Introduction The Current State of Parenting Affairs We’d like to start out by acknowledging that we are by no means the first authors to write about the wondrous but admittedly daunting journey called parenthood. We live in a time when parenting experts all but grow on trees, and parenting books, blogs, and social media posts are overflowing with advice. Given the sheer magnitude of information already available, you may wonder why we ever decided to toss our hats into this overcrowded ring and set out to write on the subject of raising children in the first place. To be per- fectly honest, we almost didn’t. A Journey of Our Own Originally, we set out in search of what we knew parents (our patients, our friends, and ourselves) wanted—easily accessible parenting advice that was informative and practical, that offered explanations right alongside recom- mendations, and, most of all, that was firmly grounded in the realities of modern-day parenting. At the end of the day (or several years later, to be more exact) and hundreds of parenting books, patient visits, baby showers, and playgroups later—not to mention several children of our own—we still hadn’t found a book that reflected our unique perspective on parenting. In fact, what we discovered was that new parents were reading “all the baby books” and were still left with questions about the realities of caring for their newborns. It was then that we decided there was room for at least one more parenting book on the shelf, and we set to work on creating a book that would specifically focus on the first few weeks of parenthood. More than 15 years and 4 editions later, a lot has changed. Books are now as likely to be found on virtual shelves as real ones. Children are inherently growing up digitally in a world very dif- ferent from the one we were born into. What remains unchanged, however, is that we still see the need for practical, reassuring evidence-based information to help you make a confident, enjoyable entrée into parenthood. Following the Rules: Parenting by the Book Nowadays, it’s easy to find well-defined rules about everything from feeding and sleeping schedules to dressing, diapering, and discipline. As convenient as it may seem to have someone write out for you an exact recipe for parenting success, we believe there is not just one right way to do things. As with diapers 00 - FM - HH4.indd 19 7/10/20 9:32 AM
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