Sarah Ockwell-Smith ‘BabyCalm’

Date: April 11, 2014


We asked GentleParenting Review Panel member Rebekah, mother to a 2 year old and 7 week old baby, to review ‘BabyCalm’ by Sarah Ockwell-Smith. Here are her thoughts:



Where do I start? I love this book! Firstly, the author Sarah Ockwell-Smith actually has children of her own. This is important to me as I personally believe that to know enough to write a book about parenting, you need to have experience of being a parent. Secondly, what she writes about is all backed up by evidence-based science, it is not merely someone’s opinion.

BabyCalm is written in such a way that it is easy to understand and is not bogged down with complicated science that some people may struggle to understand. It gives the reader the reassurance that listening to your maternal instinct and your baby’s cues, rather than what other people say, is the right thing to do. It helps you to understand your baby’s needs. The book covers many topics which parents may be concerned about; sleep patterns, ‘clingyness’, crying, colic, etc. It talks of the benefits of baby wearing. It describes the importance of creating a secure attachment and lasting bond. It dispels some of the myths surrounding breastfeeding. It explains about the normal sleeping patterns of babies, and what can be done to gently encourage babies to sleep more at night. There is a chapter about birth trauma and bonding which gives tips on how to recover both physically and psychologically. The final chapter gives an insight on the transition to motherhood. Basically this book covers everything you need to know in terms of gentle parenting!

I wish I had discovered BabyCalm when I had my son. However, reading it now has just confirmed to me that by trusting in myself and following my instincts, I was doing the right thing. I breastfed him until he was two, picked him up when he cried, and never let him cry-it-out, even when I was exhausted after months and months and months of broken sleep, despite facing opposition from well meaning people and being told I was making a rod for my own back. He is now a confident, gregarious, cheeky toddler and he and I share a fantastic bond, one which I hope to emulate with his little sister.

I would recommend this book to all prospective parents, and to parents who feel guilty/worried that they are spoiling their children by tending to their needs. It would give them the confidence to be happy with their choices and happy babies mean happy parents!


BabyCalm is available from all good book sellers, RRP £13.99