Bringing Up Bebe, Book Review

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 BRINGING UP BEBE, by Pamela Druckerman

If you haven’t heard about the child-raising book BRINGING UP BEBE, by Pamela Druckerman, I might just be about to change your life.  Hopefully, you are finding this review while you are still pregnant, even better if you are not even pregnant.  If you do already have children, it is not too late, you just might have to work your guts out.

Bringing Up Bebe is a wonderfully calm and empowering pregnancy and baby manual divided into 14 clear and progressive steps.  Let’s go crazy and call them chapters.

The book, while being an informative parenting guide, is essentially a story.  While living in France, the American writer and journalist Pamela Druckerman found herself intrigued with the differences between American and French Parenting.

What she noticed in Paris was that all around her, children were sitting at the table to eat meals, saying please and thank you and Parisian mothers were calm, stylish professionals who did not seem to be ravaged in the same way American mothers were.

The first two chapters,  Are you waiting for a child? and Paris is Burping is all about the differences between Amercian and French attitudes towards pregnancy.

The next chapters, Doing her nights, Wait and Tiny little humans are about the first year of a child’s life, specifically hers, (adorably nicknamed Bean).

Daycare?  Bebe au lait and the perfect mother doesn’t exist mainly eplores issued of guilt, mothers returning to work and societal pressures.  It seems France put a lot more pressure on women in a few areas, while allowing a great deal of freedom in others.  I won’t spoil it here, you’ll have to read it for yourself.     Caca boudin.  double entendre.  I adore this baguette.  You just have to taste it.

Caca boudin the balance of educating instead of publisment and rewards for kids.  Also understanding that healthy well balanced kids need an outlet for bad behaviour, they need secrets and to cut loose with their friends too – just like adults.    double entendre.  I adore this baguette.  You just have to taste it.

Bringing Up Bebe is also one of the few very honest accounts of what it is like to bring up twins, (spoiler sorry).  After reading the chapter  Double Entendre I will never look at the parents of twins the same again.  .  I adore this baguette.  You just have to taste it.

What I loved about this book was about the focus on the whole famlily, not just the child.  In France there seems to be a lot more emphasis on balance and making sure the child understands that they are a member of a family unit and must fit and function within it.  Nothing sums it up better for me than the chapter, I adore this baguette which looks at the couple in relation to having children.

You just have to taste it is all about how to get your children to eat their vegetables, or any food actually.  While the title of the chapter gives a lot away, there is a great deal more to be learnt from this book. Druckerman goes investigating into the French daycare system to see just how the country as a whole is approaching food education.  It is fascinating.

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The first time I fell pregnant I freaked out.  I had heard this book  was an easy and enjoyable read.  I also wanted to read anything that would reassume the I would not lose my life.

While reading BRINGING UP BEBE, I had to keep a piece of paper beside my bed and kept writing things down.  Like Pamela, who shouted revelations out to her husband as she read French Baby books, I too was doing the same to my partner.

BRINGING UP BEBE, by Druckerman is not condescending or patronising.  Druckerman understands your perspective, reluctance and societal conditioning.  She is on the reader’s side.  She is perplexed and awed at what she is learning in France.  She writes about many things that she would not have believed unless she saw it herself.

There are certainly some holes in the French method.  One is overlooking breath feeding as a priority.  The national feeding plan in France is one that does not really support breastfeeding.  Waiting four hours between ‘meals’ (not feeds as they say in America) will inevitably cause your breast milk to dry up.

There is also the issue of cultural pressure to remain slim and good looking during pregnancy and the months that follow.  Men seem to slip through the cultural expectations and it seems in France it is quite alright for men to simply be bumbling idiots (which I fundamentally disagree with).  But on a whole the book is insightful.

Sage, is what I loved the most.  The idea that there is a time and a place for all kinds of behaviour.  In France, it’s not about being perfect all the time but understanding and explaining to children that different places require different types of behaviour.This book is great in its approach to discipline.  It is not about right and wrong good and back, but about education or lack of understanding.

This book is great in its approach to discipline.  It is not about right and wrong good and bad, but about education or lack of understanding.  French parents approach discipline as a life long education and seem to be far more patient about their child learning appropriate behaviour with practice.

GET IT.  It’s great.

One thought on “Bringing Up Bebe, Book Review

  1. My friends and i from our mothers group read this book fun, but i have to say i found the whole thing just crazy, not at all why i have kids, i think i’ll stay home with mine till they’r at school. I don’t think haveing a working mum makes you better at your job when you grow up!!!!

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