“In Bringing Baby Home, Montreal-based Lianne Castelino and Andrea Howick, who are both mothers and journalists, have produced film that is an excellent first look into the world of baby care. They’ve obviously done their research. The advice – from a paediatrician, lactation consultants, a family counselor and a number of very warm and experienced postpartum nurses – is consistent with current Canadian recommendations. Equally important, it reflects a gentle parenting style that is responsive to a baby’s needs. There’s also the voice of experience here: compelling interviews with new parents who are quite candid about the ups and downs of new parenthood.

But the most valuable information in this film is contained in the tutorials on such aspects of baby care as breastfeeding, bathing a baby and using a car seat properly. A picture really is worth a thousand words sometimes. The opportunity to see a newborn receive a sponge bath with careful, detailed commentary or a car seat properly installed, is invaluable. In another sequence, we watch a baby’s first check-up and hear McGill University paediatrician Denis Leduc explain what he’s looking for as he examines the baby.

The film would have benefited from more careful structuring in places. There are a few awkward moments when advice is abruptly introduced in an odd place or repeated needlessly. But these are minor quibbles. This I an excellent primer that, ideally, parents will watch before their baby arrives.”

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