Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005
Book Review: The Baby Owner’s Manual
The Baby Owner’s Manual takes a gimmick and makes it work. Ostensibly written as the missing instruction booklet for your new baby "appliance," it is a no-nonsense introduction to baby care for first-time parents.
"If the baby has an unpleasant odor or begins crying for no apparent reason, her diaper may need to be reinstalled."
The book is broken into seven chapters: preparation and home installation, general care, feeding: understanding the baby’s power supply, programming sleep mode, general maintenance, growth and development, and safety & emergency maintenance.
"To guarantee quality performance, each model should be cleaned after every two or three days of use."
The manual’s writing style is occasionally distracting. Doctors become "service providers," parents are "users" and so on. Depending on your mood and circumstance, the quick mental translation of terminology may rub some readers wrong.
As casual reading, the book held my interest. Unlike most other baby books, this one does not focus on the love and frustration a new baby brings home, using lots of warm fuzzy verbiage. The authors cover a multitude of topics with the briefest, most carefully chosen words. Each topic that requires parental action has tips broken down into simple step-by-step instructions. But just like a real instruction manual, when you have a serious problem, you may find the instructions lack the desired depth.
We received this book as a gift a few days after birth. It’s been great, but I wish we had read it many months earlier. The manual serves as a great introduction to babies and is a quick read. It’s a flipper. It’s fun to skim around with ease and read what lies ahead for you.
In writing this review I see that a sequel was published last month: The Toddler Owner’s Manual. I will be buying myself a copy.
The Baby Owner’s Manual by Louis Borgenicht, M.D., and Joe Borgenicht, D.A.D. [amazon.com]
The Baby Owner’s Maintenance Log [amazon.com]
The Toddler Owner’s Manual [amazon.com]