If I could recommend any non-how-to parenting book to all new parents, this would be it! It is amazing to see how parents the world over parent with the same instincts that are so often repressed in American culture. I also find it interesting how the author details how changes in child-rearing occur as western culture infiltrates groups of people previously not exposed to such ideas as detachment from the baby, bottle feeding, sleeping apart from their child, and such. This book comes from an anthropological viewpoint which details how infants grow, how human breast milk truly is the perfect fit for a human infant, how touch and care affect how the brain develops, how infants were meant to sleep and eat. It really is an awesome book!
Megan R. reviewed Our Babies, Ourselves : How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent on
Truly fascinating look at culture and how it shapes our parenting methods. Meredith Small does a great job of presenting the various ways other cultures handle child-rearing, without condoning or condemning one method over another. Good read, especially if you're interested in ethnopediatrics!