Actually read The Expectant Dad's Survival Guide by Rob Kemp quite a while back, before going public. Blokey advice guide on what do to if your partner is pregnant. Concentrates on the pregnancy and birth, only a little bit of baby advice. Good book, has a lot of useful information on what's going on. Has a few useful tips, though there's relatively little you can actually do. The jolly men's-magazine tone could be a bit irritating to some. Overall though, a solidly informative book, worth reading if you're in the situation.
What I'm Reading 2
I found a couple of the baby books recommended in my previous diary in a charity shop. Thanks for the recommendations, folks! I skimmed them both, didn't read them thoroughly from cover to cover but concentrated on the stuff that's new to me.
The New Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford advocates enforcing a strict schedule from the start. The controversial bits are:
- Wake the baby regularly during daytime to feed, every two hours at the start, right from birth. This is claimed to help the baby to distinguish day from night, and to encourage milk production.
- The baby should be in another room from the start (with a a baby monitor) so you don't have to accustom him to a move.
- The baby should be left to cry for up to 5-10 minutes to encourage him to get to sleep on his own.
- A list of age-based schedules with suggested times for everything, though the small print says you're supposed to adjust the times to your own baby's preferences.
What I'm Reading 3
Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer Tracy Hogg, Melinda Blau. This advocates listening to your baby and paying careful attention to body language. It also involves a "circle of respect" where you don't touch or move the baby without asking his permission first, and you constantly talk to him about what you're doing.
While this is presented in a daft hippyish style, I suspect it's actually fairly sensible advice, since it means you don't start the baby by doing unexpected things: at least when the crazy hippy starts yakking away he can brace himself for something to happen.
On the Amazon reviews there seems to be a bitter war raging between the Tracy Hogg and the Gina Ford fans. However, the books aren't as different as I expected. Tracy Hogg doesn't believe in true "demand feeding" and also thinks the baby should be on a schedule. She also thinks a baby should be left to cry for a short time so he learns self-soothing.
The chief difference is that Gina Ford wants to start the schedule much earlier. Gina Ford has you start on your schedule and adapt it to the baby; Tracy Hogg has you observe the baby and gradually create a schedule from his habits.
Both agree that it's important that you don't let the baby get reliant on something to sleep: being consistently fed to sleep or rocked to sleep. Hogg reckons you should put then baby in his cradle when he starts showing signs of sleepiness so that he isn't disturbed to wake up somewhere else, and learns to get to sleep in his cradle without "props".
There's a detailed guide over a few pages to baby's body language, including descriptions of various types of crying indicating various things. I'm a bit skeptical of this: if there really was a consistent "feed me" cry and a "change me" cry I think it would be common knowledge by now.
Girl B wasn't very keen to Gina Ford's strict early schedules, so we're not going to wake him up every two hours from day one. She thinks Spock is the best of the baby books we've looked at. The latest Spock seems to be a pretty moderate compromise of most advice, suggesting you gently encourage the baby onto a schedule rather than forcing it.
Socioeconomics. "Cybersexism" reviewed. Youngest kids in class might have a long-term advantage
Politics. Written constitutions compared, via. "You can't simultaneously think Muslim women are a threat because they wear the niqab and also are lucky for being allowed to wear the niqab and also are oppressed for wearing the niqab". George H.W. Bush witness at same-sex wedding.
Random. Banned comic Judgement Day, via. Moon rabbit. 'Yuppie' no longer a word because everyone like that now. In 1977 a British television channel was hijacked by someone claiming to be a space alien called ‘Vrillon’,
Sci/Tech. Male/female differences in corpus callosum.
Articles. The smile in portraiture. Internet encylopedia of philosophy article on Slavoj Žižek (the niqab thing earlier seems like an example of "kettle logic"). Norman Spinrad retrospective.
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