Don’t panic! You don’t need to read any of them cover to cover in one sitting and submit a report but each one of them contains invaluable information. Together, I found the combination to be a winning one and the closest I could get to an instruction manual! (Disclaimer: I have not been asked/sponsored/paid to recommend any of these books)
1. What to Expect in the First Year by Heidi Murkoff.
This book gives a great overview of what your baby will be doing month to month. It’s useful to start reading it before your baby arrives.
So, what’s good about it? The best bit of the book? Is each month its says by this month your baby should be doing, could be doing, may even be able to etc … when your baby smashes those milestones you feel such an incredible sense of pride and joy which is validated and confirmed by this book! (When your baby can’t do something listed you simply ignore it!)
What’s bad about it? The book is big and bulky for starters. DO NOT attempt to read it whilst breastfeeding! It could seriously harm your baby. If you are interested in breastfeeding past 12m or baby-led weaning you may want to skip the information included on those subjects. Take the book with a pinch of salt but it does have some useful lists if that’s what you are into!
Not got the time? Check out the What to Expect site
2. Best Friends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood by Vicki Iovine
A hilarious, frank account of what to expect when you become a mother. The whole book is focussed on you rather than your baby; your body, your breasts and your bits!
So, what’s good about it? It’s hilarious! It really is funny! It’s a lighthearted read with a few home truths.
What’s bad about it? It’s a witty read nothing more and nothing less – it doesn’t contain any medical advice or stats – its just a light hearted read for a tired new mummy!
3. Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
This book has been my instruction manual to date and I feel it will take me a lot further!
So, what’s good about it? It has all you need to know about getting your baby on to a healthy sleep routine with no tears (or very few). It makes sense, it respects your babies rhythms and does truly result in a happy, healthy child. In just a few pages you will be ready to understand your baby’s needs and be able to respond
What’s bad about it? So far I’ve yet to find fault with this book – perhaps it is a bit wordy in some places but it really is worth the read. The book may look daunting but it really isn’t – just a few pages and you are set for the next few weeks or months depending on the age of your child.
4. Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
This is every parent’s must have book for introducing solids.
So, what’s good about it? It explains simply how BLW is a natural and positive way to introduce solids. It calms even the most nervous of parents into realising that it really is the way to go!
What’s bad about it? I’ve yet to find fault with the book. Maybe the name puts people off – many people have preconceived ideas about what BLW entails. Give this book a read and it will make you a true BLW convert!
Not got the time? Check out the amazing BLW blog for real life experiences!
5. Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh
The Elimination Communication (EC) Bible) A must read for anyone who is interested in understanding the natural rhythms of their babies elimination needs … i.e pee and poop!
So, what’s good about it? Filled with real life experiences of other ECing parents, this book tells you how and WHY you should be ECing. Dispelling the myth that babies should be in diapers for years, this book helps you understand how you can EC your baby full-time, part time or occasionally.
What’s bad about it? Maybe the name? Many feel that ECing involves a lifetime of staring at your baby waiting for them to pee which is not the case. The book is a non-starter for many parents who have a preconceived idea of what it entails.
Not got the time? Check out my posts on easy how to’s on ECing
So that’s my top 5 … what are yours?