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by T. Berry Brazleton and Joshua Sparrow
De Capo Press, 2004
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Feb 1st 2005

Feeding Your Child

There must be hundreds of books on looking after babies and infants, and probably many of them address feeding.  Most people never actually read all the parenting books they have, and so it is helpful to have books that are easy to read.  Brazleton and Sparrow's Feeding contains plenty of clear advice and information of parents of young children.  It is divided into 3 chapters, the first on the importance of feeding, the second on how to go about normal feeding, and the third on how to deal with feeding problems.  It is a short book with about 170 pages, and it is simple to browse through it or refer to the index to search for information. 

One might question to what extent the authors' assumptions about family life are realistic.  For example they recommend keeping family meal times sacred for the family to be together, with no television at the table, but we know that many families tend to eat separately or to eat by sitting in armchairs while watching TV.  They suggest getting the child's pediatrician to check the child's weight, but probably many families don't have a person identified as the family pediatrician, and indeed will only visit health professionals when there is a medical crisis.  So the advice of the book may sometimes represent an ideal rather than a realistic goal, but nevertheless the advice could still be helpful. 

The advice of the book is often basic -- how to tell when your new baby is hungry, for example.  Most of the advice will apply to most babies and this book does not address rare problems.  The second chapter goes through the different ages of young children from the early months to the succeeding years.  For example, it deals with fussy babies and picky eaters, illnesses, family dynamics, food refusal, and using rewards and punishments when getting children to eat.  The authors are experts in child psychiatry and so their recommendations are probably sound.  I found the book helpful.

 

© 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved. 

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.