Apr 12

Ultimate Guides to Caring for Babies and Toddlers

I received this book for free from ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ultimate Guides to Caring for Babies and ToddlersBaby Love by Robin Barker
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty, Limited on 2009
Genres: non-fiction, reference
Pages: 588
Source: ARC received from publisher
Buy on Amazon

Australian, authoritative and totally up-to-date, Baby Love is the only book you'll need to guide you through your baby's first year. Australia's bestselling babycare book is loved by thousands of new parents every year. With expert advice for the first 12 months of every baby's life and full of Robin Barker's wisdom and humour, this classic guide has been fully revised, including new material on nutrition, food allergy and intolerance, and updates on safe sleeping, breastfeeding, reflux and immunisation. With over 30 years of hands-on experience with mothers and babies, Robin Barker knows exactly the kind of information parents are looking for. Baby Love is full of detailed material you won't find in any other book, including: practical and informative advice on sleeping and crying; clear and concise information about getting breastfeeding right for you; advice on all aspects of your baby's nutrition, including bottle feeding; an extensive selection of nutritious recipes to tempt the fussiest eaters.

With my first child, I purchased a ridiculous number of baby care books. Honestly, if I’d read them all, I would never have had enough time to actually care for my son.The Mighty Toddler by Robin Barker

I very quickly found that some never had the information that I needed and others took so long to find the information, that the crisis had passed or I had simply decided to find the solution elsewhere. Sometimes it was simply that I needed information relevant to Australian parents.

Eventually, by the time my third child arrived, I had only one baby reference book that had survived the gradual cull. Robin Barker’s Baby Love contains the kind of practical, common-sense information that you need when you are a new parent trying to sort through the well-meant but totally contradictory advice given by friends and relatives.

The best thing about Barker’s books is that the information is delivered in such an encouraging and non-threatening way that you can almost picture yourself sitting down having a cup of coffee with a good friend who is offering you tips on how she managed such early parenting dilemmas as getting a baby to sleep through the night, whether to use a dummy/pacifier, bottle versus breast feeding, cloth versus disposable nappies and the many other day to day challenges of parenting a newborn.

By the time my daughter was born and my son was reading the terrible twos, Barker had thoughtfully published a guide to dealing with toddlers, The Mighty Toddler, and I was spared the effort of sifting through a collection of toddler care guides.

In April 2009, both Baby Love and The Mighty Toddler have been republished by Pan Macmillan, fully revised and updated with the latest information on medications, baby care techniques and health concerns.

Being a parent can be a daunting task and Barker’s wonderful books are a handy reference for many of the practical, day to day trials of parenting young children such as toilet training, getting children into a healthy sleep routine, working out whether a rash is a simple irritation or warrants a visit to the hospital emergency room and trying to tempt fussy eaters.

I have often given Baby Love as a gift to a new mother and can enthusiastically recommend both Baby Love and The Mighty Toddler as books that I have referred to frequently when my own children were young.

(The Mighty Toddler ISBN: 9781405039116)

Edited to add: Baby Love has been revised and republished since this review was written. Revised ISBN for the 2013 edition is 9781742613307.



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  1. SquiggleMum

    A highly recommended read…

  2. Susan

    My criteria for a good baby book was the infrequency with which I threw them against the wall in frustration with their condescending tone. Baby Love never got thrown once, because Barker never talks down to new mothers, but gives them the information to make decisions for themselves.

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