What’s the title of the book?
Asian Parenting Today
Who’s the author of the book?
Co-authored by Jennnifer Hor, Ho Ai Ling & Jocelyn Oo
Who are the authors?
All three co-authors are registered nurses and midwives with experiences in nursing and midwifery in UK, Australia and Malaysia. They also specialize in and support breastfeeding mothers, and provide advice on parenting, women’s health, child’s health and wellbeing, among many other parenting matters.
What’s the price?
Where to buy it?
What are the key highlights of the book?
- The book is divided into 5 sections; sections 1 to 4 are categorized by age of baby in months e.g. Section 1: 0-3 months. Section 5 is like “Other issues” covering keeping the baby safe, recipes & local nursery rhymes.
- There are plenty of FAQ’s throughout the book, in between paragraphs that are related to the paragraph itself, instead of dumping one long FAQ at the end of the section.
- As the name suggests, the authors addresses many questions and myths regarding to Asian superstitions (some quite outrageous and ridiculous) such as shaving a baby’s head after birth will encourage ‘abundant hair growth’, formula fed babies that pass greenish-yellow stools means that the baby has been ‘frightened’ and binding the baby’s tummy to keep the ‘wind’ out.
The book is quite extensive, so I think the best way to summarize the main contents is in bullet points.
The 0-3 month’s section takes up half the book, and might as well – it tells the basics of baby care.
- Breastfeeding – benefits to mom & baby, preparation, standard breastfeeding positions, complications & diet for mom, milk expression & how to stockpile expressed breast milk (EBM), schedules of when to breastfeed, when to pump & when to feed EBM to baby, storing & thawing EBM. Following all this are several pages of FAQ’s related to breastfeeding specifically, and lots of practical tips.
- Formula feeding – how to choose formula milk, how to prepare formula, complete with step-by-step illustration; travelling checklist and a list of do’s and don’ts.
- Clothing & bathtime – noting that most Asian countries have tropical climate, it recommends light weight fabric for day and slightly warmer fabric for nights. Onwards to preparation for outings with baby, cloth vs. disposable diapers
- Sleep – baby’s sleeping positions and no of hours of sleep according to age, appropriate bedding and room temperature, establishing a bedtime routine, swaddling and co-sleeping. The FAQ’s give lots of practical tips on avoiding over-tiredness and establishing a routine from the start. It even touches a bit on the usage of sarongs or hammocks, which are quite popular with Malaysians.
- Healthcare & interaction – it includes screening tests, immunizations, common sicknesses and infections, interacting with baby, baby massages (I like this one!), floor time & tummy time.
All other sections are shorter as they follow as the baby grows, therefore highlighting changes in feeding & sleep patterns, more activity and social interactions as baby becomes mobile and able to move around i.e. crawling & walking. The main topics are also major milestones in baby’s first year such as:
- Teething – how to care for baby’s new teeth when they appear, brushing teeth, teething discomforts
- Feeding habits – longer interval between feeds, increase or decrease in the quantity of milk consumed, which are also related to baby’s weight gain
- Introduction to solid foods – types of food recommended, foods to avoid (at least in the beginning), how to prepare homemade baby food, feeding schedule between milk & solids, even sample recipes to try to feed baby
- Home safety & baby proofing
The 10-12 months section where baby will be nearing the first birthday emphasizes a lot on:
- Healthy eating – types of food that are now safe to feed baby, food & recipe suggestions, sample feeding schedule & menu
- Health – dental care & immunizations
- Physical, social & interaction skill – a super crawler or beginner walker, ability to speak a few simple words, building self-esteem & independence, talking, reading & playtime.
At the end of each section, there is a checklist provided to gauge baby’s growth & progress for the 3-months period.
What I like about it
The book is very comprehensive. I think it’s safe to say that, if you buy this book, you won’t need any other parenting book. In fact, this is the only one I’ve ever owned to date. As it was written and published by locals, the image of the book looks very simplistic; this mirrors the low price of the book, compared to many other imported parenting books.
The language is straightforward and easy to understand. It also lives up to the name, by tailoring to Asian situations and conditions; it considers the tropical climate of most Asian countries, the culture and superstitions of local people, local ingredients in recipes and even local nursery rhymes in different languages. This tailoring is also apparent in the FAQ’s, where there are questions on some cultural beliefs that I’ve never known existed.
The line spacing between words is wider, so the words don’t look like they’re cramping the page i.e. plenty of white space which improves readability.
What I don’t like about it
The font colour is not black, but something bluish or light turquoise, which looks fine on white background. However, the FAQ’s and illustration boxes use this bluish background, with the font colour in white, which sometimes can put a strain on the eyes while reading.
Considering the wealth of knowledge in this little book, the price is very affordable and good value-for-money investment. If you’re thinking of buying just one parenting book, make it this one.