Jul 29, 2011

Posted by in Product Reviews | 2 Comments

A Gift For Baby Book Review

In this modern world of ours we have replaced breastmilk with formula….cloth diapers and elimination by communication with cheap disposable diapers, and simple wooden rattles with plastic ones that light up and make sounds!  Do our children really need all of this?  What is considered a necessity, and why are these things becoming “norms” in this day and age?

Many parents realize this and choose to raise their child as naturally as their parental instincts guide them to do!  I know many of you are avid baby wearers, co-sleepers, and nursing mamas!  I too am a natural parent and love promoting products that brings out these healthy parenting instincts in all of us.  But as my child gets older into her toddler and pre-school years a new concern has come to light that many parents soon realize: Today’s modern society markets these things as norms not only to parents, but also to children!  You just have to walk through a aisle in a toy store to see baby dolls with baby bottles (instead of nursing dolls) and plastic strollers (instead of baby slings/carriers).  How are we as natural parents going to teach out children what we feel is rightfully natural with toys like this?

This is why places like The Natural Child Project exist!  I was very excited to get the chance to review their book “A Gift For Baby” but got even more excited when I checked out their website and saw everything they had to offer for parents who want to teach their children more naturally. They have great articles to help you with your questions and research and wonderful tools to help your little one learn, everything from art pages and unschooling cards to handmade dolls that nurse and babywear!  I would just love SAP to grow up playing with / playing mommy with a doll she interacts with the same way she was raised!

A Gift For Baby Book

Jan Hunt’s A Gift for Baby celebrates compassionate parenting on every page, with colorful pictures of breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing and family closeness, woven into a sweet story with a delightful surprise ending. The perfect picture book for attachment parenting families! You can read about the book at http://www.naturalchild.org/gift_for_baby/ .

From the title of the book, I was not sure what to expect the story to be like, and was just as joyed to read the ending as SAP was when we got to the last page together!  We go through each page with baby wondering what is in the box and wishing for something to do with mommy or daddy that baby would rather enjoy instead: ” Is it a soother?  I’d rather have mommy comfort me!”  When we get to the end and the gift is open, what do you think is inside?  I won’t tell you, but it is just what baby wanted!

Isn’t this picture of baby and mommy so sweet?  Love the artwork in this book.

Each page of A Gift for Baby has great artwork style pictures (SAPsDaDa’s favorite part of this book when he read it with SAP!) that are colorful and make for great eye-catching conversation with your little one.  SAP loved pointing out each object from the puppy dog and mommy in the pictures to the flowers and bug/animals on the boarder.  It was interactive and kept her attention even after we finished reading it, so she would flip through the pages on her own for several minutes before laying down for bed.  I was very impressed with the compassionate parenting lessons being taught behind the story of the book, something I have not seen in any other book we own or have read to her. For those who are thinking of homeschooling or unschooling their child this would be a great start to your Tot School supplies!

SAP continues to read A Gift For Baby to me even after I tell her it’s time for bed!

The story is both in English and Spanish, which I liked since we love SAP getting a little culture from her play toys as well as spanish-speaking families can enjoy this parenting book just as much as my family has!  We plan for SAP to learn a second language as well and this gives us one more opportunity to practice her words as she gets older and gets more curious about reading.

Overall I feel this book creates a great setting for SAP to learn what I want her to know: that mommy and daddy will always be there for her!  It teaches great lessons and can appeal to multiple levels of learning and ages of children.
Reading A Gift For Baby before bedtime! She loved pointing stuff out in the book!

What I Love about A Gift For Baby

  • Promotes compassion parenting and natural parenting ways
  • Teaches our children what we feel they should be taught, not what the media/society tells us they should be
  • Is in English and Spanish, for both types of families, and for those hoping to incorporate a second language in their child’s schooling
  • A great book for home schooling and unschooling for many ages
  • Wonderful artwork and use of colors and designs
  • Easy to read, good legnth, kept SAP’s attention very well…more than expected!
  • Great surprise ending!
  • Sticks to my morals (I don’t have to compromise my morals for my child to get a toy/book they enjoy that I may not agree with)

Suggestions For Improvement:

  • Offer the book in different languages such as French or German!
  • In the front or back of the book offer some tips and suggestions for parent on how to use this book with their child and some ideas on how it may benefit them!

Meet The Author!

Jan Hunt is the Director of The Natural Child Project at www.naturalchild.org. She is the author of The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart (2001) and A Gift for Baby (2006); and the co-editor of The Unschooling Unmanual.
Jan offers telephone counseling on attachment parenting and unschooling. To request counseling, order her books, or for other information, leave a message toll-free at 877-593-1547 or visit her website at www.naturalchild.org.

ABout The Natural Child Project!

Our vision is a world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect, under-standing, and compassion. In such a world, every child can grow into adulthood with a generous capacity for love and trust. Our society has no more urgent task.

I LOVE the goals from The Natural Child Project!


1. To provide critical information on parenting, with special regard to pregnancy and early childhood

2. To increase public awareness of the importance of parent-child bonding, and the legitimacy and critical importance of children’s emotional needs at all stages

3. To undertake projects which further our vision of the world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect, understanding and compassion.

Website: http://www.naturalchild.org/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Natural-Child-Project/142982559054612

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

  1. My wife and I have used this book as a reference over and over again and I am always amazed at the relevance of the Sears’ advice. But rather than go into specifics about the book’s virtues (plenty of people have done that below), I would just like to comment on some of the negative criticism that other users have given this book. First of all, let me make it clear that (obviously) everyone is entitled to their opinions; I’m not trying to say that anyone HAS to like this (or any) book. But if you are going to publicly critique it, it’s only fair that you present the information accurately and comment on real shortcomings, not imagined ones.A reader from Dallas states: "Use this book with great caution. If you want nightly habitual feedings, crying for response, and other stressful habits built into your child, use this book." That’s pretty scary sounding, but let me present another scenario: My wife and I have let our child (now two years old) share the bed with us since he was born and it has been an unmitigated pleasure throughout. Except for rare occasions, he has always slept through the night, has never needed a bottle to get to bed, and has never shown any signs of being unusually "needy". Also, my wife did not have to get out of bed to breastfeed him when he was still feeding at night [Newsflash: Pretty much ALL babies feed during the night when they are very young infants – don’t blame that on co-sleeping]. Now that my wife is pregnant again, we have transitioned him into his own room with absolutely no fuss. In contrast, my sister has never let her baby sleep in bed with her and the baby used to get up twice a night for a year and a half. The point is this: there is no right or wrong way, and there are no guarantees; babies are all very different, they’re not little robots. We let our baby sleep with us because we LOVED it, and we will do it with our next one. The Sears state very clearly that you should do what you are comfortable with and that there is no right or wrong way. They just ask people to be OPEN to the idea of co-sleeping and to question those who so confidently state that it is wrong.[By the way, those who condemn it have zero scientific evidence to support their claim. Think about it: Modern day humans have been around for 2.5 million years. For 99% of that time we have been foragers and hunter-gatherers. Do you think we would have survived if sleeping with your children was "wrong"? Foraging and hunting tribes don’t carry around cribs with them.]Anyway, my point is that the Sears definitely do NOT say that there is only one way to put your kid to sleep.A reader from New York asks: "Will co-sleeping wane in popularity as parents tire of sleeping with twin 5 years olds and an 8 year old and word gets around on the difficulty of ever getting the children out of your bed?"That’s a good question. I have a few questions of my own. Have you ever tried it? Do you know for a fact that it is difficult to get kids out of bed and into their own beds? Do you think that the Sears really suggest that all of your kids should sleep in the parents’ bed, regardless of age? Did you see the part in the book where they say that you should do what you are comfortable with and what makes the most sense to you?The bottom line is that the authors clearly and refreshingly state that mothers and fathers know a lot more about raising their children than they are given credit for. Rather than telling prospective parents that YOU MUST sleep with your baby or YOU MUST breastfeed, the overall effect of their book is to say YOU CAN sleep with your baby regardless of what society tells you and YOU CAN breastfeed if you want to maximize your baby’s health and the bond between mother and child. Of course, no one HAS to do anything, but it’s nice to have alternative sources of information.Thanks for listening.

  2. I love that this book has “alternative” views for children than what they normally see in their books. I also like that it’s offered in various languages so the children can learn several things at once.