Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way

Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way

3.8 15
by Mayim Bialik
     
 

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A real-world guide to Attachment Parenting from the Big Bang Theory actress, neuroscientist, and mother Mayim Bialik—a book hailed by Dr. William Sears as “delightful” and by Ricki Lake as “a fantastic guide to birth and parenting that is packed with invaluable wisdom.”

Mayim Bialik was the child star of the popular 1990s TV

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Overview

A real-world guide to Attachment Parenting from the Big Bang Theory actress, neuroscientist, and mother Mayim Bialik—a book hailed by Dr. William Sears as “delightful” and by Ricki Lake as “a fantastic guide to birth and parenting that is packed with invaluable wisdom.”

Mayim Bialik was the child star of the popular 1990s TV sitcom Blossom, but she definitely didn’t follow the typical child-star trajectory. Instead, Mayim got her PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, married her college sweetheart, and had two kids. Mayim then did what many new moms do—she read a lot of books, talked with other parents, and she soon started questioning a lot of the conventional wisdom she heard about the “right” way to raise a child. That’s when she turned to Attachment Parenting, a philosophy and lifestyle popularized by well-known physicians like Dr. William Sears and Dr. Jay Gordon.

To Mayim, Attachment Parenting’s natural, child-led approach not only felt right emotionally, it made sense intellectually and instinctually. She found that when she followed her intuition and relaxed into her role as a mother instead of following some rigid parenting script, both she and her children thrived. Taking into account her experience as a mother (and her scientific background), Mayim presents the major tenets of Attachment Parenting, including:

Baby wearing: How to “wear” your baby in a sling or a wrap to foster a closer bond with your child—it’s possible even for mamas with bad backs (and with big babies)!

Breastfeeding: Learn how to listen to your baby’s cues rather than sticking to a rigid schedule—and why people on airplanes love a nursing mother!

Gentle discipline: How to get your child to behave without yelling, threats, or time-outs—it really is possible.

Co-sleeping: How to avoid “sleep training” and get a great night’s sleep for the whole family.

Without the pretense and luxuries typical of so many Hollywood actors and parents, Mayim describes the beauty, simplicity, and purposefulness of Attachment Parenting, and how it’s become the guiding principle for her family. Much more than a simple how-to parenting guide, Beyond the Sling shows us that the core principles underlying Attachment Parenting are universal and can be appreciated no matter how you decide to raise your child.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bialik, former child-star of the TV sitcom Blossom, is now a neuroscientist with two young sons. A proponent of “attachment parenting,” Bialik discusses the philosophy’s main components, including co-sleeping, baby-wearing, extended nursing, and natural birth, using her own experiences as a mother as well as her background in neuroscience to illustrate and shore up her points. The core of the author’s text focuses on what she considers to be baby’s needs, including a smooth birth (preferably without unnecessary medical intervention), breastfeeding (she became a certified lactation education counselor), holding, and nighttime parenting (including safe co-sleeping). She also includes a chapter on “Elimination Communication,” a potty training method that relies on parents’ recognizing baby’s signals (the diaper-free route, she admits, is not for everyone). While passionate and committed to attachment parenting, Bialik approaches her subject with a sense of humor and the awareness that not every parent will embrace all its tenets. Nevertheless, she makes a convincing case for the benefits for children, including healthy brain and social development, ability to develop trusting relationships, and good self esteem. Attachment parenting proponents will welcome Bialik’s openhearted message and advice to follow one’s instincts, and even readers who are skeptical will enjoy Bialik’s warm and nonjudgmental voice. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"At once conversational, informative and progressive, this book should be compulsory reading for anyone who has even considered becoming a parent." —Ricki Lake
Library Journal
Many readers will recognize Mayim Bialik as the star of Blossom, a sitcom from the 1990s. Celebrity parenting books often feel like a pathetic attempt at a comeback tour, and I didn't expect to like this title, but Bialik holds a PhD in neuroscience, is a certified lactation counselor, and writes with a pleasing and conversational style. Attachment parenting is hardly new, but she breaks it down into its most basic form, covering expected topics such as why natural labor and breast are best, the importance of nighttime feedings, and (of course) babywearing. VERDICT Bialik strikes the right combination of medical information, parenting advice, and personal experience. More ambitious readers will appreciate Ruth Newton's The Attachment Connection (2008), another solid title on attachment parenting. A surprise recommendation.
Kirkus Reviews
An alternative-methods parenting guide. Feeding and sleeping schedules, potty training and early independence. These are the three maxims actress and mother of two Bialik claims parents must let go of in order to raise a child in the attachment parenting way. This "green" method of parenting "seeks to create a generation of children who love and respect people and the earth because they have been loved and respected by their parents." Guidelines set by Attachment Parenting International include natural childbirth, breastfeeding, sensitivity to the child and bonding. The author provides examples from her own experiences regarding these strategies. She recommends the use of midwives and doulas to help with childbirth in lieu of doctors and painkilling medications. Bialik explains breastfeeding on demand, holding the baby in one's arms or via the use of a baby carrier and the use of a family bed. Other advice includes saying no to all the gadgets and stuff available for babies and toddlers, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor for minor ailments and alternative approaches to discipline. Perhaps the most controversial suggestion is the idea of elimination communication--the ability to learn when a child, even a newborn, needs to pass waste products. Bialik claims that any child would prefer to eliminate into a potty rather than a cloth or disposable diaper. By learning the nonverbal signals that all children demonstrate, a parent can determine when the infant or child needs to use the potty and rush him or her to the appropriate location. The author admits parents must be willing to endure numerous accidents before the method is foolproof. Reminiscent of the back-to-the-land parenting methods of the 1960s, the book provides alternative ideas on childbirth and childrearing for today's modern parent.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451662184
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
593,651
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Emily Durante has narrated the Midnight Twins trilogy by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson, and Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas, and directed the Earphones Award�winning performance of Heaven's Keep narrated by Buck Schirner.

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