29 Jun 2014

Parenting - an idiots guide

I was recently bought a copy of 'First-Time Parent'  by Lucy Atkins. I've avoided buying baby books during my pregnancy because I expected to feel overwhelmed by the information in them and thought I would just google anything I wanted to know or ask friends and family. My mam kindly bought this for us so I thought I'd give it a go and I've been so impressed. It's a total idiots guide, it's not too wordy or preachy, and best of all there's no bulls**t. Atkins tells you what you need, what not to spend money on if you don't want to, and all the things you probably would feel silly asking - like how to change a nappy. Let's face it, these skills aren't innate and if you don't know many or any people with children, why the hell would you know how to look after a child?

Here's the Amazon description:

Forget unrealistic childcare manuals – this is the book you really need to help you cope brilliantly with those first chaotic days and months ahead.

As a health journalist and mother-of-three, Lucy Atkins is familiar with both the medical aspects of childbirth and baby development, and the reality of day-to-day life as an exhausted first-time mum or dad. In her feisty, humorous style, she begins with that first mind-blowing day and addresses the issues unique to the first-time parent who stares at their newborn and thinks “Where are the instructions?”

Anticipating the questions and concerns of all new mothers–Why does my baby cry so much? Will I ever lose all this weight? Am I a bad parent because…?–the book provides practical advice and level-headed reassurance. It addresses the needs of the baby and, very importantly, those of the parent during the first year of their baby’s life.

Contents include:

• Starter’s orders – the equipment and kit you really need, as opposed to what the department store tells you
• Hello – how to cope with the first few hours
• Start – coming home, bonding, how to survive the first few days
• Sleep – for everyone!
• Cry – why your baby cries, what to do, why you'll want to cry, too
• Eat –breastfeeding, supplemental feeding, moving to solids, nutrition
• Grow – baby's physical and mental development
• Play – yes, you two actually can have fun
• Thrive – health considerations for baby and parent
• Live – adapting to your new life, the changing mother-father relationship
• Work – coping with being at home and with going back to work
• Also includes information on single parenting, and on adopted, multiple and special needs babies.

The First-Time Parent is on your side, and reassures that you can cope brilliantly with your new baby and your new life.

I felt like Atkins was an honest mate. Someone who you'd feel comfortable receiving guidance from whilst having a laugh. My favourite points have been that it's not patronising, there are plenty of references to the father's role to keep all the lovely dads informed and there are no guilt trips about breast-feeding, instant connections with your baby, feeling like you have to be the human embodiment of Mother Nature and all that clap trap. It's a really healthy account of how to take on the roles of mother and father and how you shouldn't feel guilty about trying your best. Perhaps an attitude a few health professionals could adopt and cut new parents some slack.

If you're a first-time mammy or daddy and fancy a read of something understanding, to-the-point and how you'd probably want to explain parenting to a newbie, this is the book for you. 

No comments:

Post a Comment