Book review: Dr Dawn’s Guides by Sheldon Press

I reviewed Dr Dawn’s guide to Baby’s First Year and Dr Dawn’s guide to Toddler health. 
I was familiar with Dr Dawn from her being one of the presenters on Channel 4’s ‘Embarrassing Bodies,’ and from also presenting a programme called ‘Born Naughty?’  Which I’ve followed with great interest. Dr Dawn has also appeared on ITV’s ‘This Morning.’ I didn’t realise there is such a wide range of publications that Dr Dawn has written, such as ‘Dr Dawn’s Health Check.’

Dr Dawn shares experiences of her own children and this puts the reader at ease, as parents will relate to her story. I completely understand what Dr Dawn is stating in the introduction because nothing does prepare you for parenthood, as babies do not come with an instruction manual! Even after 12 years of looking after other people’s children, nothing could prepare me for when I had my own! 

Dr Dawn’s Guide to Your Baby’s First Year – All you need to know from the first nappy to the first step.

I wish I had this sort of guide when I had my first baby in 2012, it’s a lovely touch when Dr Dawn reminds new mums to take care of themselves too. 
This guide offers practical and clear guide to breastfeeding, using diagrams. 

I didn’t realise that there are 5 different hold positions for breastfeeding. At the time of writing this is relevant as it is currently ‘World Breastfeeding Week.’ 
The guide also offers easy to read tips from personal experience, via the FAQs section on pages 13 to 16. Including a question and answer section. 

 A lot of the information I read in this guide I found I used to have to Internet search for the answers e.g the temperature a baby’s bedroom should be. 

I feel that this guide would be a great gift to an expectant mother as it covers topics that I have I haven’t seen before in similar publications, e.g ‘travelling with your baby.’ I would have found this extremely useful with my first child as we went away to see family when she was only 3 months old. I would definitely agree with being prepared and packing the right items.

The ‘Development Checks and Milestones’ (chapter 7,) and ‘Vaccines and the diseases they protect against,’ gives very up-to-date information, and having gone through, and still going through checks and vaccinations for my 17 month old daughter. I found it very useful to gain information about the particular illnesses that the vaccines protect against. 

It’s been a while since I did my paediatric first aid course, so it’s good to get a reminder of ‘First Aid for Babies,’ (Chapter 11.) 

Dr Dawn’s guide to Toddler Health – stay one step ahead in your child’s expanding world. 

This book follows on from the guide to ‘Baby’s First Year,’ I particularly like Dr Dawn’s advice to: 

“Invest in a hardback note book.”

To note down the lovely, heartwarming moments that children give and the things they say. I do this, and I have my Blog as a record to look back on.

This guide also picks up from where ‘Baby’s First Year’ finishes, in terms of ‘Developmental checks and milestones,’ (chapter 1.) I can relate to topics covered such as ‘Dressing,’  (Chapter 3,) As my daughter (17 months) has started to place items of clothing on her head and is attempting to put her coat on and has a fascination with buttons. 

I was interested to re-cap on ‘Toileting,’ (chapter 5,) as even though I’ve been through this once, it seems like a life -time ago! I remember feeling like it was a race to potty train my first child, and it was refreshing to read that:

“It really isn’t a race and just like everything else, children will develop at different rates.”

I gained reassurance from the ‘Bedwetting’ information in chapter 10 – ‘A to Z of Infant Ailments.’  As we are currently experiencing this with my 4 year old and I’ve felt under pressure to ensure she’s dry at night, it was reassuring to read that: 

“1 in 6 six-year-olds and around 1 in 20 eleven-year olds still regularly wet the bed.”

The ‘Sleeping’ chapter (7) was so relevant to read because this is a big issue for us as a family with our 4-year-old currently. The bedtime routine that my child once followed isn’t working and we’ve been trying all sorts of methods to get her to settle. Dr Dawn is definitely correct in saying: 

“Consistency is the name of the game.” 

‘Teething’ (chapter 7) is also something that is relevant for us as a family as my 17-month-old really does suffer. 

Information on ‘Vaccines and diseases they protect against’ (Chapter 9,) and ‘A to Z of Infant Ailments,’ (chapter 10) follow on from ‘Baby’s First Year,’  and the ailments go into more detail with additional ailments more relevant to the 12 months to 4 years age range.

To sum up: 

I would definitely recommend these books to other parents, they are clear and consise and easy to read, and offer up-to-date and practical advice. The text is broken up with relevant headings and bullet points and the index section allows the reader to just find certain information if need be.

I would be very interested in reading other titles from the ‘Overcoming Common Problems‘ series from Sheldon Press, these include: 
● Coping successfully with pain.

● Coping successfully with panic attacks.

● Coping successfully with shyness.

● Coping with a mental health crisis – Seven Steps to healing.

● Coping with difficult families.

● Coping with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

● Depression: Why it happens and how to overcome it.

● Depression and Anxiety the drug-free way.

● Depressive illness: The curse of the strong.

● The Empathy Trap: understanding Antisocial Personalities.

● How to accept yourself.

● How to be your own best friend. 

● How to beat worry and stress. 

● Living with Autism.

● Overcoming Anxiety.

● Think your way to happiness.

● Understanding obsessions and compulsions .

Wow, what a great range!  Plus there are many more on a varying range of topics.

For more information visit:

Disclosure: I was sent the 2 books above for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own. 

Thanks for reading 🙂 


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