Customer Review

339 of 365 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An EXCELLENT book..., January 10, 2000
This review is from: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Paperback)
My wife and I have used this book as a reference over and over again and I am always amazed at the relevance of the Sears' advice. But rather than go into specifics about the book's virtues (plenty of people have done that below), I would just like to comment on some of the negative criticism that other users have given this book. First of all, let me make it clear that (obviously) everyone is entitled to their opinions; I'm not trying to say that anyone HAS to like this (or any) book. But if you are going to publicly critique it, it's only fair that you present the information accurately and comment on real shortcomings, not imagined ones.
A reader from Dallas states: "Use this book with great caution. If you want nightly habitual feedings, crying for response, and other stressful habits built into your child, use this book." That's pretty scary sounding, but let me present another scenario: My wife and I have let our child (now two years old) share the bed with us since he was born and it has been an unmitigated pleasure throughout. Except for rare occasions, he has always slept through the night, has never needed a bottle to get to bed, and has never shown any signs of being unusually "needy". Also, my wife did not have to get out of bed to breastfeed him when he was still feeding at night [Newsflash: Pretty much ALL babies feed during the night when they are very young infants - don't blame that on co-sleeping]. Now that my wife is pregnant again, we have transitioned him into his own room with absolutely no fuss. In contrast, my sister has never let her baby sleep in bed with her and the baby used to get up twice a night for a year and a half. The point is this: there is no right or wrong way, and there are no guarantees; babies are all very different, they're not little robots. We let our baby sleep with us because we LOVED it, and we will do it with our next one. The Sears state very clearly that you should do what you are comfortable with and that there is no right or wrong way. They just ask people to be OPEN to the idea of co-sleeping and to question those who so confidently state that it is wrong.
[By the way, those who condemn it have zero scientific evidence to support their claim. Think about it: Modern day humans have been around for 2.5 million years. For 99% of that time we have been foragers and hunter-gatherers. Do you think we would have survived if sleeping with your children was "wrong"? Foraging and hunting tribes don't carry around cribs with them.]
Anyway, my point is that the Sears definitely do NOT say that there is only one way to put your kid to sleep.
A reader from New York asks: "Will co-sleeping wane in popularity as parents tire of sleeping with twin 5 years olds and an 8 year old and word gets around on the difficulty of ever getting the children out of your bed?"
That's a good question. I have a few questions of my own. Have you ever tried it? Do you know for a fact that it is difficult to get kids out of bed and into their own beds? Do you think that the Sears really suggest that all of your kids should sleep in the parents' bed, regardless of age? Did you see the part in the book where they say that you should do what you are comfortable with and what makes the most sense to you?
The bottom line is that the authors clearly and refreshingly state that mothers and fathers know a lot more about raising their children than they are given credit for. Rather than telling prospective parents that YOU MUST sleep with your baby or YOU MUST breastfeed, the overall effect of their book is to say YOU CAN sleep with your baby regardless of what society tells you and YOU CAN breastfeed if you want to maximize your baby's health and the bond between mother and child. Of course, no one HAS to do anything, but it's nice to have alternative sources of information.
Thanks for listening.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 27, 2008 2:23:23 PM PST
R.F. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 11, 2009 3:41:20 PM PST
Angie F. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2009 7:58:11 PM PST
Are you saying that night time, in bed is the only time people have sex?

I know plenty of people who co-sleep and manage to find time for intimacy (me having two co-sleeping kids attests to that, lol). And even if bedtime is the only time you can get alone time doesn't mean you can't let the baby sleep alone for a short time, hint hint.

I think the biggest thing with co-sleeping is making sure BOTH you and your partner are comfortable with it. Don't force it on someone. My husband and I happen to love co-sleeping, but I don't think people who don't co-sleep love there kids any less. I don't think anyone is saying that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2009 3:43:07 PM PDT
I would argue (and many many others) to say that when children/ babies die due to being in a parents bed, that there are probably a lot of other factors that contribute to that! I.E. Alcohol, drugs (LEGAL, and illegal), smoking, etc. etc. It is not proven unsafe and especially not unhealthly. As far as the threat of divorce, it sounds to me that John is a very happy father and husband with a lot of patience, openmindness, concern, and LOVE for his wife and children.... (unlike this commentator), so I seriously doubt divorce is anywhere on the radar! Besides just like one commentator said, there are plenty of other times to find intimacy. Personally, our little boy doesn't ALWAYS cosleep with us. Futhermore, he always goes to sleep initially in his own bed between 6-7pm... that means my husband and I have the WHOLE evening to do WHATEVER we want! When parents work together, being patient and listening to their child and each other.... everyone is happier! Hip Hip Hooray for attachment parenting ... that DOES create happier more social children!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2009 6:01:34 AM PDT
Actually Angie F. I must correct you.

There iS ZERO evidence that co sleeping correctly with increases smothering or SIDs. Risk facotrs that HAVE been scientifically proven to increase smothering and SIDs are:
-SLEEEPING ISOLATED IN A DIFFERENT ROOM
- a parent who smokes
- a parent who co sleeps while drugged or intoxicated
- placing the baby in a prone sleeping position
- formula feeding
- respiratory infections
- over heating the room
- sleeping on couches

I quote (from a scientific and peer reviewed article) "There is no evidence that bed sharing is hazardous for infants of parents who do not smoke." Blais PS et al. Smoking and the sudeen death syndrome BMJ 1996: 313: 195-198.

And yes, there are many more studies that I won't quote here, but a thorough (and honest) search of scientific publications disputes your assertion. By honest I mean not excerpting the self serving lines and forgetting the general conclusions (as we so often see in media) or results of publications.

I am quite disturbed to see the frequency with which an opinion is dubbed "scientific fact" without any references (especially in heated child rearing debates!). It is dishonest to declare one's opinions and feelings as scientific fact without substantiation.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2009 6:03:00 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 3, 2009 6:05:05 AM PDT]

Posted on Oct 3, 2009 2:59:55 AM PDT
It's interesting how many are leaning on the fact that Dr. Sears suggested/recommended co-sleeping. Meanwhile the main theme of the book is to learn to understand your baby's needs and adapt. There are 700+ pages and co-sleeping is a tiny portion of the gem in this book.

But since that's what the concern is I'll just say that my wife and I don't mind the co-sleeping suggestion much but we've adapted it to the way it works for us and our little boy. We usually first put him to sleep in his basket in our bedroom on my wife's side of the bed. He wakes to feed at around 4am and sometimes can't settle. Only then would my wife bring him on our bed to sleep the rest of the night until 6am when I wake to ready for work. It's works wonders for us and our little one (now 9 weeks) is content. Note that we weren't confident to try this until he was 3 weeks. And we plan to wean him off the bedroom before he's two. But not completely shut the door to him when he wants to share our bed. I'm not an expert on SIDs but I'll say that I'll prefer my son near us to prevent it than away in another room where we can't hear his tiny grunts.

Let me finish with an important quote from the book (page 318): "...Some babies sleep best in their parents' bed; some sleep well in their own bed crib in the parents' bedroom; other families prefer encouraging their baby to sleep in a separate room. Realistically, plan to juggle all these sleeping arrangements as you come to know your baby's nighttime temperament and needs..."

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2009 9:58:55 PM PDT
C. Penney says:
I agree!!
This is an amazing book that has little about attachment parenting and SO much about basic childrearing. From soothing techniques to first foods to potty training. Very helpful, encouraging and empowering advice. Whats not to like??

Posted on May 27, 2011 3:36:02 AM PDT
J. Darnall says:
I think this "review" was more about defending the fact that you let your kids sleep in your bed. I think people could care less what you do and want to know more about how the book is. That's what these reviews are for. I don't care how you raise your kids. I just want to know if this is a good book to get some good advice to raise my kid.
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