I am often asked what baby books I recommend. Gee, there are thousands, aren't there? Here are a couple of "baby books" - books about babies - you probably missed but should know about:

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Babywatching, by Desmond Morris. Crown Publishers, 1992

Desmond Morris is a zoologist by profession who has made a life study of the human animal. His observations of the first year of life struck me as great food for thought for both parents and professionals who would like to think a bit deeper about the whole grand scheme of things. Now out of print, the new edition Illustrated Babywatching is available at Amazon.

Baby Talk Parent Talk, by Sirgay Sanger, M.D. Doubleday, 1991.

My personal favorite book about babies. Dr. Sanger is the director of the Early Care Center in New York City. The book is about how babies communicate with their body language - their expressions, body postures and so forth. You will never look at your infant the same after reading this book. More exactly, after reading and seeing the wonderful photographs with which Dr. Sanger illustrates every point. I've never met him, but the photo of Dr. Sanger on the back cover tells me that he is quite a guy - a warm and gentle-hearted man who also just happens to be a keenly insightful scientist and observer. Sadly, the book is out of print, but Amazon can perhaps roust up a copy for you.

Also, for well, the difficult child:

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The Difficult Child, by Stanley Turecki, M.D., Bantam Books, 1985 (it stays in print because it is GOOD).

We lend this one out in the office for parents with difficult children. If you have one (I do) then you know what I am talking about: the child who is temperamentally difficult to deal with from early in infancy and right through childhood. The one people say at the preschool "Why, we've never seen a child like this!" Dr. Turecki is a child psychiatrist whose own experience with a very difficult daughter led him to study and reflect deeply on the innate temperament issues that make parenting difficult children such a trial. If you have a difficult child - order and read this book.

For children who talk late:

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Late Talking Children, Thomas Sowell, Basic Books 1997 ISBN 0-465-03834-4

This is a remarkable book available for parents of children who talk late. It is written by Thomas Sowell, a distinguished economist at Stanford University. He has a son who talked very late and yet is quite gifted. It turns out that the phenomenon of late talking in persons (especially boys) who turn out to be normal to gifted in ability is not that uncommon. A number of very famous and gifted persons - including Albert Einstein - were late talkers. Dr. Sowell studied everything he could find about late talking children, collected case histories from parents of similar children, and wrote a book chronicling his experiences and the experiences of other parents. If you or someone you know has a child who is a very late talker, but otherwise seems developmentally normal, this book is a must read. Order from Amazon.

For parents who want to think outside of the box and flex their minds a bit:

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The Nurture Assumption, Judith Rich Harris, Free Press; ISBN: 0684844095

This is a book that will stand most of what you think you know about children and parenting on its head. The author, an extraordinarily insightful psychologist, explains how children really learn to be successful children rather than miniature adults and why grownups' commonly accepted ideas about how children develop their personalities are actually just assumptions based on cultural beliefs. You do not have to totally agree with the author (although I admit at this point I largely do) to gain a startlingly fresh insight into your children's personality development. Order from Amazon.

General parents' references for wellness and illness available from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Guide to Your Child's Symptoms: Birth Through Adolescence
  • Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5
  • Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12
  • Caring for Your Adolescent: Ages 12 to 21
  • Guide to Your Child's Symptoms
  • Your Baby's First Year

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