am 28. Juni 2000
Our Babies, Ourselves has been making a huge impact on me and my approach to my almost 6 week old baby - strongly recommend it.
It's a look at ethnopediatrics, cross cultural study of babyraising. It's strong confirmation of a lot of our casual observations of how our baby behaves and responds, and is the most powerful thing I've read to confirm to me that my instincts about what to do are good and effective (my instincts and my baby's desires = strong alignment with how attachment parenting is described).
Not a how to baby book but really great. Looks closely and nursing, sleeping and contact. Powerful thing I just read: all babies cry, with the crying peak at 6 weeks or so. But babies who are slept with and held when parents aren't asleep (as our baby is - he's solo for only about an hour a day total exclusing of changing him) cry for far shorter periods of time. That is, it can be proactive - babies who are carried and held will cry much less when the do cry. If you pick them up only when they start crying - too late.
The book does a great job of explaining some of the complexities of the parent-kid bond, and looks at how different cultures parent differently according to their society's values, and how attempts to inculcate those values can sometimes (and not only in our culture) lead to babyraising practices that don't make sense developmentally. Really inspiring and smart book.
am 1. Juli 1999
I highly recommend "Our Babies, Ourselves" to any parent interested in an anthropologically and biologically-oriented approach to parenthood, especially motherhood. It provides numerous data on how biology affects the parent-baby relationship as well as the baby's behavior and objectively presents how various cultures (including the United States') worldwide accommodate and/or neglect these biological factors and the impact that accommodation or neglect has on the parent/baby relationship.
I got this book when my baby was 3 months old and for me it confirmed every instinct I had as a first-time mother who knew nothing of raising a child prior to having one. I carry my baby in a pouch any time I can; I breastfeed; I'd let the baby sleep in my bed if I could (my husband and I have a waterbed and it's not safe for babies), etc. All of these behaviors are highly, highly beneficial to babies for specific biological reasons.
This is not a "how to" book, nor does it promote any particular approach to child rearing. It is objective and actually rather academic in nature, yet intriguing and easy-to-understand.
Read the book! It's worth it!
am 19. Januar 2000
I am a family physician and mother of 3 girls. I am ashamed that this information is not being made available to those in the medical field. Or rather that we/they are not open to recieving it. I knew as a new mother that it was "wrong" to leave my child screaming in her crib but my colleague physician (never a mother herself) said it was the "right" thing to do. I listened to my heart but only after much conflict and conflicting messages being communicated overtly and covertly to my child I'm sure. I've subsequently read THE CONTINUUM CONCEPT to which Ms Small refers and armed with both of these books I intend to return to the halls of academia and medical training to reeducate the doctors of the new millenium (if I'm not laughed out of the classroom or the office!) Regardless, as a mother of 3 under 8 years of age I've been reinspired to stick to my instincts in childcare and love from the heart and less from the head!
am 1. Januar 2000
I've really enjoyed this book - its extremely interesting and thought provoking and well written. However, it is also gets pretty in depth into evolutionary science and biology. I have enjoyed that quite a bit and learned an awful lot, but it is definitely not light reading as far as that goes. It is more scientific than I expected, which I actually like a great deal, but it is different from what I originally thought I was buying. This book is less of a "how to raise your child" type book and more of an "evolutionary and biological cross cultural study of infants and children and how different child rearing practices influence personality and culture". Which I found absolutely fascinating myself. I highly recommend the book - but with the caveat that you need time to sit down and concentrate on it, which is hard to do with small children around!
am 16. Januar 1999
A MUST READ for any parent. By the time you've read about the basics of tending to your newborn's physical needs, such as how to take his or her temperature, how to diaper and swaddle, etc., you'll probably be receiving advice from various friends and family members about the best way to feed your baby, how to deal with colic, where your baby should sleep and a million other parenting issues. Before you blindly follow the advice of others on these and other parenting matters, read this book and get a broader insight on why we do the things we do as parents. As a new mother, I read lots of baby care books and was left wondering whether I was getting the whole picture. I wasn't. This book picks up where other generic baby care books leave off and challenges you to consider the best way to parent your baby.
am 21. August 1999
As a first time parent I was unsure about how to handle all the millions of decisions regarding care of my baby and was confused and frustrated by conflicting advice and opinions. This book put things into a larger context and gave some insight on why we tend to emphasize certain things in our culture. It opened up other ways of thinking about parenting and helped me gain self confidence. It demonstrated that much of the "conventional wisdom" is often based on cultural or personal opinions, but not on science or infant biology. An excellent thought provoking book about what we value as a culture and how this translates into our parenting.
am 28. Juni 1998
As a parent of five grown children and grandparent to two, I was delighted to read this book which focused on cross-cultural origins of child-rearing practices. It is a must read for grandparents who may not feel comfortable with the ways in which their grandchildren are being raised, e.g., extended periods of breastfeeding and family sleeping habits, etc. It also provides greater understanding of other cultures with respect to childrearing styles and behaviors which is a must in our multicultural America. Dr. Small's writing is easy to understand and reads more like a novel than the serious work of scientific study it is.
am 21. April 2000
Meredith Small's well researched, scientific, and fascinating book should be read by all expectant parents. What a load off to know that all the things I was doing out of instinct (breastfeeding on cue, sleeping in the same bed with my daughter, carrying her around, picking her up when she cried) were normal resposes everywhere else in the world. Armed with Small's research I could feel confident around other moms', who told me I was spoiling my baby, that my instincts were indeed o.k. and correct. I wish all new moms would read this before buying Ezzo and Ferber!
am 8. Februar 1999
I received this book as a baby present when Tristan was ten days old. It gave me important new ways to think about interacting with Tristan, and I'm firmly convinced that it transformed our experience into one far richer and more positive. I read the book in gulps whenever I had a chance, and allowed it to completely change my world view about child raising. I feel that it has played a key role in getting me off on the right start. I wish I'd spent more time during my pregnancy reading books like this, and less time worrying about what Baby Things I'd purchased.
am 26. September 1999
As parent who has defied many of the parenting norms of this culture: letting baby cry it out, sleep alone, rigid feeding and sleeping schedules,overuse of props etc., this book gives affirmation to those who have listened to their hearts where their babies/children are concerned. I like that it beckons people to question the values of our culture. I also love to see the research that validates humane parenting practices.A must read if you are interested in attachment parenting and related reading.