Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Mighty Toddler by Robin Barker

Rating: 4 out of 5
Publisher: Macmillan Australia
ISBN: 1405039116

Robin Barker is a registered nurse, midwife and early childhood nurse with over 30 years experience with families and babies, and we think you'll enjoy her commonsense approach.

This is a technical book about all things toddler. There are specific chapters on things like behaviour, development, health, family dynamics, and immunisation. In each chapter she breaks down the issues and gives you strategies on how to deal with them.

For the most part Robin Baker does not lecture. There are a couple of comments where she states her belief. For instance in the travel section she mentions she would never travel with a toddler, but acknowledges this is not practical for most families, and provides advice on coping. But the whole section is not her lecturing you on what she feels. She states her view, then moves on and presents both sides of the argument.

Her advice is simple and grounded in the latest research. The behaviour section in particular I feel will be very beneficial when the time comes. Her advice is very reassuring and practical. A lot of it made you think "oh yes well der that is obvious" but it might not have occurred to you otherwise.

However I did not necessarily agree with all her advice. This is why I didn't give this book the full 5 rating. But I have found with most baby books take away the information you find relevant to you and ignore the rest; and 90% of Robin Barker's advice I would gladly take on board.

A good basics book. For me the best part was the sections dealing with behavior which sets this book apart from other baby/toddler books around.


  1. I traveled with a toddler overseas, and it was not bad at all. A parent just has prepare, and go with the flow.

    You say that her behavior section is what sets this book apart from others. Can you give me an idea of that is so?

    I like reading your parenting book to relive the early years of a child with you.

  2. I have several baby books but I almost find them stressful. Especially the ones that tell me what my baby should be doing at a certain point. It causes stress if he is a day or week late so I'm trying to avoid them except as a resource to look something up!

  3. ibeeeg - she addresses the main behaviour issues that maybe encountered. Like Super Active, or shy. Gives tips for dealing with these (if they are really bad). She also stresses that its normal for toddlers to go through these bad behaviours for at least a little while.

    She also addresses issues like biting as both the bitee and biter (if your child is either or). She does touch on autism and other learning disabilites but only to give indicators of a problem and to seek professional advice if you suspect.

    Of course I am saying her advice is great having not gone through it myself, or having tested her advice.

    I did think her comment about travel weird. We have travelled twice with out little one as a 2 month old and a 10 month old and we were fine. Next trip will be when he is 1 so will see if there is a big difference. I think you just have to plan better and plan around your child.

    stacybuckeye - Oh I know I skip over the milestones bit or skim read it. Babies develop so differently. So I kinda ignore it to be honest.

  4. I second all your comments really in that I found her advice practical and helpful & agreed with 90%+ . We didn't feel controlled crying was for us and I disagreed that breast feeding beyond 1 yr is not that important as for my 18 m super active toddler girl it often helps me manage her behavior or distress & I'm convinced it attenuates the severity& duration of toddler illnesses however on the whole I find this book so helpful & return to it often after a challenging day for reassuring advice eg don't take toddlers shopping - a reminder that's it's not necessarily me being a useless disciplinarian It's just better to avoid dragging a tired toddler around the supermarket!