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What Baby Needs (Sears Children Library) Hardcover – September 1, 2001
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Appealing picture books written by attachment-parenting advocates. In the first title, the anticipation of a baby is shown as an opportunity for family members to love and support one another. The text, addressed to an older sibling, describes both the changes that the family prepares for and the ways that the baby, growing inside the mother's uterus, might make her feel: hungry, thirsty, and tired. Older brothers and sisters are encouraged to see themselves as competent to contribute at this time. What Baby Needs is a warm look at how life in the family changes to accommodate the needs of a newborn, and the care an infant requires. Both texts are prefaced by notes for adults on what kind of information and experiences might be helpful or appropriate to share with a child. In addition, sets of text bars throughout give parents and youngsters the opportunity to talk more about the issues raised by the simpler text of the books. In each book, the lighthearted, full-color cartoons bring some welcome new images to baby books: breastfeeding, babywearing (including both a dad and a mom with an infant in a baby sling), and the newborn snoozing near the parents' bed in an adjacent co-sleeper. Final pages in both volumes provide interested adults with notes on attachment parenting, including its key components (birth bonding, breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, and belief in the language value of a baby's cry).
Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Reviewed with William Sears' and Renee Andriani's Baby on the Way.
Ages 5-8. What Baby Needs and it's companion Baby on the Way, presented in an accessible picture-book format, offer children facts and insights about living with a pregnant mother and living with a new baby. The text of each book strikes an informal, yet informative tone, utilizing the knowledge of a doctor and nurse on the writing team. The young audience is addressed in second person, as in this passage from Baby on the Way, "As the baby gets bigger, your mommy's lap gets smaller and smaller. But there's always room for you on your mommy's lap." What Baby Needs is a good choice for parents who take exception (understandably) to books that introduce the new-baby theme in conjunction with sibling rivalry. Instead, the focus is on things like what the older child can do that the baby can't, and how to make friends with the baby. Andriani's brightly colored, cartoon-style illustrations help create the books' upbeat, yet realistic tone. Two appealing books for older siblings, with helpful notes for parents and caregivers. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Here's a not entirely on topic tip if you have very young kids and are expecting AND planning on reusing some of the things from your older child: my 2 yo recognized some of the things we were getting ready for the baby, like blankets, stroller, bouncy chair... The first time he saw the baby in one of "his" blankets, he got a bit possessive. Why is the baby using my blanket? He asked. I told him, "well, it's not really your blanket, it's my blanket. And I let you use it and now I'm letting this baby use it." He only asked a few more times about things but I gave basically the same answer and 4 months in, no problems. Hope this helps! Congratulations!!