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Press Release: The Aware Baby
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Title: The Aware Baby
The Aware Baby (revised edition) marks a major breakthrough in our understanding of babies' emotional needs from conception to two-and-a-half years of age, providing a complete approach to non-punitive, attachment parenting. It has been translated into eleven languages, and over 150,000 copies have been sold world wide.
First published in 1984, it has launched a revolution in parenting around the world. This revised edition contains updated references to cutting-edge research as well as new insights from the author's extensive experience as a consultant and international workshop leader.
The seven chapters are packed with useful information and practical solutions, including discussions of birth and bonding, crying, sleep and feeding issues, non-authoritarian discipline, temper tantrums, play, developmentally appropriate stimulation, toilet training, and separation anxiety. The author emphasizes the attachment needs of infants, which are best met by close physical contact (including co-sleeping), breastfeeding, and prompt responsiveness to crying.
The Aware Baby is one of the only parenting books that recognizes the impact of stress and trauma on babies' development, and that gives parents tools to help their babies regain emotional health. The author discusses the sources of stress and trauma for infants (such as birth trauma, overstimulation, or developmental frustrations) and explains that babies can heal from these painful experiences by being allowed to cry freely in their parents' loving arms. Assuming all immediate needs (such as hunger) have been met, crying is a natural stress-release mechanism that allows babies to restore physiological balance and relaxation while feeling safe in their parents' arms.
Babies' crying can trigger feelings of powerlessness and even rage in parents, sometimes leading to child abuse. By clarifying the function of crying, The Aware Baby helps parents better understand their babies, enabling them to relax and offer loving support when their babies cry. Parents who follow this holding and listening approach find that their babies become happy and alert during the day, and sleep soundly at night. This is quite different from the approach that advocates, "Let babies cry it out." The author states repeatedly that babies should never be left alone to cry.
The Aware Baby is a well-researched book with over 200 scientific references. The style is clear, concise, and highly supportive of parents, with vivid examples taken from the author's own experiences as a mother, as well as numerous interviews with other parents. Each chapter concludes with a set of exercises for parents who wish to explore their feelings and take active steps in nurturing themselves.
The author, Dr. Aletha Solter, is a Swiss/American developmental psychologist who studied with Dr. Jean Piaget in Switzerland before earning her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California. She is the founder and director of The Aware Parenting Institute (www.awareparenting.com), an international organization with certified instructors in many countries. She is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline, and has appeared on TV in the U.S., Europe, South Africa, and Asia. Her other books have also been translated into several languages. The titles are Cooperative and Connected (a revised edition of Helping Young Children Flourish), Tears and Tantrums, Raising Drug-Free Kids, and Attachment Play.
The Aware Baby has been endorsed by prominent psychologists, doctors, and educators. Dr. David Chamberlain (author of The Mind of Your Newborn Baby) wrote: "The exquisite awareness of babies celebrated in this book is revolutionary and refreshing. Soundly based on empirical research and great good sense, this book will doubly bless both the parents and their very fortunate infants."
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