cover image Eat, Play, Sleep: The Essential Guide to Your Baby’s First Three Months

Eat, Play, Sleep: The Essential Guide to Your Baby’s First Three Months

Luiza DeSouza. Atria, $24 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4516-5092-1

Debut author DeSouza has no-nonsense advice for first-time parents, courtesy of her five decades of experience as a baby nurse. Focusing on the important first three months, she writes that caring for infants requires “patience, openness, and attentiveness.” DeSouza prescribes giving loving attention to a baby’s individual needs, within a sensibly set routine that includes meals, gentle interaction with caregivers and the outside world, and sleeping. Although there’s nothing groundbreaking in her system, DeSouza covers many time-honored tricks of essential care, such as putting washcloths on newborns bathing for the first time so they feel less disoriented. Moms without a nurse or a more experienced relative on hand should find these suggestions very helpful, particularly because such specifics can get lost in books by more academic or medically oriented experts. Though never effusive, her voice does convey steadiness with just a bit of toughness, lending credibility to her statement that coolly confident mothers make for calm, happy babies. She doesn’t hide her disdain for certain modern parenting ideas, singling out the attachment theory behind cosleeping as particularly misguided. Families who want a traditional nurse’s approach to care, but can’t afford help at home, may find this manual a good alternative. (Feb.)