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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Dr Spock’s Baby and Child Care

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 14 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2839

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Elizabeth Loder, clinical editor, BMJ
  1. eloder{at}

    Dr Spock’s childcare manual is the best selling book ever written by a physician. This feat is all the more remarkable because it was achieved without the book promotion blogs, podcasts, and Oprah appearances that characterise the contemporary era of celebrity doctor authors. First published in the United States in 1946, and never out of print since, the book famously assured anxious postwar parents that “you know more than you think you do.”

    Perhaps reflecting his training in psychoanalysis as well as paediatrics, Spock advocated parental flexibility and child care that is based on “what good mothers and …

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