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The Aware Baby Paperback – May 1, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The Aware Baby is chock full of reliable information and practical advice on a wide range of child rearing issues from how to deal with infant crying to discipline and toilet training. The style is clear, concise and vivid. It is a pleasure to read, and I recommend it most highly."
-Thomas R. Verny, M.D., Psychiatrist and author of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child

"The exquisite awareness of babies celebrated in this book is revolutionary and refreshing. Soundly based on empirical research and great good sense, this book will doubly bless both the parents and their very fortunate infants."
-David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D., Author of The Mind of Your Newborn Baby

"The Aware Baby is an extremely useful (perhaps essential) guidebook for parents... I particularly appreciate the depth at which Dr. Solter deals with sleep, feeding, and behavioral difficulties, and the methods that she advocates for dealing with crying (probably the most misunderstood aspect of parenting). Her chapters on playing with babies and on approaches to bring about secure attachment and bonding are exceptional. This book should be mandatory reading for all parents and for professionals who deal with babies and children."
-William R. Emerson, Ph.D., Pioneer of infant therapy

Dr. Aletha Solter... gives us the key to infant, and later adult, mental health. It is my belief that every prospective parent on earth should read her book, The Aware Baby."
-Paul Vereshack, M.D., Psychiatrist and author of The Psychotherapy of The Deepest Self

The Aware Baby presents novice parents with a complete understanding of their baby's emotional needs from conception to two-and-a-half years of age. If you are expecting a baby, or are the brand new parents of one, then begin your parental responsibilities with a thorough and thoughtful reading of Aletha Solter's The Aware Baby.
-Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Aletha Solter is a Swiss/American developmental psychologist living in Southern California. She studied with Dr. Jean Piaget in Geneva, Switzerland, where she earned a Master's Degree in human biology. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline. She is the founder of the Aware Parenting Institute, an international organization with certified instructors in many countries.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Aware Parenting Institute; Revised edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961307374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961307370
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Bucknam on March 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this book and think it is extrordinary. This book is built on the premise that babies need to cry--in parents' arms with tender, loving support--in order to release stress. When adults intervene to stop the crying (if there is no immediate cause like hunger, pain, dirty diaper, etc) they can inadvertently prevent the baby from healing from stresses and hurts. She included a story on crying it out/sleep training with her son that was really heartbreaking; her discussion of co-sleeping is powerful and very supportive. Some of her ideas are controversial; she opposes comfort nursing to stop crying, for example. However, her approach is very loving, respectful, and supportive of the baby. I've been implementing some of her suggestions and am so wonderfully surprised to see my 12-month old daughter happier and more relaxed than I have ever known her.

Her section on discipline is really illuminating. She believes that it is impossible for a baby to "misbehave." By extension, there is no reason to punish or threaten a baby for his/her actions. She also has an interesting discourse on the problem with praise. Solter promotes "democratic discipline" as opposed to authoritarian or permissive parenting. Democratic discipline involves meeting problem behaviors with a response that honors the needs of all involved. She includes several real-world examples to illustrate this method. She also encourages natural consequences wherever possible and includes an interesting discussion about why they are so much more useful than parent-created ones.
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Format: Paperback
It is vital that this information get out to the general public. So few parents really realize what traumatizes a child, and how to help. Also, few parents realize how detrimental punishment and rewards are to the development of a child. Our whole society is based upon CONTROLLING other people, and that is what is taught throughout society at every turn. How lovely and refreshing to see someone really respecting children as human beings and treating them democratically, and giving us actual tools to use to do this. I have attended Dr. Solter's workshops and she is very helpful in providing concrete examples of what to do, as is this book. What's great is, she has raised her own two children using this method of no punishment or rewards, and with allowing them to freely express their emotions as needed, and she has two bright, loving caring adult children to show for it. You're children WON'T become manipulative, they will become self-regulated and self-disciplined. I can vouch for the fact that using punishment and rewards is a trap, it doesn't work to produce the kind of child I wanted, I have freely allowed my children to make their own choices about their lives, and I am very pleased with the results. It's great when they feel valued and respected instead of controlled. The book has great scientific research about the effects of punishment and stress children's brain development. It's worth the read just to learn about all the great research that's been done which no one ever hears about.
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By A Customer on April 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
When my child was a baby he cried a lot, and this made me desperate. Of course, I nursed him, held him, talked to him, changed his diaper, rocked him, bounced him, wore him in a sling, etc. Sometimes these actions would "help" (he would stop crying), and sometimes he just kept on fussing or crying. At those times I felt like a terrible mom. Why is my child so sad, I would wonder. Thank goodness for Dr. Aletha Solter! With her approach (based on copious research), I came to see that crying can be a release mechanism.
Parents misguidedly think that the crying itself is the problem. For example, if a child falls down, he is crying because of the hurt (or surprise) of the fall. Getting him to stop crying is not stopping the pain! Dr. Solter's work taught me how to be with my crying child in a respectful, loving, gentle way.
This book is NOT about leaving your child to cry!!! It is not a "cry it out" approach. It is about sensitively filling your child's needs and being present with her in her hour of need.
I strongly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
(I came to www.amazon.com to buy the new edition of this book for a friend and decided I had to write a review.) If you could have only one book about babies/parenting, this would be the book you should choose! The information in this book and your use of it will be the gift of a lifetime for your child. I read the original edition of this book in March '85 before the birth of my first child. My children are now 17, 15 and 12, and they are AWESOME. I wonder sometimes that it is just my opinion because I am their mother, but we have gotten and still get sincere compliments about our children from waitresses, teachers, coaches, relatives, other parents and even other children!
I had the notion that all babies are born perfect, and it is the parents' job to insure that nothing in their childrearing changes that. That notion coupled with following the advice and guidance of Aletha Solter in "The Aware Baby" are the recipe for the best children you can imagine. Most people, myself included, suffered some form of abuse as children from parents who knew no better. Many of us spend years in therapy trying to heal those wounds. "The Aware Baby" will help you raise your children so all of their "wounds" are healed as they occur. You are shown how to respect your childrens feelings and allow them to experience them fully. This way nothing gets buried inside waiting to trip them up later in life.
To many people this approach to parenting will seem wonderful but difficult: you must give your child what you may never have gotten. The wonderful thing about this is that in the process you will reap your own rewards of your beautiful parenting.
Actually, the best testimony for this book came from my oldest son who recently said, "Mama, when I have kids will you raise them for me?
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