I ❤ books.
Fiction and nonfiction, short stories and epic tales, graphic novels and comic strip collections, gimme me a book that sparks my curiosity and I will happily curl up and read for hours. How cool is it that someone else’s words can build a whole new universe that you never knew existed? How amazing that you can bond with a cast of characters that will make you laugh uproariously or cry like a baby?
Truth be told, before I got pregnant I had never picked up a book about carrying or caring for a child. I had no reason to. I didn’t babysit for younger children (mostly because they scare the bejesus out of me) and I wasn’t actively trying to conceive when we got our happy news. But when I found out that in roughly nine months I was going to have a baby, I started looking through reviews for books that could help me figure out what the hell to expect while I was expecting.
I read a lot more than 5 baby books throughout my pregnancy, but there were only a few that really resonated with me. A few of the books on this list I bought personally, and a couple of them my fiancé’s mom, who is a respected psychologist in Los Angeles, sent to us. All of these helped us out in different ways and I wanted to pass the list along to any expectant mommies out there who are looking for recommendations.
- What To Expect – The First Year
This might qualify as my “postnatal bible” as it sits on my bedside table and I am constantly re-reading and marking important passages. Author Heidi Murkoff gives a comprehensive breakdown of the developmental stages your baby is expected to go through in their first year. She also gives a frank and humorous look into the questions that a lot of parents ask while offering assurances for the common trials and tribulations of parenting a newborn. I especially loved the chapters on breastfeeding and using the many educational charts/images!
- The Girlfriend’s Guide To Pregnancy
Sometimes pregnancy can be overwhelming, messy, and a little bit icky, and this book helped me find a much needed laugh in many of my preggo problems. In it Vicki Iovine gives an honest look at what you’re going to go through using the voice of a trusted friend you would call up for real advice. Starting with the top 10 lies about pregnancy and ending with a frank discussion about how much you body is going to change after having kids, this book is a great read filled with lots of advice and anecdotes for expectant mothers (especially those of you who are the first of your friends to get pregnant!).
- The Happiest Baby On The Block
This is a brilliant book that goes through a lot of advice and theories behind why babies cry/scream and what parents can do to actively sooth their children. From colic to calming strategies, Harvey Karp gives tons of strategies and suggestions to help your baby through what doctors call the fourth trimester and beyond. Seriously, his 5 S’s alone are enough to make this book worth the purchase! When you’re on your seventh consecutive day of no sleep, up to arms in poopy diapers and spit up, these suggestions just might save your sanity (they did for us!).
- Diary Of A Baby
There are so many times you will look at your newborn child and wonder “what are you thinking? What must all of this newness must be like for you?” Well this book will give you some insight! The text alternates between helpful advice and a look at the world through baby Joey’s eyes. Written by psychologist, Daniel N. Stern this book gives a fascinating account of what your baby is probably experiencing as they grow and develop. The text was a little dry for my taste, but I still loved reading about what a baby sees, feels, learns, and understands as they grow.
- The Healthy Pregnancy Book
This book is both a “what to expect” type book and a baby journal to help you track your progress, which is pretty cool! The journal entries include helpful questions and prompts so you’re not stuck trying to find something to talk about. The co-authors of this book can get a bit “preachy” about certain topics, but the advice is from medical doctors who are coming from a place of experience. I also really enjoyed the stories they tell about new mom patients and the questions they ask.
*All of these books were researched and purchased by me, I did not receive them in exchange for a review, so all opinions expressed here are my own.