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November 11, 2005

Book Review: Be Prepared

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I just read the first half of "Be prepared - A practical Handbook for New Dads".

Overall, it's good. It's very funny, informative, and definitely catered to men (I read somewhere that it was "like the other books, without the breastfeeding tips and the sentimental mumbo-jumbo", which is pretty accurate). The illustrations are as good as the copy, some are definitely hilarious. The book-companion website, beprepared.net, is, for once, a very good website! Make sure you check out the downloads section.

I would recommend it as a good baby-shower present for your dad-to-be friends.

There is one thing that bugs me about the book: it is written in a way that makes me think that the authors have never heard of same-sex parents or stay-at-home-dads. I don't think it's intentional, since there isn't a little disclaimer at the beginning of the book or anything. The stereotypes abound (which makes it easier to be funny, I understand. One chapter is titled "Reading Sports Illustrated to Your Baby" for instance), but it still bugs me. I guess I'm becoming more and more of a San Franciscan... ;)

Another small thing about the book, which I strongly disagree with: on page 65, in the chapter about putting your baby to sleep, it says "Before you lay the baby down, you've got to make sure she's entered into a good, sound slumber. To test her level of sleepiness, lift one of her arms a couple of inches and then let it fall. If she offers any resistance, then you need to do some more rocking". On the next page, the whole page is dedicated to "The Delicate Art of the Transfer" from lap to bed.

I couldn't disagree with that statement more. How is your baby going to learn to put herself to sleep if you never give her a chance? As much as possible you should wait until she is half-asleep when you put her down, but not more. In her head, I think this is what happens: "mmh, this sucks. I guess I could start crying about it, but that would take a lot of work and I'm SOOO tired, maybe I'll just fall asleep instead". ;) And if you do it, there's no need to master the art of the transfer!

If I find other things I disagree with while reading the book I'll add them here. Back to reading some more!

Posted by patata at November 11, 2005 05:24 PM