Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bebe Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting)

( 104 )

Overview

The runaway New York Times bestseller that shows American parents the secrets behind France's amazingly well-behaved children
 
When American journalist Pamela Druckerman had a baby in Paris, she didn't aspire to become a "French parent." But she noticed that French children slept through the night by two or three months old. They ate braised leeks. They played by themselves while their parents sipped ...

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Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bébé Dayby Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting)

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Overview

The runaway New York Times bestseller that shows American parents the secrets behind France's amazingly well-behaved children
 
When American journalist Pamela Druckerman had a baby in Paris, she didn't aspire to become a "French parent." But she noticed that French children slept through the night by two or three months old. They ate braised leeks. They played by themselves while their parents sipped coffee. And yet French kids were still boisterous, curious, and creative. Why? How?
          
With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman set out to investigate—and wound up sparking a national debate on parenting. Researched over three years and written in her warm, funny voice, Bringing Up Bébé is deeply wise, charmingly told, and destined to become a classic resource for American parents.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

At first, American journalist Pamela Druckerman was just a new mom in an adopted country attentively observing the parenting methods of her Parisian neighbors. As time passed, she realized that what she was witnessing was significant, that French mothers knew something that she and most other Americans parents didn't. Her revelations, first collected in Bringing Up Bébé, became a word-of-mouth bestseller. Then she followed that top-seller with another: Bébé Day by Day. Both of these artfully informative books are collected here in trade paperback and NOOK Book formats. Editor's recommendation.

Chicago Tribune
“French women don't have little bags of emergency Cheerios spilling all over their Louis Vuitton handbags. They also, Druckerman notes, wear skinny jeans instead of sweatpants.The world arguably needs more kids who don't throw food.”
NPR
“Marvelous . . . Like Julia Child, who translated the secrets of French cuisine, Druckerman has investigated and distilled the essentials of French child-rearing. . . . Druckerman provides fascinating details about French sleep training, feeding schedules and family rituals. But her book's real pleasures spring from her funny, self-deprecating stories. Like the principles she examines, Druckerman isn't doctrinaire.”
The Wall Street Journal
“On questions of how to live, the French never disappoint. . . . Maybe it all starts with childhood. That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bébé.”
Slate
“I’ve been a parent now for more than eight years, and—confession—I’ve never actually made it all the way through a parenting book. But I found Bringing Up Bébé to be irresistible."
Fox News
Bringing Up Bébé is a must-read for parents who would like their children to eat more than white pasta and chicken fingers.”
NPR
Marvelous . . . Like Julia Child, who translated the secrets of French cuisine, Druckerman has investigated and distilled the essentials of French child-rearing. . . . Druckerman provides fascinating details about French sleep training, feeding schedules and family rituals. But her book's real pleasures spring from her funny, self-deprecating stories. Like the principles she examines, Druckerman isn't doctrinaire.
Fox News
Bringing Up Bébé is a must-read for parents who would like their children to eat more than white pasta and chicken fingers.
The Wall Street Journal
On questions of how to live, the French never disappoint. . . . Maybe it all starts with childhood. That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bébé.
Chicago Tribune
French women don't have little bags of emergency Cheerios spilling all over their Louis Vuitton handbags. They also, Druckerman notes, wear skinny jeans instead of sweatpants.The world arguably needs more kids who don't throw food.
Slate
I've been a parent now for more than eight years, and—confession—I've never actually made it all the way through a parenting book. But I found Bringing Up Bébé to be irresistible.
Publishers Weekly
Living in Paris has allowed American journalist Druckerman (Lust in Translation) a riveting glimpse into a calmer, rational, sage way of raising children. With three children of her own, all born in Paris and happily bilingual, Druckerman wanted to find the key to forging the well-behaved youngsters she witnessed in parks and restaurants—infants who sleep through the night at two months, children with table manners, who don’t interrupt adults or eat between meals. It starts, apparently, with calm, sensible French mothers, who don’t become enormously self-indulgent during pregnancy, but quickly lose the baby fat after birth and rarely breast feed. The French health system helps by its generous maternal and child-care policies. Babies are treated as rational creatures, expected to “self-distract” in order to fall asleep (Druckerman calls the essential lapse in response time “La Pause”), and wait to eat when everybody else has their meals, four times a day, including the 4 p.m. sweet time called le gouter. Instead of rushing to satisfy or stimulate a child à la Americain, the French are keen on aiding kids to discover on their own, developing autonomy with the help of a cadre, or frame, which is firm but flexible. Citing Rousseau, Piaget, and Françoise Dolto, as well as scores of other parents, Anglophone or French, Druckerman draws compelling social comparisons, some dubious (e.g., Frenchwomen, unlike Americans, don’t expect their husbands to help much with housework, thus eliminating “tension and resentment”), others helpful (insisting that children try new foods at each meal to broaden their palates), but she is ever engaging and lively to read. (Feb.)
Library Journal
After moving to Paris and having a baby, former Wall Street Journal reporter Druckerman noticed that French women just weren't that uptight about child-rearing issues. Meanwhile, French children turned out to be well behaved but hardly repressed. Druckerman investigated and discovered that French parents are in some ways deeply strict and in some ways surprisingly permissive—no beat-the-odds enrichment classes at age three. Never mind French women staying chic or not getting fat, this is a really important work.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of a cross-cultural study on infidelity turns her judicious eye to the differences between American and Parisian childrearing. When Druckerman (Lust in Translation, 2007) was laid off from her job as an international reporter for the Wall Street Journal, she willingly reunited with British journalist Simon, whom she'd met six months earlier. Their romance relocated her to his "two-room bachelor pad" in Paris where an expected culture clash awaited. An "Atkins-leaning vegetarian," Druckerman found particular discordance with Parisian cuisine and social norms. After getting pregnant, the author became obsessively worrisome and at odds with the structure of French childbirth and childrearing, though she was amazed at how inexplicably well-behaved and good-natured Parisian children seemed. Intent on uncovering the secret to French nurturing, she began some "investigative parenting," and the American expat waded through her daughter Bean's crucial developmental years fortified by what Parisian parents taught their own children. Druckerman's epiphanies include how months-old French babies sleep through the night via the "pause" technique and, soon after, are taught the art of patience. She demystifies the day-care "crèche" and preschool "maternelle," and how French mothers return to top physical shape (and their jobs) following childbirth. The author is a delightfully droll storyteller with an effortless gift of gab that translates well to the page. She backs up assumptions and associated explorations with historical parenting examples and comparisons that temper her skepticisms with an authoritative air. With twins on the way, Druckerman eventually acclimated to the guarded, good-natured bonhomie of Paris and struck a happy medium between French methods and her own parenting preferences. A quirky family saga of an American mother in Paris.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143122968
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 9/30/2014
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 27,961
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Druckerman

Pamela Druckerman is a contributing opinion writer for the International New York Times and a former staff reporter for  The Wall Street Journal, where she covered foreign affairs. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post and Marie Claire. She lives in Paris.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 104 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(55)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Merely being openminded

    This is a book about her experiences and the differences in the culture, her and this other mother from France are simply comparing notes...its very interesting and some points from the book I will adopt! NO ONE knows the absolute way to parent a child. I did enjoy this book!

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book

    I love Pamela's easy-going writing style and I'm already almost done with this quick-read. This book isn't a strict "how-to" parenting, but more-so reflections on parenting philosophies based on observations, credible sources, and her life in France. Being surrounded by young people my whole life, and studying Human Development in college, a lot of what she says sounds very plausable and makes biological sense. I hope she writes a follow-up book someday when her kids are older.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Excellent and so very true!

    My daughter recommended this book to me and I loved it! She spent a year studying in France and quickly noticed how the children there are much better behaved than in the US. Having traveled there a few times it's obvious they are taught at an early age how to behave in public. Large groups of five year olds being quiet in the Louve with only a few chaperones? Yes, it's true! As a parent I wish this book had been written about 22 years ago when I had my first child. As an elementary school teacher, I wish every parent would read this and learn something! Respect, patience, and independence are no longer being taught at home! We are too busy telling our children how wonderful they are to make them feel good about themselves. Knowing how to handle small problems and frustration can and should be taught at an early age. I know the French aren't always looked upon favorably in the US, but it sounds like they can teach us something about parenting with grace, dignity, and patience.


    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Loved it!

    I deeply enjoyed this book. It had some really great ideas that we've already started to use with our son! Now I feel refocused on my parenting 'style'. There were parts where I laughed so hard when I would realize...I do that too but I never realized how crazy I must look to others! I also never realized how much of how I parent has been culturally influenced...whether it is working or not. Highly recommend!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    All parenting books end up being merely opinion

    There are no parenting books out there that refine the skill set to a science. Parenting styles are different within any existing culture let alone different ones. This is merely one woman's take on her perception of the French. Take it for what it is.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    highly recommend

    This is so true. It brings common sense back into parenting.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    Enjoyable

    Since she was once a reporter for a well-respected paper, she is simply writing her observations. If you are looking for a scientific breakdown, this is not the book for you. If you want an enjoyable read with some helpful tips, give it a go.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    Great Read

    I purchased this book after seeing an article in Fort Worth Child magazine. Great book, easy to read, wonderful insight on the cultural difference between America and France and how we raise our children. I wish I had this book when my child was an infant (now 5). I appreciate that the French do not try to push their children into the next phase of life rather enjoy where they are and strengthen their current phase. Often French children do not begin to read until age 7, rarely are they pushed into sports, and they are eating off the adult's menu (b/c a child's menu does not exist) as a toddler. Loved it. Well done Pamela Druckerman.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2012

    As a European living in the US and getting ready to become a mom

    As a European living in the US and getting ready to become a mom for the first time I find this book to be very interesting and useful. Of course it's a somewhat subjective point of view, but so is any parenting advice. Lots of great examples and funny anecdotes! My husband who is also European and who has plenty of parenting experience raising a child (from his previous marriage) the American way couldn't put the book down. He kept saying "I wish I realized that the first time around but now it's too late".

    This book should be a must read for every American (or living in the US) parent! Let's take the best from both sides of the Atlantic to avoid being surrounded by child-kings.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    an easy read and good information

    I give this book five stars. It is a wonderfully written view into a mother's own insecurities and questions on how to best handle the world of raising a child. Make sure you go into this with an open mind and if you raised your children differently don't take it as in insult. Just another way of looking at things. With that view, this book is charming, uplifting and entertaining. I will try to implement some of these ideas with our new little one comming soon.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    A very good parenting book.

    I find I do implement some French parenting skills already and plan on developing more. A book more Americans should read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Thought Provoking

    It seems like it would all be common sense, but I find that the art of raising children might be on a decline in our society where we are all so "busy". It's interesting to take a peak into another culture and see how they do things.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    interesting read

    I enjoyed this book for the story telling and the observations in French parenting. It seems the author knows some exceptionally neurotic American parents, so I found some of the generalizations extreme. French parents seem to have very well behaved childen, per this book. What was missing were studies proving that these were truly happier children whom become happier, well adjusted adults.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Interesting read for parents-to-be and new parents

    Very interesting to compare French parenting with American parenting in this book. In doing so, the author provides some parenting ideas that American parents might want to employ in raising their children.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    11 years too late

    If this book had been written eleven years ago my life would have been easier, more enjoyable and my children would be happier. The author literally had me laughing out loud. I think every American parent or parent to be should read this book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2012

    Highly Recommended!!!! Must Read, Must Use!!!

    I received this book from a friend when she found out we were expecting. I have not been able to put it down. I have tagged many pages and highlighted so much to go back to. I can't wait to but it to use.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    The best parenting book I have ever read

    This book was so on point with everything that is wrong with how Americans parent their kids. Although I believe that some of her concepts would be difficult to actually carry out, I strongly believe in the overall theories and will do my best to employ them in my own house. I highly recommend this book. Parents who follow the attachment parenting method will most likely not enjoy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    It's a memoir, not a guidebook

    It seems like all the negative reviews of this book are either that it's not a clear enough guide and she goes on too much, or that they disagree with her about the benefits of French parenting. These readers are missing the point. This book is not a parenting manual it's a memoir about one woman's experience raising children in Paris and reasearching French parenting philosophy. As someone currently expecting her first child, I find it very interesting to read about other parents experiences, and I highly reccommend this book to anyone else looking to read about some different perspectives. If, on the otherhand, you are looking for a guidebook- look elsewhere.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Author rambles a bit... (so far)

    I must say that the nonstop references to What To Expect When Youre Expecting get kind of... annoying. Being a mom of a 1 yr. Old and 6 months pregnant too Ive seen about everything in there a billion times and while I may not agree with everything, I cant see how someone could see it all so negatively. Its a guide, not step by step instructions. Havent ,made it through the book yet but as far as the authors description of what the American pregnant woman is like, I cannot relate. I love being pregnant! There are always possibilities but as long as you speak with your doctor about any concerns he (or you) have and always do what you feel is best for baby and yourself alike, why not have faith and enjoy the biggest role youll ever play in your childs life? Im ready for the actual parenting part, tired of the pre-parenting. I hope this gets more fun to read!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Great read

    I love this book. Excellent eye opener to the science behind raising healthy babies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews

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