09/20/2010 04:22 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Good Enough Baby

As new parents, we hold ourselves to impossibly high standards. We settle for second or third best when we buy a house or a car, and, when it comes to choosing a spouse, ninth best will often do. And yet, for some reason, we throw this time-tested principle out the window when we have a baby. We try to be "perfect" parents and raise the "perfect" baby, even if that means taking care of the baby "all the time."

In reality, trying to raise a perfect baby is futile, because, behavior-wise, babies are pretty craptastic. Howling, vomiting, projectile-shitting -- kind of hard to shoot for perfection when you're doing appalling things like these around the clock. Despite all the media hype about babies, they're loud, dumb, and grimy to the touch, just one rung on the evolutionary ladder above a common marmoset. I'm speaking from my experience not only as a parent but as a pediatrician.

But, while raising a perfect baby is impossible, raising a "good enough baby" is surprisingly easy. That's the message of my new book, The Good Enough Baby: Settling for Little Miss Adequate. Let's begin with what I call the Good Enough Baby Checklist:

Story continues here.

Subscribe to the Entertainment email.
Home to your favorite fan theories and the best movie recs.