22. The Baby Owner’s Manual by Louis and Joe Borgenicht
I’m in two minds about this book. On the one hand the information is clear and occasionally slightly amusingly presented, with a recognition that there isn’t just one way to look after babies. On the other, I’m uncomfortable with discussing babies as if they weren’t people (the pretence is that this the manual for a newly acquired machine of some kind). Yes, it’s a joke here, but personally I feel it’s the lack of recognition of the very young as small individuals that leads to the parenting suggestions I like least. I don’t want to be my daughter’s owner, I want to be a decent mother to her. Yes, that means being in charge for the next few years, but that’s because she needs care and education to help her develop into a capable adult, and I (and DH, of course) have been given the responsibility of giving her the attention and interaction necessary to that end.
I’m probably making far too big a deal over a running joke, but there it is. As above, it’s a clear source of basic and necessary information, with stylised pictures that clearly show the given point without extraneous details. The actual advice is not too regimented, and certainly discusses options like cloth nappies and babywearing, as well as recommending breastfeeding. In the sections not specifically discussing those options, however, it does assume disposables, buggies/strollers, and even to a lesser extent bottle feeding. Still, it’s the only book I’ve seen that discussed swaddling (and has pictures showing how to do it) while admitting that not all babies like to be swaddled. (Ours certainly doesn’t.)
So for the most part I think well of this book – it does what it aims to in a clear and handy format that would be easy to read on the go. I have enough of a problem with the language, however, that it’s probably going to go back into our BookMooch inventory (that’s where we got it from), even though I am pleased to have read it.
- Gymnastics for babies (bbc.co.uk)
- Baby Einstein (socyberty.com)
- How Breast Pumps Became a Political Issue (thedailybeast.com)
- What About Swaddling? (psychologytoday.com)
- Call to end to bottle feeding (heraldsun.com.au)
- Flying With a Newborn: Is It Safe? (everydayhealth.com)
- Friday Rant: Applying Newborn Strategies to Managing Corporate Procurement Expectations (Part 2) (spendmatters.com)
- Bottle-feeding linked to tooth decay in infants (news.bioscholar.com)
- Bottle Feeding vs. Breastfeeding (brighthub.com)