Parenting Book Reviews

Table of Contents


Pre-pregnancy Books

Pregnancy Books

Nutrition in Pregnancy

Pregnancy for Fathers

Baby Name Books

Birth guidebooks

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

Infants & Toddlers


Sleep Problems

Child Rearing & Discipline

Preschool-aged children

Young school-aged children

Teenaged children

Learning disabilities and ADHD

Medical Information & Nutrition

Life Style Choices

Death and Children

Boys/Girls: "Gender" issues

Miscellaneous Books

Other Media

Sources & Acknowledgements

Paula Burch's Home Page

Medical Information & Nutrition

Nelson & Pescar: Should I Call the Doctor? (1986, Warner; 0-446-38189-X) [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
Although it covers infants too, I didn't really use this book much till Beth was over a year. Organized into sections by symptom, and lists sets of symptoms for which you should rush to emergency (or call an ambulance), go to your doctor or a walk in clinic, make an appointment to see your doctor in the next few days, or mention it to the doctor at the next regular appointment. Also a "what to expect" section explaining the tests and so on that will probably be run when you seek treatment. This book calms me down when I get frantic about fevers or bumped heads or rashes. I don't worry that I'm missing something life-threatening. I think eveyone should have a copy. -- Kate Gregory

"Taking Care of Your Child" Pantell, Fries & Vickery [sources incl. amazon]
This book has medical and first aid help. It has flow charts for each item covered. There are about 100 topics and includes things like puncture wounds, sunburns, neck pain, bed wetting, and colic. The charts help decide whether you should be rushing to the doctor, making an appointment, or applying home treatment. It covers what the doctor would probably do and describes home treatment procedures also. As a bonus, it includes a copy of the growth charts.

Kenneth Grundfast and Cynthia Carey: "Ear Infections in your Child" [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
I can't remember his exact name, but when we showed it to our ENT, he told us that this doctor was a well-respected ENT. An *excellent* book It was a great book since it presented all known alternatives for chronic ear infections, and best of all, it was *not* a medical book, but written in plain English that could be understood by parents! I would imagine that your ENT would know of this book, or if not, it would most likely be at the library. I just happened to spot it one day in a bookstore right before B.J.'s procedure, and it really made us feel comfortable with our decision [about ear tubes].

I have read a wonderful book called "Ear Infections In Your Child" by Kenneth Grundfast and Cynthia Carey. It explains, in layman's (aka everyday parent's) terms everything about ear infections, treatments, surgery, antibiotics, hearing loss, etc. Grundfast is the chairman of the Dept. of Otolaryngology for Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. I would strongly suggest that you get this book. It is easy to read, interesting and extremely informative. -Cindy Gorgone (from a post)

Ellyn Satter: Good Sense and How to Get Your Kid to Eat, But Not Too Much. (Paperback, about $14.) [sources incl. amazon]
This is in response to "Healthy diet" plus "HELP MY KID WON'T EAT" and the "is this kid too skinny" type messages: There is a GREAT book called "Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense" by Ellen Satter (Is it Sather? No I think it is Satter) that does a wonderful job on how much food is enough, is your child eating enough, is your child eating too much, etc. It covers everything from breast feeding up to teens, but is ESPECIALLY good with tips on _toddlers_ and young pre-schoolers and why you usually don't need to worry about how much they are eating and why you usually should not make a big deal out of their food choices. I seem to recall that there are toddler menu plans in the book. This book was the best baby shower gift I received. I read it, my hubby read it, we followed the advice, and my three-year-old has always eaten two of three meals a day with gusto. (Sometimes she is more hungry at lunch time, other times she is more hungry at dinner time.) She has often been a bit above average in height and a bit below average in weight, but then again, my husband and I are both relatively tall and fairly thin. There are some foods she doesn't like, but you know, there are some foods I don't like, either. I received the book as a gift from a dietitian friend, but I have found it at Walden Books and given it to friends as a baby shower gift. It is a good book to read BEFORE you start getting into fights with toddlers who won't eat. -- Jennifer Gassman [posted]
It covers feeding your child from infancy through toddlerhood. I got it around the time Karen started on solids, so I don't know how good the first chapters are. But I did take a glance through and they seemed useful. It covers nutrition and how to progress from stage to stage. It gave pros and cons for buying baby food vs making your own. It was very helpful for me to know what to feed Karen and when. It's got some great charts too.

Vicki Lansky: Feed Me - I'm Yours [sources incl. amazon]
I found this book worse than useless. Many of the recipes include food items that should not be given at all to children under the age of one year, for fear of stimulating allergies, but the warnings about this possibility are nearly non-existant. --Paula Burch

The best part of this book for me was information on making my own baby food, since I wanted to make baby food as much as I could. It also includes good information about starting solids and has recipes for nutritious kid snacks.

Brown, Jeffrey: "The Complete Parents' Guide to Telephone Medicine," Perigee Books, NY, 1982. [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
The subtitle is something like "when to call the doctor and what to do first." I like this book because it concentrates very clearly on saying what conditions are *not* emergencies. Every page describes a different disease, accident, or other medical misadventure, and is organized along the lines of: if X then don't worry, if Y then call your doctor, if Z then this is an emergency. It's well organized and indexed; it includes some fairly mundane subjects like diaper rash as well as the usual collection of diseases and injuries. There's an introductory section that covers how to act and what to say when you call your doctor -- I would have thought this silly, but our pediatrician clearly loves us for being prepared when we call him. A gift from my RN sister-in-law, it's the only book we keep handy.

Biracree and Biracree: "The Parents' Book of Facts" [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
Very good, basic book which is a good resource. It is especially thorough on the benefits of breastfeeding over formula--just the facts, and no value judgments thrown in.

George Wootan & Sarah Verney: _Take_Charge_Of_Your_Child's_Health [sources incl. Chinaberry and amazon]
I recently got a wonderful new book on children's health care. For years I've been looking for a book on kid's health that doesn't tell you to rush your kid to the doctor every time she runs a fever. (In our house, high fevers always hit at 2am.) This book tells you what to watch for and when you SHOULD rush your child to the doctor. It also tells you how to give first aid for medical emergencies from electrocution to a knocked out tooth. It also spends a lot of time on basic health and comfort measures for mild childhood illnesses. There's a really good section on choosing and communicating with your child's doctor. The basic assumptions of this book include:
  • Parents are the best experts on their children's health.
  • Parents have the best interests of their children at heart.
  • Parents are intelligent.
  • The whole child is important.
I got this book from Chinaberry (1 800 776 2242). It's a real boon for me since I prefer to let nature do the healing, but I also worry when my kids are sick.

Martha and David Kimmel: Mommy Made* (* and Daddy too!) [sources incl. amazon]
By Martha and David Kimmel Published by Bantam paperback - $13.95 (2.5 years ago) ISBN 0-553-34866-3

I bought several, but the best I found, and with the most detail was It really covers a lot of ground, including when to introduce what foods, and all sorts of hints for cooking and storing of the food. They have toddler recipies too.

The Colombia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Complete Medical Guide [sources incl. amazon]
a must for every home, IMHO. It is comprehensive, has nice illustrations, is easy to understand, and provides enough information to get you really worried and right into the closest medical library. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Gray's Anatomy [sources incl. amazon]
also a must, so you can figure out what muscle is actually killing you at any particular time. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Actually the worst anatomy book around, for a non-physician, although it does look good on the shelf. I prefer [the following book]. -anonymous

Anatomy Coloring Book [sources incl. amazon]
Although you'd expect it to be silly, given the name, this is an excellent anatomy book, far easier to use than Gray's Anatomy, and with much more useful detail. -anonymous

Taber's Medical Encyclopedia [sources incl. amazon]
great for terminology so you can have very technical conversations with your doctors and not sound like an idjit. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Robbins Pathology [sources incl. amazon]
great for the more arcane, but still totally interesting facets of medicine, but beware! All the photos in this book are worst case scenario. Take a look at the one for goiters and you will be running for the nearest bathroom YUCK! (And as a close personal buddy of the author, I can attest that the writing is magnificent in this book, and the author is a totally wonderful person as well). -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Dr Spock [sources incl. amazon]
great for most kids stuff, but I don't think a parent should rely totally on his words. Some of the information is too sparse for me. I always want more, and consult other books as well. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted] [see general baby advice section, above - each edition of this book is completely different - Ed.]

PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) [sources incl. amazon]
And finally, no household should be without a PDR (Physicians Desk Reference). You can get both over the counter and prescription volumes. You don't have to have the current year unless you are questioning a new drug. This has the most comprehensive information about drug reactions, dosages, and includes all the drug trial information. It can be scary to read at first, but if you do take medication on a daily basis, it can help you to understand what side effects this medication might have with other medications. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Helen Reisner. Children with Epilepsy [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
I highly recommend these books [for parents of children with seizure disorders]. --Jan Silbermann [from a post]

Freeman, Vining and Pillas: _Seizures and Epilepsy in Childhood_ [sources incl. amazon]
I highly recommend these books [for parents of children with seizure disorders]. --Jan Silbermann [from a post]

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Last updated: March 2, 2003
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