Thursday, October 24, 2013

This Book Room: Parents' Edition, Part 1

Most new parents think of diapers as a smelly, expensive, and unavoidable necessity. The good news is that it’s possible—even practical—to raise your kids without diapers. In Diaper Free!, Ingrid Bauer shows how you can:

* Save thousands of dollars * Reduce landfill waste (single-use disposable diapers are responsible for one third of the non- biodegradable waste in landfills) * Avoid diaper rash * Use the "Four Tools for Diaper Freedom” to enhance your relationship with your baby and deepen communication. 

Based on extensive research, case studies, and the author’s own experience, Diaper Free! is a warm and helpful companion at every stage, from the first magical days of your baby’s life, to complete toilet independence.

My thoughts: While we're not practicing elimination communication as it is outlined in this book, this book is truly a must-read for any parent. It changed the way I looked at potty training, which was already a kind of odd way compared to most parents. I believed in starting potty training at 1 year old. Based on this book and another book, I changed my mind to when Bug can sit up on her own. Whatever you think about diapers, this book will be eye opening for you. It definitely was for me.

"Baby-Led Weaning" explodes the myth that babies need to be spoon-fed and shows why self-
feeding from the start of the weaning process is the healthiest way for your child to develop. With baby-led weaning (BLW, for short), you can skip purees and make the transition to solid food by following your baby's cues.

At about six months, most babies are ready to join the family at the kitchen table and discover food for themselves. "Baby-Led Weaning" is the definitive guide to this crucial period in your child's development, and shows you how to help your baby:
Participate in family meals right from the start
Experiment with food at his or her own pace
Develop new abilities, including hand-eye coordination and chewing
Learn to love a variety of foods and to enjoy mealtimes

Baby-led weaning became a parenting phenomenon in the UK practically overnight, inspiring a fast-growing and now international online community of parents who practice baby-led weaning--with blogs and pictures to prove it! In "Baby-Led Weaning, " world-leading BLW authority Gill Rapley and early BLW practitioner and coauthor Tracey Murkett deliver everything you need to know about raising healthy, confident eaters.

My thoughts: I was planning to make Bug's baby food. Then I read this book. And it totally changed my mind on how babies should be fed. Baby-led weaning just makes sense: let the baby feed him/herself. Bug totally snatched a stalk of celery from Jason's plate at about 5 months old. We're easing into her eating real food. At the time of this writing, Bug is about 7 months old and is 99.9999% on breast milk. The other night, she noshed on a green bean. I don't think she swallowed anything. And this book covers everything you need to know: why it doesn't matter if Bug is actually digesting anything or not, why Bug can't really choke, why babies will choose the right foods for them. This was an incredibly fascinating read.

At a very young age, children are like sponges, absorbing everything they see and do, learning at an unprecedented rate. This ability to learn so quickly is what allows them to start speaking on an average between 10 months and 2 years old, and to pick up many grown-up mannerisms in infancy. American Sign Language (ASL) is the most recent discovery for infants, and is a very popular way of working their brains and teaching them not only an early form of communication, but the third-most spoken language in the United States. For those parents who teach their babies sign language at a young age and continue into childhood, it is possible for their child to learn quicker in school, and likely to be bilingual or even trilingual before reaching high school.

This book will guide every parent through the process of teaching an infant the necessary steps to understand beginning sign language. You will learn what you should expect from signing, from the basics of the program to the reactions you will get from your baby. You will learn how to get started by teaching yourself first, what the first signs you should focus on for your child, and when you should start teaching. You will learn how sign language can aid in the potty training process, and how it can help your child with his or her early learning and reading skills. You will be given a complete troubleshooting section with common problems you may encounter to help you when things do not go according to plan. You will also be given details about how to instruct and teach babysitters and nannies to use the same sign language while teaching your child.

Sign language experts, both for adults and children, have been interviewed and have provided their insight into how signing can change the interactions between you and your child. Learn how to develop signs as your child gets older and more cognitive, and how to combine signs into longer communications and even sentences well before he can speak. You will also learn how to start taming tantrums even before your child is 1 year old with sign language, and how to continue signing into older childhood, teaching your child full ASL and then branching out to additional options. For any new parents looking to get a jump-start on teaching babies sign language, this book is your complete guide. Sign language is not only a great way to boost a child's intellect; it can help make your life much easier.

Unlike other books on this subject, this book will explore "Deaf Culture" and tips for teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing children sign language. It will also address how hearing children of deaf parents use sign language. The book also includes ways you can take use your new skill in signing and use it in different career opportunities. With this book, you'll share a different communication experience with your child and explore new possibilities.

My thoughts: Since the Duggars first had a reality television show and I saw their babies could sign, I knew I would teach sign language to my pre-verbal babies, should God ever bless us with one. And we are signing to Bug every day. I was so excited to read this book, but I would highly advise you skip this one. Unless you're looking to teach sign language so your baby will know a second language, and this is not the priority for me, this book isn't a great book for you. The author goes on and on about why a baby should know a second language, and that's not the angle I'm going for. I just want to communicate with my pre-verbal baby, and I'm totally okay with Bug not signing once she can talk. If she wants to keep learning ASL, fine. If not, that's great, too. I did enjoy the exercises outlined in the book and thought those were interesting. There are not very many signs at the back of the book, though, so this book isn't great for a signing resource, either. If you know nothing about why one would want to teach ASL to a baby, this book might be a good starting point for you.

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