11 January 2006

There is an instruction manual after all!

Ran into "The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance" (Louis, M.D. Borgenicht, Joe Borgenicht) at the bookstore the other day: a baby-care book written in the style of a technical user manual. One doesn't put diapers on the baby, one installs them. Useful but spare coverage of basic baby maintenance. Amusing baby shower gift for geeky parents-to-be.

Strangely enough, Brian in Tulsa emailed me about the book a day later. He says:

It's both very funny and extremely, extreeeeeemely useful; it's instructed and reassured my wife and me several times already during our son's 5 months and change. There's a second version for toddlers too, I believe.

Ben had something to say as well:

...must-have for every geeky dad. I gives you solid information in an easy-to-find, quick-to-read point-form with none of the touchy-feely stuff that turns off most nuts-and-bolts guys. I read it cover to cover a couple of times in the days after we brought our baby home from the hospital, and referred to it a lot in the first few months. Even my wife, who read every book she could find while she was pregnant appreciated the quick-reference style of the Owner's Manual. All that, and it's hilarious, too.

If you really get into it, there's also a matching spiral-bound maintenance log and a calendar.

Your comments

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We have the Baby Owner's Manual, and it's a lot of fun. I like that the book market is finally opening up to the humor and not-so-rosy side of having kids. They're treasures, but tell that to the Stockholm Syndrome set at 2:20AM, soothing their sweet bag of biological entertainment. This is a great book.

I can't say enough good things about the Baby Owner's Manual. For my wife and myself, it had the perfect amount of info, mixed with enough humor and/or phrasing that we liked to keep us interested and going to it. Out of the handful of baby books we got, this was the most used. We are geeks though.

As our daughter because a toddler I was standing in the bookstore remarking to my mother-in-law "I wish they made a Toddler manual, I want something like the first book, that just covers older ages." And there it was right in front of me as I finished saying that. Scary as I didn't go looking for or thinking of it until just then. So far, the toddler manual hasn't disappointed and has been great help as well.

The best thing I recall from this one is that in the "Required equipment" for tasks like haircuts and fingernail trimming is a toy to distract the child. Also excellent swaddling directions. It is definitely a "Ha ha only serious" kind of geek-humor book.

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