Book Review: Bringing Up Bebe

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Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

This book is not your typical parenting handbook. Instead, it is a comparison of typical French methods of parenting vs. American methods. I found this was an interesting read. While living in Paris the author discovered that French babies tend to sleep through the night two or three months, the children eat well rounded meals (including exotic vegetables, cheeses, and fish), and the children are better behaved and more in control of themselves (they are polite and say “bonjour” and “au revoir” when conversing with adults).

One chapter I found interesting was the author’s discovery of the French method of “the pause”. Basically, instead of rushing to your infants every small cry or sound, take a few minutes to pause and observe what the need really is. Left to themselves for a few moments, the infants will often soothe themselves, leading them to the ability of sleeping through the night at an early age. Maybe if I had known about “the pause”, my first daughter would have been a much better sleeper.

I don’t believe that the American way of parenting is right or wrong, and the same goes for the French way, but this book gave me a few new ideas. I would recommend it as intriguing reading for anyone who has an interest in parenting.

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