There is so much literature out there on pregnancy and newborns it is overwhelming. I spent hours online and in book stores scouring the racks of information available to me, trying to figure out which methods were most appropriate for Nate and I. After many hours of research I can say hands down these are the top four books that helped me through pregnancy and now through the first year.
This is really a no brainer. This will become your point of reference for pretty much everything during pregnancy. From tracking how your baby is growing month to month to a sounding board to ensure what you are experiencing or feeling is completely normal. This should be the first thing you purchase upon finding out your pregnant.
This is another no brainer for me. This book has helped us so much the first few months from breastfeeding questions to understanding Emerson’s developmental milestones. I reference it daily, honestly almost hourly. I had so many questions as a first time Mom and this book has helped me address them and ease any unnecessary fears.
This was my favorite book to read during my pregnancy. It provides twelve simple tips and techniques for encouraging your child’s optimal development. All twelve techniques are researched and fact based and supported with parent stories on how they implemented them with their children. The twelve techniques are fairly straightforward but they are presented in such a way that it fosters dialogue and helps you think about child rearing in different ways. Nate and I both read this book during my pregnancy and it opened up a lot of discussions for us, ultimately helping ensure we were on the same page on how we wanted to raise Emerson and the values that were important to us. I placed tabs in this book for areas I can go back and refer to when Emerson hits certain ages or developmental milestones. This gives me a refresher on some of the techniques when needed.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
There are tons and tons of sleep books for infants and children. There are hundreds of methods, all touting to be the best and easiest solution to help get your child to sleep. I certainly don’t believe this book is the end all be all but it certainly provides guidelines that seemed most appropriate for me and my family. It is also research and fact based which is something you should check when skimming through sleep solution books because not all of them are. It also provides solutions and typical schedules for children at various ages. I found the antidotes from parents also extremely helpful; it is so nice to hear you are not alone and that you are not the only person who struggles with some of those challenges. This is a dense book, however, I recommend reading it before your child arrives, at the very least the first 4 chapters. We didn’t start it until Emerson hit 4 months when her sleep problems began and let me tell you, it is difficult to wean all the useful information out of this book when you have a 4 month old fighting sleep! So my suggestion is to get through as much of it as you can before baby arrives so you can start implementing some of the strategies early on.