Wednesday, March 28, 2012

what to read: new baby

Lots of my friends are expecting for the first time and their due dates are fast approaching. In fact, one just had her baby, a sweet little girl, on Tuesday! Throughout their pregnancies they've asked me every now and then for recommendations on what to read. While I am by no one's definition an expert, I wanted to share some books I've read that have helped me with this thing called parenting as well as the nine month preparation for it.

(image via Lola's Room)

I've divided the list into categories because as you'll see, there are lots of recommendations here -

The New Basics by Dr. Michael Cohen - simple and practical advice that makes you wonder what all the fuss is about
The Baby Book by Dr. William and Martha Sears - this book covers everything from bonding with your newborn to toilet training
The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. William and Martha Sears - when I worried that some parenting practices that felt right to me were unusual, the information presented here helped me trust my instincts

on breastfeeding:
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, and Teresa Pitman - the ultimate guide from La Leche League International, this book contains scientific data, tips from real moms, and various strategies for all aspects of breastfeeding
The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins - a handy book that I turn to again and again, as it covers everything from nursing your newborn to your toddler and any bumps in the road along the way
So That's What They're For by Janet Tamaro - recommended to me by my friend Kate, this book is packed with research, tips, and funny stories from real moms that helped prepare me for breastfeeding (it was the only breastfeeding book I read while pregnant)
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin - this book delves into the health benefits of breastfeeding as well as the ways it promotes bonding between mother and child
The Breastfeeding Book by Martha and Dr. William Sears - I found tips here that weren't in any other book (and clearly I've read a lot of them), and I liked the consistency displayed throughout the Sears library - they're all comforting, reassuring, and encouraging
Fresh Milk by Fiona Giles - a funny resource that will have you laughing even as you struggle with leaking and other breastfeeding woes, the stories you read here remind you that you're not alone
Healthy Babies, Happy Moms - Not a book, but if you're in RI and struggling with breastfeeding I highly recommend giving Kathy a call. She is a miracle worker. Really, she is.

on sleep:
Good Nights by Dr. Jay Gordon - the best book I've read on sleep, this book explains the benefits of co-sleeping, bed sharing, or the family bed - whatever you want to call it. After reading Good Nights I successfully night weaned Ezra the only way I felt comfortable.
Sweet Dreams by Dr. Paul Fleiss - lots of good information on baby's natural sleep patterns
The Baby Sleep Book by Dr. William and Martha Sears - very detailed resource that will help you decide the best sleeping arrangement for your family
The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley - gentle ways to help your baby sleep better and longer, including sleep tips for you, too!

on introducing food:
Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck - good, solid advice on what to feed yourself when you're pregnant and nursing and what to feed your baby when he's ready to start eating food. If you read Real Food and loved it, you'll love this book, too.
Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley - explains how self feeding for babies works, including how to experiment with flavors and textures, the development of hand eye coordination, and enjoying meals as a family

on sign language:
Baby Signs by Drs. Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn - the original baby sign language book. I loved being able to communicate with Ezra before he was verbal, and he still uses all the signs he knows. Keep in mind - he only says about seven or eight words though :)

on elimination communication:
The Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh - great book on elimination communication and how to tune in to your baby's bathroom needs before they can talk
Diaper-Free Before 3 by Dr. Jill Lekovic - discusses the benefits of introducing the toilet (or potty) into your child's routine early

on vaccinations:
The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears - Dr. Sears sets you straight, educating you on the pros and cons of each vaccine, and suggests an alternate schedule if that's what you choose to do

Thanks for letting me share these resources and for enduring this abnormally long post! What are some of your favorite baby-related books?


  1. thank you Tara, my library request list is now about 10 books long

    1. You only have about two weeks left of uninterrupted reading!


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