How Not to Kill Your Baby Jacob Sager Weinstein Humor Andrews McMeel Publishing March 20, 2012 Paperback 136
Have you ever read a parenting book that left you feeling inadequate and/or terrified? In other words, have you ever read any parenting book whatsoever? If so, you need How Not To Kill Your Baby, a hilarious parody of every fear-mongering, crazy-making pregnancy and parenting manual you've ever cringed over.
Just consider the following advice:
"As you know if you have ever seen someone give birth in a movie or television show, all newborns emerge with adorable round faces, pudgy limbs, and twinkling eyes. If, by contrast, the nurse hands you a tiny, squawling creature with the face of an old man and skin covered in goo, hand it back immediately. There has clearly been some sort of mixup with a nearby ward for senile midgets."
"It's essential that you keep careful track of your baby's every bodily function. That way, when she is president of the United States and a paranoid-minded conspiracy movement springs up denying her eligibility for the position, you will have documentary proof that she did, in fact, poop on U.S. soil at 8:23AM on February 23."
"When choosing a nursery school, make sure to visit first, and ask the teachers about their educational philosophies. Then ask about their criminal records. If they insist they have none, you may need to keep asking, perhaps while shining a bright light in their face. Also, take their fingerprints, then follow them home from a discreet distance and go through their trash. Oh, and don't forget to thank them for their dedication to helping the young!"
"It is easy to adjust your parenting techniques as your children grow: simply do and say the exact same things, but raise your voice by one decibel for every year of your child's age.
How Not To Kill Your Baby is printed on child-safe, 100% piranha-free paper, and bound without the use of exploding staples. You'll get no such promise from What To Expect When You're Expecting.
How Not To Kill Your Baby is the book for you... unless you're some kind of baby-hating creep who wants to parent all wrong.
How Not to Kill Your Baby seemed like the perfect gift when my mother and step-father adopted a few months back. Granted they had already used me and two other siblings as practice babies, but extra prep never hurts. Admittingly, I could not help flipping through the book before putting a bow on it. In a nutshell, this book exemplifies how basically everything could easily kill your baby. Only key protective steps, like cocooning your baby in a permanent layer of bubble wrap, can keep them safe. Do not let the world mentally scar your little one because that is your job as a parent.
On a more serious note, this book is a satire. While it is a hilarious read, do not expect actual advice. A lot of the 1 or 2 star reviews for this book seem to be from people who missed a key part of the book called “comedy”. This “comedy” may be a strange and unknown concept to said people, who were sadly born without a funny bone. Or maybe their funny bone was broken by parents who failed to read this book and it did not heal properly, forever robbing them of the gift of genuine laughter. A truly sad thought.
Back to a cheerier note, this book is a belly tickler. It is a short read at only 136 pages and that does include pictures. This is something that can be read in under an hour but that just makes it a great coffee table book. Where else can you find precious advice about the horrifically terrifying act of raising a baby? Kids are tiny bundles of learning experiences. Does little Johnny know if he skins his knee it could get infected and require an amputation? Of course not! Kids will basically try to commit suicide on a daily basis out of sheer ignorance.
If you have friends on insist on those non-comical “serious” parenting books, slip this in there too. To slip back into seriousness, raising a child is a legitimately scary prospect. Getting a few laughs mixed into there can dissolve some of the nervousness of soon-to-be parents. Raising kids is a difficult process that there is no concrete formula for. And no one book could possibly cover it all. But as kids are little bundles of joy, it is important that a parent remembers to laugh. And this book will have you doing just that.
Editor's note: This review was written by Nicholas Watkins, originally published in Literature is Life, and has been reposted with permission. It is available under Creative Commons and the original page can be found here.