Chapter One - Don't Panic
I impart to new parents my organic attitude to parenting, which revolves around communication and learning as a team/family. This chapter is also an introduction to the act of parenting itself and explains what to expect and how to assimilate it into everyday life. I see it as a welcome note.
Chapter Two - What ‘They’ Will Not Tell You
A helpful and hopeful heads up to the pitfalls of the first few weeks that ‘they’ don’t or won’t tell you as a new parent. I clarify the difference between having a child (parenting) and having the child (pregnancy and birth).
Chapter Three - Bringing Home Baby
A practical, itemised list coupled with tried and true explanations of all the things a new parent needs to keep their child warm, dry, fed and happy. Included are the basic essentials required to transport equipment and a section on sleeping paraphernalia.
Chapter Four - Have A Little Faith
A parental pep talk to reassure new parents they are doing great. My aim in this chapter is to instil confidence. My experience has taught me that new parents can feel overwhelmed when all the excitement has died down.
Chapter Five - Blood In The Water
To reassure parents that not only are they doing great but now they have to take charge of raising their baby. Their young infant is looking to them for instructions on how best to fit into the family, and as the adult they need to make strong, confident suggestions with regards to eating, sleeping and playtime.
Chapter Six – Equip Yourself
Helpful suggestions about one of the essential pieces of equipment required for a new baby – the buggy/stroller/pushchair. I pose the questions all parents need to ask themselves and the sales assistant when purchasing this most trusted friend.
Chapter Seven - The Ish Plan
My own proposed method of implementing a schedule for parent and child – it is stress-free and easy for all involved. The Plan covers baby basics such as sleep, feeding and playtime, but it’s also an attitude to adopt during all aspects of a child’s early life.
Chapter Eight - Rock A Bye Baby
Examines how to strike a balance between day and night sleeping. Covers everything from self-soothing to putting them to sleep versus putting them down asleep. I also explain the signs to look for and the language to learn to help babies regulate their sleep. There are practical, hands on techniques to help your child to find their sleep comfort zone.
Chapter Nine – Bed, Bath And Beyond
Practical tips to provide physical, emotional space for parent and child as part of a nightly schedule.
Chapter Ten - Play It By Ear
This is designed to help new parents learn the language of their child, which is truly unique to them. I explain the reasons why they cry and what they are trying to communicate.
Chapter Eleven - Give It A Minute
This leads directly on from Chapter Ten and helps parents learn to assess their child's cry and then reply. This covers letting them self-soothe, problem-solve or find their own distractions. My suggestions allow parents to give space to their child, helping them to figure things out for themselves and grow in confidence. My aim is to encourage parents not to become too protective and rush into situations.
Chapter Twelve – Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
This helps parents to understand the physical and cognitive development of babies, facilitating them to assist their children in reaching fundamental milestones. Looks closely at fun, interactive games and tools to help baby link pathways in the brain and body, while focusing on their natural determination to get moving.
Chapter Thirteen - Getting Ahead Of The Class
Help for those who are immersing themselves in this new world of parenthood and are seeking support from others along the way. Covers classes and groups for both parent and child. I offer advice on where these can be found and why they are so important for the health of parent and child, both physically and mentally.
Chapter Fourteen - Lazy Baby Weaning
Covers both past and present techniques that are tried and true. I also provide my own personal blend of the two to give a third option that involves introducing solid foods to your child's diet. This focuses on food groups, food preparation, the equipment needed and, most importantly, how to avoid your child becoming a fussy eater.
Chapter Fifteen - Protest Movement
Examines how babies use their cry to communicate with you. I help new parents differentiate want from need in those cries, as some are for attention and some are out of sheer frustration. I teach parents how to help their child achieve their goals and problem-solve, without doing it for them.
Chapter Sixteen - Gums, Bums and Tums
I concentrate solely on teething and all its repercussions throughout the body. I link areas and signs and symptoms together so parents can easily identify what’s happening to their child and what can be done to help soothe them and manage their pain, alleviating stress for all parties.
Chapter Seventeen - Bonding Through Touch
I help parents connect with their child through touch, using this contact to activate development and growth, prompt immunity and soothe, stimulate and strengthen their child inside and out. Encouraging a tactile relationship between parent and child prompts a safe and comforting space where both can form a bond of trust.
Chapter Eighteen - The Little Things
Suggestions to help parents see the wood from the trees and find a space in which to spend quality time with their baby. I provide ideas on how to create a time and space for both parent and child to cherish.