Warnings first: Like many parents in South Delhi, I propped myself up in Dr Saroja Balan’s room 10 days after giving birth, my eyes cloudy from lack of sleep and panicked at the rapid weight loss that my baby of almost 4 kg at birth seemed to be undergoing. The jumble of information on the Internet and from older parents added to our perplexity – a bit of weightloss was normal for the course, it seemed, but how much was just enough and not too much? And, more worryingly, was a “big” baby actually a sign of neonatal diabetes, as some had pointed out?
One exam later, the neonatologist and pediatrician turned to us with a prognosis that would come to mean a lot to the frayed nerves of parents in the years that followed: “Nothing! Your baby is doing great!” Apparently the developmental milestones were on track, weight loss, although significant, was within parameters and all we needed to do was keep calm and carry on.
Reading It’s your babyits clarity and conciseness parent guide, it’s a bit like having Dr. Balan on speed dial. Self-contained and full of practical advice, it’s a book that answers a range of questions confused new parents might have about their child’s early years, particularly, but not limited to, the bewildering first year after birth. birth. In the same way that she accompanies the parents of her patients towards a more relaxed parental experience, It’s your baby breaks down the milestones and red flags of the first two years with lucidity.
From childbirth and breastfeeding to potty training and discipline, the book explains the parenting journey with the same thoroughness and speed that characterizes Dr. Balan. The chapter, Common Childhood Disorders and Diseases, lists possible illnesses, their causes, and how best to deal with the challenges they present. The compositions of frequently used drugs are explained and why the indiscriminate use of antibiotics is not always the best treatment. Each chapter is accompanied by a list of references and addresses frequently asked questions. Since mandatory vaccination and their usefulness in relation to the options available and how and when they become essential; from reading a child’s growth chart to interpreting a child’s sleep cycle; from fighting acid reflux to the best way to make your newborn burpthe book touches on all the important aspects of the baby years and should be essential reading for every new parent in much the same way that Dr. Spock or What to Expect When You Are Expecting were for generations of parents earlier.