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The Bookshelf ~ Babies and Toddlers
updated 1 April 1999
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Without Spanking or Spoiling : A Practical Approach to Toddler and Preschool Guidance 
Elizabeth Crary 
I love this book because it presents toddler discipline situations as a FLOWCHART. Even if you are not a flowchart junkie like I am, this approach can be really helpful for those chronic, crazy-making things toddlers do. WSOS was instrumental in getting me past the traditional "stop that at once or else!" Here are some of the flowchart steps (each step is supported by an entire section in the book): Define the problem "behaviorally" ... Who owns the problem, parent or child? ... Does my child know what to do?... Generate solutions ... Try one idea at a time ... The best part is the "solutions" section, which offers many ideas for getting a child to behave, including changing the parents' expectations.  No one gets off the hook here! WSOS is likely to be at your library. Ours has many copies. I photocopied the Problem Solving Flowchart on page 94 to hang on my refrigerator! [Review by Lisa] 
 Rating: Two webs 
Siblings Without Rivalry 
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish 
I use this book all the time.  At first I thought the cartoons were a bit cheesy, but the whole system has worked so well for me; now the cartoons make it easier for me to re-read.  Goes along with AP. [Review by Debbie] 
 Rating: Four Webs 
Take This Book to the Pediatrician With You 
Charles B. Inalnder and J. Lynne Dodson 
I like this little book because it explains about the different kinds of doctors, what to look for in a doctor or hospital, how to prepare your child for surgery.  Talks about vaccination exemptions and lists the states that allow for philosophical exemptions. Some of the medical information in it is blatantly incorrect (especially the info on circumcision), but what do you expect for $5.99? 
 Rating: Three Webs 
What To Expect The First Year 
Eisenberg, Murkoff, and Hathaway 
Pick an issue, this book will tell you you're wrong.  For instance, on the issue of crying it out, it allows that "...if you're philosophically opposed to the idea, don't try it."  Sound okay?  They continue in another section on the same page, "If you're among the soft-hearted or weak-nerved parents who just can't or won't listen to their babies crying it out..." they go on to recommend "systematic wakening."  This book tries to have it both ways.  Breast or bottle is presented as breast is better, but oh, not really, just in some ways.  The good thing about this book: it's a good reference for those times you need to know what the symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are, or some such thing.  Of course, you can find other books with that info without all the preaching, too. [Review by Debbie] 
 Rating: One Web 
What To Expect The Toddler Years 
Eisenberg, Murkoff, and Hathaway 
book cover See above.  "Post Crying-It-Out Trauma:  ...once in a while, a very sensitive child is traumatized by being left to cry it out." Oh, NOW you tell us!!  Again, the only good thing is the medical reference in the back. [Review by Debbie] 
 Rating: One Web
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk 
Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish 
book cover I saw a few references to this book on the PP Positive Parenting board. The title completely turned me off - I KNOW how to talk to my kids - I don't belittle them or talk down to them. So I ignored the posts. I was recently looking for a good parenting book and was again referenced this book. I decided on a whim to order it from amazon (is there anything MORE dangerous than and settled in for (what I thought would be) a quick read. The ideas seem so very obvious - identify feelings, don't give advice (unsolicited), use fantasy when possible - and I skimmed the entire book during bath time. I figured it was a waste of book money until after bath time and I immediately heard myself telling one of the boys that they "didn't feel" that way. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I immediately back stepped and tried to identify the feeling and salvage the situation. After the kids were in bed, I then re-read the entire first chapter and did the exercises. I have been on super-alert with the kids and have been using the book consistently. I've been reading a chapter a night (reading slow is excruciating for me) and trying to apply during the day. I've got to echo the first review of this book - it teaches you how to treat your children with respect. I thought I "knew" it all before I read this book, but like all good lessons, I find that I just keep learning more and more. I highly recommend this book! [Review by mamakat] 
Rating: Five Webs 
It teaches you how to talk to your children with respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Review by Mindi] 
Rating: Five Webs
The Baby Book 
William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN 
book cover There is something in this book my son doesn't want me to read, because every time I pick it up he wants something!  In the few snatches of reading I have been able to accomplish, I have been impressed.  I respect anyone who has 9 children and still has the time to have a practice, write several books on babies and parenting, and attachment parent!  This is the book that explains it all - sharing sleep, babywearing, and all those other AP things.  My only complaint is that Dr. Sears admits to having done over 1000 circumcisions, and he waffles on the issue. 
 Rating: Four Webs
Nighttime Parenting 
by William Sears MD 
book cover It's very AP, well he is AP so how could it not be?  It supports and encourages the family bed.  His response to a lot of children's sleep problems is to take them to bed with you.  It also has AP solutions without taking them to bed if that's your choice.  It helped us tremendously with our first because we kept questioning what we were doing and it was always there to support us and remind us that what we were doing was a good thing.  [Review by Mindi 
 Rating: Five Webs
The Discipline Book 
by William Sears MD & Martha Sears RN 
book cover A very AP book on 'discipline'.  I've found that "Montessori Play and Learn" by Joy Starrey Turner and "STEP Parenting Young Children" by Dinkmeyer are even more in keeping with my parenting philosophy but my philosophy was built on components of all three of these put together. I discarded a lot and kept a lot. Basically we are 'loving guidance', discipline is learning not punishment, mutual respect breeds mutual respect.  We do not even believe in time out (Sears mentions its use) - read Mothering 'A Case Against Time Out'. All three of these have very specific details on how to treat your children, how to talk to them, how to listen to them, how to encourage and nurture them. [Review by Mindi] 
 Rating: Five Webs 
Our Babies, Ourselves 
Meredeth Small 
book cover Although the title may be somewhat misleading (no relation to Our Bodies, Our Selves), this is a book that anyone interested in attachment parenting should read and digest.  A great defense against unsupportive relatives/ friends/doctors, etc. - it cites all of the scientific research that has been done into the benefits of breastfeeding, family bedding, and physical contact for newborns and infants.  It is also very entertaining and informative to read about parenting styles in other cultures, and to see how totally untrue some of the Western myths about infant care really are. [Review by Lucy] 
NOTE: Currently out of stock at
 Rating: Five Webs 
Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care 
Benjamin Spock, MD and Michael Rothberg, MD 
I have found that people either love or hate this book.  Personally I find it indispensable to have around.  If nothing else, it gives good descriptions of common illnesses.  Take what you need, like symptoms of diseases, developmental stages and the like, and leave the rest.  Has its good points - says nothing negative about homebirth, is anti-circ, and says to get rid of pacifiers by four months.  It's cheap and even your mother will believe something you pull out of it.  But that stuff about making artificial baby milk out of canned milk HAS to go!! 
 Rating: Two Webs 
Other Books at
Your Baby and Child:
From Birth to Age Five
by Penelope Leach 
Liberated Parents,
Liberated Children:
Your Guide to a Happier Family
by Adele Faber
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