Books We Love: The New Basics 

Another book that my sister gave me before Madeline arrived is The New Basics. She had found out about this because it is written by her pediatrician. Essentially, it’s like a baby bible.


The book is organized by symptom. Whatever is going on with baby, you look up that symptom and it will tell you what is normal, when to worry and tips for helping baby. As a first time parent this book is a lifesaver! I didn’t want to call our pediatrician for every little thing and this book eased all my fears. Those first few weeks at home I felt like I opened the book several times everyday. I looked up things like poop, snot, sleep, fever, colic, cradle cap – anything and everything.

The premise of this book is to not worry so much and it certainly lives up to that. Being able to look up what was going on with Madeline and not knowing if it was normal or something to expect or not, this book really put me at ease.  While I’m not sure I agree with all the advice the book gives, there are still things I double check with my pediatrician (and you should always call the doctor if you’re really worried), this book has definitely helped me in the middle of the night and with any questions I was just curious about.  This is the true meaning of a coffee table book.  It sits on our coffee table because we reference it so frequently!

A good example we encountered recently is that it has been unseasonably cold in Upstate New York and Madeline has been waking up with small nosebleeds or not even full nosebleeds just dried, crusted blood in her nostrils.  I was concerned but not enough to call the pediatrician, assuming it was just dry air.  Sure enough, a consult with this trusty book set my mind at ease! Now I know to just clean them up and call if they get more frequent or profuse.  Here’s what a section in the book looks like:

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I think they key to remember when utilizing this book is that it’s a guide.  Every baby is different, and just because they are crying, doesn’t always mean the same thing to every baby.  Try to really figure out the root of the problem and look there, otherwise you can drive yourself crazy with worry.  What I also love about the book is that I can look up things that I know will happen in the future, for instance solid foods, and what to expect and what could occur.  Or, this one is approaching quickly, sleep training and what to expect and what is normal.  These all help me prepare so I can respond to whatever Madeline throws my way in the most prepared and informed way possible.  It also helps keep me calm so that if something does happen, I have the knowledge of how to handle it already.

Do you use the New Basics? Is Dr. Cohen your pediatrician? What do you think of it?

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