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le top babyThere is one similarity with all recessions – when it is over a baby boom hits!  I have 8 friends expecting and Jamee is waiting for 14…so I would say “It’s beginning to look a lot like …the end of a recession!”

This new ‘generation’ of post-recession parents has their own set of ideas.  We have a legion of moms that want to do the right thing, and to achieve that goal they are diving into a pool of information that is limitless.  It is easy to get lost in a sea of books that tell you everything you ever needed to know about child rearing.  I decided to narrow down this vast list of books on parenthood because it seems overwhelming to a new mom-to-be (I’m not there quite yet, but it pays to plan ahead!)  I sat down with a group of my “mommy” friends to quiz them about the books they have read, and which ones ended up on their ‘recommended reading’ list.  Here is the list and their reasons why they are their top choices.

belly-laughsBelly Laughs, by Jenny McCarthy: All the mommy readers of this fabulously funny book agreed on three things:

1. It will make you laugh

2. It presents the ‘real life’ details of pregnancy

3. AND…NOT TO READ THIS BOOK UNLESS YOU ARE ALREADY PREGNANT OR YOU MAY NEVER WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN!

yourpregnancy

Two books tied as a weekly guide to pregnancy:  What to Expect when you are Expecting (Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff, Sandee Eisenberg Hathaway) and Your Pregnancy – Week-by-Week (Glade B. Curtis, Judith Schuler).   Both of these books feature the week-by-week detailing of pregnancy and are written with short chapters for the mom in a hurry.what to expect

Rachael (expectant mom to Amara) says about “What to Expect…”: “My favorite part is once a week I read what stage the baby is at with my husband, to see how much she has grown, along with what symptoms I may look forward to for the month”

On Becoming Baby Wise (Gary Ezzo, Robert Bucknam) has become a very important tool for a couple of my closest mommy friends; they ALL swear by its teachings, and go “by the book”.  Baby Wise teaches parents to schedule their new baby’s routine around the parent’s daily schedule as much as possible.  This book points out that the baby is coming into your life, not the other way around.  Regarding Baby Wise Erin (mommy to Emma) has this to say:

“BabyBaby Wise Wise is great for getting your baby to sleep through the night within 8 weeks.  It is very important to stick with it and to be consistent with the scheduling.  It provides a method of feeding on a schedule, but also lets you be in control.  It creates an “eat, play sleep” routine and helps your baby to thrive.  It has worked wonders for me as a new and first time mom and I love the structure it has instilled in my daughter.  She doesn’t need to be rocked to sleep for naps or at night, all I do is lay her in her crib and she is asleep with in 5 minutes- no screaming or crying. I love it- but you have to stick with it!!!”

Val (mommy to Spencer and Grace) said this about “Baby Wise”:

“One book I swear by, Baby Wise (and all the books in the series,) is truly a routine we followed to get both kids to sleep, on their own, at a VERY early age. Most people who come over to our house are stunned and amazed at how our kids take naps and go to sleep with little or no fussing.  We literally lay them down when it’s time (this is key), and they fall asleep on their own.”

Things have changed from the days of Dr. Spock, but one thing seems to ring true throughout all of these books- scheduling is your key to a quiet first year and beyond.  What books have helped you survive this wonderful, but challenging first year?  I am sure all those expectant moms out there would love to have feedback from you ‘pros’ – after all…it IS the end of the recession!

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baby-bookThere are so many baby reference books out there, it’s hard to pick which ones to read. And with a newborn, who has time to browse through all the books out there? A lot of it has to do with your parenting style. My personal favorite is “The Baby Book” by William Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN. I found that their philosophy matched mine, and it has become my Bible.

With my first born, I had a very difficult time getting her to sleep in her crib. She would cry the moment she was placed in it. It didn’t matter how long I let her cry it out (which was so painful for me to bear), she would only scream and cry louder. I tried all the tricks, such as making the bed warm, or adding an article of my clothing to make her more comfortable. Nothing worked, and NO ONE got any sleep. Then I stumbled on this book.

I like how the Sears authors approve of co-sleeping. Their argument is, “Why should the entire family be sleep-deprived, when you can all sleep soundly in one bed and wake up refreshed?” So true! Of course, they also recognize that each baby is different and that each baby has different needs. One might love to sleep in his own crib because they are sensitive to the movement and sounds of others, while another baby might feel secure being near her parents. Either way, this book doesn’t condemn any method. The authors just make you feel comfortable in the choices you make as parents. (Note: I’ve heard the disadvantages of co-sleeping, and that my daughter will never sleep in her own bed ever. I’m happy to say that was never a problem. She slept in her own bed when she was about a year old, and she still sleeps in her own bed.)

What baby books do you use? We’d love to hear what you recommend.

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There are so many ways to record your baby’s life and milestones. My mom kept a baby book for each of her children, and till this day, I treasure it! In fact, I love reading and comparing my development with my daughter’s development. My daughter started eating solid foods at 6 months, yet my mom had me eating steak and chicken at 4 months! Boy, have the times changed.

This is probably overkill (either because she’s my first child or I’m an over-achiever) but I have a baby book, a website (updated monthly), and several scrapbooks for my daughter. I can’t seem to stop recording her life! My husband asks every time I have filled yet another scrapbook, “So what are you going to do with these scrapbooks?”

Me: They’re mine! When she moves out and goes to college, I’m not giving these to her. I’m keeping them. These are MY memories.

Husband: So when are you going to stop scrapbooking and updating her website?

Me: When she’s graduated from high school. No. When she’s finished her doctorate. Wait! After she gets married. Uh… maybe when she has children. I don’t know. Don’t ask.

Do you do the same or am I just insane?

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Sorry I keep finding out about this stuff on the late-ish side! I hope there’s still time to make plans for attending this tonight, for those of you who are interested!

What: You’re invited to the third quasiperiodic Bay Area Kid Lit Drink Night!

Who’s invited: Everyone interested in children’s literature.
Publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, authors, illustrators, etc.
All our favorite people.

Do: Tell all your friends. The more, the merrier.

Don’t: Come to pitch projects to agents or editors or show sample art to designers, etc.
This is a chance to *socialize* with others in the children’s book field.

When: Tuesday, February 17th / 6:00pm

Where: John Colins 90 Natoma St, SF. Cocktails are available at the bar, and people
are welcome to bring snacks, books, and gossip for sharing.

L’chaim, sante, cheers, etc.,
Melissa Manlove
Chronicle Children’s Group

Editor’s Note: If you have baby/kid related events in your community that you’d like to share with us on le•top blog, please let us know!

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toysWe know there are many organizations throughout the world that work tirelessly year round, but especially so during the holidays, to bring a sense of hope and good will to those in need. For many years, le•top has worked with one such group in our area. Attorneys For Children is a self-funded group of volunteer attorneys who become very industrious elves from August through January. They hone gift lists for shelters and other organizations that serve the homeless and indigent. They make early morning runs to purchase toys and other gifts, then sort and bag them, and then distribute the gifts late into the night, close to Christmas. They do this to ensure that homeless children have at least one new gift to open during the holiday season, and just as importantly, to let children in shelters (or otherwise in need) know that the community values them and has faith in their futures. (more…)

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Olive, Karen’s lovable and girly yellow lab, is a much loved part of our le•top family. When Olive is in the office, somehow she brings smiles to all of our faces – a good thing when the focus becomes a little bit intense!

Olive at home

Olive at home

Olive believes she is either:
A person or…
A lapdog or…
A reindeer!!!

Yup, she is also a really good sport! Karen sent me some photos the other night after her family decorated their tree. I had spoken to her 2 boys on the phone during the festivities – they were SUPER excited! (They also promised to help ‘Aunt Chris’ next week!) But amongst the photos sent to me were photos of long suffering Olive – dressed for the season. We love the book Olive, the Other Reindeer – and now we have the proof! By the way, what child HASN’T confused the words in the song???

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