In a series of 20 letters, the author describes to new mothers the expected patterns of development and behavior of babies throughout the first four years of their lives. He anticipates many questions such as the need for breast feeding, the advisability of circumcision, and the concern about foot deformities when walking begins. Minor variations of physical structure and growth patterns in normal infants may require adjustments of feeding programs and habits to fit individual infants, but most important is the parental attitude of confidence that the baby will react favorably to his environment and develop normally.
The mother is told to expect the fears and fantasies of later life and to meet the jealousies and distorted behavior with calmness and understanding. This is mental hygiene practiced in its most suitable environment, and Dr. Hellyer creates throughout his book the feeling of joy in caring for the baby and watching