94 of 96 people found the following review helpful
The index is what sets it apart,
This review is from: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (Paperback)
We have a lovely six-month old daughter, and have been using this book constantly since she was born. The other books that we liked were the "Girlfriend's guides" but this has a lot more detail, and I feel that it covers a lot more basics. My wife relies heavily on her mother, and a Russian version of Dr Spock, but we tend to leave the final decision to the American Academy.
What I really like about this book is that the index is large, and easy to use. So if I look up "rash" there are cross-references to all the various sorts of rash that might appear. Someone has put in a lot of time to make sure that a panicked parent can go straight to this index, and find the key part of the text.
The content is very much aimed at the "average" child. This is good in a way, as it does not worry you with rare ailments, and tells you to go see a doctor if there is anything out of the ordinary. So you get advice on dealing with the more common, middle of the road stuff by yourself, but if, God forbid, something more rare comes up, they send you to the doctor. Fair enough - no one wants a lawsuit for giving advice on a patient that they haven't seen, and every child is unique.
The other thing that is surprising is that the milestones seem to be late - our daughter seems very early compared to the guidelines in this book, as do other children her age. So it may be that they consciously say that you should expect your child to do something later than they actually do, to avoid people panicking if their child develops some skill later in life. This looks like it would be unavoidable in a book that is trying to be applicable to a group that is as diverse as small children.
Anyway, this book has been very helpful to me as the father of a young child, and I hope that your mileage is the same as mine.