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Baby's First Year: A Review of What to Expect the First Year

As any new mother or father will tell you, the first few months of parenthood are a little crazy. You are dealing with a brand new human being who depends on you for everything. In addition, you are dealing with this huge responsibility with little to no sleep and little to no experience caring for a brand new baby. During this crazy time in my life, I sought out lots of books and Websites as well as asked all the experienced moms I know lots of questions. I found What to Expect the First Year; by Heidi Murkoff with Sharon Mazel, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway; to be a great resource for all my questions.
The first section of the book is divided into chapters by month from the first month to the twelfth month of your baby’s life. This organization allows you to flip directly to the age of your child for answers to any questions you might have. You can also find answers to your questions by looking the topics up in the index. Each chapter begins with a list of things that your baby may be doing at that age. The list includes things that the average baby should or may be able to do it. New mothers will find this list helpful, because the authors recognize that no baby is average.
Before the month chapters, the authors provide a lot of basic information to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival. These chapters are really written for a parent to read before the baby’s arrival. Many of the decisions discussed in these chapters will have already been made by the time the baby arrives. The information is helpful; however, most mothers will make the cloth vs. disposable diapers decision prior to the baby’s arrival.
The second section of the book, called “Of Special Concern” focuses on first aid, low birth weight babies, special needs babies, and adopted babies. It also includes advice on how to dress a baby in different seasons and when you should call a doctor for a sick baby. I found the When Baby is Sick chapter to be a great resource, especially at midnight when my little one had a fever or bad cough.
The third section of the book focuses on the family and how a new baby impacts the family dynamics. The authors even include a chapter for fathers and a chapter on welcoming a new sibling to the family. The latter chapter was very helpful as I prepared my son for the arrival of his little sister. I found the chapter for fathers more helpful to me than my husband. It gave me an idea of what might my husband might be going through as a new father.
The last section, called “Ready Reference,”is a great resource for questions you might have about home remedies and symptoms. This section also came in handy at 1 am. Height and weight charts for both girls and boys are also included. This information is nice to have for your own records.
What to Expect the First Year contains a wealth of knowledge for any new parent. I definitely recommend it as a resource for any parent, whether brand new or experienced.