Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Few Books

I haven't had much time to post lately (I'm grabbing naps when I can!), but I thought I'd share a few books I've been reading lately.

Sweet baby AJ is busy eating, sleeping, and growing. Besides my trusty La Leche League reference on breastfeeding (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding), my very favourite practical parenting resource is The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program by Polly Moore. After having four children, if I could recommend just one book to new parents, this would be it. Moore is a neuroscientist specializing in sleep research, and she explains how babies' natural biological sleep/alertness rhythms work. The main idea in the book is actually quite simple: after your baby has been awake for 90 minutes, he/she will be ready to go to sleep again. Obviously, as they grow, they need less sleep, but the 90 minute alertness cycle remains quite strong throughout their first year and beyond.

This book explained so much for me! It explained why my children slept worse at night when they didn't have their proper naps during the day...something that had always seemed counter-intuitive to me. Also, why they suddenly stayed awake so much longer when transitioning to fewer naps...I now realize it was simply an extra 90 minute cycle. I know my reading this book has contributed to the calm nature of my babies (so far!). A well-rested baby is a happy baby. I borrow this book from the library and read it again every time I have a baby now.

I don't remember where I heard about Peace Like a River, but somehow it ended up in my library reservations. I was completely spellbound. I wanted to start over as soon as I finished it, but passed it to my husband instead. It will make you think big thoughts about miracles, about justice and love, about God. And it is beautifully written. Just read it for yourself, and see how you like it.

This week I began to read Peter Pan aloud to my children...and stopped after one chapter. So far we've loved all the Ambleside Online suggestions for free reads: Little House in the Big Woods, Pinnochio, Charlotte's Web, The Velveteen Rabbit, but for some reason Peter Pan wasn't going over well. They were finding it hard to understand, for one thing. I also found it vaguely disturbing, and didn't know how it would affect their dreams. So I stopped.

I did love some of the humour in it. (It does seem to be aimed at the adults, though!) Here's a fun example:
'No, no,' Mr Darling always said, 'I am responsible for it all. I, George Darling, did it. Mea culpa, mea culpa.' He had had a classical education.
What about you? Have you read Peter Pan to your children? Did they enjoy it? Have you ever given up on a read-aloud?