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The Baby Book by Rachel Waddilove

Customer Reviews

"Mixed feelings."

I found this book a very easy to read. Sort of an 'idiots guide' to parenting, it includes all sorts of useful tips, from how to dress the baby to how to wash the baby clothes. I feel its more suited to a first time parent who hasnt had much if any experience of babies before. I was hopeful as this was a revised and updated edition to see some inclusion of things such as babyled weaning, sadly this wasnt the case and thats why my feelings are mixed. I personally dont feel its appropriate to suggest early weaning of big babies (early being before the nhs' recommendation of 6 months) having had 2 'big' babies (9lb6.5 & 9lb11) i see no reason to wean early. Or give baby rice as is suggested. My thoughts are that some first time parents will take the information as gospel and follow it to the letter regardless of the additions of 'in my opinion' at the beginning or end of sentences. Rachel comes across well in the book and includes useful illustrations throughout.

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"Mixed feelings"

I found the book very easy to read and some of the information was very useful to me as a first time mum. However the approach used in the book is not the approach I will be choosing to adopt with my baby. The book outlines quite a strict routine whereas I prefer to respond to my baby's cues and not stick rigidly to a routine. Also, I don't plan on using controlled crying techniques. I think mums need to read this knowing that it is the author's opinion based on her experience, as a lot of what is said goes against NHS/WHO guidelines, for example in regards to weaning, making bottles and sleeping arrangements. I prefer to follow these guidelines and make any changes I feel are appropriate than go by someone else's experience. I found the book a good read and gave me some food for thought but I don't feel I would recommend to other first time mums who might follow the book to the every word

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"Some good, some bad."

This book is really easy to read and is very clearly divided into sections allowing you to jump straight to an area that you need without trawling through pages and pages first and without the need to read the book from cover to cover. The advice given on a practical level is very detailed and is aimed at the first time parent who hasn't really dealt with babies before. If you're nervous about things like dressing, bathing or winding your baby then you'll find the answers here. The advice and opinions are very clearly those of the author, who comes across very matter of fact and quite matronly, even old-school at times. If you like a no nonsense approach and aren't worried about your baby crying at times then you'll probably like this book. Parents who are leaning toward a softer, more attachment parenting style are unlikely to rate this book highly though. Where the author gives advice that is contrary to WHO recommendations she does point this out and gives the appropriate WHO recommendation and her reason (in most cases) for going against it. You need to read this with an open mind and be prepared to do your own research before committing to her methods in my opinion. Despite this being revised and updated there were still a few things that had been missed. The advice to get a drop side cot for example (you can't buy these new in the UK anymore due to H&S regulations). There is also limited advice on issues like sleep training and weaning (only controlled crying or crying it out methods are covered and baby led weaning doesn't really get mentioned in any detail). As a parent who has read research on the effect of 'crying it out' methods I'm not comfortable going down this route and I feel that the negative aspects of this type of training should be covered for the sake of balance. I found the chapters on relationships and the spiritual aspect of having a baby refreshing and quite useful. As a mother of two I think Rachel is right to flag up the changes that will happen to various relationships (particularly between partners and between new parents and grandparents) and it's nice to see this addressed alongside the more practical aspects of becoming a parent.

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"Informative but a bit strict "

The book is well set out and easy to read and navigate. There is a contents section which makes it easy to go straight to the section you may want to read or look into. It goes from the final stages of pregnancy through to the first year so it covers a lot of things which would be useful to First time parents. This book does have some good tips and advice. But it's not something I would follow so strictly. My daughter is now 2 and my son is 4 months. Both completely different as babies. I've always tried to have a routine for my daughter and it worked well. She was very content and chilled and would feed every 4 hours as the book states. However my son will take a feed every 3 hours to the hour. He's a hungrier baby, and not so chilled due to wind/reflux issues. So I don't feel a Routine so strict would suit him as well as it did my daughter I also don't agree with controlled crying personally. It's not something I did and I don't intend to do it this time around. My daughter sleeps well and I like to have the approach that I'm there as and when she needs me. There are some Good tips however such as setting up the nursery and what to expect after birth - registering the birth and bringing baby home etc. Also some good advice on weaning and preparing home-made which is what I am planning on doing with my son as I mainly bought pouches when my daughter was a baby as I could never get the consistency correct to her tastes. So I'll definitely be using the advice on home-made foods. As a second time mum I feel more relaxed as a parent although my son has been quite difficult due to his feeding issues. I would worry this book could make a first time mum worry about how they are bringing up their child, and make them feel less confident if their baby isn't following the same routines and guidelines set out in the book. So I do think it needs to be addressed that this is the authors opinions and what may have worked for her may not work or be best for others.

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"Didn't grab my attention "

The baby book was full of useful information for first time parents, however I don't feel like it stood out from the thousands of other baby books available for advice. On positive notes - very clear index making it easy to locate the relevant section you wish to look into and all the information is appropriate and easily understood to the reader. I did enjoy the book and will use it throughout the first year of my child's life. Even though I am certainly no first time mum, every child has been completely different and each has had me stumped at one point or another so any advice given is greatly received, this book did just that.

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"Not for me "

I have a very laid back approach to parenting and am not one for reading books about it. I thought I'd give this one a go though but wasn't overly impressed. Too much emphasis on routine - I am more baby led in my parenting and have never had my babies in a routine until they were much older. Also found her ideas weren't practical when you have older children and have to work round nursery and school drop offs/pick ups I did find some parts of the book useful and it was an interesting read. If you're a parent who enjoys routine then you'd probably enjoy this and get more out of it than I did. She's not as strict as Gina Ford which is a good thing! The index is great to enable you to find advice on something specific easily

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"Easy to use, clear and concise"

I received this book after having my third child and I've never really been that interested in baby books before but I have really enjoyed referencing to this book. Having my third child made me think that I didn't need a book to help me out but I couldn't have been more wrong. I struggled to get my little boy into a routine and this book helped me following a guide that suited us. It is also really easy to find a subject you need instead of trawling through loads of pages. I think this would be a great gift for new parents and I'm proof that it would also benefit parents on their 2+ child.

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"Not recommended"

I received this book when my second daughter was just weeks old and coming up to her first birthday I have only just brought myself to finish it because I keep getting irritated at sections and having to stop. Partly, this is due to my parenting style not matching the author's e.g. I do not believe a pram or cot is 'essential' as I babywear and bedshare so my daughter has been in neither, partly it is due to the book being badly written and poorly proofread. An early example of this is that at least one item which appears in the 'optional' overall baby must then appears on the 'essential' hospital bag list. Generally, the 'advice' given ranges from against the widely agreed standard advice from experts to actually dangerous. The author advocates introducing solid food to babies BEFORE the age of 4 months (which independent scientific research which actually places a camera inside infant guts has confirmed will only ever be damaging and potentially lead to a lifelong range of diseases and allergies) purely because they were born at a high birth weight (which is commonly due to poorly managed gestational diabetes but even when not has no bearing on readiness for food whatsoever). She also advocates swaddling which increases risk of SIDS. The section on breastfeeding makes it painfully clear the author has limited personal experience and I can only assume no specific training. The advice given to limit feeds to a few minutes at a time to start with us absolutely abysmal and will discourage milk from coming in and potentially prevent a mother from successfully breastfeeding altogether. She implies thrush can only be present on nipples if there are white spots which is rarely the case. She states that reflux can only exist with a main symptom of vomiting which completely overlooks the numerous babies with silent reflux which is in fact a more painful condition than standard reflux. Finally she ends with a Christian prayer for our babies which, while thankfully not being able to actively harm babies like many of the other chapters in the book, I do not think is appropriate to include in a book about parenting which gives no indication of portraying a Christian message until the very last chapter. Overall, I would strongly advice not buying or taking on the advice given by this book. You could honestly find more consistent, detailed and correct answers by googling than reading this.

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"excellent and helpful"

As a nervous first time mum I was recommended this book by friends and it has been one of my go to books through the first year with my baby. It's not for everyone, and I can appreciate it suits those of us who prefer routine. The down-to-earth advice really helped me when I didn't have family support, and I loved the spiritual aspects of the book, and the focus on baby as part of a family. It also helped me process the struggle I went through when I got ill and had to stop breastfeeding at 4 months.

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