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Zero to Five: A Book Review and Giveaway

I received a review copy of a really cool book over the summer: Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science (and What I’ve Learned So Far) by Tracy Cutchlow. I loved the book and wanted to review it on my blog, and the publisher offered to give away 5 copies to Science of Mom readers! (If you’re curious about my policy on reviews and giveaways, check my About Me page.)

Author Tracy Cuthlow with her daughter, Geneva.

Author Tracy Cuthlow with her daughter, Geneva.

Zero to Five is a book of parenting advice starting with pregnancy and going up through age 5. Author Tracy Cutchlow is a former journalist at the Seattle Times and edited John Medina’s books Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby. Then she had a daughter, now 2, and was inspired to create a book that would bring together relevant, evidence-based parenting advice into an enjoyable and accessible format. I’d say she succeeded.

Each of the 70 parenting tips are explained in 2-4 page spreads summarizing the research in the area and accompanied by gorgeous candid photographs of children and parents. The tips are practical, and they’re explained simply, but they’re rooted in science.

ZTF-guard-babys-sleep

The book is divided into 9 topics headings, listed below with examples of some of my favorite tips in parentheses:

  • Prepare (Bolster your friendships; Expect conflict as a couple)
  • Love (Create a feeling of safety; Comfort newborn with the familiar)
  • Talk (Talk to your baby a ton; Read together; Teach sign language)
  • Sleep, eat, and potty (Guard your sleep; Guard baby’s sleep, too; Let baby decide how much to eat)
  • Play (Let baby touch that; Save the box; Make music with baby)
  • Connect (Choose empathy first; Allow mistakes, discomfort, boredom)
  • Discipline (Be firm but warm; Label intense emotions; Teach instead of punish)
  • Move (Rock, jiggle, and swing; Keep moving)
  • Slow down (Be still; Don’t bother to compare)

Some of these tips are obvious, like talking to your baby. But they’re also really important, and that’s one of the things I love about this book. I think Tracy did a great job of focusing the book’s content on what is really important about how to care for babies and children. And some of these tips are things that I didn’t know or wouldn’t have thought about when I was newly pregnant, preparing to give birth to Cee. I was busy acquiring what I thought was essential baby gear (how many hours did I waste on Craigslist?), taking birthing classes, and ticking tasks off my to-do list. The advice to “bolster your friendships” (because you’ll need support) and to “expect conflict as a couple” (it happens to everyone) might have been very helpful in preparing to be a new mom, but nobody told me these things.

There are a few other things that I love about this book. I love that it is evidence-based. The book doesn’t include citations, and I know that some of my readers will miss that. But on the topics where I know the research really well, I can tell that Tracy stayed true to the science. I love that it emphasizes authoritative, respectful, and gentle parenting (again, supported by science) and provides some good examples from Tracy’s own experiences with parenthood. I also love how easy it is to flip through the book and just read one or two pages at a time, taking away a clear and simple message to try to implement as a parent.

One of the best and most unique things about this book is the photographs, taken by Betty Udesen. The photos are simply gorgeous. Now, I wouldn’t head to the bookstore thinking that I really needed a new parenting book with awesome photos, and the text of this book would make it great on its own. But the photos really add something special. They’re of real families who agreed to let the photographer into their lives to capture their everyday moments, and they feel very intimate. They aren’t generic stock photos. They each tell a story, and if you’re a parent, you recognize the chaos, mess, and beauty of your own life in these photos. The photos make the book a true pleasure to pick up and flip through, and your kids will enjoy looking at them too!

ZTF-spread-nurture-creativityI’m really happy to recommend Zero to Five to all parents. It would make a fabulous baby shower gift, but I think it will still feel relevant even if your babies are a little older. I’m finding the baby sections to be good review in preparing for our second baby, and today I flipped through the pages on discipline again after Cee threw a tantrum that stretched me thin.

OK, so onto the giveaway. The publisher of Zero to Five, Pear Press, has offered to give 5 copies of the book to Science of Mom readers. Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment below with one of your own favorite parenting tips – from pregnancy on up. What wise advice do you give to new parents or do you wish you’d received as a parent-to-be?

One entry per person, please, and unfortunately, we can only ship to addresses within the U.S. I’ll close the giveaway in a week – next Monday (9/29/14) at 9 AM EST – and choose 5 winners at random. (I always use a random number generator to pick from the ordered comments.)

172 Comments
  1. Ana Grant #

    If I could go back in time and give myself advice whilst I was pregnant: “Stop focusing on the pregnancy, birth and newborn stages. Read about babies and toddlers, discuss parenting with your partner. You’ll have zero time once baby is here.” Favorite advice that I’ve taken from others: “Stop looking at the clock and worrying about timetables and goals – just do what feels right for you and baby”.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  2. Jenny Cameron #

    Ignore advice that goes against your instincts as a parent πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  3. Carla #

    Choose you battles (especially during the toddler years!)

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  4. Wow I think, giveaway or not, I need to get a copy of this! Great review by the way…I’m left really wanting to page through the book and check it all out.

    Parenting tip…hmm. I think, more than anything, I tell myself and new parents to always remember that your child is who they are…a good sleeper or not, outgoing or cautious, etc etc because that is who they are, not because of your shortcomings or successes alone. Don’t take too much credit, or too much blame(!), and just let them be who they are, and always, always expect change. It’s the only constant!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • “Don’t take too much credit, or too much blame.” This is such great advice!

      Like

      September 22, 2014
  5. Michelle #

    Early on, sleep when baby sleeps. As they grow, they tend to wake up early, so as a natural night owl, I’m learning the value in going to bed early.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  6. WordPress was being annoying so I’m really not sure if my comment posted correctly!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  7. I’d say “It’s okay to set reasonable limits for your baby/ toddler/ child that respect your own needs” is my favorite and something I didn’t do at all with the first one (screaming infant in bouncy seat while I shower, anyone? The second one got to sit in his crib in the next room for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES of quiet showering once in a while!)

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • Yes, fabulous advice! I definitely remember the screaming infant in the bouncy seat during the shower – or no shower at all, and I’m not sure which is worse.

      Like

      September 22, 2014
  8. Courtney Reilly #

    Things will eventually change.So if its feeling like too much,don’t worry because in time you’ll have something totally different to focus on.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  9. My favorite parenting tip is to give unconditional love. Sure, it’s easy to do that when your child is a newborn, but as they get older, they will make mistakes and do things you don’t like (or that may hurt you). Loving unconditionally is so important, because they will always know that your home is a place they can always come to, to be loved and accepted and heard.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  10. VΓ©ronique #

    I wish I had known that baby’s (sound) sleep is such a myth! Reading Pantley’s No-cry Sleep Solution was a sanity savior πŸ™‚ Having realistic expectations helps being confident about our chosen parenting strategies.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  11. “This too shall pass” is something my mom always said to me. Usually just about by the time I’ve found the resource and the tip about how to survive the latest issue, it just goes away before I even have time to realize it! (First-time mom of a two-year old. Not sure if I have longer phases ahead of me where it will be more worthwhile to figure out long-term solutions to long-term challenges).

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  12. “Parenting with Reason” is a good book. All its recommendations are based on assessments of the evidence.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  13. Alice #

    This looks like a fantastic book. Hmm, tips…When I was pregnant, I found the phrase “we are in this together” (meaning, mom and baby), very comforting. It’s a good reminder as my son has grown into a toddler and we are trying to emphasize that we are a team and we need to work together.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  14. Erin #

    I don’t know if I can wait a whole week to see if I win one of these copies! I might have to buy one just to get my hands on it before then!

    The very best piece of parenting advice that I got while pregnant came from a pediatrician we were thinking about using. I was in the final weeks of my pregnancy and I asked her what advice she’d give a soon to be new mother and she said ‘learn everything you can about infant sleep.’ Being the nerdy nerd that I am…I did. I read (or at least scanned) the books by major sleep experts, read blogs (including this one) and talked to parent friends, and in so doing, I felt at least somewhat prepared to take some key steps from the get go that helped establish good sleep habits. This was key for me because a lot of what might seem intuitive about infant sleep is actually the opposite of what typically works. For example, I often had to resist the urge to keep him up longer in order to get him to sleep longer. It seems logical to do so, but in reality, the more babies sleep, the more they WILL sleep. I quickly found that when I stuck to the tried and true advice of sleep experts, my whole family benefitted. SCIENCE!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • As a fellow sleep and science nerd, I totally agree with this advice. I think that I figured the sleep stuff would come intuitively once Baby Cee was here. I mean, you just have to rock them peacefully and they sleep, right? It didn’t, and I scrambled to figure out how to get on track with good sleep, and preparing for that during pregnancy might have saved some sleep and angst.

      Like

      September 22, 2014
      • I agree on this as well! I didn’t over research anything while pregnant and for the most part I have been happy to use instinct and advice from trusted sources, but I wish I’d learned about infant sleep. It would have saved us a lot of time, frustration and the $1000 I spent on a sleep consultant (though I still feel this was money well spent. :))

        Like

        September 25, 2014
  15. Christy Kujawa #

    Love the look of this! What would be my favorite tip- probably that all temperament traits in children are relative to our perspective or situational- a strong willed toddler who tests our patience will be a teen less likely to succumb to peer pressure. A child with a ton of energy can have a hard time sitting still in class but is a strong asset on the soccer field. Get to know your child, viewing all the traits that make them unique, through the complex lens of variation.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • VB #

      I love this — really helps to reframe the daily conflicts with my single-minded two year old.

      Like

      September 23, 2014
  16. Marie B #

    Take a deep breath and count to 4. You can never ever have too much patience so try and get through the tough moments without losing your cool. And let others help when you need a moment to yourself.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  17. Katie #

    Related to introducing new foods, we follow the “try everything 10 times before it’s clear that you absolutely don’t like it” theory. We offer our almost-3-year old something 10 times, allow her to declare “I don’t like it”, and accept that with no drama. But we offer her the option “maybe you’ll like it next time”. The next time it’s on her plate she may or may not choose to like it but after a few times she usually is in the mood that she’ll try it and even like it. She’s an adventurous eater and we think this policy has allowed her to explore foods at her own pace.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • Such great advice. And it might even take more than 10 exposures, and a few years, but offering these kind of non-judgmental, no-pressure opportunities to try foods is healthy for the child and makes for more relaxing mealtimes for the whole family.

      Like

      September 22, 2014
  18. Kim #

    If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it. Your baby is the first baby ever like him/herself, you are the leading expert of her care.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  19. Beth #

    My baby is only 5 months old so I am still a VERY NEW mom but I would say my favorite piece of advice has been enjoy it because it goes fast. You hear that all the time but in these short 5 months, despite all the up’s and down’s, I truly feel how quickly the time goes. While it’s fun to “look forward to when (she rolls, walks, talks)” remind yourself to enjoy the now because before you know it, it’ll be gone.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  20. libby #

    I’d say not to compare development with other kids…it’ll drive you crazy.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • Congrats, Libby! You are one of the five giveaway winners! I sent you an email about mailing you the book.

      Like

      September 30, 2014
      • Congrats from me, too! πŸ™‚ Yeah, I remember hearing that a friend’s toddler could count to 5 or something and thinking, “Should my kid do that?” Even though I know better…

        Like

        October 1, 2014
  21. Kat #

    The only advice I usually give parents to be is that any advice is great – but you should always view it as research and follow your own gut because you are the ultimate authority on your kid. That and enjoy the ability to keep a secret stash of chocolate while they are young. πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  22. Jen #

    The best thing that I’ve done so far is to ask for help early from my support network. By and large, my friends keep things in perspective for me so I can let go sometimes and not be so hard on myself.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  23. Julie Jackson #

    Do what feels right to you (not your mom, his mom, the neighbour or stranger down the street).

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  24. ritq #

    The normal is today! Adapt because your baby will too!!!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  25. maggie #

    My favorite parenting tips were:
    Babies bounce – they are much, much tougher than you think
    Accept right up front that you are the worst mother ever. You have nowhere to go but up, and you stop wasting time feeling guilty.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  26. I wish I had been told to follow my instincts more. Such an invaluable and empowering piece of advice. Oh, the tip about conflict in your relationship would have helped too!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  27. Jenny #

    It’s more than okay to make time for yourself every day, whether that is taking a shower without interruptions, reading a good book, going for a walk, etc. It will likely require asking someone for help–don’t assume your partner/friends/family members can read your mind–but will be worth it.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • maggie #

      “don’t assume your partner/friends/family members can read your mind”

      That is some of the best advice I have ever heard! Can I steal that?

      Like

      September 22, 2014
    • Congratulations, Jenny! You are one of the five giveaway winners! I sent you an email about mailing you the book.

      Like

      September 30, 2014
      • Congrats! YES, I wrote a whole page in the book called “Ask for help.”

        Like

        October 1, 2014
  28. Sara Haller #

    Sleep training sounds daunting, but teaching your child to self soothe at night is the best gift you can give (to the child and to yourself) and makes the world of difference as they get older.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  29. Jamie Powell #

    As a new mom, my best advice so far has been to just trust my instincts and love my baby.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  30. Nicole #

    Oh this looks like a wonderful read. My advice that I give lots of parents is create a routine/rhythm that works for your family and stick to it. Children cannot read a clock so as long as the routine/rhythm stays the same the actual time isn’t all that important. Also remember to breath and drink water.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  31. marcyhmakes #

    Sounds like a great book. My advice for myself to not get too worried about parenting is that as long as your child knows you love them you are doing something right.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  32. Sarah Stocker #

    I wish I knew to let my daughter learn to put herself to sleep instead of rocking her until she fell asleep. That would have made a big difference for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 22, 2014
  33. Kayla Colburn #

    I would love a copy of this book! I often remind myself that everything changes so quickly—especially the hard stuff. The new tantrum habit, or 2 year molars, or fighting bedtime will all be a blip on the radar within a couple months. It helps me focus on the sweetness of each age and not get too overwhelmed by the difficult parts.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  34. Christine #

    Oh gosh – one idea I keep coming back to is from a sleep book I read. It was talking about sleep, but I think it applies to lots of things. I’m paraphrasing: “We can’t *make* a baby sleep (or eat, or poop, or stop crying), we can only do our very best to create the best environment for them to do so, but the rest is up to them.” This is my mantra when my daughter seemingly isn’t eating anything, or is inconsolable. It’s my job to keep offering food and love and compassion, and that is enough.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  35. Sheila #

    I want new parents to know that parenting is going to make them a better (more patient, more generous, stronger) person, but that it can be a very, very painful process getting there! On a more specific & practical note, I have been telling every single new parent I know to read “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” I had a terrible time with my first – now 3 years old – who wouldn’t nap except in my arms and didn’t sleep through the night until she was maybe a year old! My mind was blown when I learned that newborns should be up for 1-2 hours between naps (does everyone else just figure that out on their own???) and I realized my girlie was probably overtired (and thus unable to sleep properly) for the whole first year of her life! I studied hard before #2 came along; she’s now almost five months old and her sleep habits are absolutely heavenly!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  36. Wow, what a great review, and what wonderful comments! Wish I’d gotten your advice before I had my baby. πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  37. Keli #

    “This phase will not last forever”.
    Sounds like a great book!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  38. Libby #

    I was gifted “The Happiest Baby on the Block” for a shower gift and found it to be invaluable. I forgot about it, ready it when my son was 2 weeks old. It helped us get some solid sleep…so I buy it for all baby showers I attend now.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  39. Wendy #

    My favorite parenting advice would be to always remember how the days are long, but years fly by. And to cherish those moments that sometimes try your patience. I can’t believe my baby is already 3. I know some of the stories are corny but I really enjoyed chicken soup for the new mother’s soul.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  40. KT #

    My advice is to relax! The first six months I tied myself up in knots worrying about whether the baby was eating enough, tracking her sleep patterns obsessively, etc. None of that really helped do anything except to make me crazy.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  41. FiretruckSon #

    Be gentle with yourself. The best that you can do is the best that you can do!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  42. Wendy #

    A thing I try to live by with my two year old is “Try to say yes more than no.”

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  43. Bethany #

    My advice is to plan ahead. Listen to other people’s stories, read a variety of books, and try to figure out all the possibilities, and then plan for each. Then when your body or baby does something, you’re at least kind of prepared to handle it. For example, I planned for a natural birth but ended up having a c section, which I wasn’t prepared for. I think it would have been a better experience had I at least thought about it a little bit beforehand.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  44. Melissa Alexander #

    Even as a new parent, you know your child better than anyone. If you think something is wrong with your child, if they’re sick, hurt or whatever it may be. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. When my son was three weeks old, my husband tripped and fell with our son. We took him to our local emergency room and they asked us many questions. He didn’t have any signs of a concussion, so they just sent is home, but my gut told me something was wrong. The next morning I took him to his pediatrician. He ended up having a skull fracture and a small bleed on his brain. In the end, thank God he was ok, but this was definitely a scary learning experience for us as new parents! Trust your instincts!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  45. gilliantarr #

    Really looking forward to reading this! One of the most important parenting tips for me has been to collaborate with my kids to solve the problems that arise with them instead of dictate the solutions to them.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • Gillian, congratulations! You are one of the five giveaway winners! I sent you an email about mailing you the book.

      Like

      September 30, 2014
      • Congrats, Gillian! Kids are so creative with their solutions — I bet you have some great stories.

        Like

        October 1, 2014
  46. Maureen #

    Best co-parenting advice I’ve read- one of you will be too careful, and one too careless. Learning to meet in the middle is a work in progress but gets easier over time.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • Maria #

      That is awesome!

      Like

      September 23, 2014
  47. Do what works for you – but don’t be afraid to seek help when it no longer works or you are struggling. My youngest son was a terrible sleeper and we ended up co-sleeping to cope. But by the time he was a year old I was getting less than 2 hours of sleep in a row at night. Co-sleeping was no longer working for me. People told me that he was just a bad sleeper but I reached out and hired a sleep consultant. Within ONE DAY my son was sleeping through the night.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  48. My favorite parenting advice is: listen to your intuition. You know your baby (and yourself/your limits) best, and no matter what advice you’re given, only do it if it feels right.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  49. Abby Markwyn #

    Great review! The book looks great I’d have to say, remember not to judge other parents or let yourself be judged. There are many different ways of being a wonderful parent, and it’s not about what you feed your baby or the diapers you use, but about doing the best you can to be the kind of parent you want to be.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  50. Beth Meyer #

    Don’t sweat the small stuff! It’s ok to give on what is not as important (sparkling clean floors and folded laundry for example) to get a few extra minutes of coloring and/or snuggle time.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  51. jfc2001 #

    My favorite sanity-saver came from my husband when our son was very young and I was desperate for more sleep. I read SOOOO many books on infant sleep, and whenever I would do exactly what the book said and not get the desired / promised outcome, I would lament to my husband, “But the BOOK says…!!!” Finally he said to me, “Is that book titled ‘The Definitive Guide to [our son’s name]’?” Of course it wasn’t. His point was, you can read all the books you want, but realize that while they are general guides (and often very good ones!), they are not 100% guaranteed solutions for your individual child. If he had his way ALL baby books would be burned (except the one you’re giving away, of course!)

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  52. It appears that all my usual parenting tips have been voiced already so I’ll pop in the one I give to mums with newborns: keep sliced cheese and chopped carrots in the fridge. You know how starving you get and how some babies you just can’t put them down. Solution is anything that can be grabbed one handed – a little protein vege boost saved me time and time again. Book sounds like a must have. Thanks for sharing xx

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  53. Elizabeth Viggiano #

    He’s not “giving you a hard time”; he’s “having a hard time.”

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  54. So many! My top three:
    1. At the end of pregnancy, stop reading about pregnancy and start reading about newborn soothing techniques and sleep.
    2. With toddlers and preschoolers, try to view yourself as an educator, not a discipliner. Yes, set clear limits, but view these limits as teaching your child what is and is not acceptable. This changes your tone and helps you to stay calm.
    3. Yes “find other moms” but with a caveat: find other moms you can have a real adult conversation with (even if it gets interrupted 20 times), about your partner, politics, community activities, cooking–anything other than when Johnny and Janie first crawled, talked, walked. We all need support and shared experiences, but I think we also need people who help us reaffirm our individuality and interests, which being a new mom tends to subsume.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  55. Best parenting advice: don’t take anything your kid does personally. πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  56. Darcy #

    This book looks like a wonderful and easy-to-use tool for all new parents! I received some very helpful advice on sleep, and it actually comes in handy in a variety of situations: “I love you too much to …” not let you sleep, let you do (something dangerous), etc. It’s a helpful phrase, even if just spoken internally while taking action. Even though I’m trained in Montessori education at the “assistants to infancy” and “primary” levels, I have found myself in great need of practical, everyday advice, particularly in the early days of caring for my son.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  57. Amy Jackson #

    Something I’ve realised I need to work on is to try not to need to give labels to, or describe in a definitive way, everything my young baby currently is, or currently does . For example “She likes to be bathed in the morning “, “she doesn’t like being held by people she doesn’t know”, “She only sleeps in the buggy for naps” this doesn’t help me look out for or support changes.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  58. Danielle #

    if you will be breastfeeding, make sure to think ahead and have the fridge filled with healthy snacks and quick meals. And get a LARGE water glass (preferably with a straw) and and a tray to make a ‘station’ for yourself and all your breastfeeding sessions!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • The straw is crucial!! Great tip. πŸ™‚

      Like

      September 22, 2014
  59. One of the best things I’ve come to learn is:

    It’s ok to ask for help.

    I am a habitual “I-can-do-it-myself-er” but I knew with my first baby, I was going to need help in ways I wasn’t even sure of yet. I asked my (retired) mother-in-law to stay with us for 6 weeks. I have no shame in calling the pediatrician or my OB to ask questions. That’s what they’re there for. It has made all the difference in my sanity and ability to care for my child.

    (All this other advice is great too!)

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  60. Many babies need some extra help to go to sleep rather than just falling asleep in your arms with some cuddles when they are tired. Some need routine, or a dark room, sound machine, swaddle, extra cuddles, the list goes on, but each baby is different and some just don’t go to sleep on their own.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  61. The most useful advice I received was to line up help before the new baby arrives. I didn’t follow it and realized after the fact how much easier finding a lactation consultant, moms support group, etc. would have been without also figuring out my relationship with my newborn.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  62. Genevieve #

    It’s ok not to sleep when the baby sleeps! If what you need the most is sleep, go for it. If what you need most is 20 minutes to read/Facebook/watch tv, that’s ok too! There were even times where folding a loss of laundry during a nap made me happier than that short little block of sleep would have.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  63. Don’t be afraid to let your child cry during sleep training. She doesn’t need to know you will always be there for her: because you won’t. But she does need to know you’ll always do what’s right for her. Decide what you think is right, then stick to it (and practice not giving into crying for what she wants.)

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  64. My motto for parents questioning if the choices they are making are “right” is, it’s not a problem unless it’s a problem for you.

    Book looks lovely. Only wish I had written it!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  65. Megan #

    1) buy a baby carrier/wrap that can handle a tiny newborn! hands free cuddle time that soothes the baby and allows you to make yourself a sandwich.
    2) while breastfeeding – put down your iPad and pay attention to your baby! this is valuable connecting time!
    3) enjoy every stage.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  66. Erin #

    Babies and toddlers have bad days too! It’s crucial to be attentive to their developmental milestones and to not have unrealistic expectations of exemplary behavior at all times.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  67. Your actions and inactions as a parent all send messages (overt or covert) to your child, and those growing little sponges certainly soak them all up! Before you know it, your child has picked up behaviours that are tied to those subtle messages they have been learning from you. You are your child’s first and most important teacher! πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  68. Rana #

    I love all the advice here, and the book looks lovely!

    A lot of what I would have said has been said, but one thing that might be helpful or reassuring to new parents is that babies don’t need a lot of expensive, whiz-bangy things; if they are loved, fed, clean, and warm, and have a place to sleep, they’ll be fine. My baby has had more fun with things like toilet paper tubes, yogurt cups, and junk mail than she has with many fancier toys. Also, don’t be afraid to let your baby be bored; they’re better at self-entertaining than you might think!

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  69. Jennifer #

    Looks like a beautiful book!
    I wish I’d spent time reading about parenting rather than only focusing on pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. It became a mad scramble in those early weeks to get up to speed on the basics, and I had zero frame of reference as to what the range of normal was. I think we could have alleviated *some* of the new parent feeling of getting hit by a train.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  70. Linh #

    My philosophy re advice is to try not to give advice unless solicited. New mothers get inundated with advice, sometimes helpful, sometimes not, and what works for me, might not work for you. Also don’t judge. There’s too much of that going on when it comes to parenting. Except for anti-vaxxers, they make me mad.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  71. Tricia #

    Looks like an awesome book! The best thing I’ve ever heard about parenting was “The hours are long, but the years are short.”

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  72. Jody #

    Ask for help early and often. Struggling with breast feeding? Don’t try to push through. Ask for help. Struggling with postpartum recovery? Don’t assume the overwhelming pain, fatigue and frustration is normal. Ask for help. Sleep deprived? Ask for help. There’s too much pressure for new parents, and specially new moms, to do it all. It’s not realistic and it’s not healthy for you and your baby.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  73. I would have to agree with fellow commenter Katie above, who mentioned sleep. Educating yourself about infant (and toddler) sleep is huge! Your sleep posts are a great place to start, in addition to so many books out there. I really think sleep is an area that many parents, especially new parents, struggle with. When both parents and kids are exhausted, it can be a very challenging and frustrating time in a household. Before I became a parent, many people told me to throw all the books out the window. I disagree. The books helped me immensely, and made all the difference in our first year as parents. It is also why I would love this book. Books help, and anything evidenced-based is a book after my own scientific heart.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  74. Tereza #

    The thing I wish to knew before our son was born: how much it is going to change me, my husband and our relationship. Our relationship went through very rough patch after our son was born. I would have never thought that we could fight this hard and say such awful things to each other. I wish I knew that this is not unusual. One of the biggest wisdom, I discovered, is “always apologize first”. Even if your partner started the fight, or when you think that you are right, there is always something to apologize for. It will help to diffuse the fight.
    Parenting advice: Keep in mind that every stage you and your newborn/toddler/child are going through is temporary and it will pass. Do not forget it when times are hard. Just be patient. And remember that it goes both ways. So even the precious, sweet moments are going to pass. Take a camera and capture them before they fly away.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  75. Jenny #

    Other people may genuinely enjoy playing with your child (they probably aren’t just saying it) – let them, and enjoy the break.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
  76. Lots of great advice here – could be a book on it’s own! πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to reading the new book, and funny enough my Mommy Book Club tonight was just commenting about how we want to read a book filled with strategies that is parent-approved, and backed by many levels of research, so this might just be it!
    My parenting advice: it is important (and essential) to have a daily routine for your child(ren), but equally as important to remember that its okay to stray from it every once in awhile; children need to learn to be flexible and will react better to changes in their daily life if they are given opportunities to cope with a disturbance in their routine. It’s a good lesson to teach your children for life – sometimes things don’t go quite as you expect (especially when parenting), so try to be resilient, proceed with a different plan than you might have anticipated, and embrace the new situation you are in.

    Like

    September 22, 2014
    • If you decide to use Zero to Five in a book club, please let me know. I’d love your advice in putting together a discussion guide for other mommy book clubs! Even if you don’t, I’d love to learn more about how your book club works. I’m at tracy (at) zerotofive.net. Thanks!

      Like

      September 23, 2014
  77. VB #

    My favorite piece of advice is to not beat yourself up about not matching up to the ideal vision (your own or anyone else’s!) of what a mother should be. be forgiving of yourself, and accept that you will not be everything that you hope or expect, and can only do your best.

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  78. Marie #

    Now that I’m onto my second child, the best advice I wish I’d understood with my first is to just relax and trust your instincts. With my first, I worried over everything. Is he sleeping “right?” Is he eating “right?” Is he doing everything the way he is supposed to? With my second, I find it much easier to trust my baby. He is doing everything as he should be doing it for him, whether or not he is following any parenting “rules.”

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  79. Meg #

    A friend told me that whenever you’re really frustrated with a screaming colic-y baby, dress them in a funny Halloween costume. It’ll make you laugh and help you deal with the frustration.

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  80. shunsak3 #

    One of the best things I’ve learned so far is that there are MANY right ways to be a parent. There are pros and cons to almost every approach, and most things are more about figuring out what works best for you and your child/children than finding the one perfect answer for everything.

    Thanks for your blog, Alice. It’s been a breath of fresh air to me many times!

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  81. Maureen #

    My favorite piece of advice was, “sleep is a need and treat it like you would any other need.” It was a good reminder that it’s okay to say no to something if it will interrupt sleep. Our well-rested child is so much happier and healthier than when his sleep is interrupted.

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  82. We fly with our little one a LOT, and I often get asked for advice from friends fearful to take their kids on airplanes. I think the best advice for surviving airplane travel is to remember that everyone around you is a stranger, and to stop worrying about them. It’s not your job to make their flight calm and relaxing, it’s your job to make an uncomfortable, boring situation good for your kid. I do all sorts of ridiculous things for my 2 yr old: complex art projects, balloon animals, singing funny songs, reading, walking the aisles, and a lot of snacks. Basically, what I’d do at home if we were stuck in one room all day long, pretending no one else is around judging us (except I don’t let him kick the seats or throw things at other people).

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  83. jobonga #

    Trust your gut!

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  84. Angela #

    Best piece of parenting advice I’ve learned with my 15 month old..Trust your instincts and go with the flow!

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  85. Nikki #

    For me, mom of a two year old and a soon to be mom of a newborn, the most challenging issue was sleep. We started having major sleep issues with our son at 4-6 months. I would advise any soon-to-be parents to read several books on infant sleep before the baby arrives (before you are crazy tired). For us, the most helpful and structured one was Ferber’s Solve your Child’s Sleep Problems. We used this method and it was so incredibly dramatic that I wanted to shout about it from the rooftops. Also just to respect sleep as much as you would other necessities, like food. You wouldn’t decide that today you are going to force your child to skip lunch, so why would you try and make them skip a nap? For us, the more regular the naptimes and bedtimes = the more rested and happy the kid.

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  86. So much good advice has been given! I guess I would add two pieces of advice:

    1) Don’t hold on so tightly to a parenting philosophy that you end up stressing yourself out if that particular philosophy or technique doesn’t work with your child. Be open and flexible to new ideas if the ones you have don’t work for you or your baby.

    2) This is directed specifically to us Moms out there: Do not feel like you have to do everything yourself. Your baby/child will thrive with love and attention from your co-parent, your relatives and friends, and from teachers and other care givers. You will always be “Mom” but others can bring ideas and experiences to your child that you cannot. (And it is okay to have a break! No need to martyr yourself to parenthood. Make sacrifices? Yes. Martyr? No.)

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  87. Lana #

    My mom gave me the best tip ever – potty train your baby as soon as possible. My daughter is potty trained since she is 2 months old. Later I found a book on this topic and the entire community of parents whose baby are diaper free from their early days.

    Like

    September 23, 2014
    • any suggestions? we are doing this – but it is hit and miss some days – feel free to email me breath dot life at gmail

      Like

      September 24, 2014
  88. Chelsea #

    I’m a “prospective” parent, but I’ve already given other parents the link to your website. Does that count as advice? πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 23, 2014
    • Yes! Thanks for sharing my blog, Chelsea! That’s such a compliment.

      Like

      September 23, 2014
  89. Looks like a great book!

    My advice is usually this: it may not work for every family but a routine (especially for sleep) will make everyone happier and healthier! Start a routine early, and you’ll probably find yourself thankful for good sleep and a happy kid.

    Like

    September 23, 2014
  90. Siew yean Lau #

    Do your best and what you feel is fair to both yourself and your children. Parenting involves making tough decision. Only if you can tell yourself that you’ve done your best and fairest can you make that tough decision with confidence. And it will give you the strength to be consistent without second guessing yourself.

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  91. my advice:

    trust your instincts – you know your baby best.

    take offered “advice”, suggestions and “this is how it is supposed to be” with an open mind – but don’t feel obliged to follow what they say. sometimes the “advice” is helpful, sometimes it is not for you. if you have questions, ask, do research, read books – then do what you feel is best for your baby.

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  92. CTB #

    I am only about a year into parenting…my advice is “do what you find the most comfortable for you”. Everyone else is going to give you tons of advice…learn to ignore alot of it.

    Like

    September 24, 2014
    • Congratulations, CTB! You are one of the five giveaway winners! I sent you an email about mailing you the book.

      Like

      September 30, 2014
      • CTB, I have a friend who ignores all advice — she says it literally gives her a pinch in her neck. Now that’s sticking to what’s comfortable for you! πŸ™‚ Congrats!

        Like

        October 1, 2014
  93. Megan Schwartz #

    This book sounds so great! I’d definitely like to check it out.
    I definitely have to echo what a lot of other people here are saying. As a parent, you get so many pieces of advice from so many different directions; some wanted and some unwanted. I like to take in information and suggestions from many different sources and then sort through and decide which piece(s) sound like they might work best for my family and go from there. It’s so hard to not always take your mother’s or mother-in-law’s advice, especially when it’s coming from a helpful place and not a critical one. But every family is different and we all have to do what we believe is best for US. πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  94. My tip: Enjoy the moments when your baby is sleeping on you. Even if that’s the only place they’ll sleep. Even if it’s the middle of the night at the sixth wakeup. Even if you really have to pee.

    It won’t last forever, and you won’t know which time is the last time they will do it, and you will miss it so much.

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  95. fh #

    Focus much less on the birth itself (there is only so much you can do to diminish the risk of getting a C-section, for example) and much more on the afterwards. How can I prepare for the first week at home with baby? What can I do in advance to get breastfeeding off to a great start? Are there any infant playgroups in my neighborhood? …

    Like

    September 24, 2014
    • Alison #

      Yes! That is what I should have been doing!

      Like

      September 25, 2014
  96. Sarann #

    Our pediatrician’s nurse advice line has saved us several trips to the doctor’s office.

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  97. Lorna #

    You may not immediately fall in love with your baby. That is okay, it will come.

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  98. colleen c #

    I would say the best advice was never worry about being a perfect mom. Just be a good enough mom. Cut yourself some slack, and learn to just enjoy being with your kids. Don’t try to control them – try to cultivate a relationship with them.

    Like

    September 24, 2014
  99. Amanda #

    I wish I would’ve known that they won’t starve if they refuse what you make for supper and to trust yourself and your instincts. You know your baby best.

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  100. AMP #

    There’s so many great recommendations here that it is hard to think of something new to add! So I’ll just say– talk to your kids. From the time they are tiny-tiny up until they won’t listen to you anymore, and even past that. Tell stories, give explanations, ask questions, and just chat. The more words they hear when they are little, the better they can develop language– and the more words they hear from *you*, the better they connect with you– and they’ll start chatting back. One thing I’ve LOVED from this blog is the “talk about your day” routine that you and C do before bed. We started doing that shortly after I read your post, and my two year old daughter loves it. It really helps us connect after a long day, especially when we’ve been apart. That was such good advice!

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  101. Amy B #

    Don’t be afraid to try something, and if it doesn’t work, forgive yourself and try again. Children are resilient. Sometimes it takes a while to find the solution that works for your child, you, and the entire family.

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  102. Amy #

    I have 3 key things I wish I’d known when my daughter was a newborn:

    1. Let your baby express her feelings. Don’t always try to shush her and bounce her when she cries. Think of times you have a bad day and what you need most is a good cry in the arms of an understanding person who loves you, and how much better you feel afterwards. Your baby is going through so much transition so often and so quickly that sometimes it’s overwhelming. Crying in the arms of a loving parent is a great way for her to release stress (it’s been proven to drop cortisol levels!). Once you’ve ruled out other needs or pain that you could relieve, just hold her, tell her you understand that she’s having a hard time, and that you’re always there for her when she needs to cry or tell someone about her hard day. Understanding crying in this way makes it so much easier to cope as a new parent – your baby’s crying isn’t a sign that you’re failing her – you’re holding her and helping her to express her feelings and relieve stress.

    2. Live in the present! Try not to always be looking forward to the next stage – there are wonderful things about each stage, and each day with your little one. Try to focus on those and enjoy them.

    If you look forward and back, you may anxiously await when your little one can crawl to get to what they want without crying for you, and then when she can crawl, you might wish for the days she would just stay in one place when you left the room and you didn’t need to babyproof everything. Or you look forward to when your baby can fall asleep herself, and then you long for the days when she would sleep on you. It all changes so fast – find things to appreciate every day.

    3. Take time to just observe your baby, see what she can do on her own before rushing in to “help” or “teach.” Don’t interrupt her thinking & problem solving if you don’t have to. You’ll be amazed at what she can do on her own, what makes her happy, and how creative she can be. There’s nothing like seeing the pride and happiness on the face of a little one that figured something out all by themselves, and that wasn’t pushed to figure it out by anyone. I try to remind myself of the quote by Jean Piaget: “When you teach a child something, you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.”

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  103. Alison #

    Parenting is an exercise in patience. Also lower your expectations of yourself. You won’t be able to do all the things in the same way but if you just accept that you will be happier.

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  104. Katie #

    Advice is all relative; what works for you depends on your personality (and your kid’s). For me, one of the hardest things has been to advocate for my baby and defend my parenting choices against my in-laws’ (loving) “help”. For someone who doesn’t struggle with backbone issues, I’d say, “Be reasonable.” People just want to help. Anyway, a sip of juice from grandma probably won’t kill them, as much as we’d like to avoid it.

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  105. Also, what a cool, authentic compilation of wisdom from real parents this thread turned out to be! I didn’t mind reading 118 comments or feel bad for wasting my son’s nap on it.

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  106. Larah #

    Hi there! My best piece of advice so far has been from a kind-hearted lady who intuitively responded to a discipline dilemma I was talking to her about. She said, “It’s all about constant redirecting.” She didn’t mean to imply to ignore the behavior, but instead of “naughty chair” time or spanking, redirect the child when the proper situation presents itself.

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  107. Sarah #

    My advice is to worry less about pregnancy/birth and more about what to do with the baby when they are out! But know that your baby may not conform to what the book/blogs say they should do, and that ok too. All you really nene to do is love your baby and the rest will work itself out.

    Like

    September 25, 2014
  108. Savia #

    The best advice I received, and the only advice I give new parents is this: “Parent with love. Parent with respect. Parent with knowledge. Parent without fear.” It seems to encompass anything and everything we have to face or deal with as parents. It sounds profound and philosophical but it reminds me of what is important to me as a parent and how I would like to be remembered by my kids.

    Love reading your blog – it inspires, challenges and teaches me. Fantastic!

    Like

    September 26, 2014
  109. Savia #

    And one more thing that got me through some tough times, I’d hum/sing “Together. Together. We’re in this together” to my baby on rough days. Don’t know who it helped more but it worked for me! πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 26, 2014
  110. Lots of great advise here! My two cents is to remember to rest. We live in a busy world, and often we mistake getting things done for being accomplished and successful. Ultimately, it is about balance, and knowing when you are tired and giving yourself time to rest will help your children learn to do the same. Self care is important. Our kids learn by what they see. Be kind to yourself and take time to rest.

    Like

    September 26, 2014
  111. Helene-Marie #

    The advice I love the most came from my Grandad. He prescribed 95% love and 5% discipline. Now I know why my mom turned out so well ;).

    Like

    September 26, 2014
  112. Natalie #

    I have a four month old so haven’t really tried it out but I love the advice to not take anything your kid does personally and to teach instead of punish.

    Like

    September 26, 2014
  113. Samantha Low #

    Your baby, your rules. Don’t let others pressure you into doing something you are uncomfortable or feel is not right. Your momma gut will guide you to making the right decision for you and your child.

    Like

    September 26, 2014
  114. mt #

    Two things for the newborn-shellshocked: 1) expect complicated, unexpected, and not always pleasant emotions. They’re normal! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t keep it to yourself. 2) get outside, even if it’s just a walk around the block, even if it’s just 10 minutes in the dark, frigid dead of winter. Having a daily “mission,” even if it was a walk to the bakery to buy a loaf of bread, cleared my head and did wonders for my mood.

    Like

    September 26, 2014
  115. Don’t compare and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, don’t treat your husband like he’s an idiot. He can parent just as well as you can. I was lucky enough to actually get to shower each night in relative peace because I wasn’t afraid to let him take care of her. You are a family, it’s not necessarily all on you (though you may feel like it should be).

    Like

    September 26, 2014
  116. Heather S #

    Don’t be afraid to let your kids see your vulnerable moments once in a while. It shows them we all experience difficult situations. By allowing them to see you cry or work through something that’s emotionally challenging teaches them resilience and builds on how to manage emotions and the hard knocks that life sometimes doles out πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  117. Liz #

    Go with the flow, and expect the unexpected! Maybe things will be like you imagined… But maybe not. Personally I got really wrapped up in one parenting dogma, and it turns out that it wasn’t really for me, after all.

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  118. Michele #

    I love your blog and I love the advice everyone is giving here! I’m not the type of person who has to keep busy or be productive all the time, but I still find myself trying to remember to take time, be in the moment, and let go. In the age of the Internet (with blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.), I remind myself that we don’t always need to be going out somewhere, taking baby/toddler classes, or making things. There’s no need to take hundreds of pictures of my children doing things because that can sometimes mean missing out on experiencing it with them. And the 20 minutes that my toddler is taking to go up the stairs in our building while pointing out all the nails he sees in the woodwork — I can embrace that as a nice little break to catch my breath and enjoy the architectural details. πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 28, 2014
    • Michele #

      Oh, and I also just remembered! My son was a terrible napper and when I read about using the 2-3-4 schedule as an approximate guide to the intervals between sleep times, it helped so much. It’s been working great for our daughter now too.

      Like

      September 28, 2014
      • The 2-3-4 thing worked for us, too – at least as a rough guide. Great tip.

        Like

        September 28, 2014
  119. I love the pairing of the tips with the photos. The tone and the content are warm and lovely. Thank you for a refreshingly optimistic and supportive book for parents:))

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  120. Laura #

    I love reading all this positive advice. Like others said, this should become a book. I’m new to parenthood; however the one piece of advice I needed is listen and read everything, but you know best. You’re his mom (or dad)!

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  121. Rana #

    I already commented, so this isn’t another “entry” – but I did remember a couple of things I wanted to add. (Blame sleep-fogged brain for me not remembering them earlier!)

    First, whenever you can, pee before attending to your baby. (Obviously, don’t do this in an emergency!) For one thing, the baby may settle themselves in the time it takes you to pee, in which case you’ve avoided waking up a sleeping baby and bought yourself more sleep time. For another, if the baby does really need your help, it’s a lot easier to deal with when you’re not doing the pee-pee dance at the same time.

    Second, related to this, is look after your own physical needs. I was somewhat prepared for the lack of sleep – at least I’d heard about it – but I had no clue how physically strenuous caring for an infant day in and day out could be. Even things like doing up snaps can become painful if you’re doing it multiple times a day, let alone the strain of lifting a heavy baby repeatedly. Catching a problem early, before it becomes something that interferes with your ability to take care of your baby (and yourself), and figuring out how to fix it is really important. (So if your upper back and arms are sore from nursing, get a pillow and use it religiously, that sort of thing.)

    Like

    September 28, 2014
    • These are both brilliant tips! Thanks for adding them in!

      Like

      September 28, 2014
  122. Jeff Denning #

    Don’t over buy every gadget and gizmo out there. Talk to friends with kids and ask them what the essentials are. A baby finds as much joy in tupperware as they do with a $100 talking stuffed animal.

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  123. Hgarneau #

    (I left my hectic job to be a full time primary care giver, leaving me self conscious and thinking I needed to be the “perfect” attachment mom which didn’t work so much for the particular child I’d birthed and I kept thinking if I waited/tried harder/was better she would calm down/sleep more/learn stuff quicker…notsomuch…)

    Cut yourself some slack. You may have this new “job” but you aren’t being evaluated by anyone so don’t try to think of it as something that can be “perfected”. Just handle one situation at a time in a way that makes sense to you and your child and your unique relationships with one another. Nobody else has had YOUR child in YOUR house within YOUR family so don’t think what someone else is doing is THE thing to do. Maybe you need to do it differently and thats ok. Try, wait, evaluate, change, try something else…you aren’t going to “win” parenting.

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  124. mwelting #

    This has already been said, but I wish I hd spent more time understanding what parenting a newborn would really be like rather than worrying so much about the birth.

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  125. Allison Jones #

    The best advice I have is to remember that YOU ARE DOING A GOOD JOB!!!!

    Like

    September 28, 2014
    • What good advice! Congrats, Allison, you are one of the five giveaway winners! I sent you an email about mailing you the book.

      Like

      September 30, 2014
      • Congrats, Allison! A stranger in the grocery store once told me that, and it felt really good. Not something moms get to hear often!

        Like

        October 1, 2014
  126. Venessa #

    I always wish that someone had told me that most of the time I’d love my baby, but there would be times that I’d absolutely abhor him. So many people speak of parenthood as though it’s all roses and rainbows, but very few people share about those dark moments when you feel like you’d do anything to escape. Although they were infrequent, I felt so isolated at those moments and desperately wished I had someone there to tell me that I wasn’t a total monster – I was just a new mom, adjusting to life with a crazy, screaming, needy baby while dealing with crazy hormones.

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  127. Venessa #

    And one other thing:

    Every baby is different. Seriously. You may end up with a baby who’s never flustered (like my daughter) or you may end up with a super sensitive soul (like her older brother). When you get well-meaning advice from friends, family, or strangers, do your best to remember that they’re speaking from a place of understanding they developed from getting to know THEIR babies. You must make decisions based on what you know about YOUR baby.

    And don’t feel bad about it!

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  128. Anne Galton #

    Read to your child every day, starting when he/she is a newborn.

    Like

    September 28, 2014
  129. Luli #

    Keep a small notebook and pen handy, and in moments when you find yourself with only one free hand, however horrible, write something. I’ll never regret the quick thank you letter I wrote to my mother at 4AM when my daughter was terribly I’ll from a stomach virus and I paused just long enough to think “my mother held me just like this once when I was sick”.

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  130. Megan #

    Find your parenting tribe of support with like minded parents.

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  131. Katy #

    Always follow through. If you set a consequence, do it. It can be incredibly difficult to do but it’s so important!

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  132. Mackenzie #

    My advice would be to always have a thought out plan. And then to be ready to ditch that plan for whatever works in the moment.

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  133. Jenn Vincent #

    This sounds like an informative and comforting book. I appreciate the fact that the author formally acknowledges the importance of the parents’ emotional and physical well-being, as well as that of the child.

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  134. lizfkay #

    I always tell parents that as soon as they get an infant car seat, put a bag of sugar inside it and start doing arm curls. Those things are heavy even without a baby inside!

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  135. lizfkay #

    I always tell expecting parents to buy an infant car seat early. Then start training – put a bag of sugar inside and do arm curls. Those things are heavy!

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  136. Bethany nelson #

    The first year was a year of learning that every stage had it’s own oppsrtunities and challenges. Roll with it!

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  137. Sometimes, attachment isn’t immediate and you need to give it some time, especially if you had a difficult birth. Don’t panic, your love for your baby will grow and grow and grow, just cuddle, breastfeed, use skin to skin and spend as much time as possible with him/her. Oh and listen to your instincts! They are often right πŸ™‚

    Like

    September 29, 2014
    • Laura #

      I love this comment. I wish someone would’ve said this to me. Thank you!

      Like

      September 29, 2014
  138. Amber #

    I know I’m past the deadline, but I loved that there were pictures in the book as the visual aspect is such a great reminder of creating a space and environment that really nurtures children! I’ve adopted a handful of mantras over the past year, and one of my favorites is “wait”. If my oldest is in a “crabby mood” I take a deep breath and wait a minute before saying anything. If my youngest wants tears apart something in the house, yet again, I take a deep breath and wait a few seconds. It’s really helped me not go into temper-rampage mode and reminds me that in just a few moments a new adventure will come and that the present moment is an opportunity to focus and enjoy.

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    September 29, 2014
  139. Wow, what a huge response we have! And what a great compilation of really stellar parenting advice in this thread. I’m going to let the last few comments in as entries to the giveaway, but anything posted after this comment won’t be included in the virtual “drawing” – but feel free to post away! I’ll probably need to choose the winners tonight (after bedtime:) – I will use a random number generator to select from the comments left here. Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread!

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  140. Jessica #

    This book looks great! My favorite parenting advice: love that baby, read to her, read about her, and teach her to sleep.

    Like

    September 29, 2014
  141. Brenda #

    Hi Science Mom. I really can’t give parenting advice just yet as I won’t be a Mom for another few weeks (my wife is pregnant.) I can give pregnancy advice though. We tried for 4 years to get pregnant with 4 miscarriages in the process. The advice I can give is this: Be willing to make changes. My wife was a vegan when we first started. She read a lot about pregnancy and protein and dairy and started eating meat, eggs and dairy. She did acupuncture, essential oils, changing donors, abdominal massages and doing the IUI twice in one cycle. I can’t tell you which one worked or if all did but, the openness she had to change was amazing and we are now at 37 weeks and 3 days! PS – as new parents, we could sure use this book πŸ™‚

    Like

    October 1, 2014
  142. Colleen #

    The best tip I have received is trust your instincts and make friends with fellow mommies!

    Like

    October 14, 2014

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