Child Care: As It Has Always Been in The Common Sense Guide to Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock

Child Care: As It Has Always Been in The Common Sense Guide to Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock

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Initially published in 1845 by Dr. Benjamin Spock, The Common Sense Guide to Baby and Child Care revolutionized parenting, and thus, the upbringing of an entire generation and those following. As society changed, new editions of the original handbook emerged to fit the lifestyle of the current population. Dr. Spock wrote seven editions of The Common Sense Guide to Baby and Child Care alongside a prestigious pediatrician, Steven Parker, before his death in 1998. I read the ninth addition of the manual, revised by pediatrician Dr. Robert Needleman, which includes modern-day ideas such as eating disorders in teenagers and applying to college.
Prior to the first section of the manual, Dr. Spock speaks about the challenges of parenthood: accepting your child as he or she is, remembering to leave time for you and your significant other every now and again, and the possibility of raising a child with special needs. Because this is essentially a universal idea, it is relevant to the AP United States History course, like “history repeats itself.” The first section of the manual describes “Your Child, Age by Age,” beginning with the pregnancy phase, childproofing and preparing the home, a checklist of equipment to purchase, and reassuring siblings of the new family member and what it means for them. If I were the sibling, inevitably, feelings of jealousy will emerge, along with a small, guilty resentment toward my parents. However, just because the newborn will demand more attention from the parents, does not mean they will love the sibling any less. Challenges of having a newborn are discussed specifically, particularly feelings of initial regret by the parent and the baby’s individuality. These feelings of regret could be emphasized str...


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...ich way he or she learns best to optimize learning. A small section on college planning toward the end of the section, as it comes with the end of adolescence, by Dr. Needleman. Finally, a guide on common medications, both brand and prescription names, are included at the very end of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care for the parent’s convenience.
Overall, the guide has been popular with parents since its publishing in 1945, for obvious reasons. Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care will change over time along with society, but the themes of parenting will always remain universal. Likewise, as the United States history continues to develop, future generations will make changes as they see fit; however, they will be careful to preserve the themes that have made America what it is today: liberty, freedom, balance, and many others, making it relevant to the US History course.

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