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Sears, William (P.) 1939-

SEARS, William (P.) 1939-

PERSONAL: Born December 9, 1939, in Alton, IL; son of Willard (an engineer) and Lucille Sears; married; wife's name Martha (a registered nurse, childbirth educator, LaLeche League leader, breastfeeding consultant, and author), May 21, 1966; children: James, Robert, Peter, Hayden, Erin, Matthew, Stephen, Laura. Education: St. Louis University, M.D. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Sailing.

ADDRESSES: Office—655 Camino de los Mares, San Clemente, CA 92673.

CAREER: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, intern at Children's Hospital; University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, resident in pediatrics at Hospital for Sick Children, became associate professor of pediatrics and associate ward chief of newborn nursery; University of Southern California, Los Angeles, assistant clinical professor of pediatrics; private pediatrics practice, San Clemente, CA; currently, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. America Online, co-creator of the weekly online parenting program "Parent Soup"; medical and parenting consultant for BabyTalk and Parenting magazines; pediatrician on the Web site Parenting; guest on more than a hundred television programs, including 20/20, Donahue, Good Morning, America, Oprah Winfrey, and the Today Show.

MEMBER: American Academy of Pediatrics (fellow), Royal College of Pediatricians (fellow).

WRITINGS:

Creative Parenting: How to Use the New Continuum Concept to Raise Children Successfully from Birth through Adolescence, illustrated by Monique Trempe-Tardy, Everest House (New York, NY), 1982, published as Creative Parenting, Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1987, published as Creative Parenting: How to Use the Attachment Parenting Concept to Raise Children Successfully from Birth through Adolescence, Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1987.

Christian Parenting and Child Care, Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1985, published as Parenting and Child Care: A Guide for Christian Parents, 1993.

Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep, La Leche League International (Franklin Park, IL), 1985, revised edition, La Leche League International (Schaumburg, IL), 1999.

(With wife, Martha Sears) The Fussy Baby: How to Bring Out the Best in Your High Need Child, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1985, published as Parenting the Fussy Baby and the High-Need Child: Everything You Need to Know—From Birth to Age Five, 1996.

Becoming a Father: How to Nurture and Enjoy Your Family, La Leche League International (Franklin Park, IL), 1986.

Growing Together: A Parent's Guide to Baby's First Year, La Leche League International (Franklin Park, IL), 1987.

Safe and Healthy: A Parent's Guide to Children's Illnesses and Accidents, La Leche League International (Franklin Park, IL), 1989.

(With Martha Sears) The Ministry of Parenting Your Baby, Life Journey Books (Elgin, IL), 1990.

(With Martha Sears) Preparing for Your New Baby, Life Journey Books (Elgin, IL), 1991.

(With Martha Sears) 300 Questions New Parents Ask: About Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Infant & Child Care, Plume (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Martha Sears) Keys to Breast Feeding, Barron's (New York, NY), 1991.

Keys to Becoming a Father, Barron's (New York, NY), 1991.

Keys to Calming the Fussy Baby, Barron's (New York, NY), 1991.

Keys to Preparing & Caring for Your Newborn, Barron's (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Martha Sears) The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know about Your Baby—From Birth to Age Two, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1993.

(With Martha Sears) The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.

(With Martha Sears) The New Baby Planner, Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1994.

(With Martha Sears) The Discipline Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Better-Behaved Child—From Birth to Age Ten, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1995.

SIDS: A Parent's Guide to Understanding and Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1995.

(With Martha Sears and Linda Hughey Holt) The Pregnancy Book: A Month-by-Month Guide, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1997.

(With Martha Sears) The Complete Book of Christian Parenting & Child Care: A Medical & Moral Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Children, Broadman & Holman (Nashville, TN), 1997.

(With Martha Sears) Now That Baby Is Home, T. Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1998.

(With Lynda Thompson) The A.D.D. Book: New Understandings, New Approaches to Parenting Your Child, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1998.

(With Martha Sears) The Growing Years, T. Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1998.

(With Martha Sears) The Family Nutrition Book: Everything You Need to Know about Feeding Your Children—From Birth through Adolescence, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1999.

(With Martha Sears) The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know about Nursing Your Child from Birth through Weaning, Little Brown (Boston, MA), 2000.

(With Martha Sears) What Baby Needs (for children), illustrated by Renée Andriani, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2000.

(With Martha Sears) The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Child, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.

(With Martha Sears and Christie Watts Kelly) Baby On the Way (for children), illustrated by Renée Andriani, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.

(With Martha Sears) Feeding the Picky Eater, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.

(With Martha Sears) The First Three Months, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.

(With Martha Sears) How to Get Your Baby to Sleep, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.

(With Martha Sears) Keeping Your Baby Healthy, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.

(With Martha Sears and Christie Watts Kelly) You Can Go to the Potty (for children), illustrated by Renée Andriani, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2002.

(With Martha Sears and Elizabeth Pantley) The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2002.

(With Martha Sears and Christie Watts Kelly) Eat Healthy, Feel Great: A Kid's Guide to Nutrition (for children), illustrated by Renée Andriani, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2002.

Contributor to Christian Parenting Answers: A Reference Book for Parents of Children Ages 0 to 5, from the Pages of Christian Parenting Today Magazine, Christian Parenting Books (Elgin, IL), 1994; and 25 Things Every New Mother Should Know, by Martha Sears, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 1995.

SIDELIGHTS: William Sears is a pediatrician and father of eight; he is also the author, coauthor, and contributor to numerous books on childrearing, is the expert consultant behind several parenting Web sites and magazines, and has appeared on countless television programs as an advocate of attachment parenting, an approach concerned with building a bond between parents and children through parental attunement to children's needs. Sears often works alongside his wife, Martha, a registered nurse, certified breastfeeding consultant, and coauthor of several of Sears's books. The Searses are well respected childcare experts whose concerns extend to the nutrition, behavior, and success of children, along with their overall health. Their advice books are considered by many as commonsensical, reassuring, and heartwarming.

There are several tenets that underpin the attachment approach to parenting, and these begin early on, with breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and carrying young children strapped close to the caregiver's body, sometimes called babywearing. The bond that is built between parents and child by following these tenets is based upon trust; the parent trusts the infant to communicate what his or her needs are, and the infant trusts the parent to meet those needs. As children grow older they learn other ways of identifying needs, and parents teach them patience through gently delayed gratification. How this works out in practice is the subject of the Searses' classic treatise, The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know about Your Baby—From Birth to Age Two. "Widely regarded as the post-Spock baby-care bible, this is the baby book to have," contended a reviewer for Whole Earth nearly a decade after the book first appeared. Sears, both with his wife and without, has also written a host of books addressing specific issues of early childhood, such as How to Get Your Baby to Sleep, Feeding the Picky Eater, and Keys to Calming the Fussy Baby, to name a few.

The Searses also take on child behavior in The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well, focusing their nurturing, Christian-based program on the sticky topic of raising a successful child, one who is healthy, happy, responsive to others, and behaves well. In a Booklist review Vanessa Bush noted the Searses' focus on developing spiritual values in children as a goal equal in importance to ensuring they eat a balanced diet and work hard in school. The book is distinguished by the authors' "very solid advice, exercises, and evaluations to help parents guide their children," Bush remarked. A contributor to Publishers Weekly noted, in the same vein, that the Searses begin each topic with an overview of the child's development, then offer tips and games to play that will teach certain values or offer certain lessons. "The approach is authoritative yet friendly," the critic observed, further praising the authors' "straightforward, thorough advice."

Martha and William Sears have recently branched out into the realm of writing books for children. In Baby on the Way the authors discuss the changes that the mother's pregnancy brings about and encourage older children to explore ways they can help now that their roles in the family are changing. What Baby Needs, a companion book, offers a simple explanation of baby care and reflects on how the arrival of an infant changes the life of the entire family. Both books are illustrated with cartoon drawings depicting families engaged in practicing the basic tenets of the Searses' program, including breastfeeding, babywearing, and co-sleeping, according to Kathie Meizner in School Library Journal, who called them a "welcome" sight in children's books.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Booklist, March 15, 1998, Kathryn Carpenter, review of The A.D.D. Book: New Understandings, New Approaches to Parenting Your Child, p. 1191; February 15, 2002, Vanessa Bush, review of The Successful Child, p. 979.

Library Journal, July, 1999, Anne C. Tomlin, review of The Family Nutrition Book, p. 123.

Publishers Weekly, July 19, 1999, review of The Family Nutrition Book, p. 190; February 4, 2002, review of The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well, p. 74.

School Library Journal, October, 2001, Kathie Meizner, review of Baby on the Way and What Baby Needs, p. 147.

Whole Earth, spring, 2002, review of The Baby Book, p. 30.

online

Ask Dr. Sears,http://www.askdrsears.com/ (June 14, 2002).

Iparenting,http://iparenting.com/ (June 14, 2002), "Dr. William and Martha Sears."

Parenting,http://www.parenting.com/ (June 14, 2002), "Our Experts."*

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