The Mother of All Baby Books


614 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55335-007-3
DDC 649'.122






Reviewed by Monika Rohlmann

Monika Rohlmann is an environmental consultant in Victoria, B.C.


An expert on pregnancy and mothering issues, Ann Douglas has numerous
books to her credit as well as several regular magazine columns. The
first chapters of this thick reference guide to your baby’s first year
address such difficult topics as umbilical cord banking, circumcision,
and breast versus bottle feeding. The focus shifts to the last month of
pregnancy, with advice on hiring doulas, stocking up on home-cooked
meals, baby-gear necessities, and generally getting your life in order.

When the baby arrives, so does the postpartum body. The author
discusses sleep patterns and crying versus colic behavior. She devotes
almost a hundred pages to the challenges of breastfeeding and an equal
number to baby care, covering everything from diapering to infant
massage to early childhood illnesses to road safety. With the first six
months gone by, many parents face the prospect of going back to work, so
there is advice on choosing child care and surviving the transition back
to paid employment.

The Mother of All Baby Books—a companion guide to an earlier book by
Douglas entitled The Mother of all Pregnancy Books—is likely the best
Canadian baby manual on the market. However, there are a couple of
limitations. Although the breastfeeding chapter is long, there are no
diagrams or step-by-step instructions. And after the sleeping and
breastfeeding are all sorted out, there is still one more question on
every mother’s mind—how to regain a personal life? Sounds like a
topic for another book.


Douglas, Ann., “The Mother of All Baby Books,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024,