Pregnancy: books II


I finished these two books last week. Here are my review and summary of them.

The happiest baby on the Block

Coco’s review: this is a very practical book teaching you how to sooth a crying baby during the first 3 months. The method seems simple to do and why it is effective. I’m definitely trying it out once Sofia is borne.

Key points:

  • Babies are born three months too soon. So we need to recreate the womb environment.
  • The 5 “S’s” to turn on your baby’s calming reflex: Swaddling (tight wrapping), Side/Stomach (laying a baby on her side or stomach), Shushing (loud white noise), Swinging (rhythmic, jiggly motion) and Sucking (sucking on anything from your nipple or finger to a pacifier).
  • Observe other babies expressions to figure out what she/he wants when crying: Is your baby opening his mouth and rooting? (this could indicate hunger); is he yawning, rubbing his eyes, moving his head from side to side, or staring out with droopy eyelids? (this could indicate fatigue); does he seem to be intentionally looking away from you or starting to hiccup? (this could indicate overstimulation); is he making facial grimaces and trying to bear down? (this could indicate intestinal discomfort).
  • Colic remedy: 5 “S’s”, massage, walks outside, warming, 
  • Few more sleep tips: fee your baby more during the day, feed him in a quiet room so he doesn’t get distracted and refuse to eat, give him “cluster feedings” (several meals given every two hours in the late afternoon and early evening to load him up with calories), “top off the tank” by waking him for a midnight feeding. 

Coco’s review: I has some interesting points. But the writing and how he presents the ideas is not very organized. By showing a lot much research evidence, sometimes it makes readers (me) forgets about the main point. The good thing is that he has a key points summary at the end of each chapter.

Key points:

  • During pregnancy don’t waste your money on products claiming to improve a pre born baby’s IQ, temperament, or personality. None of them have been proven to work.
  • Brain boosters at second half of the pregnancy: gaining the proper weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising moderately, and reducing stress.
  • Hostility between parents can harm a newborn’s developing brain and nervous system.
  • Regularly practice the empathy reflex. As your first response to any emotional situation, describe the emotional changes you think you see, and then make a guess as to their origins.
  • Intelligence has many ingredients, not just IQ, it includes a desire to explore, self-control, creativity, and communication skills.
  • What helps early learning: breast-feeding, talking to your children -a lot, guided play everyday, and praising effort rather than intelligence.
  • What hurts early learning: overexposure to television (keep the TV off before age 2), a sedentary lifestyle, and limited face-to-face interaction.
  • Pressuring children to learn a subject before their brains are ready is only harmful.
  • The single best predictor of happiness? Having friends.
  • Children who learn to regulate their emotions have deeper friendships than those who don’t.
  • HOw you deal with your toddler’s intense emotions is a huge factor in how happy your child will be as an adult.
  • Acknowledge, name, and empathize with emotions. Save judgement for any unacceptable behavior arising from emotions.
  • One parenting style is most likely to produce terrific kids: demanding and warm. These parents are demanding, but they care a lot about their kids. They explain their rules and encourage their children to state their reactions to them. They encourage high levels of independence, yet see the children comply with family values.
  • Moral behavior develops over time and requires a particular kind of guidance.
  • How parents handle rules is key: realistic, clear expectations, consistent, swift consequences for rule violation; and praise for good behavior.
  • Children are more likely to internalize moral behavior if parents explain why a rule and its consequences exist.
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