Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review of Dr. Sears' Happy Baby: The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months

My overall impression of this book is much different (and much better!) than I originally thought it would be based on the title. I am not an overly zealous "green" or "organic" kind of girl - although I do appreciate these things. However, Dr. Sears' book from the Happy Baby Family is a very practical book with a simple approach to having a healthier baby, happier home, and greener lifestyle altogether.

My FAVORITE things I learned from the book:
1. When "going green" and saving money merge. Good for your wallet and the world!
2. Recipes for when your baby starts to eat solid foods (TONS of recipes actually...and sample menus)
3. Brief postpartum fitness suggestions

Here is a breakdown of what you can find inside this book! (Scroll all the way down for your chance to WIN this book and other goodies!)

Chapter 1 is very introductory. It (and most chapters) gives a breakdown of what you can do to be "pale green, a little greener, or the deepest shade of green". Translation: go easy or go crazy on being green depending on your situation and comfort level. Dr. Sears recognizes that people are busy so he tries to make "going green" as practical as possible.

Chapter 2 is all about the momma. Postpartum fitness (from Kegels to exercising with the baby) and stress management are emphasized here.

Chapter 3 is breastfeeding versus formula. Of course, breastfeeding is a huge money saver (since it's free..) and lists the pros for both mom and baby. There is also a 101 of Feeding from how long to how often. Since this book is pro-breastfeeding, it spends most of the chapter on that topic but does have some information about formula.

Chapter 4 is what a nursing mom should be eating and gives sample menus and recipes!

Chapter 5 starts to dive into what to do when it's time to wean baby off of milk and onto solids. It lays out what equipment you need, when to do it, and techniques of introducing new foods to your child. There is a simple chart that spells out the recommended foods at 6 months, 7-9 months, and 10-12 months along with sample menus and recipes! There is also a chart for common fruits and veggies and how long to steam each. Money saver alert: homemade food is cheaper than jarred food!

Chapter 6 moves a little further into the solid food adventure and talks about what to do with toddlers. Dr. Sears recognizes that organic foods cost more than non-organic so to compromise he gives lists of fruits and veggies that should only be bought organic along with ones that you can get away with just buying regular. There is also a helpful list of safe and unsafe fish to feed a toddler. 

Chapter 7 deals with mealtime "mis"behavior and how to determine whether your child is being defiant or maybe just isn't as hungry as you're used to. As with other chapters, there are sample menus and LOTS of recipes which should help anyone to avoid the chicken-nuggets-every-night diet.

Chapter 8 transitions from food to home life. Goes into some detail about diapers (cloth vs disposable, cloth being a major money saver!), bath time products, furniture, and toys.

Chapter 9 goes more in depth about keeping the house clean in a green way from homemade solutions (money saver) to energy use (money saver again!)

Chapter 10 wraps up the book by talking about a baby or toddler's healthy activity level, routines, doctor schedule, and vaccinations.

Enter to WIN this book and other fun things from the Happy Baby Family!

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