New book: How Not to Kill Your Baby: A Slightly Useless Guide, by Jacob Sager Weinstein ’94 (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
The author: Weinstein has written for The New Yorker, The Onion, HBO, and the BBC. The author of three previous books, he has been nominated for two Writer’s Guild of America Awards and won one for his work on Dennis Miller Live. “When my wife, Lauren Sager Weinstein ’95, was pregnant with our daughter, I read a bunch of pregnancy and parenting books, and I got angry,” he told PAW. “Many of those books seem designed to terrify parents about all the horrible things that can go wrong if they don’t follow the author’s advice exactly. If I were a serious writer, I’d probably have written a Big Serious Response to those books. But I’m a comedy writer. … So I wrote a parody instead.”
The book: In this tongue-in-cheek manual, Weinstein offers lots of laughs and advice on everything from when to get pregnant (“exactly on your 20th birthday”) to taking your baby out (“strip your baby naked and apply sunscreen to every crevice of his body”) to 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."
From the book: “Many baby books offer lists of milestones that babies might reach at a given age. We have resisted the urge to do so, because all babies develop differently. What is important is not whether your child has grown his first tooth at 5 months old or said his first word at 8 months. What is important is that he is doing those things faster than other children, because that means you win.
“Some books will urge you not to feel like your child is competing with other children. Those books are written by losers.”
Review: Wired’s GeekDad blog called How Not to Kill Your Baby “a must-have for new dads or dads-to-be.”