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Beyond the Sling
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About the Author

Mayim Bialik, PhD, is perhaps best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo in the 1990s television sitcom Blossom, and she starred on the top-rated comedy The Big Bang Theory. Bialik earned a BS from UCLA in 2000 in neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish studies, and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. She designed a neuroscience curriculum for homeschoolers in Southern California, where she also teaches middle and high school students. Married to her college sweetheart with two young sons, Bialik is also a Certified Lactation Education Counselor. Visit her at MayimBialik.net.

Reviews

Bialik, former child-star of the TV sitcom Blossom, is now a neuroscientist with two young sons. A proponent of "attachment parenting," Bialik discusses the philosophy's main components, including co-sleeping, baby-wearing, extended nursing, and natural birth, using her own experiences as a mother as well as her background in neuroscience to illustrate and shore up her points. The core of the author's text focuses on what she considers to be baby's needs, including a smooth birth (preferably without unnecessary medical intervention), breastfeeding (she became a certified lactation education counselor), holding, and nighttime parenting (including safe co-sleeping). She also includes a chapter on "Elimination Communication," a potty training method that relies on parents' recognizing baby's signals (the diaper-free route, she admits, is not for everyone). While passionate and committed to attachment parenting, Bialik approaches her subject with a sense of humor and the awareness that not every parent will embrace all its tenets. Nevertheless, she makes a convincing case for the benefits for children, including healthy brain and social development, ability to develop trusting relationships, and good self esteem. Attachment parenting proponents will welcome Bialik's openhearted message and advice to follow one's instincts, and even readers who are skeptical will enjoy Bialik's warm and nonjudgmental voice. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

"Attachment parenting proponents will welcome Bialik's openhearted message and advice to follow one's instincts, and even readers who are skeptical will enjoy Bialik's warm and nonjudgmental voice."

Many readers will recognize Mayim Bialik as the star of Blossom, a sitcom from the 1990s. Celebrity parenting books often feel like a pathetic attempt at a comeback tour, and I didn't expect to like this title, but Bialik holds a PhD in neuroscience, is a certified lactation counselor, and writes with a pleasing and conversational style. Attachment parenting is hardly new, but she breaks it down into its most basic form, covering expected topics such as why natural labor and breast are best, the importance of nighttime feedings, and (of course) babywearing. VERDICT Bialik strikes the right combination of medical information, parenting advice, and personal experience. More ambitious readers will appreciate Ruth Newton's The Attachment Connection (2008), another solid title on attachment parenting. A surprise recommendation. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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