CALMS: A Guide to Soothing Your Baby
by Carrie Contey and Debby Takikawa

[2007, Los Olivos, California: Hana Peace Works, 96 pages, paperback.]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 85, Spring 2008, © 2008, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Robin Barbier.]

In CALMS: A Guide to Soothing Your Baby, Contey and Takikawa offer parents tools to help them learn to communicate with and calm their babies. The book also presents infant development information and narratives on how parents have successfully used the techniques. CALMS presents the refreshing perspective that children are meant to be respected and honored “right from the start.” This idea forms the basic foundation for the techniques for soothing babies described by the authors. CALMS offers a framework to encourage a more positive and respectful way of interacting with infants than has dominated our culture in recent years.

Carrie Contey is a leader in the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology. Debby Takikawa is the director and producer of the film What Babies Want, which is referenced frequently in the book. The book offers many similar ideas to the film, but in a more accessible format for new parents who are sleep deprived and feeling overwhelmed. This book would make a nice gift for expectant parents and could easily be included as part of a parent education package given by doulas, birth educators or midwives.

Reviewer Robin Barbier, CD, is a doula, childbirth/breastfeeding educator, researcher and mom. She has supported families through pregnancy, birth and parenting for the last six years. She lives in the fabulous Pacific Northwest.

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