Friday, August 15, 2008

Book Review: "The Natural Baby" by Janet Balaskas

"The Natural Baby"
Janet Balaskas
2002, 183 pages

This is a wonderful book!

This is the last book in my current Janet Balaskas reading-kick, and it is just great. It is formatted in the same manner as "New Natural Pregnancy" - a large page size with gorgeous color photos on each page. It is a very attractive, easy-to-read and well-formatted book.

Janet always has a very gracious approach to advice-giving. While she has her opinions, she is not militant, condescending, or demanding. She gives information graciously and then permits parents to make their own choices without feeling guilty.

I might have found her approach a little too extremist pre-baby, when I was all into Babywise and schedule-feeding, but since I had my baby and found that attachment parenting (in moderation) is just wonderful, I fall right in line with this book.

One of my favorite things in this book, as in "New Natural Pregnancy," is the index at the back listing common baby conditions (allergies, skin problems, respiratory problems, etc.) with information and suggestions for alternative therapies. I love that! So many times I want to try alternative therapies but am confused as to how to do it. This book gives you the resources you need! Janet lists therapies including homeopathy, herbal remedies, aromatherapy and cranial osteopathy, all of which are great for babies. The format is clear and easy to use - a real keeper!

One section I really loved was the chapter on Water Babies. Most people don't know about the dive reflex - the ability that newborn babies (up to 4 months) have to swim underwater completely safely. I was truly amazed when I saw this in a video a couple of years ago - newborn babies being tossed back and forth underwater by their parents in the Black Sea! It was amazing! I wish that our little guy had had swimming opportunities, but alas, he didn't get in a pool till he was two years old, at which point his dive reflex was long gone.

I think that there was a waterbabies movement quite a while back, when having newborns swim was quite popular, but it's definitely not "in" right now - must have faded out, like all fads. Too bad!

This is a wonderful resource, and I will definitely be on the lookout for one for my library!

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