Baby Bar­bells: The Dad’s Guide To Fit­ness and Fathering

Joshua Levitt; Matt Stevens, illus.
  • Review
By – November 7, 2011
Baby Bar­bells is a cutesy gift, per­fect for a first-time father who has no idea what he’s in for. Its author, Joshua Levitt, describes him­self as a natur­o­path­ic physi­cian and cer­ti­fied human jun­gle gym. He’s also a father of three, so he’s been around the block a few times. In this board book, he shares some of the knowl­edge he’s gleaned along the way, from work­ing out to nutri­tion, mar­i­tal advice, and bond­ing with baby. His writ­ing is full of fun­ny quips, but with them is the pro­found acknowl­edge­ment of how involved father­ing changes a man’s life and how incred­i­bly reward­ing it is. Rather than com­ing across as preachy, Baby Bar­bells is a fun, light-heart­ed read with lots of good advice. For exam­ple, on main­tain­ing a hap­py mar­riage, he sug­gests show­ing the love.” It’s not enough to feel it,” he writes. More than ever now…tell her how cute she is, send her a fiery email, rub her feet.” On healthy eat­ing, his bite-sized bul­lets include cau­tions to stay away from par­tial­ly hydro­genat­ed foods, avoid high fruc­tose corn syrup, and refrain from eat­ing food with ingre­di­ents you can­not pro­nounce. It’s sen­si­ble stuff, and sim­ply put. Baby Bar­bells con­tains lots of sug­ges­tions for exer­cis­ing with baby, tam­ing fussy infants, and main­tain­ing a bal­ance between work and fam­i­ly. One of Levitt’s most valu­able pieces of advice comes right at the begin­ning, in his five action steps for involved fathers: Pay atten­tion to your atten­tion,” he says. Your email can wait. Dur­ing Dad­dy time, keep your child at the cen­ter of your atten­tion.” Amen to that.
Lau­ren Kramer is a Van­cou­ver-based jour­nal­ist, wife, and moth­er with a life­long pas­sion for lit­er­a­ture. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, she has won awards for her writ­ing and report­ed from many cor­ners of the world. Read more of her work at www​.lau​renkramer​.net.

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