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What to expect when you're breastfeeding . . .

I had a hard time feeding Elnathan at first, so I wanted to read up a bit more this time. I enjoyed reading What to expect when you're breastfeeding . . . and what if you cant? by Clare Byam-Cook. It had some good advice about positioning the baby , although I always find this stressful when it actually comes to doing it with a new one. "Is this really right??" is a question I asked myself a lot last time! It also did a good job of defining breastfeeding on demand as feeding your baby whenever he/she is clearly hungry. Of course, you check for other reasons for crying as well (dirty nappy, wind, etc). It is important also to space feeds at least two hours apart, from beginning of one feed to beginning of the next, for good digestion. Clare gave lots of information about potential problems either the mother or baby may have. Her settling advice was practical, and she encouraged parents to be willing to leave a baby to cry for a while. The only advice I thought was inaccurate was related to introducing solids and the best age to stop breastfeeding.

Overall I preferred this book to Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo, the only other entire book I have read on the topic of feeding and settling babies. Ezzo needlessly and inaccurately denigrates other ideas about baby care. He wrongly defines feeding on demand as feeding whenever a baby cries without thought to other causes of distress, for example. He is also needlessly moralistic about baby care and places undue significance on babies sleeping through the night early. The truth is that families and babies thrive with a variety of choices about when to feed, how to settle a baby, etc. In comparison to What to expect little advice is given about positioning the baby or about physical problems you may encounter. However, if you are looking for a book that gives very clear ideas about scheduling a baby you will find it in Baby Wise! I know this book has helped many, and it is certainly worth a skim read. It is not popular for nothing! I plan to read it again before the arrival of Baby number 2.

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