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Books

It always surprises me how interested children are in reading about the everyday. As in, I think we’ve probably read a book about going to the library – at the library. Books can powerfully demystify potentially scary or confusing experiences like going to the dentist or feed their natural curiosity about things like plane journeys. That’s why I love these two books published by Pinter & Martin: Monica Calaf and Mikel Fuentes’ You, Me and the Breast, and How You Were Born. We’ve had You, Me and the Breast for

Dr Carlos González is something of a legend among many breastfeeding supporters. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve been party to that opened with concern over a child’s fussy eating and concluded with a recommendation of his book My Child Won’t Eat. I flew through my own copy of it last year, both reassured by his scientific understanding of what was going on with my toddler and frustrated that he wouldn’t give me any quick and easy fixes (because, well, she’s human so there aren’t any!). I haven’t

For ages I’ve been telling people that I’m reading this fantastic book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith called ToddlerCalm: A guide for calmer toddlers and happier parents. She sent me a copy as a thank you for providing a quote at the book’s start. Yet I hadn’t got around to finishing it because I have an unrealistic reading list at the moment. Instead, I read the introductory chapters and would dart in and out of other topics as I hit times of stress with my toddler. Talitha, at two years and eight

I just finished quite a fun read, Pregnancy Tales – Journeys into Parenthood, edited by Amy Tilston. I zoomed through it, in fact, as it’s a light and often entertaining read. The book claims to gather together stories of parents telling their stories as they really are. From conception to birth, young mothers to mothers with many years between their children, unplanned pregnancies to long struggles to conceive, a wide range of experiences are told. The book is at times humorous and often heartfelt. I imagine it would make a

I recently read Rebecca Welton’s Baby Sleeping Trust Techniques – Alternatives to Controlled Crying, and as infant sleep is a topic that seems to keep coming up in my conversations these days (both because I’m supporting others and because I’m looking toward the long neck of sleep deprivation once more), it seems timely. It is an accessible read and, to be sure, a compassionate, sincere and often sensible one too. I fully embrace her much repeated assertion that night waking is normal and that sleeping through is a learned skill

My mother-in-law unpacked her Christmas decorations this weekend, much to Talitha’s delight. As expected, since she’s a bookbinder, many beautiful and interesting things emerged from the boxes. I was quite taken by a book of illustrations, Peter Spier’s Christmas! Talitha and I flipped through together, pointing out to each other the many details on each page, both of us caught up in this wordless story of family Christmases in Britain gone by. The pictures are just so intricate. There’s lots for both of us to focus on. As an adult,

I started writing a 28 weeks pregnancy update instead of this post but I’m still feeling pretty much as I did last week, swinging between extremes with irrational lows. It doesn’t hugely make sense to dwell on that so I’ve instead been busying myself and accepting that getting to the point where I feel balanced against is probably more of a journey than a quick fix thing and that’s OK. I let a stranger pray for me yesterday which isn’t something I often do. I don’t feel comfortable being that

I know lots of people who say that when it comes to all things parenting, shut the books and just follow your instinct. I agree to an extent. I think we’ve got to be mindful about what we dwell on – does what we’re hearing ring true to us or does it make us unduly anxious? But I don’t think that means we shouldn’t read. Books make it possible for valuable knowledge to be passed across generations and cultures. They can challenge us to sort out instinct from social conditioning,

My friend Fritha who blogs at Tigerlilly Quinn started a fortnightly project dedicated to sharing children’s books we love. I’ve been dying to join in with some Caribbean flavour so here I am. The book I wanted to show you this week is Dawne Allette’s Caribbean Animals. My mother gave Talitha this book when she was fifteen-months-old. From the start, she’s been fascinated with it. Of course, she is. Animals. It’s your typical alphabet book but its rhythm is distinctly Caribbean as are the animals that feature in its pages.

I have an ongoing battle in my mind over what I should read and what I do. It’s probably a hang up from my days as an English Literature undergrad. By the time I was on to my Masters, I was rather comfortable with my new philosophy that although “experts” will expound on what you must read before you die, life really is too short to be reading things that you downright don’t enjoy.

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