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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2005
We've been extremely pleased with this book for preparing for a new baby in the house. I was afraid it would be too much for my 21-month old, but he actually brings it over to have it read to him and sits through the whole thing. He loves this book, and we like the messages it imparts. I'm also extremely pleased that it shows the mother breastfeeding and talks about how baby nurses to get milk "just like you did". Since my oldest only stopped nursing at 18 months, I think that really made a good connection for him. Now that his sister has arrived, he's fascinated when he sees her breastfeeding.

This book has been very popular in our house, and I definitely plan on keeping it around. I would also highly recommend it to others, as it shows and shares a lot of things about what babies are really like and what they need that other books don't. And the little tips on almost every page would be very nice for an older child as well. It has a lot of good tips and such for parents before and after the story as well. Definitely a great book!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2010
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the authors for writing a "new baby" book that features breast feeding! Every other title that I have looked at is mainly focused on bottle feeding. This is much more realistic for our, and many other, families out there, seeing as my older daughter took a bottle less than 10 times during our 14 month nursing relationship. My daughter is only 15 months old and I'm 5 months pregnant. We bought this book yesterday after also looking at "I'm A Big Sister." When we came home and read it together she was so excited to point out the daddy, mommy, baby, dog, etc. While this book may feature older siblings that aren't as young as my daughter, it still was a big hit.

Even if a family hasn't adopted the "attachment parenting" style, this book is an excellent resource for your older child. The attachment style is featured in this book through babywearing/slinging, co-sleeping, breast feeding and tending to a little baby's cries as cues (versus manipulation, etc.). If you're going to give this as a gift, you may want to do some investigating to find out whether or not the new parent is strongly opposed to any of those. If so, you may want to steer clear. Otherwise, it's a fantastic book that promotes how exciting and fun it is to help take care of the new baby while getting to do all kinds of fun "older child" activities. There is also one small section that talks about how the older child will still get to have special time with mommy. I really appreciated that reassurance, even if it was a quick blip.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
When parents bring a new baby home, they usually have an idea of what needs this new life will have. Their new baby will be totally dependent on them. If parents have young children at home, they may not know what the new baby's needs will be. And even if they did, they may feel as though they are no longer needed. How can parents ease their children's fears about the new baby, and help them understand what their new sibling needs?

In the book, "What Baby Needs," from the famous Sear's Children's Library, children will find out exactly what new babies need. The story begins by explaining things that the new baby needs...the same needs that the sibling had. Young children will be reminded of how their parents took care of them when they were babies, and they'll learn what their new role will be in the new baby's life. They will feel comforted knowing that their parents lovingly cared for them, the same way their parents will be caring for their new baby.

There are little sections throughout the book called, "What About Me?" that help siblings understand and realize that they are important too. They provide information on their new role as "big brother" or "big sister," and gives them ideas on ways they can connect with the new baby.

My ParenTime highly recommends "What Baby Needs" - young children will find it very easy to relate to. It also answers many of the questions that they probably have about the new baby's needs and their role in its new life. Young children are sure to enjoy this book. My 6 year old enjoyed this story :-).
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2002
I love this book! It explains to older siblings why mama always has to nurse the baby, hold the baby, sleep with the baby. It never ever mentions formula even once and it shows many of the tools that parents use that just aren't present in most books. Mommy & Daddy both wear the baby and the baby sleeps in a cosleeper!! The book also contains a lot of great reminders and tips for Mom & Dad to help an older sibling make friends with the baby, and feel important. Makes me want to have another baby just so we would need it in our house!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This book is, in my opinion, an absolute must-have and perfect gift for any family who plans to breastfeed, especially if practicing other forms of attachment parenting, like babywearing or co-sleeping.

This book makes me tear up every single time I have read it, to myself or my daughter. It's just superbly done. The text just assumes that baby will be breastfed, or acknowledges the possibility of pumped milk in a bottle ("when baby is older"). Baby is pictured fitting into the family's activities with the older child in a ring sling and sleeping next to Mommy in a sidecar co-sleeper. It was such a beautiful thing to show my daughter a book that reflected pictures of what her family looked like!

There are fantastic little insets that speak directly to the older sibling outside of the story, many called "What about me?" that address how the older sibling may be feeling and acknowledging those feelings are ok. For example, that it's ok for the older sibling to be still wanting and expecting time and attention from parents, and that it's ok to feel angry towards the baby sometimes (but not to *hurt* the baby). It reminds children that the sort of needs the baby has are the same needs they had.

The book offers advice to children on how to make friends with the baby, and gives realistic expectations of what a baby will and will not do. My favorite illustration in this area is the one of the baby squeezing the older sister's finger - this is the one "game" we had prepared our daughter that the baby *would* be able to play with her right away, so it was fun to see it in there!

There are also incredibly helpful passages about what the older sibling can do to be helpful and feel included. I especially like where it tells children they can help by getting into the car seat quickly when going out and staying close by at all times!

There is also some really helpful information and advice for parents and caregivers about helping siblings prepare for baby written for adults, as well as information about attachment parenting and more resources at the end of the book.

All and all, I give this book my highest recommendation for children and adults in families who plan to breastfeed a new baby.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2014
I guess I'm the only AP mom who isn't really "into" this book. My six-year-old daughter absolutely loves it, but I'm just not a huge fan. I thought that it was about becoming an older brother or sister, with a nod toward attachment parenting, but it's basically just The Attachment Parenting Book Jr.

Every page is specifically about how babies "need" something that the Sears family specifically recommends, like cosleeping and breastfeeding. I love that there's at least one children's book that presents breastfeeding as a healthy and normal way to feed a baby, but the book doesn't even acknowledge that bottle-feeding exists (other than on one page, where it says that "older babies" can drink expressed breast milk in a bottle "when Mommy needs to be away." We're a breastfeeding family and neither of my kids have ever had a bottle, but it just seems unfair to me to omit the possibility of other options when breastfeeding isn't feasible.

Considering the number of parents who can't breastfeed even if they want to, it's really presumptuous and kind of mean-spirited to tell children that breastfeeding is the only way babies are fed. Same with cosleeping-- it's presented as something that all parents can or should do, which really troubles me because there are good reasons not to cosleep (for example, my spouse is a dangerously heavy sleeper and I take medication that can interfere with sleep-- and we don't want to suffocate our son).

I'm glad that there's an older-sibling book that acknowledges that attachment parenting is healthy and normal, but the Sears Children's Library just seems to indoctrinate children into the idea that full AP is the only way that good parents can raise their kids, and that's not fair.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Dr. Sears was the first person to validate my instinctual approach to parenting. He put a name to what came so naturally to me - attachment parenting. There are not many books out there for children that represent our family values; breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping etc. You can always count on Dr. Sears to provide positive images such as these. This book is just another example of his great work. What Baby Needs is a perfect gift for an older sibling when their new baby arrives. It is realistic, positive and educational and written in a way that is ideal for kids to understand. This is definitely another Dr. Sears book to get "attached" to!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
I didn't find anything that described the age-range that this book is for, but it was certainly not for young children (2 and under). My son is 17 months old and the baby will arrive when he is 21 months. There is too much text in this book for a young child. I wanted to like it b/c it's Dr. Sears but truthfully, I don't. Out of the picture books we bought my son for this transition, the only age-appropriate one was "My New Baby" by Rachel Fuller. Also a bonus, My New Baby also has the baby breastfeeding :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2014
This book stands out from the crowd!! It presents a positive and affirming picture of the new baby's arrival. The illustrations are all so sweet! It is just a book of gentleness and warmth. It also presents little tips for helping the older sibling bond with the baby / be involved in the care and loving of the baby. What a fabulous idea! My preschooler LOVES having a concrete sense of what HER JOBS will be once the baby gets here! She is already so excited to help with the bath, hold hands with the baby, and sing the baby songs. What a great emphasis this book gives -- really making big brother and sister feel IMPORTANT and NEEDED... not just to the mom, but also to the baby. This book has my preschooler convinced that her new sibling NEEDS her and WANTS her! I could not be happier!!

As an aside, some have commented on the attachment parenting style of the author (Dr. Sears). Aside from two depictions of breastfeeding, I found nothing that anyone could possibly consider "out there" in this book. (And honestly, to me showing the breastfeeding makes sense - lots of babies eat that way! The kids will see it or at least hear about it at some point! The author also presented bottle feeding. And neither was touted as "better" than the other. The emphasis was on the fact that mom would need to be feeding the baby - very simple.) The baby was also worn in a sling & slept in a sidecar next to the mom's bedside... but none of this was promoted as "the way its done." It was just shown. And honestly, the sidecar looked more like a traditional crib than the bassinet I bought for my oldest child! People who are not fans of Dr. Sear's "attachment parenting" should not be afraid of this book! It is all sweetness and warmth. Nothing preachy in the text or pictures. It is not really about "how to parent" the baby, afterall -- its about how to love the new baby brother or sister. Dr. Sears does an outstanding job not making parent-issues any concern of the kids. He just talks about how to love the baby in a safe and gentle and rewarding way.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
I'm not a fan of the books Dr. Sears writes for adults, but this was my favorite of the older-sibling books I read to my older daughter when my younger daughter was born. It features an older sister and brother with a baby of unspecified sex, so it works for both boys and girls, which I think is nice. Compared with another similar book my daughter also liked, this one was better because I didn't have to stop every page to explain "no you didn't drink out of a bottle when you were a baby and neither will our new baby," "no you didn't sleep in a crib when you were a baby, you slept with us, and our new baby will sleep in a bed next to Mommy's like the baby in this picture." True, this book will not work for all families and all lifestyles, but it's really nice to have this ONE book that does reflect the lifestyle WE had. There are plenty of other books on the market if you don't like this one, but this one is great to have! What's funny is, now that my younger daughter is 2, she likes it even more than her sister did, even though we're done having babies.
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