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