Book Review: First Time Parent
I own a lot of baby and parenting books. A veritable library of them. Which is funny, because I am now of the opinion that you are unlikely to learn how to parent from a book. Only your baby can teach you how to be a parent. But of course, I hadn’t had that particular revelation before I bought the books!
I now feel that many books about babycare in the first year are actually parenting philsophies masquerading as childcare manuals. They definitely preach a “right way” to do things, and in my opinion, they set a lot of new parents up for failure if they can’t get their baby to behave as prescribed in the book.
That’s where First Time Parent by Lucy Atkins is a wonderful breath of fresh air in the world of baby books. It’s an instruction manual with photos! It covers everything from what you need to buy before baby arrives, to step-by-step instructions on how to swaddle your baby, or how to change a nappy. “Who needs instructions on how to change a nappy?”, I hear you ask. Well, I’d never changed a nappy before having Little Man, not that I remembered anyway.
I like this book because it feels like you’re reading advice from a friend. A friend who is willing to tell you about all the approaches to a particular problem that she has heard of, without telling you which one you should follow. So in her section on feeding, she covers breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, combination feeding, traditional spoonfed weaning, baby-led weaning, and even a piece on feeding yourself!
First Time Parent was written with a UK audience in mind, so the legislation referenced when the author talks about your rights with regard to things like breastfeeding in public, or taking maternity leave, is UK legislation. Despite this, this book is still an excellent read for a new parent anywhere. It retails at about EUR17 in Irish bookstores, though I’ve found it on Amazon for just £8.43.