Thursday, 1 September 2011

'Baby's First Year' Book by Shanta Everington and Competition

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  I was very lucky to be able to Review this lovely book 'Baby's First Year' by Shanta Everington.  The book is a parent's guide with lots of helpful information!!!

  When I was pregnant with my First baby Annabelle, I was obsessed with reading books on pregnancy but I did forget that It would be a great Idea to read about my baby to be's first year.  I suppose when you are pregnant for the first time you are so wrapped up in 'pregnancy' you forget! Well i did!!

  When Annabelle was born, I think I was in a state of happy shock!  I was a nursery nurse prior so I had the confidence to look after her but had I ever looked after a newborn, no!!!  I was given a book for first time parents but the information was to much to take in, and one sided!!

 Since being a mum for 2 years I have realised that one solution for one parent and baby could be different from another parent and baby, it's all about trial and error!

 This book is fantastic, it has all the information you need but just enough to read, not overwhelming at all!  I love the fact Shanta's book never preaches and is always reassuring and gives helpful advice, this book is not an instruction manual!  Shanta offers the vital information so you as a parent, mum or dad can relax and enjoy time with your baby not worrying over doing it the correct way!

 I love that there are family case studies included in every chapter as well as extracts from the author's own diary, this is coming from a real mum who has experienced what new parents go through themselves!

 I love Shanta's statement ' Only you can decide what sort of parent you want to be, but it helps if you know what you are letting yourself in for' :)

  Getting to know the Author
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I have asked the Author some questions!! Fantastic answers and I think its great to find out more about the author of a book, personally I have more faith in the book I am reading!!

1.  What make you decide to write this book?When my son was born five years ago, like most new parents, I didn't know what the hell I was supposed to be doing. I read a lot of parenting books but none of them really spoke to me. I found most guides too prescriptive, instructing parents how to raise their kids without acknowledging that parenting choices are individual and dependent on value systems, culture, personal beliefs and so on. 
A few years on, I wanted to write the kind of parenting books that I would have liked to read in the early years and that's what inspired me to write Baby's First Year: A Parent's Guide and my other Need2Know parenting book, The Terrible Twos: A Parent's Guide. My aim with the books is to reassure and encourage parents to trust their own judgment. The books are a collection of ideas and contain case studies from a range of families sharing different experiences. The baby book also includes extracts from my own diary. I originally trained as an early years teacher and have been involved with various parenting charities including Home-Start and the NCT, so the books draw on that experience too.

 2.  What's your favourite part of the book?

The family case studies are by far my favourite bit of the book. It was so enjoyable talking to different parents and hearing all about their ups and downs and their different ways round things. Experiencing breastfeeding problems or teething trauma? Got a baby who refuses to wean? Cries all day? Want some ideas for play times? Read these case studies and you'll feel so much better!

3. What's your inspiration or who is?

My son of course! And all of life's rich tapestry of experiences. (Clich
éd but true!)

4.  Did you ever think you would become an author?

Becoming a published author wasn't really a childhood ambition, although I'd say I've always been creative and my younger sister and I used to create our own comics when we were kids! My yearning to be published crept up on me in my twenties. It took a long time though - my first published piece was a poem when I was 33! I've published quite a lot of different stuff since then including more poetry, short stories, novels, articles and, of course, parenting books. I find writing hugely rewarding.

5.  How have your personal experiences affected your writing?

My personal experiences always manage to find their way into my writing somehow. In my fiction work, my characters are often composites of my own traits and aspects of other people I've known, all rolled together with a huge dollop of imagination. My first novel, Marilyn and Me, was narrated by a young woman with a learning disability who models herself on Marilyn Monroe. I worked in community care for quite a few years in the nineties, and the book, although purely a work of fiction, came out of some of the things that haunted me from that time. The inspiration for my parenting books came from my own personal experiences. I write about things I care deeply about; that's what drives me.

6.  How did you get started as a writer?

As I mentioned above, my first published piece was actually a poem, and my second, a novel. I decided I wanted to write a novel about ten years ago. I completed a 100,000 word 'chicklit' novel but it wasn't to be. In 2003, I enrolled on an online MA Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and graduated in 2006 with a distinction. I found my writer's voice on the course, and the novel I developed during my studies, Marilyn and Me, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2007. The non-fiction writing came later, when I developed an unhealthy obsession with parenting books! I've also written publications for a range of charities, including parenting charities. 

7.  What's the best advice you would give a mummy to be?

Well, I'd quite like to quote from Dawn Evans, one of the lovely mummies who featured in Baby's First Year: A Parent's Guide, who said, 

"Trust your instincts, trust your baby and trust your love. Oh and, sometimes you’re allowed to be tired and snappy, but if it’s everyday don’t be afraid to ask for help." You can't beat that advice!

8.  Have you another book in the pipeline?There isn't a third parenting book in the pipeline at the moment, although at some stage, I'd quite like to write something about raising vegetarian children. At the moment, I am working on a young adult novel trilogy. You can find out more about my writing at


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 I have been given 1 copy of this book to giveaway to my lovely followers!

To be in with a chance all you have to do is...

  • follow my blog via google or network blogs (if you do already just state) and leave your twitter or email as contact and tell me which one and your name 
For additional Entries ( also leave your contact twitter or email)

  • follow my facebook page HERE and say hello (if you already follow just state :) ) then come back here and tell me you have done so
  • Follow my twitter page HERE and tweet ' I have entered a competition with @VictoriaJayne23 to win the fantastic baby's first year book  ' then come back here and tell me you have done so
  • Comment on one of my 'non competition' posts and then tell me which post  :) 

Competition is open to the UK only and finishes midnight wednesday 21st september!
Good Luck Everyone x



  1. following via GFC xx

  2. following on twitter and have tweeted @yummymummy299 x

  3. left comment on teething bling bangle review x

  4. Already following you via GFC


  5. Already liked your FB page and commented - Sarah Anguish


  6. Already following you on Twitter and tweeted


  7. Comment for 'star heather' unable to comment but has
    1. Following my blog by network blogs
    2.liked my page and commented
    3. following and tweeted


  8. Following your blog via networked blogs :D

  9. Follow you on twitter and have retweeted as picklepie35 :D

  10. Already following on Facebook as Kate Cunningham

  11. Already following on twitter as @01592_katie
    Have tweeted!/01592_katie/status/111329290104217600

  12. Commented under your Silent Sunday photograph


We Love comments and always reply! If you leave a blog link or twitter name I will come and say hello.
Victoria xx

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