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Tipsheet: Parenting Books for Every Problem

No one can be a perfect parent, but hey, it’s worth a try. Here, a mix of practical references and insightful guides to help you determine your approach.

>> Your Newborn Head to Toe, by Cara Familian Natterson, M.D. A comprehensive manual that focuses on each part of an infant’s body—eyes to ears to belly button—highlighting potential problems and parent concerns, and giving a rundown of tests and treatments.

>> The New Basics, A-to–Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent, by Michel Cohen, M.D. This Manhattan pediatrician takes a less-is-more approach, touting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Look under P for pacifiers, peanut butter, and pneumonia; under M for masturbation, moles, and muscle tone.

>> Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, by Benjamin Spock, M.D. Still the bible for tips on breast-feeding and sleep patterns, the eighth edition of this classic manual (updated by Robert Needlman, M.D.) is as warm and wise as ever, and now includes chapters on gay and lesbian parenting, the Internet, and terrorism.

>> Loving Without Spoiling, by Nancy Samalin. Underlying all the lessons—on managing anger, holding your ground, picking your battles, teaching respect, instilling self-esteem—is the idea that you can love your offspring without overindulging them.

>> The 7 Stages of Motherhood, by Ann Pleshette Murphy. The former editor of Parents magazine focuses on a mom’s own emotions, needs, and moods as she navigates each age and stage of her kids’ lives, from a baby in the tummy to an 18-year-old leaving the nest.

>> Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?, by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D. Wolf explains how to deal with mouthiness and attitude, adding the welcome reassurance that yes, you can elicit respect from today’s teens, and yes, they will grow up to be nice, normal adults. (Phew.)

>> The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Parenting, by Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht, and Sarah Jordan. This new addition to the “Survival Guide” series combines practical advice (like how to break into your car if the baby’s locked in, or how to get gum out of a kid’s hair) with riffs on less technical matters like the birds-and-bees speech. Bonus: a glossary of teenage slang.

From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide
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