I don’t know about you, but as an expecting mom I cannot find enough information, advice, and resources to help me prepare for the journey that is ahead. I refer to it as the “sponge” phase of pregnancy – when suddenly all you can do is read registry tips, breastfeeding guides, and anything else that makes you feel even the tiniest bit more prepared for the unknown.
Typically I do all of my reading on my handy little Nook, but when picking out pregnancy and parenting books, I decided to go all old school and grab hard copies instead. My hope is that they will be my companions during late nights in the nursery, and something I can pass along to friends and family who might be expecting down the road.
There is no shortage of pregnancy, childbirth, or parenting books available, but some are most definitely better than others. Everyone has their own personal favorites, but here are (so far!) five of mine…
The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know about Your Baby – from Birth to Age Two 1 of 5by William Sears. This "baby bible" is one that I plan to keep on the shelves in my nursery. It covers everything from diapering to breastfeeding to child development, and I know it will be a great resource to me, particularly in those early days and weeks.
The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions 2 of 5by Penny Simkin. This book is more intended for dads, partners, or others who will help during childbirth, but I am planning to read it as well. It covers the basics of childbirth along with coping strategies, breathing methods, relaxation techniques, and other practices for having the best delivery experience possible. I'm hoping my husband will read it too!
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year 3 of 5by Anne Lamott. In college I was assigned to read Lamott's Bird By Bird, which quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. When I saw that she also had a parenting book, I snatched it up immediately. Lamott writes a hilarious account of her baby's first year. It is more of a novel or story than a "guide to parenting" but it is a refreshing change from some of the other more clinical pregnancy resources, and once I plan to read over and over again.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth 4 of 5by Ina May Gaskin. As one of the country's top midwives, In May Gaskin highlights the ins and outs of labor and delivery - the good, the bad, and the realistic. My hope is to have as natural of a delivery experience as possible, and I know that an important part of achieving that goal is educating myself on what to expect and what options I will have when the time comes. A combination of advice, explanations, definitions, and touching personal stories, this book is a great resource for all expecting moms.
Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five 5 of 5by John Medina. My husband and I are both really into science and math (nerd alert!), and so understanding the science of babies is something we both find totally fascinating. Brain Rules is a scientific look at child development and parenting based on clinical research studies - something many parenting guides are missing. We both feel really strongly about how things like TV and video games will impact our future generation, and this book addresses exactly that.