Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Review: Retro Baby

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This simply means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I also received a copy of the book to facilitate my review.

About Retro Baby (from Press Release)

While bouncers, walkers, carriers, electronic toys, and “educational” videos are intended to make parents’ lives easier and children smarter, according to a new book published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should consider reducing their baby’s time spent with gadgets and bond the old fashioned way by going back to basics.

Leading pediatric occupational therapist and child development specialist Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L is the author of Retro Baby: Cut Back on All the Gear and Boost Your Baby’s Development With More Than 100 Time-Tested Activities (American Academy of Pediatrics, October 2013), a new book intended to help parents and caregivers understand the importance of one-on-one play with children during the early stages of life. With over 20 years experience, Zachry understands that each family and baby have different needs and in her book, she offers many flexible strategies and suggestions for playtime that provide lots of opportunities to spend valuable time with baby, creating that special bond that will last a lifetime. 

Incorporating the latest recommendations from the AAP with extensive research by Zachry and other experts in her field, Retro Baby covers how an infant’s brain, body, motor and sensory skills develop, explain the negative impacts of overusing certain baby gear, and provide specific instructions for play positions and activities that are appropriate for each developmental stage, giving parents both a starting point and guidelines to help them properly invest in their child’s development and future.

 Packed with more than 100 wonderful activities based on modern day research, Retro Baby is a comprehensive guide that will help parents and caregivers:
·      Learn how crucial connections are formed between a child’s brain and muscles during the first year of life.
·      Discover how the over use of some products can hinder infant exploration.
·      Observe how good old-fashioned play affects your baby’s development in a positive way.
·      Try a variety of ideas that enhance baby’s ability to learn.
·      See how to make traditional, handmade toys using common household items.

Retro Baby also includes chapters on keeping your sleeping baby safe, practicing tummy time and preventing positional skull deformities.

“I’ve discovered that many parents do not understand of the dangers of extended equipment use and overexposure to technology,” said Zachry.
She adds,  “All of the information in ‘Retro Baby’ will help parents play a role in building a solid foundation for their child’s future skills in school and in life. When you use this authoritative up-to-date source, you’ll be faithfully supporting- but not rushing- your baby’s mastery of developmental milestones.”

About the author, Anne H. Zachary

Anne H. Zachry, PhD, OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist and child development specialist with more than 20 years experience. Her research on this subject has been published in national peer-reviewed journals and her profession’s trade magazines as well as a number of parenting magazines. She cites and extensively supports AAP policy and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and has lectured at the University of Memphis and is a Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health and Science Center. Her blog, “Pediatric Occupational Therapy Tips: (www.drzachryspedsottips.blogspot.com) averages 30,000 hits monthly.

My thoughts on Retro Baby  

For a long time, I have felt as though all of our lives are being overrun with technology.  I miss the simplicity of the days gone by, and I am only talking about the days when *I* was younger.  As a wife and mom, I strive to bring back as much simplicity as possible, but also embrace the virtues of technology, at least for myself and my "older" kids.  Like Retro Baby, I do not see much value in electronic gadgets for babies.  As a mother of a 16 month old, I was thrilled to find that this book has information and ideas for babies up to two years of age. The ideas are great, and easy to make and/or do with a baby.  Many of the activities can be done anywhere, some require you to have materials and/or to make something, but the materials are often commonly found, some are even things you might otherwise dispose of, so they are inexpensive, making the activities appropriate for parents of all income levels.  My son loves playing with his homemade Choo Choo Train and enjoyed the activities that we have done together.  In addition to the educational chapters, which also have activity and homemade toy ideas, there are chapters that are specific for the different age groups, based on developmental growth.  

I highly recommend this to any parent who is looking to unplug, at least a little bit, and to connect with their baby on a more personal level.  You could replace several gadgets on a baby registry with this book and the baby would never know what he "missed out" on.  In fact, this may just become my new go-to baby shower gift.

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