Your Baby and Child

The 2010 edition of this best-selling book, “Your Baby and Child”, originally published in 1977, is still selling today. In addition to proving it has staying power, it has also been translated into 28 languages, and millions of copies have been sold all over the world. Its popularity resulted in an award-winning cable television series of the same name, which she wrote and hosted.

Leach’s work has been hugely popular (and therefor needs to be included here on the bookshelf) but her work on infant and baby care has been generating controversy for years. Penelope Leach  stance has been described as “child-centered feminism“ by Robert Manne, in that she recognized and acknowledged the difficulties women face when trying to combine motherhood with a career. However, her opinion that child, infant and baby care provided by family members was superior to that of paid professionals in a day care setting proved to be unpopular with working mothers, many of whom did not have the luxury of making that choice. Many feminists believed that her views hurt the cause of equal rights for women by inducing guilt in working mothers.

After graduating with honors from Newnham College in 1959, Penelope Leach earned her PhD in psychology from the London School of Economics in 1964. In addition to having held several prestigious positions in her field, she founded more than one organization herself, including The Association of Infant Mental Health and EPOCH, (End Physical Punishment of Children).

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