“Feeding Your Baby Day by Day: From First Tastes to Family Meals” by Fiona Wilcock. Part cookbook, part meal planner, part parenting advice, Wilcock’s colorful book is a useful guide for parents of budding diners. Wilcock, a registered nutritionist and food writer, gives parents advice on when to introduce solids, what nutrients babies need most and where to get them, and what foods and drinks to avoid. She offers suggestions on what kinds of equipment you need to make your own baby food, how to prepare food safely and how long to store the food in the refrigerator or freezer. Food in the book is shown with life-sized bowls and spoons to give parents an idea of the proper serving size for their babies. Wilcock includes more than 200 individual recipes for babies, from purees to finger foods, and suggested meal plans. The book, which came out in February, closes with a chapter on transitioning to meals for notoriously picky toddlers and preschoolers.
“How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success” by Tovah P. Klein. We’ve all heard about the terrible twos (and the even-worse threes), but Klein says it’s a myth. The toddler years don’t have to be a nightmare, according to the child psychologist and director of the Barnard Center for Toddler Development. This book, with a foreword by Sarah Jessica Parker, is a guide to help parents and children get to what Klein calls “Toddlertopia,” a peaceful world of happy coexistence where the child is developing critical skills he will need as an adult. A central element to Klein’s plan is seeing the world from your toddler’s point of view as a way of understanding his behavior. She addresses common trouble spots, including picky eating, toilet training and bedtime issues and gives very specific “what to do” checklists for each problem. Klein’s book was released in February.
“The Mommy Mob: Inside the Outrageous World of Mommy Blogging” by Rebecca Eckler. When the “Knocked Up” author ventured into the world of mommy blogging 10 years ago, she was shocked at how judgmental other moms can be in the anonymous comments. She calls those women the “Mommy Mob,” ready to jump on your every move. Since she started blogging, she has been called vicious names (many not suitable for publication in a family newspaper), merely because someone disagrees with a choice she’s made as a parent. People have told her that her children “will grow up to have anti-social disorders” or “behavioral and emotional difficulties” and questioned how fit she is to be a parent. Her latest book, which comes out April 21, summarizes some of her most irreverent and controversial blog posts, from how she dodged diaper-changing duty for two months to how she hates going to school concerts, and quotes from the comments she received.
“Small Talk: How to Develop Your Child’s Language Skills From Birth to Age Four” by Nicola Lathey and Tracey Blake. Babies are working on language long before they start using actual, understandable words. Lathey, a children’s speech and language therapist from Oxfordshire, England, and Blake, a parenting journalist, break early language development into six stages, from pre-babbling to complete sentences. The authors talk about why babbling matters, how to encourage a baby’s first words and helping a toddler learn to communicate to ease tantrums. The book, which comes out April 8, also includes information about sign language, pacifier use and how watching television affects language development. Each chapter includes a list of milestones so parents can gauge their child’s development. Favorite fact from the book: Within 15 hours of birth a child can recognize which face his mother’s voice is coming from (having heard the voice for many months in utero).