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Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care: A Handbook for Parents of the Developing Child from Birth through Adolescence Hardcover – July 1, 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

No parenting library is complete without this childcare classic. Recently revised, the sixth edition still provides the sensible, compassionate advice and hard-core how-to-do-it tips that Dr. Spock has always been famous for. Whether it's mixing formula, treating chicken pox, or dealing with divorce or a child's homosexuality, Dr. Spock is the man. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Revising and expanding a classic.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 976 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; Revised edition (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525944176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525944171
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care" (1997 Ed.) is as good as it gets and is still the right book for new parents. Clearly outlined, it's a snap to find answers to the hundreds of questions that trouble new and re-newed parents alike. Explanations are carefully drawn in a straightforward manner that doesn't belittle parents seeking basic information about how to tell the difference between measles and a reaction to a new food. Spock was the first to understand that caring for young children according to strict time schedules was as unpopular with sensitive parents as it was unpleasant for newborns. Each parent has always been encouraged to use his/her own judgment while at the same time keeping ahead of the child. The newly initiated parent is searching for the right technique, a balancing act that becomes even more difficult when a parent must return to the workplace. Spock and Rothenberg have included insights about this transition period in the life of a young family. Still a 10 on my scale.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book, originally published fifty years ago and revised a number of times, remains the classic in the field just as Benjamin Spock remains the dean of published pediatric authorities. Yet no book has been more misunderstood and misinterpreted. The truth is that Spock's ideas, controversial when originally published, have become so mainstream that one would be hard pressed to find a book on baby and child care that does not incorporate or utilize Spockian theory.
The book is a guide to the care and development of children from birth to five years. While it is chock full of useful information, such as methods of feeding infants, sleep issues in babies and toddlers and toilet training, the real value of the book is it's discussion of the psychological development of children. At the time the book was published, the prevailing theories of childcare focused almost exclusively on methods of parental control, that is to say discipline. The experts of the day sought to teach parents how to control their children's behavior but not how to understand that behavior. Spock changed all that. By couching his Freudian approach to child development in folksy and simple language, Spock brought the theories of Freud to the entire nation. Certainly parents would have been horrified to read straightforward Freudian ideas about the Oedipal complex and such things. Spock simply asserts that girls learn to be women by imitating their mothers and flirting with their fathers and vice versa. In this manner, Freud's child development theories were accepted into the mainstream.
The first sentence of the book states "Relax. You know more than you think you do." This sums up Spock's common sense approach to the role of parents in caring for and guiding the behavior of their children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has the most common sense approach to parenting I have seen to date. Very much an advocate of trusting your own instincts, he allows parents to be comfortable with their decisions.

A great reference guide, quick answers to a lot of those questions that new parents have... even the ones that they don't know they have, and the ones they don't want to admit that they have.

I highly recommend this book!

**********************UPDATE************************

So, my son is 4 now, and my dog-eared copy of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care still has a place of prominence on my bookshelf.
This book helped me get through a couple of awful colds. It helped me figure out childproofing. Struggles with toilet training (best advice ever- stop struggling!), dinner-time (same advice! :-) ) So many little (and big) questions were answered with this book.

I could research things in the book, prior to taking my son for his well-baby checkups.

I'm a single mom with a really supportive family - that lives a thousand miles away. Dr. Spock helped fill the gaps. It's not a bible, it's not infallible- I don't completely agree, but I don't completely agree with my mother either!

I just can't recommend this book enough.

**********************2nd Update!******************************

My son is now a 7 year old second grader. And we're a part of a blended family.

I've just pulled my extremely well used copy of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child care off my shelf again and find myself looking to it for help.
I think I'll need to buy another copy, as mine is dog eared to the point of falling apart- through no fault of the book, just from constant use.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Spock's common sense approach to practical parenting and sound advice on the most basic elements of childrearing will never go out of style no matter how many times this book is revised and reprinted. This is Mom And Dad 101 and covers everything from preconception to teenhood. Spock answers the most elemental stuff - Care and Feeding, Diapering, to health issues and how to answer those tough questions from your toddler. A must-have for any parent, either first time or twelfth.
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Format: Paperback
I actually borrow this book from my local library. I am quite amazed by Dr. Spock's insight. I know and I've read so many times that each baby has its own unique development. But somehow Dr. Spock explains it in a different way. He also explores the importance of non-physical development, things that we missed on daily basis just because we are too busy comparing other babies are chubbier. Admit it mom!
This book covers different stages of child development. So I don't read all of them at once, only on the sections that relate to my baby's current progress.
Dr. Spock's suggestion is "TRUST YOURSELF". He believes mom knows the unique needs of her baby, and when the world-known pediatrician told you that .. what more can you say?
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