Thursday, October 31, 2013

This Book Room: Parents' Edition, Part 2

Mayim Bialik was the child star of the popular 1990s TV sitcom Blossom, but she definitely didn’t
follow the typical child-star trajectory. Instead, Mayim got her PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, married her college sweetheart, and had two kids. Mayim then did what many new moms do—she read a lot of books, talked with other parents, and she soon started questioning a lot of the conventional wisdom she heard about the “right” way to raise a child. That’s when she turned to attachment parenting, a philosophy and lifestyle popularized by well-known physicians like Dr. William Sears and Dr. Jay Gordon.

To Mayim, attachment parenting’s natural, child-led approach not only felt right emotionally, it made sense intellectually and instinctually. She found that when she followed her intuition and relaxed into her role as a mother instead of following some rigid parenting script, both she and her children thrived. Drawing on both her experience as a mother and her scientific background, Mayim presents the major tenets of attachment parenting, including:

CO-SLEEPING

How to avoid “sleep training” and get a great night’s sleep for the whole family.

BREASTFEEDING

Learn how to listen to your baby’s cues rather than sticking to a rigid schedule—and why people on airplanes love a nursing mother.

BABY WEARING

How to “wear” your baby in a sling or a wrap to develop a closer bond with your child—it’s possible even for mamas with bad backs (and with big babies)!

GENTLE DISCIPLINE How to get your child to behave without yelling, threats, or time-outs—it really can be done.

Mayim describes the beauty, simplicity, and purposefulness of attachment parenting, and how it has become the guiding principle for her family. Much more than a simple how-to parenting guide, Beyond the Sling shows us that the core principles underlying attachment parenting are universal and can be appreciated no matter how you decide to raise your child.

My thoughts: No matter what you think of Mayim and what you've heard or read, please give this book a go. This is a fantastic book on attachment parenting, and Mayim does a great job of encouraging her reader to do what's best for her and her child. There were a few things I disagreed with, one of which is not teaching your child anything before the age of 5 (like colors, shapes, numbers, etc.). Overall, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned a lot that helped shape the way Jason and I are parenting our Bug.

Conventional wisdom tells parents that they should delay potty training to toddler age, and only after seeing signs of readiness. But is that really the best way?

In Diaper-Free Before 3, Dr. Jill Lekovic presents the new case that early training--beginning as early as nine months olds--is most natural, healthy, and beneficial for your child, based on medical evidence. By incorporating the potty into your child's routine early on, toilet training becomes far less stressful for both parent and child. Dr. Lekovic's method, which she has used successfully with her own kids and recommends to patients, helps children become better aware of their body's signals, boosts confidence, and decreases the risk of urinary health problems.

The guide includes informative chapters on bedwetting, accidents, and adapting the method for day care, special-needs children, and older toddlers. Offering a technique that really works and turns toilet training into a positive experience, Diaper-Free Before 3 is sure to become a new parenting classic.


My thoughts: This is, pants down (hahaha!), the best potty training book I have ever read. If you're struggling with potty training or dreading potty training, this book is for you. It doesn't matter what you think about potty training: just read this book and see if the advice given here helps your situation. This book helped solidify my potty training plans for Bug. It was a really great read backed with research and just plain common sense.

Featuring 400 signs, this is the most comprehensive, user-friendly handbook for parents who want to enhance communication with any child through American Sign Language.

Laura Berg is one of the world’s go-to experts on baby sign language. The Baby Signing Bible makes her extensive research and easy-to-follow instructions available to all parents.

As confirmed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, infant sign language is a boon for enhancing communication between parents and babies, helping to forge an important bond early in a child’s life. The Baby Signing Bible provides step-by-step instructions for parents and other caregivers, as well as insight into why baby sign language is useful for children of all ages. Kids with special needs can also benefit greatly from this program. Featuring 400 signs, the book covers essential nouns such as milk, verbs such as eat, and descriptors such as more. In addition, The Baby Signing Bible features real-life stories from parents who have successfully signed with their children, along with fun songs and games that help families learn to “sign and sing.” Confidence-building illustrations enhance the basics for mastering vocabulary words.


My thoughts: This is the best baby sign language book I've found. I loved it so much, I bought a copy. There are many signs in the back of the book, so you can teach your child signs relevant to his or her world. For instance, this book included signs for bear and monster. Bug has a teddy bear she is in love with, and she has a monster doll (and her room has a monster theme). If you're teaching your child sign language, I highly recommend this book as a resource you'll turn to time and time again.

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