Forget unrealistic childcare manuals - this is the book you really need to help you cope brilliantly with those first chaotic days and months ahead. As a health journalist and mother-of-three, Lucy Atkins is familiar with both the medical aspects of childbirth and baby development, and the reality of day-to-day life as an exhausted first-time mum or dad. In her feisty, humorous style, she begins with that first mind-blowing day and addresses the issues unique to the first-time parent who stares at their newborn and thinks "Where are the instructions?" Anticipating the questions and concerns of all new mothers-Why does my baby cry so much? Will I ever lose all this weight? Am I a bad parent because...?-the book provides practical advice and level-headed reassurance. It addresses the needs of the baby and, very importantly, those of the parent during the first year of their baby's life. Contents include: * Starter's orders - the equipment and kit you really need, as opposed to what the department store tells you * Hello - how to cope with the first few hours * Start - coming home, bonding, how to survive the first few days * Sleep - for everyone! * Cry - why your baby cries, what to do, why you'll want to cry, too * Eat -breastfeeding, supplemental feeding, moving to solids, nutrition * Grow - baby's physical and mental development * Play - yes, you two actually can have fun * Thrive - health considerations for baby and parent * Live - adapting to your new life, the changing mother-father relationship * Work - coping with being at home and with going back to work * Also includes information on single parenting, and on adopted, multiple and special needs babies. The First-Time Parent is on your side, and reassures that you can cope brilliantly with your new baby and your new life.