HappyBaby Book Review + Giveaway at the End of the Post

HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months is the latest offering from Dr. Robert W. Sears, co-written with Amy Marlow, the dietician for HappyBaby organic baby food. Dr. Sears co-wrote The Baby Book, that classic tome on Attachment Parenting you’ll either embrace or—overcome by a creeping sensation of guilt and inadequacy—throw across the room. HappyBaby is a kinder, gentler introduction to the world of the Drs. Sears. In fact, the mantra in this new book may very well be “Relax! Don’t worry too much. Just take it one small thing at a time.” This attitude makes it easy to digest the information inside without worrying about doing something wrong—either for your baby or the planet.

happybaby book cover by Dr. Sears

This “organic guide” devotes almost half of its pages to feeding, with forty pages on breastfeeding alone. Some of the nutrition tips are very basic (instead of French fries, eat roasted potatoes!), but there is a wealth of information on avoiding pesticides, understanding labels, choosing the type of milk to feed your youngster, and selecting and preparing foods to maximize the nutritional content. You’ll also find some baby food recipes that go beyond the typical purees; babies will love the oatmeal pancakes, eggless banana muffins, and the “hidden veggie burgers.”

The book provides very comprehensive guidelines on toxins without managing to freak you out.  The suggestions for making changes come in “pale green,” “a little greener,” and “deepest shade of green” levels, so you don’t feel pressured to raise a baby and save the planet all at once. The authors guide readers through the process of picking out a safe mattress, carpet, paint, and nursery furniture—and offer tips for reducing toxin exposure when you’ve already purchased your conventional gear and aren’t in the position to replace it all.

Two chapters on the “Green and Happy Home” discuss reducing the amount of stuff we acquire and the energy we consume when a new baby enters the household. This section suffers a bit by being too general and too—well, “pale green.” “Dr. Bob” assures us that we don’t need to keep our houses warmer in the winter or cooler in the summer with a new baby—but never throws out any actual numbers. The diaper-washing tips in chapter eight are unnecessarily energy extensive–but you will find a great discussion of the whole cloth vs. disposable debate.

This “organic guide” offers a grab-bag of information. It’s part breastfeeding manual, part baby food cookbook, part green living handbook—with a sprinkling of product placements and coupons for eco-friendly goods. HappyBaby is more than The Baby Book’s green companion—it’s a stand-alone guide to  raising a healthy baby, naturally.

We have two copies of this excellent resource to giveaway! Each book comes with more than $100 dollars’ worth of coupons for green baby goodies. Just post a comment before Tuesday the 17th and you’ll be entered to win! (If you don’t win our giveaway, don’t despair—it appears to be 32% off on Amazon right now, so you can get it for just over eleven bucks.)

And congratulations to Shauna, who won our Grandparents Handbook giveaway a few weeks ago!


  1. I would enjoy reading this book. With baby #2 due anyday, it would be great to read a good discussion of cloth v. disposables, and how to cut waste, and improve our overall nutrition. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I would love this book! My little guy is just barely 6 months so we are starting to navigate the world of solids and nutrition.

  3. I’d love to read about a “green and happy home!”

  4. I would love this book. I have some “green” books already but I would love to learn more. The books I currently have I always use. Not a day goes by without me looking something up.

    I have to babes right now and plan on more–this book will last in this house.

  5. I would love a free copy of the book! The coupons wouldn’t hurt either.

  6. I would love to win a copy of this book. I am becoming increasingly concerned with role toxins and chemicals in our environment and their negative effects on our health, so this is perfect for raising a healthier baby as well as being kinder to the earth.

  7. Sounds like an interesting book. I like that there are multiple ‘shades’ of green. As an environmental scientist just starting a career, I appreciate having different options. (Especially when it comes to affordability!) My baby is due in May, so this book will be timed quite well for my bundle of joy!

  8. My first baby is due in April, and I would love to have a resource on living more naturally that doesn’t freak me out…

  9. Ooh—this looks like an awesome book. With baby number one due soon, I’m still trying to find the best options to keep things healthy and clean for the baby.

  10. I have loads of friends with new babies. This will make a great gift!

  11. What a great topic for a book. I like all the Dr. Sears books.

  12. My son is moving into finger food almost exclusively and I am look for ways to make a balanced, green diet for him

  13. Ooh, as a dietitian and a future mama, I would love this book!

  14. As a mother to be, I need this book! In fact, as a librarian, I plan on purchasing it for my library (but my own copy would be awfully nice).

  15. sounds great. i like the idea of dr. sears lite;)

  16. another Josh says

    I could always use another book with kid #1 expected in 3 weeks.

  17. I just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed you blog! It’s a great resource on raising kids and managing a home while saving money and our planet. Thanks!

  18. I’ve heard about this book but haven’t read it. I would love to win a copy! Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Wow, what a great resource. I’d love to win this book, and those coupons sound great, too.

  20. I am so interested in reading this book! Fun and useful giveaway!

  21. Looks like a fabulous book. Would love to win a copy to use with my 2 month old!

  22. Thanks for the heads up about Dr. Bob’s new book. Can’t wait to read it!

  23. Looks fabulous!

  24. I’d love to win this. Looks like lots of great resources.

  25. Sounds like an interesting book to add to my eco-friendly baby bookshelf.

  26. I would love to win this book! Thanks! :o)

  27. this looks like a great book, i just checked my library and they don’t have it. they are good about having other copies of dr sears, though. i utilize the library a lot for all my reading! it’s a great resource for us.

  28. This sounds like an amazing eco-conscious parenting resource. We would love to add it to our home collection! Thanks for this wonderful blog, it’s been a fantastic resource as well.

  29. This would be a perfect addition to my library, as I’m expecting my first in June 🙂

  30. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. I’d love to get my hands on a copy of this book.

  31. Sounds like a great book! Will definitely check it out

  32. Sounds like a great book! I have newborn twins at home, so any help is always appreciated in keeping our home and lives greener!

  33. I have been looking for something like this. I hope that I win. i could use it.

    shopgurl101 AT gmail DOT com

  34. Alexandrea M says

    Our best friends are due with their first baby, and I’d love to win this book! Thank you for the giveaway.

  35. I love Dr. Sears and even though my child is already 8 months old, I can’t wait to read this book!

  36. What a great jumping off point? I think this could really get the reader thinking about the impact of their new family addition.

  37. This sounds like a parenting book I’d actually LIKE reading. So many of them just make me feel like I’m going about this all wrong – I’d love a book that gives me ways to make changes without feeling like I have to do it all or nothing, or all at once. I’m trying so hard to make healthier choices for the kids and our family, but sometimes it’s so overwhelming.

  38. I would love to win this!

  39. Great book, would love to read it. We try to serve our daughter as much organic food as possible

  40. I would love it!!

  41. Looks like a great book! This little bean is due in April, so it would definitely be a good read before he arrives!

  42. This sounds like a very interesting book. I’m currently expecting and due next month!

  43. My little girl is almost 7 months and we are experimenting with organic foods – this book sounds really interesting!

  44. This book sounds very interesting – thanks for the giveaway!

  45. I would love this book! We are having our first child and I can’t get enough reading material 🙂

  46. I would absolutely love this book. I am due with my third and am a week late!

  47. Another great book you’ve exposed us to, thanks!

  48. Really like the blog and would find the book very helpful in raising my baby.

  49. I would like to win this but am confused about the cut-off…is it Sunday the 17th or Tuesday the 19th?

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