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Users' Guides for New Parents, and Siblings Too

October 05, 1998|SHARI ROAN

"The Youngest Minds: Parenting and Genetic Inheritance in the Development of Intellect and Emotion"

Ann B. Barnet, MD, and Richard J. Barnet

Simon & Schuster


340 pages

This is for the new parents who really want the details on how that 8-pound bundle of joy develops language skills and learns the physics of dumping a cup of milk on the floor. The authors--a pediatric neurologist and a writer--detail the latest studies on how an infant's brain develops and how that development is influenced by the environment and genes. While much of the work on nature versus nurture is theoretical, the Barnets propose that infant development has profound repercussions in society. One chapter, for example, is titled "Children's Anger and Adult Violence" and creates a connection between the two. The real value of this book is its ability to help parents understand the great influence they have over their children. Parents, the authors say, "are partners in the development of their child's mind."


"The Pocket Guide to CPR for Infants and Children"

Gloria Blatti

Pocket Books


83 pages

This is a quick way to become familiar with potentially lifesaving information. The "Pocket Guide" offers brief, clear instructions and is illustrated by photographs. The author points out, however, that the best way to learn child CPR is to take a class. This book, then, is a good way to refresh your memory. It can also be used by an untrained person in case of an emergency.


"Baby Science: How Babies

Really Work"

Ann Douglas

Owl Books


32 pages

"Baby Science" is a useful aid to help siblings adjust to the idea of a newcomer in the house. Using cute, colorful pictures, the book explains facts about babies, such as why they have no teeth or have to be held so very carefully. The problem of sibling jealousy is addressed by various "experiments" siblings can perform to understand the new baby. For example, they can use different voices around the baby to see how the baby responds or they can practice crawling to get an idea of what the baby is experiencing while scooting around on the floor. Ultimately, the book should help older children understand just why the new baby is demanding so much of Mom and Dad's time and attention.

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