Now there is a lot of information out there these days, and of course everyone and their dog has and opinion, yours truly included, but here are some of my picks.
Now I am posting this post with a side of caution. Books are wonderful tools to educate and inform you on topic’s you don’t necessarily know much about. They allow us to gain some type of knowledge about things we may have not ever heard about. They also educate you on things you may not want to know. They may educate you so well that you now fear everything you read, because of course my baby might “have that.” And then all the what if’s come into play. If you find yourself getting to that point with all the book reading and Internet browsing all you newly pregnant people are doing… I urge you to stop–at least for a little while.
Along with everything else on this blog, the following are books that either I have read or friends of mine have recommended. Some hated a certain book while others LOVED it. To each their own. Now that I’ve put my little disclaimer of caution up, let’s begin:
1) Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy
I think that everyone should read this book. This book is not going to educate you on specific medical terms or tell you what size your baby is at a certain point. What this book does do is allow new moms to laugh at all the crazy changes that happen to your body during pregnancy. She is a no nonsense type of person that tells it like it is. She does warn you that some of what she writes about will make you laugh, and some will scare the crap out of you. But basically I love this book because it addressed a lot of things not even touched upon in regular “medical” baby books, especially the stuff most people are embarrassed to ask about! I read it in a day, and laughed my ass off.
2) Your Pregnancy Week by Week By Glade B. Curtis, Judith Schuler
While I was in Chapters one fine afternoon, I was so confused as to which book to get to educate myself on what was going on with my body. I went into the baby section and let me tell you–there was no shortages of books on being pregnant. I had no idea what was the best book and I couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on pregnancy books and I actually made myself put a few back. I kept this one because it goes through each week of your pregnancy and shows you a picture of how big your baby is, what is developing and how your body is changing. I liked knowing when my baby was the size of a plum, I tried not to skip ahead to each week so that I had something to look forward to each new week, but none the less I did anyway’s.
3) Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide By Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, and Ann Keppler
This book was recommended to me by my Doula. It is one of the books that she had to read while she was training to become a Doula. What I liked about this book was that it went really in depth. So if you are the type of person who is looking for medical terminology and specifics on certain disorders then this is the holy grail for you! I think it’s a fabulous resource because not only does it go through pregnancy, it also goes through labour and caring for your newborn!
4) The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau
I’m sure there are a few mom’s out there who will shake their head at me and call me crazy for putting this book on this list, but for all of those who would be shaking their heads, there are an equal amount of your who are saying ” I love this book.” This book is all about routine, and as Tracy put’s it, not a schedule, a routine. If you take anything away from this book it should be the E.A.S.Y routine she set’s up. It is anything but easy! I read this book and thought: Ok, now I’m prepared, I’ll just put my little one on this system right away and I’ll be set.Sure that would have worked better if my little one actually did what she said he was going to do if I fed him enough during the day, but he did not. He still got up to nurse every 1.5-2 hours at night, not matter how much he was eating, and yes I did do a yield, there was nothing wrong with my supply, heck I would get 6 oz in one pumping session. But I do agree with this routine thing, She also has tips on starting solids as well, I’m just reading that part now because I didn’t want to cloud the brain with information I was likely to forget by the time my son was ready for Solids. I will be posting a more in depth review of E.A.S.Y in the days to come so please check back!
|The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior–Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood|
5) From the Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Becoming a Parent By Rebecca Odes, and Ceridwen Morris
This book was great for two reasons, it went through all topics from both perspectives. For example, in a nonjudgmental way, it went through breastfeeding in depth and formula feeding indepth. It also had real parent comment that didn’t paint everything through rose coloured glasses, which is nice to hear because sometimes you think you are all alone in some thoughts you have.
|From the Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Becoming a Parent|
The following books are going to be placed on the Ugly list. That means that the majority of people that I talked to about these books absolutely hated them.
Reason it’s disliked: To strict on the routine, made many parents uncomfortable with methods that were described. One mom felt so strong that she thinks the book “should be burned.” (Sonya)
2)What to Expect when you’re Expecting
Reason it’s disliked: this book is “overly strict” and very “old fashioned” according to Kelly Campbell. It also focuses on everything that could go wrong at every stage of your pregnancy. Bottom line, there are better books that cover the other half of pregnancy as well.
3)Healthy Sleep Habits, happy child by Marc Weissbluth
“some of the info on sleep is useful, but the author’s style is terrible, disorganized and he’s been known to cause anxiety attacks in a few mothers (including me) because he makes you believe that if you screw up teaching your child to sleep, they are going to be scarred for life! he has all these strict rules about sleep and all these crazy warnings about what not to do, his approach is way too systematic and babies are not robots, I’m sorry” (Daniela)
The following is a short list of books that many women felt deserved to be on this list so here they are:
1)I’m Pregnant (Canadian Edition)By Lesley Regan
Recommended by Andrea
1. The pictures are AMAZING, especially in the early going when the whole pregnancy seems unreal. You know you are pregnant and yet you don’t look it or feel it (other than being tired I didn’t have any other symptoms). So the pictures made it seem more real and I felt like I had a window into what was going on inside me.
2. It doesn’t just say “this may happen to you” or “you may experience this”, it explains WHY our bodies do what they do, respond how the do. I always want to know why something happens or how something happens.
3. The descriptions of what is developing when and how are great. It’s not exactly week – by – week, it’s more like a few weeks at a time, but the information is fantastic.
4. They cover every topic I was even slightly curious about, with good, clear information.
2)”Your Baby & Child” by Penelope Leach
Recommended by Kelly Campbell
It’s a really great book. She’s a children’s rights advocate and the book is big on being sensitive to the child’s needs, thinking about things from their perspective, etc. It’s kind of attachment parenting, but unlike the Sears books, it doesn’t make you feel guilty for not co-sleeping or wearing your baby all the time. It’s a very balanced approach with lots of practical daily care info as well. However, it’s written in a very narrative style, so if you’re not a big reader it might be a little annoying/daunting to get through it and find the information you need.
3)The Baby Book by Dr. Sears
Recommended by Daniela
definitely the best book I bought on pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care; his style is very sensible and definitely not preachy like the baby whisperer and healthy sleep habits
The happiest baby on the block is also in book form, and if you want an indepth view into the reason behind the magic, it’s worth a read, but the DVD shows you so much more!
The Bottom Line
What to remember is that no matter how many books you read, you–the mother/parent know best. Every baby is different, and just because your baby does not do what the book says baby will do, DOES NOT mean that you are a bad mother. It does not mean you are failing and it does not mean that your baby will not do these things on their own or a little later on.
There are so many books out there, that you can get information over load. If you feel overwhelmed put the books down. My best piece of advice is to take the books as a suggestion and not as the manual to raise your child by. Each book may have a little something you can take from it, so I encourage you to take from it what you can and discard the rest. Not everything will apply to your baby.
My sister could not believe how many books I wanted to read, she said she couldn’t be bothered to read them, for her instincts kicked in and she assured me they would kick in for me too, but I was too afraid not to read everything under the sun. Some books made me feel very prepared before I had my son, and then when he was born, I followed some books to a tee and he wasn’t “performing” like I had expected him to, which stressed the crap out of me. I finally had to just let it go, my son does not like to conform, end of story. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t try long enough or hard enough, he just wanted to do what he wanted. And while he is a very routine oriented baby, it was VERY hard to teach him certain things.
One more thing, books can make it sound easy. They may simply put the theory as a matter of fact statement and that might make you think, “oh, all I have to do is ________,” well doing _______ might take nights of sleeplessness and days of crankiness, not everything happens overnight.
The best thing I can say to you parents to be is, take it easy on yourselves, this journey is not easy, and no one is perfect–no matter how many books you read. As my husband puts it, nothing that is easy is worth it. The challenges that are before you will truly alter your lives forever, but in the end it’s all worth it. Keep in mind, you may not feel that way right after birth, but trust me, the feeling will come!