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Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby

Average Rating 4
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(37)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

best advice

A fantastic book, a must for all mothers. Great advice on sleep, lactation, crying etc. Authors are not anti-breast feeding at all. No where in the book is that implied. They do empasize that bottle feeding moms should not be ashamed.

posted by Anonymous on November 14, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Bad Breastfeeding Advice

There is a lot to like about this book (even though constantly being called 'luv' did get old by about page 3)... in many parts there *is* very good advice. Tracy Hogg claims a middle-of-the-road approach to parenting a newborn and I agree with many of her ideas. She do...
There is a lot to like about this book (even though constantly being called 'luv' did get old by about page 3)... in many parts there *is* very good advice. Tracy Hogg claims a middle-of-the-road approach to parenting a newborn and I agree with many of her ideas. She does not advocate letting babies cry and communicates overall the belief that parents should respect their babies as the tiny people they are. Overall, there is a lot of comforting stuff in here.

But I have issues with some of her specific advice. First, I find that she's judgmental about attachment parenting in general. I'm no die-hard attachment parent, but I'm no rigid-scheduler either and I totally disagree with her belief that demand feeding, cosleeping and the like teaches a baby bad habits or does not effectively meet their needs. She presumes that if AP doesn't work for some, then it will not work for all and is therefore not even worth trying because you'll end up with a baby with bad habits to break down the road. My experiences with flexibility vs. scheduled routine have been quite different. Gentle transitions from three completely attached newborns to independent individuals without parent-imposed schedules (it's been much more symbiotic than the method Hogg proposes) have worked quite well in our household. While my style may not be right for everyone, it certainly *can* work, something that Hogg fails to recognize. (She believes the 'family bed gives parents short-shrift' without acknowledging that it actually *works* for many.)

Then there is the breastfeeding advice. I am disappointed to see someone who calls herself a lactation consultant try to make such a strong case for formula feeding over breastfeeding. As a mom who has both bottlefed and breastfed (and is still breastfeeding), I agree with Hogg that guilt or judgment has NO place in this decision, but I also feel that she has done a great disservice to moms and babies by understating some very important advantages and benefits of breastfeeding. She explains that 'one can make a good case for either formula-feeding or breastfeeding.' Unfortunately, she never does get around to making the case for breastfeeding.

In this same section, entitled 'Making the Choice,' Hogg has a sidebar on Feeding Fashions. In this small box, where I presume she's trying to show that while breastfeeding is currently 'all the rage,' the tide may turn out of its favor in later years as has happened in the past. (It's not clear here whether she's saying therefore don't choose breastfeeding just because it's a modern day 'fad' or that if you decide to formula feed against popular opinion, know that 25 years from now it will probably be 'the thing to do' just like it was 25 years ago? I don't get it.) She also says here, 'As this book is being written, scientists are experimenting with the notion of genetically altering cows to produce human breast milk [yuk]. If that happens, perhaps in the future everyone will tout cow's milk. In fact, a 1999 article in the Journal of Nutrition suggests 'that it may ultimately be possible to design formulas better able to meet the needs of individual infants than the milk available from the mother's breast.''

Okay, that is fascinating information, but how should it impact any mother's decision *today*? Feed your baby formula now because in the future it might actually be the best choice!? (A statement in itself which is worthy of an opposing dissertation - there are more advantages to breastfeeding than the mere composition of the fluid.)

Later, in the breastfeeding section, she specifically discourages demand feeding - advice which is direct opposition to breastfeeding recommendations endorsed by the majority of professional lactation consultants and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Hogg has a schedule all charted out for new parents, beginning with day one, which becomes increasing less flexible over a three day period, until you're stuck on that

posted by Anonymous on February 11, 2001

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Reviewed by a New Daddy

    As a new and young father, I am very curious about who my baby is and what I am supposed to do to help her. This book was a wonderful read. I appreciate that the author's programs are rooted in fertile reasoning. While this book (along with most parenting books) was written to a maternal audience, as a father, I found the content very informative and effective. I plan on reading the author's other books as a result.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    I really recommend this book

    This is a great book for new Moms. I do recommend you read it before your baby comes. I also think that a hard copy would be better than the nook version. I have the nook version and it seems to be missing part of the graphs. The advice is great though. It made me feel alot better about the job I am doing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2004

    Baby slept through the night!

    Bought the book when my dear son was 7.5 months old and still woke up 3-4 times a night. After applying her bizarre sounding 'pick up/put down' technique for about 2 weeks--baby has slept through the night ever since! he just turned 9 months. Yay! She's a little condescending at times, particularly toward American mothers, but it worked!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2003

    Wonderful Book for First Time Grandparents

    Enjoyed reading this book, so many insights and helpful to relate to our bundle of joy. Respect and listening then responding are key points. Have had no luck finding the cassettes or CD recommended, A Child's Gift of Lullabies. Are they available in the northwest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2002

    Good starter book

    Good book with lots of good information. I recommend the book to new moms. But if you're looking for help solving sleep problems, I suggest 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2002

    This Book Was A Lifesaver!

    If I had not read this book prior to my son being born, my son would remain an only child. This book has proven to be a lifesaver for me. In this book, Tracy teaches you how to 'tune in' to your child. She teaches you to respect your child and how to understand their language. Moreover, her advice on getting a child to sleep on their own was what has helped my husband and I get a good nights sleep! I would recommend this book to any new mother who wants advice that truly works!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2001

    Great book

    I would highly recommend this book to first time parents. I am a first time mom of twin girls. They are wonderful babies, but this book helped us get them on a schedule. I didn't read the book until they were a month old. They were sleeping through the night at 7 weeks. This book won't guarantee that, but it will help. I agree that breastfeeding on demand is a bad idea. First, you will be feeding round the clock (especially with twins) and second, your baby will be overweight because you will be feeding it when it isn't really hungry. I've seen it happen too many times. The best part about this book was how she outlines the different cries and signs and how she outlines a daily schedule. It really helped us see the big picture. I do not agree with her advice on twins, though. She suggests having them on different schedules. Bad idea -- you will never have time for yourself. My girls are 6 months now, and they still eat at the same time, sleep at the same time (on the most part), and play together and always have. It is possible to keep two babies on the same schedule, and you get more sleep and time for yourself. I will say I was skeptical about the book at first, but I really thought it was a helpful book.

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