Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5


Now the organization that represents the nation's finest pediatricians and the most advanced research and practice in the field of child care brings you state-of-the-art answers to all your medical and parenting concerns. Here is sound, reassuring advice on child rearing that covers everything from preparing for childbirth to toilet training to nurturing your child's self-esteem. Here, too, is an indispensable guide to recognizing and solving common childhood health problems, plus detailed instructions for coping...
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Now the organization that represents the nation's finest pediatricians and the most advanced research and practice in the field of child care brings you state-of-the-art answers to all your medical and parenting concerns. Here is sound, reassuring advice on child rearing that covers everything from preparing for childbirth to toilet training to nurturing your child's self-esteem. Here, too, is an indispensable guide to recognizing and solving common childhood health problems, plus detailed instructions for coping with emergency medical situations. Comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date, Caring for Your Baby and Young Child includes: basic care from infancy through age five; guidelines and milestones for physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth; a complete health encyclopedia covering injuries, illnesses, congenital diseases, and other disabilities; safety checks for home, outdoors, and car; a guide for choosing child-care programs; a discussion of family issues from sibling rivalry and adoption to stepfamilies and working mothers and much more. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child is an essential child-care resource for all parents who want to provide the very best care for their children - and the one guide pediatricians routinely recommend and parents can safely trust.

"A comprehensive childcare guide as well as an encyclopedic guide to recognizing and solving health and behavior problems."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The first in a projected trilogy of books that will lead parents from their offspring's babyhood through the teen years, this is a thorough guide to infancy and the first years of a child's life. It's the closest one can get to having a live-in pediatrician. Part One explores the bond between parent and child, then launches into a discussion of pregnancy, delivery and the care of newborn babies. Subsequent chapters cover the first year of life, addressing typical physical and mental developments, how parents can foster independence in children, and common health problems. Major milestones for ages two through five are also explored. Part Two is concerned with child safety, typical child care and how to handle such complex issues as adoption, sibling rivalry and divorce. Individual chapters devoted to eyes, heart, skin and more provide a handy reference tool for spotting potential problems and coping with existing ones. Whether a child is two months or two years old, the up-to-date information offered here will reassure. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Subject to extensive review by Academy members, this handbook on the early years of a child's life is comprehensive, authoritative, and interesting. In section 1, chapters divided according to developmental stages track physical, mental, emotional and verbal growth, basic care, health and safety concerns, and family issues. Section 2 covers child health hazards and treatment. In contrast to the frank, informative, reassuring, but somehow frantic and intimidating personal accounts of parents found in such books as Frances Burck's Babysense: A Practical and Supportive Guide to Baby Care, 2d ed. ( LJ 3/1/91), this survey is cool, confident, and reassuring if somewhat impersonal. An essential addition to consumer health collections.-- Kathryn Hammell Carpenter, Univ. of Illinois Lib., Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553382907
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/22/2004
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 784
  • Product dimensions: 9.08 (w) x 7.38 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven P. Shelov, MD, MS, FAAP, is a Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Chairman of Pediatrics at Maimonides Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center, and Vice President of the Infants' and Childrens' Hospital of Brooklyn. In 2002 Dr. Shelov was presented with the Lifetime Achievement in Education Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, FAAP, editor-in-chief of The Wonder Years, is a board-certified pediatrician in private practice and clinical instructor at Mattel Children's Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 53,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. This book is part of the Academy's ongoing education efforts to provide parents with quality information on a broad spectrum of children's health issues.

What distinguishes this child-care book from the many others in bookstores and on library shelves is that it has been developed and extensively reviewed by members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A six-member editorial board developed the initial material with the assistance of more than seventy-five contributors and reviewers. The final draft was then reviewed by countless numbers of pediatricians. Because medical information on children's health is constantly changing, every effort has been made to ensure that this book contains the most up-to-date information available.

It is the Academy's hope that this book will become an invaluable resource and reference guide for parents. We believe it is the best source of information on matters of children's health and well-being. We are confident readers will find the book extremely valuable, and we encourage them to use this book in concert with the advice and counsel of their own pediatrician who will provide individual guidance and help on issues related to the health of their children.

Joe M. Sanders, Jr., M.D.
Executive Director
American Academy of Pediatrics

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Table of Contents

Resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Introduction: The Gifts of Parenthood
1 Preparing for a New Baby 3
2 Birth and the First Moments After 23
3 Basic Infant Care 33
4 Feeding Your Baby: Breast and Bottle 67
5 Your Baby's First Days 111
6 The First Month 133
7 Age One Month Through Three Months 165
8 Age Four Months Through Seven Months 189
9 Age Eight Months Through Twelve Months 215
10 The Second Year 249
11 Age Two to Three Years 285
12 Age Three to Five Years 325
13 Keeping Your Child Safe 375
14 Part-time Care for Your Child 411
15 Emergencies 447
16 Abdominal/Gastrointestinal Tract 469
17 Behavior 495
18 Chest and Lungs 507
19 Developmental Disabilities 521
20 Ears, Nose, and Throat 535
21 Eyes 555
22 Family Issues 565
23 Fever 583
24 Genitourinary Tract 587
25 Head, Nervous System, Face, and Neck 597
26 Heart 607
27 Immunizations 613
28 Musculoskeletal Problems 617
29 Skin 627
30 Chronic Conditions and Diseases 647
Commonly Used Medications 658
Index 661
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First Chapter

Choosing a Pediatrician

Every pediatrician is committed to helping parents raise healthy children with the greatest possible ease, comfort, pleasure, and success. However, different pediatricians have different approaches, so you may want to interview several pediatricians before selecting the one who best suits your family's particular preferences and needs. Conduct these visits before the baby arrives, so the pediatrician you choose can give your newborn her very first exam.

Here are some considerations to help you make your choice:

The Training of Pediatricians

Pediatricians are graduates of four-year medical schools with three additional years of residency training solely in pediatrics. Under supervised conditions, the pediatrician-in-training acquires the knowledge and skills necessary to treat a broad range of conditions, from the mildest childhood illnesses to the most serious diseases.

With the completion of residency training, the pediatrician is eligible to take a written examination given by the American Board of Pediatrics. If he or she passes this examination, a certificate is issued, which you will probably see on the pediatrician's office wall. If you see the initials FAAP after a pediatrician's name, it means he or she is a Fellow (member) of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Only Board-certified pediatricians can become members of this professional organization.

Following their residency, some pediatricians elect an additional one to three years of training in a subspecialty, such as neonatology (the care of sick and premature newborns) or pediatric cardiology (the diagnosis and treatment of heart problems in children). These pediatric subspecialists are generally called upon to consult with general pediatricians when a patient develops uncommon or special problems. If a subspecialist is ever needed to treat your child, your regular pediatrician will help you find the right one for your child's problem.

How to Find a Pediatrician for Your Baby

A good place to start looking for a pediatrician is by asking your obstetrician for referrals. He or she will know local pediatricians who are competent and respected within the medical community. Other parents also can recommend pediatricians who have successfully treated their children.

Once you have the names of several pediatricians you wish to consider, arrange a personal interview with each of them during the final months of your pregnancy. Most pediatricians routinely grant such preliminary interviews. Both parents should attend these meetings if possible, to be sure you both agree with the pediatrician's policies and philosophy about child rearing. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask any questions. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • How soon after birth will the pediatrician see your baby?

Most hospitals ask for the name of your pediatrician when you're admitted to deliver your baby. The delivery nurse will then call that pediatrician or his associate on call as soon as your baby is born. If you had any complications during either pregnancy or the delivery, your baby should be examined at birth. Otherwise, the examination can take place anytime during the first twenty-four hours of life. Ask the pediatrician if you can be present during that initial examination. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about your baby and get answers to any questions you may have.

  • When will your baby's next exams take place?

Pediatricians routinely examine newborns and talk with parents before the babies are discharged from the hospital. This lets the doctor identify any problems that may have arisen and also gives you a chance to ask questions that have occurred to you during your hospital stay, before you take the baby home. Your pediatrician will also let you know when to schedule the first office visit for your baby (as early as one day after discharge), and how he or she may be reached if a medical problem develops before then.

  • When is the doctor available by phone?

Many pediatricians have a specific call-in period each day when you can phone with questions. If members of the office staff routinely answer these calls, you should find out what their training is. Also ask your pediatrician for guidelines to help you determine which questions can be resolved with a phone call and which require an office visit.

  • What hospital does the doctor prefer to use?

Ask the pediatrician where to go if your child becomes seriously ill or is injured. If the hospital is a teaching hospital with interns and residents, find out who would actually care for your child if he was admitted.

  • What happens if there is an emergency?

Find out if the pediatrician takes her own emergency calls at night. If not, how are such calls handled? Also, ask if the pediatrician sees patients in the office after regular hours or if you must instead take your child to an emergency room. When possible, it's often easier and more efficient to see the doctor in her office, because hospitals frequently require lengthy paperwork and extended waits before your child receives attention. On the other hand, serious medical problems are usually better handled at the hospital, where staff and medical equipment are always available.

  • Who "covers" the practice when your pediatrician is unavailable?

If your physician is in a group practice, it's wise to meet the other doctors, since they may treat your child in your pediatrician's absence. If your pediatrician practices alone, he probably will have an arrangement for coverage with other doctors in the community. Usually your pediatrician's answering service will automatically refer you to the doctor on call, but it's still a good idea to ask for the names and phone numbers of all the doctors who take these calls--just in case you have trouble getting through to your own physician.

If your child is seen by another doctor at night or on the weekend, you should check in by phone with your own pediatrician the next morning (or on Monday). Your doctor will probably already know what has taken place, but this phone call will give you a chance to bring him up to date and reassure yourself that everything is being handled as he would recommend.

  • How often will the pediatrician see your baby for checkups and immunizations?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends checkups by one month, and at two, four, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen, and twenty-four months, and annually after that. If the doctor routinely schedules examinations more or less frequently than this, discuss the difference with her.

  • What are the costs of care?

Your pediatrician should have a standard fee structure for hospital and office visits as well as after-hours visits and home visits (if he makes them). Find out if the charges for routine visits include immunizations. If not, ask how much they will cost. Also, if you are covered by a managed-care system (HMO, etc.), check whether the pediatrician is on the panel of physicians.

After these interviews, you need to ask yourself if you are comfortable with the pediatrician's philosophy, policies, and practice. You must feel that you can trust him or her and that your questions will be answered and your concerns handled compassionately. You should also feel comfortable with the staff and the general atmosphere of the office.

Once your baby arrives, the most important "test" of the pediatrician you have selected is how he or she cares for your child and responds to your concerns. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the treatment you and your child are receiving, you should talk to the pediatrician directly about the problem. If the response does not address your concerns properly, or the problem simply cannot be resolved, don't hesitate to change physicians.

Excerpted from CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD: BIRTH TO AGE 5, edited by Steven Patrick Shelov, M.D., and Robert E. Hannemann, M.D. Copyright © 1998 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2011

    A baby Bible

    This is the third time I am buying this book. This is a bible , a must have life saving book. I bought this for my sister and then for my friend and now for me. We don't know anything about kids when my sister first gave birth to my niece, We learned literally most of the things from this. I would recommend this to every one.

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    The Baby Bible

    I purchased this book when my son was about 1 week old, after purchasing another book. With the other book, we were left with a lot of questions and resorted to supplementing our info with online research. This book was recommended to me by a friend and has become a mainstay in our house--even now that my son is 4 years old! This book is comprehensive and covers all aspects of parenting from how to bathe and diaper your baby to what to do in an emergency. I give this book as a gift to all new moms and they always tell me how much they love it as well!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    Great Baby Shower Gift !!!

    I found this book when my oldest son was a newborn. It was so helpful, not only answering questions that I had, but providing such good information that I had a much better idea of what questions I should be asking my pediatrician about. I referred to it over and over again with each of my children, and almost always give it as a baby shower gift. Every person I have given it to has come back to tell me how much it helped them after their babies were born. Great book, great resource for all parents !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2009

    Full of great information and a good reference

    I found this book to be a good pre-baby read to prepare me for when baby comes home, and as a great resource to return to as our child grows. Especially good since family is far away and harder to contact than if Mom or sis lived down the street.

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  • Posted February 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A must read for first time parents.

    Caring For Your Baby and Young Child
    Caring for Your Baby and Young Child was written by the "American Academy of Pediatrics" editors Steven P. Shelov and Robert E. Hannemn. This book covers the following: basic care for the first months of a young baby through the toddler years, medical issues parents may encounter, what to do to provide your baby secure surroundings, benchmarks in the process of a child's development, etc. This is a complete and extensive resource of essential -childcare that guides many parents throughout the process of parenthood.
    Caring for Your Baby and Young Child guides readers step-by- step. This book serves as a guide to many caregivers as well, and it is a great resource recommended by many pediatricians that contains plenty of illustrations and covers basic care of your child from infancy to age five. It is a great book to read when your child is taking a nap or even before your baby is born.
    If you are a parent looking for a book just to discipline your child, this is not it. This book helps parents learn how to make you child feel loved. This book was exclusively written for all parents of all ages that are interested in learning basic care for their babies and also discipline for young children. Expecting parents also find this guide very useful; many of them enjoy this book because instead of just giving the parents an idea of what to expect, this book prepares them for this amazing experience with a lot of facts, details, and techniques.
    I found this guide very useful as a first time mom. I was able to understand better the process of raising a child and it also taught me techniques on how to provide the best care for my baby. One thing I loved about this book was that it talks about situations that we as parents may encounter and struggle with, providing solutions, causes, and consequences. Something I found interesting was that this guide, written by pediatricians, does not come across as a "medical book" but as a nurturing book which really makes a connection with the parents that read it. This book will make you want to read more and more; you will find it amazing how many tips and secrets they can give you to improve the care you provide your child.
    "This book is dedicated to all the people who recognize that children are our greatest inspiration in the present and our greatest hope for the future" (Shelov, intro).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2005

    Highly Recommended

    I just bought this book for my nephew who recently had a baby boy. My pediatrician gave me a copy when my son was born and it has been my bible for the last two years (my son is two). I helped raise my nieces and nephews and I am an RN/paramedic and I thought I knew all that I needed to know about raising my son. Was I ever wrong. I thank the American academy of pediatrics for writing this book and my pediatrician for giving me this book. It has saved a couple of phone calls to her office and a couple of office visits, as well as giving me peace of mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2005

    1st Time Mom!!!

    I am a 1st time mom, and I helped my mom raise my brother, but I find myself looking in the book atleast 5 times a week to see if my son is supposed to do a certain thing, or why is he doing that!! I find it very informative

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2004

    Helpful Guidance Without Causing Anxiety for Parents

    'Caring for You Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5' is a trusted reference book associated with the American Academy of Pediatrics that I highly recommend as a pediatrician to the families I care for. New moms and dads can easily find the facts, support and comfort they are searching for to help them make more informed choices regarding their children. This reference guide is very well organized and offers an ample variery of helpful, sound, easy to understand information geared to the common health, developmental and behavior concerns that parents face during the first five years of life. I like the nonjudgmental manner in which the medical facts and suggestions are written which helps a worried parent feel informed but not talked down to or alarmed. That is very important to me as so many books seem to confuse, scare and pressure well-meaning, otherwise competent moms and dads. Although this 736 page book covers a wide spectrum of information especially on medical and baby developmental issues, I feel that the advice relating to discipline strategies and child development insights for the 2-to-5-year-old could be more in depth. However, no one book can cover everything. Therefore, I also recommend 'The Pocket Parent' as a companion book to fill that need. 'The Pocket Parent' is a convenient A-Z pocket-guide focusing on the most challenging toddler/preschool behaviors (such as bad words, biting, hitting, lying, the gimmes, tantrums, & whining). This book is written exclusively for parents of 2's, 3's, 4's and 5's in the same parent-friendly style as 'Caring For Your Baby...' Parenting the little ones can often be frustrating and quite challenging. These two books, embracing the same positive perspective and philosophy, are worthwhile additions to your home library that you can refer to again and again. Neither book needs to be read cover to cover, but rather as you need it regarding the issue at hand.

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