Baby 411 - SmartMom

Baby 411 by Denise Fields and Dr. Ari Brown

Photo by Carissa Gallo

There are about a bazillion books out there that provide all manner of help for new and expecting parents. I’d venture to guess that many of you reading this post probably have one, or ten, on your bookshelf at home. The question is do the books on your bookshelf give you the type of help you really need? If Baby 411 by Denise Fields and Dr. Ari Brown is one of those books then the answer is most likely a resounding YES!

While I admit any source of assistance for a new parent is worth having there are a few things about Baby 411 that really make it stand out as my go-to resource for parenting tips and tricks.


I really love the layout of Baby 411 for a number of reasons. First and foremost because it is organized not by the age of your child but by the topics you may need assistance with: nutrition, hygiene, first aid, etc. Books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, although designed to track pregnancy, are formatted chronologically and tend to box parents in with strict timelines. This can cause more worry than good in that if a mother sees her son has not met some of the milestones defined at 6 months of age, she may be led to believe he is slow or behind the curve. Friends and doctors can assure you that every child develops at his/her own pace but when timelines (that often feel like deadlines) are written on the pages of a book it can be difficult to see past them and easy to feel discouraged. Baby 411 focuses on the issues you will encounter throughout the first year of your baby’s life and gives you ballpark timeframes instead of strict schedules that can cause you to feel pressured to reach.


Baby 411 covers just about any topic you might need when bringing a new baby home. From hygiene and nutrition to discipline, vaccinations, first aid and so much more. If and when you find yourself stumped or concerned about something you’re new bundle of joy is doing, simply flip to the appropriate chapter and you’ll most likely find the answer. Each section is packed with medical facts, statistics, easy-to-read charts, red flags, helpful tips, and feedback from real parents. Plus, there is an easy to use index that allows you to pinpoint specific topics within each chapter. Everything from what kind of soap you should use on your baby’s sensitive new skin to more serious topics like dealing with heart murmurs and diabetes in children. Baby 411 has you covered.

Real Questions From Real Parents

How often do you pick up a self-help book and immediately feel like you’re being lectured by a bunch of stuffy know-it-alls? You know, where doctors spit out nothing but cold hard facts and a list of twenty different ways you’re doing things wrong; talk about a total sense of insecurity. Baby 411 is more like having a casual chitchat with fellow parents over a cup of coffee. It’s a collection of real questions from real parents facing the real situations that arise in the first year of a child’s life. Believe it or not, you aren’t the first new parent to panic about your child’s sleep habits, food intake, and poop color. Oh yeah, poop can be downright terrifying.  These questions will not only help comfort you when you’re feeling like a sleep deprived deer in headlights but they’ll also help give you the answers you need every step of the way.

Let’s face it, we’ve decided to be parents so we’ve already lost our minds a little but that doesn’t mean we can‘t be crazy AND prepared for whatever baby’s first year throws our way. So, if Baby 411 is currently missing from your bookshelf at home, it’s time to hop in the car, head to the closest bookstore, and grab a copy. You’ll thank me, and all the equally frazzled parents who came before you, someday soon.

Want to check out our last book review? Here you go.

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