I started a post about what to give a new mama…and realized after providing a detailed listing of about twenty books that what I really want to do is share some amazing books that have supported and guided my experience with my first baby in his first year of life. Mind you, I am not a ‘baby-person’ nor have I ever really thought about this stuff until I was smack dab IN it. I tend to keep relatives at bay (most of them are more trouble than their worth in my family, so, you know…cost/benefit analysis…) so I had my partner, my gut instinct, and whatever research I could get my hands on to guide me through that first year.
So here it is, in no particular order. My “essentials” reading list for a new mama. I realize this may be way excessive for some mamas, but I am a RESEARCH WHORE and can’t help myself. To be fair, most of these books are available on Kindle and I read them on my phone while the baby sorta kinda slept on and off in my arms or in his car seat next to the bed. It can be tough, (as many of you know) to get back to sleep when you know baby wakes every 90 minutes…so I read these. And despite being in a zombie-like state, it helped me a lot.
-Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby (This is essential reading. Like…go get this damn book if you ever want shuteye again.)
-The New Basics: A-Z Baby and Child Care for the Modern Parent (I particularly enjoy this one because it written by a French doc who tends to use a very laissez-faire approach). This one I keep in hard copy.
-Balance is a Crock: Sleep is for the Weak (super important for working mothers)
-The Baby Book (Yes, I am into Dr. Sears and Attachment Parenting or ‘AP’ as us crazies like to call it)
-The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
-The Minimalist’s Guide to Baby’s First Year
-Minimalist Parenting (yes, it is a completely different book and they are both totally worth a read)
-The Breastfeeding Book (more from the Sears family)
-The Attachment Parenting Book (…and yet, more Sears…)
-The Encyclopedia of Infant and Toddler Activities
-Baby’s First Year (written by two docs who are also parents–this one is VERY thorough, but I dig it. I also keep this one in hard copy)
-Bringing Up Bebe (I appreciate the French approach in some ways but in others it is a little too hands-off for me. Good perspective, though.)
I think I had forgotten how important it was/is for me to have these resources in my life, and particularly to validate everything my gut was telling me to do (as was certainly the case with the AP activities like co-sleeping and breastfeeding.) So however you get your validation, however you back up your own intuition with research, I think these are some excellent resources. Happy squinty-eyed middle of the night reading on your phone!