Sunday, April 21, 2013

8 Must-Read Baby Books

When I was pregnant with Noah, I spent so much time reading baby books. Here are the one's that I found to be most helpful:
Get Ready to Get Pregnant: Your Complete Prepregnancy Guide to Making a Smart and Healthy Baby by Michael C. Lu, M.D., MPH. This book is full of great info on preparing your body for pregnancy. It includes information on a healthy diet before and during pregnancy (like foods that are beneficial for fetal brain development and toxic food that should be avoided), what to look for in a prenatal vitamin, how to eliminate toxins in and around your home, and how to strengthen your immune system.

The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenberg. What I love about this book is that in addition to giving you what a typical baby name books does (popularity, nicknames, etc.) it also provides a short list of similar names, so it's great for brainstorming. So, if you look up Noah, for example, it gives Hannah, Maya, Chloe, Ivy and Abigail as similar girl names and Jonah, Ethan, Caleb, Owen, and Eli as boy names that go well with Noah. I spent hours looking at this book!

Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie F. Mongan, M.Ed., M.Hy. If you read our birth story you know that we prepared for a natural birth by taking Hypnobirthing classes. This book has great information about proper breathing, positive affirmations, and relaxation techniques. I loved the positive tone and the "you can do it" attitude of the author. It was a great complement to the five week course we took.
The Breastfeeding Book by Martha Sears, R.N., and William Sears, M.D. I read this book cover to cover while I was pregnant and have referenced it many times since Noah was born. It covers everything you could possibly need to know about breastfeeding your baby, from basic information about lactation and how to properly latch to more specific topics like pumping and how to deal with things like engorgement, thrush, and mastitis. Next to lactation consultants, this book has been the thing that has helped me most while nursing Noah these last 5 months.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D. The information in this book helped us more than anything else in the first month or two of Noah's life. Dr. Karp converted us to the 5 S's: Swaddling, Shushing, Swaying, Side/Stomach, and Sucking. This stuff works!

The Vaccine Book by Robert W. Sears, M.D., FAAP. Vaccines are such a hot-button issue and I feel like there's so much information out there (on both sides) that is based on opinion. This book is the most unbiased discussion on vaccines that I've ever encountered. Each chapter is dedicated to an individual vaccine so that you can learn about and make an informed decision regarding each one individually. Each chapter is set up like this:

  • What is the disease and what course would it take if your child were to get it?
  • How common is the disease?
  • When is the vaccine for this disease given?
  • How is the vaccine made and what ingredients are in it?
  • What are the different brands of the vaccine and what are the ingredients in each brand? (This is helpful if you're wanting to reduce your child's exposure to aluminum, for example, because you can choose a brand that contains less of the ingredient)
  • What are the side effects of the vaccine?
I love this book because it's full of research, not popular opinion. If you feel like you want to know more about vaccines and are interested in learning about them in an unbiased way, I'd definitely recommend this book.
Love in Spoonfuls by Parenting Magazine. We're getting ready to start Noah on solids in a few weeks and this book has provided me with a lot of good information. Along with lots of general information on feeding babies (when to start, how often, how much at each sitting) it also contains over 70 fun recipes (like pea-mint puree and asparagus with applesauce) divided by age group.

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden. Josh is not at all the type to read a baby book, but he finished this one quickly and loved it! It's written like a boyscout manual and is a mix of practical information (deciphering baby's cries, bathing basics) and funny stuff, like "bidding farewell to the breast". Ha!


  1. I love these suggestions. I also read the hypnobirthing book and LOVED it. The information I retained from reading it truly made my delivery so incredibly beautiful. I am also reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and have found that one to be very helpful.

  2. Ooooo!!!! I'll have to check that one out! I think I've heard of it. I've read "Secrets of a Baby Whisperer" and "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" but neither of them wowed me and sleep is still *such* an issue here.


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