Talking to Your Friends Is Often Better Than Reading Parenting Books
Even experts who have written (you guessed it) parenting books agree. "I believe in safety, consistency, using a car seat properly, and vaccines. Beyond that, much of it is a gray zone," says Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital and the author of Mama Doc Medicine ($13, amazon.com). If you don't have time to find every answer by digging through your bookshelf, schedule dinner or coffee with a friend who has children slightly older than yours. "Pick someone you respect and whose kids behave in a way you appreciate. Use her as a resource," says Race. It might also help to seek out someone whose child has a similar temperament to yours. Advice on how to shepherd a shy kid through her first days of school, say, is best coming from the mother of another introvert.