The Baby Diaries: Memories, Milestones and Misadventures by Tess Daly

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The Baby Diaries: Memories, Milestones and Misadventures by Tess Daly

Category: Home and Family
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A slightly awkward mix of pregnancy advice and personal recollections, ideal for fans of Heat and OK! who are pregnant (or want to be), or anyone who just likes nosing into celeb lives.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: February 2010
Publisher: Vermilion
ISBN: 978-0091935160

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One of the many side effects of pregnancy seems to be the need to read everything you can get your hands on about pregnancy and babies. I know that when pregnant with my daughter I trawled the library for any baby books they had, scoured the internet nightly for due date calendars, week by week guides and baby name dictionaries. I also became an obsessive baby-watcher, interested in any celebrity baby news and willing to speak to anyone 'normal' that I met who was pregnant too or who already had children. This book is aiming to be a sort of catch-all for pregnancy obsessives I think, as it's a mix of pregnancy and birth advice and information alongside of Tess Daly's memories from her pregnancies with her two daughters.

Everyone has their own opinions about pregnancy and childbirth, and everyone normally thinks they and they alone are right. So of course that means in the run up to giving birth you can end up reading the most contradictory things. I admire that Tess has tried to set out a sort of down to earth approach to the whole thing, although her celebrity life does tend to creep in here and there. I loved that she was open and honest enough to write about her oldest daughter's sleep habits (or lack thereof) as I've read too many books where babies are managing the apocryphal sleeping through the night at ridiculous ages such as 6 weeks old! My three year old is the worst sleeper in the world (well, maybe not the worst, but it has certainly felt like that sometimes!) and so I did warm to Tess' admissions that Phoebe hadn't slept through until she was over three. Though she did spoil it a little when she mentioned they had a night nanny come in three nights a week to help out...

She also tells of driving up North alone with her baby Phoebe and having Phoebe screaming in the back of the car and being unable to stop to check what was wrong. It's nice to know others have days like that too. However there were lots of bits in this book that just didn't grab me. I suppose it might be because I'm not the sort of person who would paint her toenails and get highlights done before giving birth. (I didn't even look at my feet for the last couple of months I was pregnant and I relied heavily on a pair of flip flops or my husband being around to tie my laces. I also have hospital photos that prove I didn't go anywhere near a hairbrush whilst in labour...) The book also occasionally felt like an ongoing advert as she reels off useful places to shop for certain things or helpful products. I had a 'good grief' moment when she described her first outing with Phoebe by herself and how she couldn't put the travel system together, but then I shamefacedly remembered that I only discovered how to work the reclining part of our pushchair properly when my daughter was about six months old!

There are some useful bits and bobs. I did smile over her comments about disposable knickers because I too spent some time worrying over my hospital bag and the fact that I hadn't purchased some of those bizarre throw-away pants and should I cave in to buy some. Tess just quite simply explains the reason they're listed as something you might want, and then suggests what you can do instead. However, in the same section she also recommends taking a cashmere cardigan with you. To hospital. Where you'll have your newborn baby pooing and sicking everywhere. Right.

My feeling after finishing this book, I'm afraid to say, was not incredibly positive. It's not really bad, it's just a little bland. I didn't sense much personality in the writing, and some parts struck me as though they were straight from pregnancy texts with an odd personalised comment from Tess stuck at the end. If you want something funny then you're better off reading Mel Giedroyc's 'From Here to Maternity' which really made me laugh. And if you're looking for a more serious guide to pregnancy then the What to Expect When You're Expecting and What to Expect the First Year are great places to start. Perhaps younger mums, pregnant fashionistas and Heat magazine aficionados will be the ones to get the most from it, and will enjoy the shopping advice, showbiz life and family photos.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

New mums might also enjoy The Fabulous Mum's Handbook by Grace Saunders. I also highly recommend this book which was my bible throughout that first long, tiring year with my daughter.

Buy The Baby Diaries: Memories, Milestones and Misadventures by Tess Daly at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Baby Diaries: Memories, Milestones and Misadventures by Tess Daly at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Baby Diaries: Memories, Milestones and Misadventures by Tess Daly at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Baby Diaries: Memories, Milestones and Misadventures by Tess Daly at Amazon.com.


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