Review: Planet Parent by Mark Woods

The front cover of Planet Parent by Mark Woods.

I’ve always been interested in how other cultures approach the ever-evolving learning process that is parenting. We’ve got a fair few friends in France, so have tried certain techniques from across the channel on the boys. It’s fair to say that we’ve experienced varying degrees of success. So I was pleased to be offered a copy of this recent title by best selling author, Mark Woods.

Planet Parent: The World’s Best Ways to Bring Up Your Children gathers together some of the most useful tips and tricks from around the world. A collection of international parenting lifehacks, if you will.

Fascinating and funny in equal measure, the book deals with all of the challenges you’d expect. There are some that may not spring to mind immediately too. There are chapters on how different countries deal with age-old problems of getting their children to sleep, fussy eaters and potty training. Also included are sections on newer issues such as obesity and screen time.

From nappy-free toilet training methods in China and ‘kangaroo care’ in Colombia to popular savoury dishes in Scandinavia and the thoughts of an ancient Greek gynaecological expert with the unfortunate name, Soranus, this book is a treasure trove of advice from around the globe.

With baby number three due soon, I was particularly interested in the chapters on birth and the first year. While I definitely won’t copy the ancient Egyptians and sing to the placenta to encourage it out, the Dutch ‘Kraamzorg’ – a state-provided nurse to help the family for eight days – sounds like a great idea. Plus a Finnish baby box would be a nice gift when our little one arrives in November. Just saying.

With Xander’s continuing resistance to sleep, Dylan’s refusal to eat vegetables and their little sister on the way – and, with her hopefully, the opportunity to avoid these problems on the same scale – this book is going to be invaluable to me.

As well as being an entertaining read, it boasts plenty of little nuggets parents can try. I’m sure it will act as the inspiration for other parenting victories too.

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