I was lucky enough to receive a copy of My Baby Compass to review for you! I love developmental books and guides for babies, so I was really excited when I was given this opportunity. Mr. C is still young enough he’s right in the middle of the guide, making this a really useful tool for monitoring his development so far, and what I have to look forward to!
My Baby Compass was written by Kathryn Thorson Gruhn. She has a MA and is a CCC-SLP (for those who don’t know [I didn’t], that stands for Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology, aka: someone who knows what they’re talking about). The first few pages are a list of people endorsing this guide, including recommendations from other speech pathologists, pediatricians, therapists, and parents. Obviously a good sign for the following pages!
This is a comprehensive and easy to follow guide for parents of children aged birth to two years. The layout is well organized and extremely user friendly. The guide takes you through the developmental process and expected milestones of your baby, while also providing useful tools along the way. The My Baby Compass checklists are divided by development category as well as by age. The categories are: Baby Talks, Baby Hears, Baby Understands, Baby Moves, Baby Sees, and Baby Feels. Each category is thoroughly explained in the beginning of the book, so there is no question what you will be looking for on that checklist. The checklists are located in the middle of the book and are a really easy, and comprehensive way for parents to monitor their baby’s development!
There are a few websites and books that focus on “baby milestones”. When Miss M was a baby I was really big on Babycenter.com and the What To Expect series. So how does My Baby Compass stack up? Not only does My Baby Compass provide you with expectations and things to look out for in your baby every few months, but it also gives you information on how your baby is learning and what to do when your baby seems to be behind. I have yet to see a guide like this that does all of these things without becoming too technical.
My Baby Compass doesn’t just tell you what your baby is currently learning, it also explains how your baby is learning it. She breaks down the language development process in a way that is simple, yet informative; because sometimes there is a need to use a special term in an explanation, for your convenience and education, there is a glossary in the back of technical speech jargon! Knowing how your child is learning to speak can really make a difference in helping you help him.
Many baby guides say the same thing about a baby who has not yet reached a milestone: “If your baby is not yet performing this task, don’t worry, wait x amount of months and ask your pediatrician.” My Baby Compass does much more than just tell you to wait it out, it actually provides activities you can do with your baby to encourage the activity! There is a whole list of toys and playtime activities you can do with your child to encourage growth and development, including finger games and songs geared at promoting oral muscle control. The book also includes tips for using sign language with your baby, as well as an index of signs with illustrations. If your baby does end up needing screening for developmental issues, My Baby Compass provides information, and answers frequently asked questions, about different types of screening tests, including the age it might be done at, how tests are completed and how you as a parent can help in the process.
My favorite part by far though are the removable checklist pamphlets located in the very back of the book. Each pamphlet is color coded and includes a checklist of developmental milestones to look for and activities you can do to promote each one. There are checklists for babies aged birth to 3 months, 4 to 6 months, 7 to 9 months, 10 to 12 months, 13 to 18 months, and 19 to 24 months. The checklists are color coded, user friendly, and the perfect size to take out at any time, as well as take them with you to the doctor’s office if you have any questions. There is even room for notes in the back of each one.
Things that could be improved: There really isn’t much here that could be worked on so I’m being fairly picky and everything I do have to say is purely cosmetic and does not really affect the usefulness of the book. That being said, my initial reaction when I pulled the book out of its package is that it looks a little dated. The orange color scheme, along with the shadowy picture and rainbow colors reminds me of something from the early 90s. Also, I think the signing illustrations would be difficult for someone who is not familiar at all with sign language. Of course the purpose of baby signing is not to be ASL correct, it is to communicate with your baby, but my opinion is: if you are going to learn to do something you should learn to do it right. I really recommend using YouTube or DVDs as a method for learning sign language, while referring to the book to see which signs are the most beneficial for your baby.
Overall this is a fantastic guide, especially for new parents, and I really recommend reading it. This would make a great gift for a new mom, and is even good for seasoned moms! I look forward to getting the rest of the series which includes through 8 years old. I really hope you check out this book, it’s definitely worth it! You can look for it here at MyBabyCompass.com or find it on Amazon! Thanks for reading my review!