Jennifer Margulis' Why Babies Do That is the perfect gift for any new mom. It’s short, easy to read and has an incredible photo of a gorgeous baby on every other page. In addition to that, as an AMI trained Montessori teacher and mother of two, I like to think I know a thing or two about baby behavior. If only I could remember any of it when my potty-training-two-year-old (after I’ve just finished entertaining him for fifteen minutes on the potty with nary a tinkle) sings out, “Maaa-Maaa! I peed in my underwear!”
So maybe I don’t know so much, after all, but I did learn some things. Did you know that tired babies rub their eyes to “relieve the soreness and tension in the muscles around the eyes, in the eyes, and in the lid?” I didn’t. In addition there are answers to why babies cough so much when eating, why they play with their poop, why newborns have no tears and much more.
A word to those who would sooner gouge out their own eyeballs than practice attachment parenting, however, most of the studies used in this book clearly support an attachment parenting type of philosophy. Not militantly so, but if you hate Dr. Sears, you might be put off by a couple of explanations. As an example, “lying down with the baby” is suggested as the cure for getting a baby to stop resisting sleep. Not that I disagree… I slept with both of my babies for 16 and 14 months respectively. (And who am I kidding, they still end up in my bed at least once a week for some reason or another.) But if you’re not a fan of that sort of thing, you’re not going to like the answer to “Why Do Babies Resist Going to Sleep?”
But don’t let that turn you off to the whole book. It’s very straight-forward with information and cute stories, not in any way a preachy this-is-how-you-should-parent book. The intent behind the book is to inform parents in hopes that they might be inspired to enjoy and engage their babies in developmentally supportive ways.
Overall my only regret is that I don’t have one pregnant friend to give this to at the moment. As a bonus, almost every section is only one page long, making it great for a new mom who only has a few minutes here and there to relax and read.
Jennifer has written other books, several newspaper columns and other articles about mothering that are available on her website. She’s also the Creative Nonfiction Editor at Literary Mama. If you’re not already familiar with her work, check those out too for some very honest examinations of motherhood.