what to expect the first year: excellent book. it is not so much about parenting theories as it is answering common parent questions like "why are my baby's eyes crossed??" i highly recommend it to all new parents.
happiest baby on the block: also a wonderful text. i love how this book focuses on the 5 S's of calming a fussy baby (which all parents can use at some point in time). Karp's 5 S's:
1. swaddle tightly
2. side or stomach position
3. shush loudly (i had no idea that louder = better)
4. swing or bounce
5. suck on pacifier or something
this book also talks about extending the womb environment into a baby's 1st 3 months of life (which makes good common sense to me, although babywise disagrees). babies love being close to their mothers whether in a sling during the day or in bed during the night.
the baby book: haven't read it yet, but it sitting on my desk ready to go. i have heard many positive reviews about sears.
the baby whisperer solves all your problems: this is in my library on deck after the baby book, but i'm a little hesitant to read it because babywise moms often reference it. hopefully it will be more enjoyable than anticipated.
healthy sleep habits, happy child: another recommendation from a friend. 3rd on the upcoming agenda.
babywise: oh where do i start. first, for everyone who enjoys and follows babywise principles, i am glad they work for you. second, this book begins by making several valid points like the importance of the marriage relationship and outside relationships with friends. however, my biggest qualm about this book is the way it presents the babywise theory in a brainwashing, condescending tone. take for example:
(paraphrasing) "chelsea's parents follow babywise. chelsea is a perfect angel. she constantly gets praised for being such an ideal baby."
"marisa's parents are not pdf parents. chelsea is a fussy, unmanageable baby."
"because of babywise, chelsea's parents have a perfect marriage."
"marisa's parents' marriage sucks."
"because of babywise, chelsea's parents have tons of friends and love life."
"marisa's parents not only don't have friends, but they are extremely lonely causing deep postpartum depression. because of their stress and depression, they are much more likely to hurt their baby. non-babywise parents = abusive parents = high likelihood of shaken baby syndrome."
"rarely, chelsea does cry (growth spurt! 45-minute intruder! growth spurt! growth spurt! growth spurt! of course not because of babywise) but...the training she is receiving right now will make life so much easier in the future."
"marissa might have some lucky days now, but this only means she is going to be a TERRIBLE, UNDISCLIPLINED, PEOPLE-HATING toddler in a couple years."
you get the idea.
there are also all kinds of contradictions in the book. at one point it says babywise babies are less fussy and cry less often than non-babywise babies. then in chapter 8 ('when your baby cries'), ezzo admits that AP babies "do cry very little...however, this is not a result of love and an abiding sense of security." well, ezzo, what the heck to you think makes these babies cry less than babywise babies? AP babies are NOT loved so they cry less? hmm thanks for clarifying that one.
unjustified statements like this permeate all chapters of babywise. also in chapter 8, ezzo quotes the AAP saying, "newborns routinely cry a total of one to four hours a day." is this a goal of babywise parents, having babies cry 1-4 hours a day? ridiculous. ezzo claims "attempts to minimize crying increase stress because emotional tears actually eliminate chemically activated stress hormones from the body." let's think about this one, ezzo. do babies cry to express emotions or because they are hungry, poppy and want to be held?? have fun with your infant crying for 4 hours a day.
i could pick apart every chapter of this book, but the pool is calling our name. i would never recommend this book to any friend having a baby. when i hear moms say this is the only book they are reading to prepare for newborn care, i wince and hope that they read other books to open their eyes. although this book has some good points (again, see the importance of devoting time to your spouse sans baby), it guilts moms who don't follow babywise into thinking they are subpar parents. i encourage everyone to avoid falling prey to the book's untrue realities.