what to read when you’re pregnant.

When my cousin who lives in France found out that I was pregnant, she sent me two very long emails full of advice. Everyone knows that with pregnancy comes a deluge of both unsolicited advice and horror stories. But I was grateful to receive her emails because all of the advice was written down. Usually advice comes during a conversation, and it’s pretty much forgotten as soon as it’s given. How can I be expected to remember the lists and lists and lists of “crucial” advice that they’re giving me if it’s not written down? So I have only these emails from my cousin that I can refer back to as I get ready for the baby.

The first email talked about several books, three of which I’ll share with you. I think that these could help me out adjusting to the first few months of motherhood. (The comments in quotations are from her email to me.)

The Contented Little Baby Book
“You will hate it at first, her writing is terrible, and you will swear you will never be the cold-hearted parent putting baby on a schedule, BUT her schedules quite accurately frame the natural rhythm of most babies and it’s a life saver starting around month 4 if you take all her advice with a grain of salt and don’t become hysteric like some women who schedule to the minute. Babies really do better with some structure.”

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
“Great book, realistic, useful. Gives tips on how to help baby sleep instead of just saying to put them to sleep.”

The Happiest Baby on the Block

“Great advice for the first months and a gentle transition to earth for baby.”

I would be interested to know if any of you have tried out these books. What did you think? What are other baby books that you would recommend?

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  1. Hannah :

    I love healthy sleep habits! It is my bible! Because of that book, my kids sleep enough for me to work.

  2. Jen :

    We’re an “On Becoming Baby Wise” family. It was perfect for us–our personalities, our baby’s temperment, etc.

  3. Azúcar :

    I recommend Baby 411 with all my heart. It’s an amazing book.

    Baby 411 is like a user’s manual on children. If you even think you will be the kind of parent who might want to rush your child to the ER, it’s worth picking up Baby 411. The book is written by a pediatrician and gives you actual guidelines on what’s normal: when to call the doctor, when to go to the ER, and when to just watch the issue; it’s clear, no nonsense, and smart.

    My other recommendation is a book that you need to read before you have the baby: The Nursing Mother’s Companion Guide. I can’t stress to you how much it will help you to read the book before baby arrives. You may be one of the lucky ones who has an easy time nursing, but take it from me, it’s far easier to know what to expect beforehand instead of trying to correct problems afterwards. There are lots of things that can go wrong in the very beginning, and if you can head them off, you will have a better chance of succeeding.

  4. Jenny :

    The nursing mother’s companion is amazing. It’s like little at home lactation consultant without all the guilt. We also are followers of ‘healthy sleep habits’ and will be investing in a copy of ‘colic solved’ at some point.

  5. b.craft :

    Our hospital required that we watch the “happiest baby on the block” video on how to sooth a crying baby before we checked out and it was invaluable as a first-time parent.