The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Anglais) Broché – 31 mars 2003
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Ce livre, sous beaucoup d'aspects, est génial.
Il faut avant tout savoir (et je ne le savais pas à l'époque) qu'il y a des écoles de pensée pour tout ce qui regarde les enfants.
L'approche du Dr Sears et de sa femme, remet au centre le bébé et lui donne une place fondamentale. Il propose l'allaitement continu (et jusqu'à 3 ans même) le partage du lit avec les parents, et le port du bébé (dans le tissus, ou le sling) etc...
Leur approche, même si je ne la suis pas complètement, est interessante. Je ne suis pas une de ces mères qui laisse pleurer les enfants tout le temps. Clairement je n'ai pas allaité si tard, et mes enfants ne dorment pas avec moi. Mais le fond de leur pensée est: "ne creez pas des barières artificielles, éducatives, entre vous et vos enfants". Et je suis ce point de vue.
Je souligne entre autre, que je n'ai pas encore trouvé dans la litterature de ce sujet des livres aussi bien faits en français.
JE recommende aussi, et peut être plus fortement:
"What to expect from the first year" et "What to expect from the toddler years" de Heidi Murkoff, Sandee Hathaway, Arlene Eisnberg. Ces livres suivent le bestseller "what to expect when you're expecting" que je trouve être le meilleur livre sur la grossesse (et j'en ai lu des tas).
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Initially when I read Sears my reaction was that to be a good parent I would have to quit working, spend my whole day breastfeeding and wearing my baby and never get a solid's night sleep again. (And, I've have to grind my own wheat, grow my organic vegetables and move to an unpolluted island...well, not quite, but that seemed to be the general drift.)
But, what the Sear's approach or Attachment Parenting approach to me comes down to this:
Know your baby.
Respond to your baby's cues.
Understand that your baby isn't a mini-adult who just happens to live in a diaper. Understand that your child comes with his own personality and developmental timetable. Understand that when he cries he needs you. Understand that cuddling, holding, touching your baby is good for him and is not "spoiling" him. Understand that being given a brand new soul to nurture can be exhausting, but that everything you do which demonstrates empathy will come back to you 10 fold in the bond you will have with your child.
I do wish that the AP "movement" was less associated with "crunchy granola" types of parents. AP (and the Sears as the best known proponents) is really doing what comes naturally: We are hardwired to pick up our babies and care for them when they cry. We are hardwired to feel the intense desire to protect them from discomfort. This isn't a "movement" this is how we are made, and Mother (and Father) Nature are brillant!
Updated in 2012: Our son is now a happy 10 year old. And, I would say that though we are hardly an organic, crunchy family (though we do love Cheetos Crunchy a lot in our household....), the core principle of "Know your baby (now child), and respond to your child's cues" remains our abiding guideline. We looked at our baby's tantrums as a 2-4 year old and acknowledged that they were emotion, not disobedience; we looked at our 5 to 7 year olds struggles with school and saw confusion and a need for reassurance and not laziness or lack of intelligence, we looked at our older elementary school aged child's peer identification and saw a need for belonging and not "sass".
In addition to Dr. Sears, we've found Positive Discipine by Dr. Jane Nelsen to be a wonderful guide.
1.I had planned to use a co-sleeper next to our bed but my baby made so much noise in her sleep that we ended up moving it to the other side of our bedroom and ultimately put her in her own room at about five months. My husband and I were very happy to have our room back and she seemed very happy in her own room.
2. Even though we carried our baby all the time in a sling the first two months, she still cried A LOT. The book says that carried babies cry less, and maybe she would have cried more had we not carried her, but don't expect a miracle if you have a crier. She also really liked to lie on the ground or in a bouncy chair looking at our faces so we ended up not carrying her as much as we thought we would after about two months, although we still do wear her for walks and to do chores around the house. etc.
3. I thought I would breastfeed until a year at least, but after about six months, my baby just got fussier and fussier wanting the bottle instead (we had given her one (with breast milk) a few times a week so my husband could help out), so we ultimately weaned her to formula after seven months. Also, I realized pretty early on that totally on-demand-nursing wasn't for us. I just couldn't figure out some of her sleep cues from her hunger cues and ended up getting frustrated. I used a relaxed version of the E.A.S.Y method from "The Baby Whisperer" instead and it made such a huge difference in my confidence and understanding what she needed. (I highly recommend that book for helping you understand babies' body language/cues etc. but beware, it can feel very anti-attachment parenting at first if you are used to Dr. Sears' books).
4. While she slept well from about 6 weeks to 13 weeks, her sleep took a turn for the worse, waking every hour to two for many, many weeks. I was totally exhausted and miserable during the day. I re-read Dr. Sears' advice on sleep and he pretty much says just to live with it and it will eventually work out. I had to turn to other books to help me with her sleep and ultimately had to use a modified, gentler Ferber method (and Baby Whisperer methods). She needed to learn to sleep without our help. (She was getting quite heavy to be carried and rocked every time). We still do rock her a little before bed and naps to help her settle down, but letting her cry a little at bedtime and night time really did help her learn to self soothe. She is a lot happier baby during the day because she is well rested and I am a much better Mommy when I am well rested. "The 90 Minute Sleep Solutions" is also a very helpful book in understanding babies sleep cycles. My baby had awake/sleep cycles like clockwork (just as this book says). It really helped me know when to put her down for naps.
So, basically what I am saying is when you are a new parent you HAVE to be flexible and open to other ideas if something isn't working in your family. Dr. Sears even says this in his book, but I think it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have to do everything by "the book". Dr. Sears is very convincing in making you believe his way is best and very guilty if AP doesn't work out for you or have the results he says they will. You really have to do what feels right in your heart and works for your family. I have found parenting to be LOTS of trial and error until you find something that feels right or works for your child.
I was a fairly instinctive parent first time round - I had looked critically at my own childhood and spent enough time observing and caring for (other peoples) small children to have developed some gut feelings (as well as strong ideas) about how best to care for / relate to my baby - and for the rest I followed his lead.
It was natural and intinctive and expert-free - and it worked well for us.
However when he was 6 months I ran into trouble - my baby was not coping at all well with starting solid feeding (everything seemed to disagree with him - even potato made him vomit!)and his night wakings were getting more rather than less. I was badly in need of advice, but all available sources were of the ignore-babys-cries type which totally opposes every instinct I have about how to treat another human being. Enter Dr Sears...
What a huge relief to find a parenting writer whos basic beliefs were compatible to my own - and therefore to find advice I felt I could trust.
One of the things I find most wonderful about the Sears is the way they have worked to become good and wise parents. Some of the (few) opponants to their books say that being a Dr or raising 8 children does not necessarily an expert make. I agree. But the Sears are, like most of their fans, dedicated parents who have tried very, very hard to become the parents they want their children to have - they have researched extensivly, evaluated their own performances critically and most importantly kept on trying to be better than good.
Their own descriptions of how their No 4 child, the 'fussy baby' of the family, changed their whole idea about what it meant to be a parent is so enlightening because it shows clearly how parents are not born but made...and it gives hope to the rest of us in our daily struggle for elusive perfection!
I now own a Sears library, and though the advice can be rather repetative, and I wish they'd do a real bibliography/source list on the scientific data, I find it always inspires me - and inspiration is often all the help you need.
Having said that, I am a stay at home mom whose husband does not read baby books, and a first-time parent. I read a bunch of baby books and this is the one that did not make me feel guilty, even when I disagreed with some of the suggestions presented. I think that this is a supportive book, and Dr Sears makes a point to try different parenting techniques, but to stop if they make you feel uncomfortable or resentful of your child(ren). I think an overriding theme in this book is to do what feels right - pick up your baby when he cries, feed your baby when he's hungry, let other things go undone if you need sleep ...
The main point seems to be to build a strong attachment with your baby so he trusts you. According to the Sears family, that trust will help your baby grow into a caring and trustable adult. So far, all the suggestions that I have tried have worked - my fussy baby calmed down when I wore him in a sling; my wake-in-the-middle-of-the-night-screaming baby sleeps all through the night next to me; I weaned my baby when he seemed to want it and he hasn't looked back. I'd have to say this is my most helpful baby book.