When I heard that I’d be a father for the first time in my life, I had mixed feelings and started to ask myself a lot of questions. One of the questions I still ask myself is very simple: The baby arrived home safely and then what? In other words, where’s the documentation for the most complex entity that I’ll interact for a long time? I guess it is natural to ask this kind of question because I’m a professional software developer and having been involved with computers for the last 20 years, I’m used to reading some detailed documentation before and during my interaction with things that I’m not familiar with. And I’m definitely not familiar with raising a baby (having a younger brother does not count, that was about 30 years ago and I don’t remember much about the basics).
When I mentioned this to Chris Stephenson, former head of computer science department of Istanbul Bilgi University whom I had the privilege to work with and the experienced father of a wonderful child, he said that there was one book which he gave as a gift to every young parent expecting a child. Based on his advice I decided to buy and read “Your Baby and Child”. And I’m very glad that I did.
Some of you may think it is a little bit too early to comment on the book; yes I’m still an expecting father, our baby is yet to come but after reading this book I feel much less scared and more confident. It full of so much practical information that I do not feel the need to go out and look for another book on this topic. The structure of the book is very straightforward, it is mainly organized by the age of the baby and then by the most important topics such as “feeding and growing”, “everyday care”, “excreting”, “sleeping”, “crying and comforting” and others such as “talking” which appear under the relevant age section.
At 560 pages it may seem a little intimidating or superfluous but the style of the author is very clear and almost every sentence contains nuggets of important information. Compared to some other books on parenting this book does not try to comfort you with endless humour, but just like a firm, caring parent it tries to be your guide in this journey. It also includes short reactions and thoughts of parents who faced different situations. The book comments on these, too, which I also found very informative.
I have no doubt that I’m going to keep it very close to our baby’s bed. Some people may think that parenting naturally come to them, just like breathing, and there’s no need to panick but having learned that even breathing can be studied I prefer to have a handy guide when it comes to interacting with my baby.