Baby and Child Care – by Dr.Benjamin Spock

This book was first published about 65 years back, in the year 1946. It is a useful reference book for parents with children of all ages.

Dr.Spock was an American perdiatrician.  He was a pioneer in the field of psychoanalysis for children. In other words, he was one of the first people to study children’s emotional and psychological needs. His studies led to the emergence of flexible and affectionate ways of bringing up children. He stessed the importance of respecting children as individuals. His book emphasises that the best way to bring up children is to rely on understanding and common sense.

Baby and child care

There are separate sections in this book dealing with pregnancy, new born babies, toddlers, children and proceeds up to teen agers. It gives a clear understanding of what to expect at every stage of child growth. There are no mention of growth indicators or milestones. Instead there is a summary of what might be the normal growth pattern in children.

This book clearly lists reasons behind behavioural problems of children. It gives parents tips on how to handle behavioural problems. Starting from continous night time crying of 2 month old babies, to temper tantrums in 2 year olds to irritable behviour in teen agers… this book states psychological reasons that drive children and how to handle these problems without disturbing the child.

In addition, this books also has a full fledged medical reference to ailments, injuries and allergies in children. It is a handy reference to understand when your child needs medical help and how to give emergency medical aids to children. Have you fretted over your 1 year old son when he swallowed a  coin, or worried that your 3 year old ate too much of hot sauce when you were fixing her meal? This book lists all such minor ailments and injuries common to children.

There is an India specific edition of this book on the stands. It has content more relevant for parents in India. Available with all major online book sellers,  including Flipkart and Amazon. This book is definitely worth every single rupee you pay for. It will appeal to all this who are looking for a reliable reference for child growth.

This is one book that certainly makes parenting more enjoyable!

Parenting – physical or mental?

Parenting – A word very much loved by women. Almost all women I come across consider themselves experts in parenting. If you are in India, and if you happen to have a child, you will receive advises and guidance on this subject from almost every woman you come across.

I was walking down the street the other day with my 10 month od daughter sleeping on my shoulders. A woman called out to me from inside her boutique shop. Curious, I stopped only to get a long advice on how I should cover my baby’s head while taking her out etc. I had the urge to explain to her that a mild exposure to the sun will not harm my daughter, neither will a pleasant breeze. But such explanations will only earn me stares and curt replies. I have even had people call me a mindless mother and my husband, a selfish father when we refused to load our daughter will all the customary gold and silver jewellery that a new born child is supposed to wear in this part of the world.

free childImage source: Etsy/terbearco

By parenthood, do we mean only the physical growth of the baby, and over protectiveness of it’s physical comforts? Is it not more important to bring up a mentally and psychologically mature baby? I would be proud to call myself the mother of a mentally mature, independent and sensible daughter, than to be the mother of a fair, beautiful, pretty looking daughter. Not that appearance and physical attributes are to be neglected. A good appearance is vital for a confident and happy mind. But, the point here is – physical appearance is not the only aim of good parenting.

In a society where the older generation’s view points on parenting and pregnancy are highly valued, it is a disappointment that the generations old advises and beliefs largely confirm to physical aspects like eating, massaging, sleeping routines etc. Not much is said about nurturing artistic talents or an independent spirit.

To nurture over all development, parenting needs to rest on the belief that every child knows what it needs to survive. Trust your child’s instincts to sleep, eat and live. Do not force your ideas / discipline on the child… instead feed him when he is hungry, let her sleep when she has tired herself out, let her play in the water to  enjoy her bath, let her enjoy a walk in the sun if she wants to play outside… Over protectiveness tends to make parents proud of their parenting skills, but it narrows down the child’s all-round development.

Common sense and respect for freedom is the best guide to parenting, now and forever.