Having read more than my fair share of pregnancy, infant, child and baby care and guide books in my time, I can tell you I am not too fond of the overly preachy ones that lecture new parents to the point of making them neurotic and anxious about how good or bad a job they would do as parents.
What I like about this book is that it is told in a no-nonsense refreshing and casual tone. Dr. Cohen seems very aware of all the clinical and strict messages out there that new parents are constantly bombarded with all the time. He addresses them and essentially says, “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “s*%#$ happens”. In 11 comprehensive and informative chapters, the book goes through and tackles many of the common issues new parents encounter from the day after birth through the first year. To be honest, some of the information in there can benefit not-so-new parents who are having their 2nd or 3rd child. It updates some of the common wisdom from earlier years.
The book also contains several side bar nuggets called “Common Sense Bottom Line” where he dissects some of the common medical and clinical wisdom. Many first time parents get consumed with trying to make decisions and want so much to do the right thing that they lose themselves and forget trying a common sense solution for whatever conundrum they are facing. I love the common sense about the variety of splotches and marks you see on your baby and may get worried about and to those, Dr. Cohen writes:
Whiteheads. Ignore them;
Mongolian Spots: They’re not bruises ignore them.
Love it!! I was a new parent once and I recall getting all anxious and nutty about everything. By my third child, I realized how psycho I was a bit trying to live and raise my child by the book, so I can appreciate that this book attempts to head off the crazies at the root.
The book also contains several checklists, like “what to ask your pediatrician,” and a “new born must- haves checklist”. It has a very useful reference section with my favorite being “Medications safe for use by Breastfeeding Mothers”. As a matter of a fact ,I love the chapter that contains answers to breastfeeding questions like “shall I ‘pump and dump’ milk after having a glass of wine at dinner?” and other common questions new moms have.
Another favorite part of this book are the visual flow charts to solving common first year problems that are located in the back because some people are better retaining information visually. I know I am and loved flow charts while studying for law school exams.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed going through this book because I honestly believe it is a good practical, non-judgmental, quick read that can be part of a new parent’s reference shelf.
I plan to pass it on the complimentary review copy I received (value $16.00 paperback) to a some new parents I know.
And lookey here, the folks at Dreamworks studios loved the Daddy v. Doctor sidebars so much, they purchased the film rights to the book! Neat.