Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, & Sandee E. Hathaway. What to Expect The First Year. New York: Workman Publishing, 1989; list price $12.95 (No. 3 on the 1989 bestseller list of books on child care from Ingram Book Co., distributors of trade books).

This book is a thorough, month-by-month account of health and development in the first 12 months of life. Additional chapters address: selecting a physician, purchasing baby clothes, furniture and equipment, and making decisions about circumcision, breast and/or bottle feeding. Advice on lifestyle and career issues, paternal leave, and child care is practicable and presented without alienating sanctimony. Alleviation of parental anxiety is a central focus. However, the authors appear cavalier and ill-informed when they suggest that parents should ignore most developmental delays and avoid developmental comparisons among children. Much more valuable are the messages about discipline—the authors teach sensitive, supportive parenting skills with emphasis on developing children's self-esteem and independence through encouragement and preventative behavior management. The text's medical coverage is comprehensive and current, addressing such topics as APGARs, reflexes, SIDS, preventing Reye's Syndrome, benign heart murmurs, and various first-aid treatments. Issues in nutrition, feeding and baby food recipes are also covered. The comprehensive index and table of contents make the book easy to use, although the assumption of intact families with resources, the detailed presentation of topics and difficult reading level, suggest that the book is most useful to educated parents.

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