Ballard authors hope to help first-time parents

As any first-time parent can tell you, there are a lot of books with “rules” on how to raise a child: You must warm up milk, but not in the microwave. You must (or must not, depending on the book) use bumpers in the crib. And absolutely never let the family pet near the baby.

By the time baby number two comes along, parents have realized that many of the “rules” they learned the first time around are meant to be broken. Do you seriously need to have the house babyproofed by the time you bring baby home from the hospital? Nope.

Ballard parents and authors Kerry Colburn and Rob Sorensen want to help first-timers navigate parenthood with their new book, “How to Have Your Second Child First.” Sorensen and Colburn have two kids of their own and talked with dozens of experienced parents to put together 100 tips for new parents. “We’re not doctors, we’re not experts,” Colburn says. They’re just parents who’ve learned a thing or two along the way. One of the main things they’ve learned as parents is don’t start out with complicated routines. “Start simple. Make things more complicated later,” Sorensen tells us. “You feel like you’ve got all this responsibility, which is great because you do, but at the same time you make it more difficult than you need it to be.”

Among the advice is #20 “Wash all the family laundry together.” Second time parents have learned that unless your baby has sensitive skin and your pediatrician recommends a gentle detergent, it’s really not necessary. #49 “Baby toys are overrated.” Save your money for when the child is older, they say, and let baby play with stuff you already have in the house such as measuring cups, kitchen timers and a roll of masking tape.

The window display at Secret Garden Books (2214 NW Market St)

Colburn and Sorensen will be at the Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave. NW) this coming Saturday at 2 p.m. with parenting tips and answering questions. Secret Garden Books will also be there selling the book. “It’s the gift experience moms give their friends,” Colburn says.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

17 thoughts to “Ballard authors hope to help first-time parents”

  1. I have a sense that this posting wasn’t written by the Geeky Swedes. The opening lines have that cheesiness of a promo from the authors (or more likely, the publishers). I hope that isn’t the case since it is, well, kinda lame. I’m not looking for hard nosed reporting on a parenting book, but copying and pasting what a publisher/company sends you is one of the media’s worst habits. That said, I could completely be wrong and this was the author’s genuine take on the book (and my cynical reading).

  2. I wrote it top to bottom. No cutting and pasting here. When I do copy someone’s words I’ll use quotations and cite the original source.


  3. How funny. People have been raising children since time began and only in the last 75 or so years have they felt the need to a book to tell them how to do this. What has happened to adults(?) in our society that they have no instinct and must be told what do to? Very scary future for them and their children.

  4. “What has happened to adults(?) in our society that they have no instinct and must be told what do to?”

    Are you stupid or childless? It’s called not living in villages with 6 generations of relatives in one household. It tends to happen when you live in modern, developed economies.

  5. No Jolly it’s not. It’s the inability to think for oneself.

    As a long retired educator I can tell you it started when we took the best school system ever seen in the world, around 30 years, and fixed it. I admit that I blame my own generation, boomers. They spent too much time accumulating cheap crap for themselves and their kids and and forgot to teach their kids to think.

  6. “It’s the inability to think for oneself.”

    Oh I see, you think parenting is something you just learn by yourself.

    Again, you’re either childless or an idiot because no one figures out parenting by ‘thinking for oneself’.

  7. Or you could join PEPS or talk to your friends…you know, your urban family.

    Seems like a nice gift for someone who is knocked up and thinking a ton on the topic of child rearing and might appreciate some wisdom. Seems like the book is a “keep it simple” kind of handbook. Nothing wrong with that.

    Zipper (childless, not stoopid)

  8. I also like the approach, Zipper. Even though I’m nowhere ready to have a child of my own, a book like this definitely gives some insight and prevents too much “over-thinking” in the parenting department. :)

  9. We just had our first baby a few days ago and I read this book during pregnancy. It’s very helpful and I’ve recommended it to several of my pregnant friends!

    The best part about this book is that it takes the stress of being a first-time parent down several notches and helps us to not over-complicate parenthood.

    Also, because of this book, we have purchased WAY less baby-stuff than most of our friends and have such a relaxed attitude about everything.

    Excellent book!

  10. “Funny, the people who will buy this book will probably be the over-thinkers who are trying not to overthink things.”

    Wish I had thought of it first. : )

  11. “Sure they it is Jolly. It’s instinctual. It’s not rocket science and I raised three successful kids and taught thousands.”

    Ytoo, did you read any books when you were studying to become a teacher? Or maybe they gave you a pass on your degree because of your strong instincts.

  12. @Y-too books on raising children have been around since the Victorian times not just the past 75 years. A correlation to industrailiztion and the move away from multigenerational families under one roof? Maybe or maybe just the advent of affordable mass market books.

    From the exerpts it sounds like the information is more of “here’s how you handle every day stuff that old wives tales and other books may make sound tough” rather than “check your brain and instincts at the door and do it this way”

    But kudos to you and others who were able to raise happy healthy children with out the need for advice and kudos for those who are trying to help the rest of new parents feel more secure in whatthey are doing.

  13. This is not a child-rearing book. It’s stuff like “you don’t have to wash your baby’s clothes separately,” provides a list of baby item *necessities,* and shares why you can go without many fussy baby items.

    I think it’s smart for first-time parents to prepare themselves as much as they can. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with so many parents telling you about all the newest must-have baby gadgets! (I have been told over and over I needed to get mittens [mittens!] for our little one, otherwise she’ll claw her face off! I refused to buy them so a friend bought them for me. They are currently in the “re-gift” pile.)

    @Ytoo your smugness is unbearable. It’s interesting you’ve been an educator all these years and that you still haven’t run across any parents who could’ve used a few parenting books. Raising a child is not instinctual, I have worked with children enough (and known enough dim-witted parents) to see that everyone could use a little extra advice, help, and encouragement.

Leave a Reply