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The last thing new parents can find time for is quiet reading, so many helpful books on infant care rely on bullet points and a "let's get to the point" writing style. Tracy Hogg, a neonatal nurse, teacher, and mother of two, uses these techniques to good effect in Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. Focusing on newborns and their parents, her simple programs are a blend of intelligent intuition and methods based on years of experience. The first half of the book is devoted to E.A.S.Y--her name for creating a structured daily routine for you and your baby that makes the most of your baby's awake times and also leaves time just for you. These concepts aren't designed to force your bundle of joy into not following her body's needs, but rather to create a feasible middle ground between total rigidity and on-demand food and sleep (and no time for mom to shower). If it still strikes you as too regimented, keep reading. The author makes room for differences in personal style and includes short quizzes to determine whether you're a "planner" or a "winger", and what level of daily structure you are likely to find helpful. In the same chapter, she identifies five general temperaments of infants, how to get an accurate feel for yours, and what methods of care are likely to be the most effective for his temperament. Her statement that babies prefer routine is backed up by research from the University of Denver. While most of the book relies on anecdotes to get the points across, Hogg does find room to back up some of her statements with quotes from various researchers and institutions. Included at the end of the book are assurances that E.A.S.Y. can be followed even with a colicky baby or one who's been ruling the roost for the first few months. Frustrated parents might like to read the last page first: "all the baby-whispering advice in the world is useless unless you're having a good time being a parent" is an excellent reminder to enjoy this time with all of its ups and downs.
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