Like most new parents, you will probably be inundated with parenting advice during the first year of your baby’s life. When she sneezes or spits up or has a fever, you will not only receive unsolicited guidance from friends and family, you will also be tempted to read through countless informational websites where it can be overwhelming to sort through the sage and not-so-sage advice. You might even purchase a number of parenting books hoping to gain insight into your upcoming role as a parent, only to be left with more questions than answers. That’s why I’ve written this book: to answer your questions about caring for your baby and to be your common sense pediatrician-in-residence.
What do I mean by common sense? The philosophy behind Eat, Sleep, Poop is based on a program I’ve developed called Common Sense Parenting. It basically boils down to this: raising a child should be enjoyable and as stress-free as possible. I want you to look at your child and know what to worry about and more importantly what NOT to worry about, and be able to use common sense in raising your baby so that health and safety fit in easily with the fun of having a child. And trust me: it is fun, as well as challenging.
Although humankind has been raising children for a very long time, in this age of over-stressing and over-parenting, some parents and doctors would have you believe that caring for a child requires systematic calculations, precise schedules, and the input of a host of experts. I believe that informed common sense is your best tool.
Eat, Sleep, Poop answers all of the most common parenting questions and concerns in the first year of life and addresses all of the other information you are going to hear from helpful and not so helpful advisors. That way, after reading this book, if you hear another approach you can say, “He told me they were going to say that, and I know what to do,” rather then having more questions. Raising a child should be fun and stress-free. Who has time to read 200 pages on how to sleep train your child, especially if you can learn it much faster? Why read a novel on how to introduce solids when it can be pared down to be much simpler? During this fascinating first year of your baby’s life, I want to empower you to look at your child’s green poop and smile rather than worry; to calmly treat a temperature of 102 knowing that everything will be okay; and to have faith that your baby will learn to sleep through the night without holding a grudge against you. Eat, Sleep, Poop will give you all of these answers and much more.
As a new parent to my one year old daughter, I realized that my experiences with her during the first year of life were as valuable (and in some case more valuable) than my medical training. When my wife was pregnant, my patients used to say to me, “You’ll see, it will be different when you have your own.” I used to smile and nod but think to myself, nothing is going to change. I have seen thousands of children, why would one more change anything that I say or do? But it does. Not only do I now scrutinize my own advice as a doctor, but I also find myself questioning some of it as a father. It was enthralling to watch my daughter go through her first year as I was writing about it and it was fascinating to watch the concerns of my patients become my own. The most surprising part of parenting is how we dealt with each new situation. For example, as a doctor it is easy for me to tell parents to sleep train their child by letting them cry through the night, especially when I am in the comfort and silence of my own home. Unfortunately, the same advice was not so easy to follow when my own child was crying in the next room. This is why I have featured sections called “daddy versus doctor” throughout the book. They illustrate the two very distinct roles of being a daddy and a doctor.
I have also added my common sense parenting bottom line to each topic in the book that sums up a parenting concern in one to two lines. I want families to get back to basics and just like the title, Eat, Sleep, Poop, make parenting fun and simple. Don’t over think it. In today’s world we have enough things to worry about the mortgage, our jobs, the economy, how to pay off those pesky student loans. Shouldn’t raising your child be fun? And really, it’s not as difficult as it might seem.