Drawing on her experience as a mother and advisor to the NCT, Caroline Deacon has devised a simple but effective 3-step plan to help parents understand and care for their baby’s needs without neglecting their own.

The three basic universal needs of both parent and child are comfort, sleep and food. The author works with these needs to bring you her three-step plan, focusing on how these needs change as your baby develops.

Including other parents’ shared experiences the book has an empathic approach as well as providing practical advice.

Caroline will show you how to soothe your baby and solve problems with sleeping, feeding, crying and colic.


“With such a plethora of books on pregnancy, birth, babies and childhood, Babycalming was a refreshing read as it identified three basic needs all babies, and indeed all humans, require in order to feel content. The book is divided into three sections comprising of short chapters which would be useful to dip into at times of need. Primarily aimed at parents or parents-to-be, parts could be equally useful for both health visitors and midwives as a tool for day-to-day use… At the head of each chapter the author has quoted advice from other publications, some dating back over a hundred years; the actual date is revealed at the end of the chapter.  I found this particularly interesting as it clearly demonstrates that then, as now, parents are often influenced by current trends and fashions in childcare…. I believe the author has successfully produced a guide which would help parents understand their baby’s needs, without suggesting a dogmatic regime that has become fashionable but which may cause problems for parents.” Alison Dobson, health visitor, Wandsworth PCT. MIDIRS

Amazon reviews

A reassuring read
So many baby books around take control away from the parent by telling them what to do. Here’s a book which recognises that your baby is an individual and puts you, the mother, back into the picture. It doesn’t dictate a strict off-the-peg pattern to fit every baby, but gives a range of options to try: feeding patterns, dealing with colic and sorting out sleep.

One of the most appealing things about this book was that the author isn’t claiming to be some sort of mystical maternity guru. She gives the reasons for why your baby may behave in a certain way, and why a particular solution might make a difference. Did you know why warm baths make you sleepy? Caroline Deacon explains all about how body temperature works as a sleep trigger, letting you understand the background and fit her suggestions to your own situation. She also gives loads of references to scientific research, so you know it’s not just personal philosophies.

The organisation of this book may seem quite complex at first – I read the last chapter first, then found it easier to dip in and out, and I used the index a lot, too.


I wish I’d read this sooner!
This excellent book is an NCT publication aimed at parents of babies aged 0-2. I didn’t read it until my son was about 15 months old and had learned most of the contents already by trial and error – and there was a lot of error on the way! I wish I’d had this book from his birth or before as it would have saved a lot of tears and worry. I would have made the same decisions I made anyway, but with a great deal more confidence.

The book is very well-researched with solid statistics behind every recommendation, but it is not prescriptive at all. Everything is presented as an option with the evidence behind it and the reasons it might work, allowing parents to make their own choices for themselves and their child. It empowers parents rather than dictating to them.

I very much enjoyed the chapter headings which include quotes on childcare from the last 200 years. Some things never change and parenting advice goes in and out of fashion all the time. This book isn’t about fashionable ideas, but about what works in reality, and I recommend it to all parents.


Empowering, enlightening, at last an antidote to Gina Ford!
If you have read other parenting tomes and found them very off putting for their patronising style and ritualistic practices with no evidence base to support their advice then be reassured, this is not at all of the same ilk.

Caroline Deacon is an NCT breastfeeding counsellor who has researched her book very thoroughly and gives very good reasons for the suggestions she gives. And they are suggestions, no “how to raise the perfect being and still have time to polish your nails” just good, common sense, explanations and the feeling that you are the one who gets to decide how to parent your baby. It’s brilliant, do buy it.


 Really helpful book
Recommended to me by an NCT friend I found this book interesting and thought provoking. Whilst it doesn’t give as many practical tips as some it has really helped me to understand my baby’s needs generally and become more attuned.
I think it’s also very strong on emphasising how advice has changed over the years, which is very useful if the older generation are giving Mum some of out of date or bizarre advice (it happens I know).


This book is so reassuring, especially as i read it when my son was already 6 weeks old and id learnt alot of the stuff via trial and error but it makes you feel good that you learnt it by yourself and that you’d done the right thing!!

This book is simple and easy to understand and also provides advice rather than strict ‘you should / shouldn’t’ it very much believes babies are individuals and that they should be treated as such. Its a very mother reassuring book and enjoyable to read as you can flick directly to the advice you need at that time……what new mother has time to sit and read a book back to back…..if you do then you dont need this book!!!


 Reassuring and practical
The ideas in this book, backed up by research, helped me understand my baby’s needs and reassured me that we could find our own way of doing things. The book is based on the importance of developing consistent and secure attachment between parents and baby. It’s a good antidote to schedules, rules and checklists.


Essential Reading

I love this book and wish I had read it whilst pregnant. I never wanted to impose a strict routine on my baby and this book reassured me that my ideas are positive. It is about being a kind and caring mum and is informative about issues such as sleeping and feeding as the baby grows. I love Caroline Deacon’s ideas about a babymoon and really getting to know your baby in those precious first weeks without giving into outside pressures such as endless visitors. The author is totally in tune with the experiences and emotions of mums with new babies. A wonderful, refreshing read!



I read this book a few weeks before my baby was born and felt enormously relieved that someone was advocating the wait-and-see approach…i.e. if your baby needs to be held to sleep in the first few weeks then go with it, if not, then great! Some authors presume that all babies are born the same and that mothers should learn to tame the baby to adult norms as early as they can. This is both ridiculous and frankly stressful and it was never the way we wanted to go.

The author normalises all of the things that babies do. Namely needing soothing, settling, feeding etc. What she makes abundantly clear is that it is normal for a baby to need you a lot in those first few weeks and it does not signify that there is a problem with you or your baby if everything seems a bit chaotic and unplanned. She also provides great assurance that by remaining focussed on comfort, sleep and feeding, all the chaos settles and you both emerge in one piece.

I found this book helped me to feel confident and comfortable with my approach to looking after my baby. If you are someone who wants to follow rules and organise your baby to fit with you then this is probably not for you. If however you want to read a parenting book that offers you strategies and tips then you will find this a calming read.


confidence building

I like this book it is quick to read and builds your confidence. I don’t think it’s that useful in teaching you lots of new things (well it wasn’t for me), but it does reaffirm your actions and gives you research based evidence that underpins the techniques in the book. Actually knowing why something works, instead of just doing it because a book tells you to, does build your confidence

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