“Am I going to be a good parent?” All new parents ask themselves this, and every person will have a different definition of what it means to be a good parent. No matter how you look at it, every child deserves a parent who at least cares enough to try. Thankfully, there are many, many books written about parenting, from the basics of taking care of a newborn to the psychology of raising a happy child. There is no shortage of information out there if you go looking! Here is a list of my top 10 books for expectant parents who’ve just brought home their newborns.
Written by the author of the so-called pregnancy bible “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” Murkoff writes this time-tested baby bible — a month-by-month guide of what parents should expect to see during their baby’s first year. Now in its third edition, “What to Expect the First Year” covers a multitude of baby care fundamentals such as sleep safety and breastfeeding while also tackling new trends like green parenting and baby-led weaning.
This bible of breastfeeding is now in its 8th edition. This classic best-seller is dedicated to supporting expectant and nursing mothers. “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” includes information for working moms, moms of multiples, stay-at-home moms, and pretty much any type of mom you are! There’s also information about nursing your premature or special-needs baby.
Let’s face it. As a parent, you can expect plenty of sleep-deprived nights. But Dr. Karp’s methods of soothing and calming your crying baby have been described as “remarkable.” Dr. Karp’s method is based on four revolutionary concepts:
-The Fourth Trimester: Why newborn babies still prefer a womb-like atmosphere.
-The Calming Reflex: An “off switch” all babies are born with
-The 5 S’s: Five easy steps to turn on your baby’s amazing calming reflex
-The Cuddle Cure: How to combine the 5 S’s to calm even colicky babies
From boosting your vitamin intake to picking out the perfect crib, it’s not always easy to figure out what your growing baby needs–especially if you’re new to parenthood. Featuring guidance from top childbirth experts, this book answers all the questions that come up after you get the big news. From your first trimester to the delivery room, you’ll learn all about the different phases of pregnancy and how you can provide your growing baby with everything he needs. This indispensable guide also offers practical advice and parent-tested strategies on: Understanding physical and emotional changes; Selecting the right pregnancy diet; Understanding prenatal tests and screenings; Choosing the best labor and delivery options; Budgeting for your new addition to the family; Complete with checklists and fill-ins to help keep track of your pregnancy, this one-stop resource includes only the most important information so that you are truly prepared for the months ahead.
The practical, comforting, honest, and hilarious bestseller for moms-to-be, with more than one and a half million copies in print! Your doctor gives you medical advice. Your mother buys you baby clothes. But who can give you the real skinny when you’re pregnant? Your girlfriends, of course—at least, the ones who’ve been through the exhilaration and exhaustion, the agony and ecstasy of pregnancy. Four-time delivery room veteran Vicki Iovine talks to you the way only a best friend can—in the book that will go the whole nine months for every mother-to-be. In this revised and updated edition, get the lowdown on all those little things that are too strange or embarrassing to ask, practical tips, and hilarious takes on everything pregnant.
What really happens to your body—from morning sickness and gas to eating everything in sight—and what it’s like to go from being a babe to having one.
The Many Moods of Pregnancy—why you’re so irritable/distracted/tired/lightheaded (or at least more than usual).
Staying Stylish—You may be pregnant, but you can still be the fashionista you’ve always been (or at least you don’t have to look like a walking beachball)—wearing the hippest designers and proudly showing off your bump.
Pregnancy is Down To a Science—from in vitro fertilization to scheduled c-sections, there are so many options, alternatives, and scientific tests to take that being pregnant can be downright confusing!
And much more! For a reassuring voice or just a few good belly laughs, turn to this straight-talking guide on what to really expect when you’re expecting.
Kimberly Ann Johnson is a doula, postpartum care advocate, and a mother. After sustaining an injury during childbirth, Johnson dedicated her life to studying postpartum care, thus creating “The Fourth Trimester,” which covers preparing your body and your household for motherhood, learning practices and home remedies for healing and restoring energy after birth, learning to exercise safely postpartum, and navigating the complicated emotions that can arise postpartum.
Sometimes it may seem as though your newborn is more cranky or clingy than usual. It can often be a guessing game trying to figure out why your baby is in a particular mood on a particular day. However, “The Wonder Weeks” can help you answer those questions about your baby’s behavior. According to authors Xaviera Plas-Plooij and Frans X. Plooij, babies experience “brain leaps,” or predictable periods of growth and development that can affect their moods and behaviors. In their book, which has sold over 2 million copies, you can learn to understand these “wonder weeks” and therefore better understand what’s going on in your baby’s brain.
Louis Borgenicht is a board-certified pediatrician with the American Academy of Pediatrics. He, along with his son Joe, co-wrote “The Baby Owner’s Manual,” a light-hearted, illustrated exploration of frequently asked questions about raising a newborn. From “How do I swaddle my baby?” to “When should I bring my baby to the doctor?” Dr. Borgenicht and his son answer a host of quandaries about a baby’s proper care in the first year.
It can be tempting to pick up the phone to call your pediatrician with every little concern when it comes to your newborn. But most of the answers to those questions you might have can be found in “Baby 411.” Written by pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown with Denise Fields, “Baby 411” covers all the basics — teething, feeding, baby-proofing your home — while also taking a look at some of the harder questions of parenting and understanding baby’s brain development.
The late Tracy Hogg, along with Melina Blau, authored several best-selling parenting books. While the others covered the basics of raising a newborn, “The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems” uses a different approach by helping parents recognize their own behavior and learn how to become the best caregivers possible for their children through understanding “banguage,” or the baby language.
Elaine Pierce Photography is a Shreveport, Bossier City, Benton, Louisiana portrait photographer and educator.