, Dr. Michel has been so good for our girls... we want everybody to get the benefits of his approach and this book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Advice and "Historic Artifact", February 9, 2004
By A Customer
My husband and I found a really funny childcare book (ca. 1890) at his grandparents' house. Very "of the time." I have a feeling Dr. Michel's book will be very "of the time" for our generation of parents.
This book is a great addition to the childcare library precisely because it addresses some of the confusing issues facing parents today that are not necessarily covered from "our" perspective: AD(H)D? Nipple Confusion? Attachment Parenting? Food Reactions? It addresses these (as well as many other more timeless topics) in a very matter-of-fact & sensible way. You really know that Dr. Michel is in the trenches dealing with modern parents every day. He speaks to us directly.
That said, my 3.5 yr old had his first bout of croup the other night and Dr. Michel also had great advice for this more timeless problem, so I would say it's more than a mere point-in-time artifact.
Also, as an attorney I truly appreciate that Dr. Michel is willing to voice an opinion on topics and doesn't waffle or hedge on everything. Not every section suggests "checking with your pediatrician" as many similar books do. Many sections advise you not to worry, which is pretty rare -- and quite refreshing -- in childcare (or pregnancy or parenting) books. (Similar is some ways to Spock, another of my favorite "experts.")
The reason I'm giving it 4 (vs. 5) stars is that I don't feel it's really exhaustive. It lists topics alphabetically, so you kind of have to know what you're looking for (vs. beginning with a symptom or a body system & working through the decision tree).
I do think it's a wonderful supplement of good, practical advice to accompany a more clinical book (like the AAP birth to 5 book). I will definitely give it as a baby shower gift (particularly to my non-NY friends).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to Ease Stress, April 22, 2013
By 
natvh (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent (Paperback)
Reference Manual style format (by disorder or issue, etc.), but it is not extremely informative on each topic covered. Functions more as a parent-prep book in that it is a fun read (cover to cover) that emphasizes a relaxed approach and eases guilt and stress. I say pair it with "Baby 411" for a balanced approach: get your research fill from Baby 411, then step back and relax a bit with this book's take on the same topic.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Baby Book You Need, January 15, 2013
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This review is from: The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent (Paperback)
At 11 weeks old, my son was sleeping only 6 hours in every 24...I had read every sleep book on the market and nothing was working. The other 18 hours of the day he was screaming, and I spent every waking moment soothing. I thought he had reflux, it turns out he was chronically overtired. Out of desperation I turned to the sleep chapter in the "Bringing Up Bebe" book which describes most French children sleeping through the night at 8 weeks. That book referenced Dr. Cohen and I immediately got The New Basics. It took me about 10 minutes to read his sleep section. We followed his advice and in one night had a different baby. He is now a happy, cooing little guy - sleeping through the night (7pm-7am!) with 3 day naps and almost never cries. The sections on Witching Hour, Colic, Reflux, Naps and Schedules are also excellent. Thank you Dr. Cohen - I can finally enjoy my beautiful baby!! Highly recommend this book to every new mother - it is the only one you will need.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 4, 2014
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This review is from: The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent (Paperback)
Great informative book with a touch of humour !
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The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent
The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent by Michel Cohen (Paperback - December 28, 2004)
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