Author: Cheryl Harbour
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
ISBN: 978-194295232-9

You can make sure your grandchild knows, without a shred or a pinprick or a speckle or a freckle of a doubt, that you are one (more) person who loves him or her completely,” Cheryl Harbour concludes in her book, Good to Be Grand: Making the Most of Your Grandchild’s First Year.

This one-hundred-twenty-eight-page hardbound targets grandparents or grandparents-to-be regarding the first year of their grandchild’s life. With a foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton and an introduction, six chapters cover the topic, ending with a conclusion, acknowledgments, and the author’s biography. Several photographs, charts, and drawings are spread throughout the pages with green highlighted sections containing tips, guidelines, sources, definitions, additional resources, and milestones.

In this short book focusing on pre-birth to the first year of life, it discusses the anticipation, arrival, adjustments, advances, action, and advice based on the twelve month period. Each chapter reminds the grandparent how it used to be done, what still works, and new ideas in child-rearing. Also including poems and quotes, it reminds the readers to make being a grandparent grand.

With one three-year-old granddaughter and two more grandchildren to be born this year, my husband and I have been brushing up on our grandparenting skills even though we live out of state from both our sons and their wives. I like that this book offers what worked thirty to fifty years or more ago still is in use and what newfound ways, concepts, and products exist today. Still used are the APGAR scoring, nursing the first four to six months, and the “crying it out” theory. Parents can now consider detailed ultrasounds, doulas, lactation cookies, white noise, elimination communication, baby wearing, baby massaging, amber necklaces, baby sign language, and the “be here now” concept. Since all are discussed in a simplistic format in this book, it helps the grandparent understand what to expect the first year of his or her grandchild’s life.

Some may find little or no new information if they have been around newborns the last couple of years. Others who do not live near their grandchildren so cannot participate as often as mentioned in this book may feel displaced, further reminding them of the physical divide. A few readers may not care for the included writer’s personal experiences.

As a journalist who has researched and written about a myriad of topics, Harbour is a first-time grandmother and the founder of Intelligent Women Dialogue. She lives in Illinois.

It would be helpful if the book had an index so one could look up a topic or current-day product quickly instead of searching the book’s pages.

If you are or are going to be a first-time grandparent, this is a thoughtful reminder of who and what is important in helping to raise and take care of a newborn to one-year-old child. This book blends the old with the new in a helpful, understanding manner for new grandparents.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and the author for this book to read and review.