Feed the Baby Hum­mus: Pe­di­a­tri­cian-backed Se­crets from Cul­tures Around the World

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - MELISSA WUSKE

Lisa Lewis Famil­ius (MARCH) Soft­cover $18.99 (256pp) 978-1-945547-79-9

Feed the Baby Hum­mus presents a wide ar­ray of good choices that par­ents can make dur­ing their baby’s first year.

With decades of ex­pe­ri­ence as a pe­di­a­tri­cian, Lewis knows just how chal­leng­ing it can feel to make good choices in the early months of a baby’s life. Her com­pre­hen­sive guide of­fers prac­ti­cal ad­vice and cross-cul­tural wis­dom that serves to bol­ster, add depth, and pro­vide con­trast to the book’s more thor­ough, fairly con­ven­tional Amer­i­can ad­vice about how to care for a baby.

The book is di­vided into sec­tions cov­er­ing stress­ful de­vel­op­men­tal is­sues like sleep and sooth­ing, prac­ti­cal choices like nam­ing and child­care, ev­ery kind of feed­ing ques­tion from breast­feed­ing to wean­ing, and car­ing for the baby’s body and im­mune sys­tem for long-term health.

Cul­tural lessons in­clude the open, non­judg­men­tal at­ti­tude of Ice­landic moth­ers about breast­feed­ing; Ja­panese par­ents’ hun­dredth­day-of-life cel­e­bra­tion, which in­tro­duces the baby to di­verse foods; In­dian par­ents’ use of co­conut oil for cra­dle cap; and Nor­we­gian moth­ers’ use of wool breast pads, among other ex­am­ples. The book takes a pos­i­tive view of cul­ture, and ev­ery idea is treated with re­spect, high­lighted for its pos­i­tive im­pact.

Ideas from more com­mu­nal, less in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic cul­tures will prove the most in­sight­ful for mod­ern Amer­i­cans but may also be the most dif­fi­cult to put into prac­tice, espe­cially for those who live far away from the baby’s grand­par­ents and ex­tended fam­ily.

Ev­ery part of the book af­firms the par­ents’ rights to make their own choices, of­fer­ing re­fresh­ing con­fi­dence in parental judg­ment in a time when so many dis­cus­sions of in­fant par­ent­ing are fueled by ex­tremes.

Feed the Baby Hum­mus is a guide to nur­tur­ing happy, healthy ba­bies that goes be­yond con­ven­tions.

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