Before I was a mother, I was a Certified Professional Nanny, graduated from the English Nanny & Governess School of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. I paid thousands of dollars to be professionally trained to care for other people's babies. I've been baby-crazy since I was a baby myself.
Hands down, the best baby book ever is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. Tracy Hogg was a British baby nurse. Here in America, we also call that Maternity Nurse or Newborn Specialist. In the US, the word 'nurse' implies a medical nurse. In fact, a Baby Nurse may or may not be a medical nurse. Tracy Hogg was both. Sadly, Tracy passed a way just a while ago. Her legacy, however, endures in all the families she's helped and, most importantly, through her own children.
The fundimental lesson of the Baby whisperer is that babies are born thinking, feeling, learning human beings with their personalities fully intact. Babies are NOT blank slates. They do not only cry and poo. Babies have their own language. The parent or caregiver who can learn this language can accomadate a baby's unique needs, helping her to settle into a contented life outside the womb.
Tracy provides concrete examples, steps, and even a quiz to help parents and caregivers to figure out their babies' personalities. She calls this S.L.O.W.
Once they do, she then provides the steps to settle baby into contentment by working with the baby's unique personality. She calls this E.A.S.Y. The astounding thing most people learn at this point is that the Parent/Caregiver and the Baby are working together. The Baby is NOT a helpless blob with arms and legs to be cared for. The Baby - and I'm talking about Newborn Baby - is NOT a passive creature!
E - Eating
A - Activity
S - Sleeping
Y - You
All human beings are born with a biological clock. Helping a baby figure hers out settles her into life outside the womb.
When we merely react to Baby's cries, usually by trying to find the fastest way to make them shut-up, we miss the opportunity to build this cooperative relationship. Trace calls this Accidental Parenting. She has a system for sorting that out too. She calls this A.B.C. or Three Day Magic.
Antecedent - What happend before?
Behavior - How did Baby react?
Consequences - What pattern was established because of this? (example- baby wakes up crying at 3 a.m. every morning)
Finally, the wonderful thing about Baby Whispering is that Tracy emphasizes over and over the importance of taking care of You. She considers the well-being of the entire family in her advice. I learned to get up early to have time for myself, to take an afternoon nap when my children slept, to do something by myself on my husband's first day off, to have a monthly date with my husband, and to put the children to bed early so I can have peace and quiet alone and with my husband. By looking after ourselves, we can better look after our children.
So, if you have a baby, you're pregnant or in the process of adopting, or you know someone who is, or you want to be a nanny or become a better nanny, check out Secrets of the Baby Whisperer.
If you want to learn more, visit http://www.babywhisperer.com/