Read all of my Spearmint Baby posts here.
My husband is the king of the library. He has a long commute to and home from work each day, so he likes listening to audio books in the car. Once we saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound, he started checking out audio and regular books on all things baby. It's pretty adorable to see his latest read about fatherhood in the bathroom with his page marked.
Around the same time my husband went baby book crazy, I read a post on Bee Kim's blog about how, with her first pregnancy, she wished she had prepared less for the birth and more for dealing with a newborn and breastfeeding. So, on my husband's next trip to the library, I tagged along and picked up some books I had heard about and some I thought would be worthwhile to check out.
Some of the books had some information I knew I would want to refer to later, when the baby arrives, but since they were library books, I decided to make some copies and put together a binder with all the most important info I think I'll need later. I put some extra dividers in the binder so I can add to it throughout my pregnancy and I think we'll also use it for the baby's important information like doctor's visits.
Here are the books I liked best:
Baby Wise is a popular book all about scheduling. While I would really like to avoid being one of those parents who freaks out over my baby's schedule getting disrupted, I do see how important a consistent schedule can be for the baby and the parents. This book claims that 8 week old babies can sleep through the night! I know this idea is controversial and many people think babies that young need to be eating in the middle of the night, but I'd like to try it out as long as my baby is gaining weight appropriately.
The Happiest Baby on the Block focuses on calming baby's cries and keeping him or her content. It outlines a method using the 5 S's: Swaddling, Side/Stomach (not for sleeping), Shhhhing, Swinging, and Sucking. This method is supposed to help the baby feel the comfort of the womb and they emphasize matching the baby's vigor when doing one or more of the 5 S's. For example, if the baby is crying very loudly, the Shhhhhing should be just as loud. The book doesn't advise using these methods to put the baby to sleep, just to calm the baby.
The Nursing Mother's Companion is just what the title suggests. While husbands may giggle at the illustrations of engorged breasts, the visuals really help someone like me who has never breastfed (and is terrified). I've heard that reading books about nursing isn't enough to prepare a new mother for the challenges (a lactation consultant coming to the house seems to be the best thing to do), but I like to be prepared and reading about it now helps me get my mind ready (I had a dream last night about nursing and it came very naturally to me).
The New Natural Pregnancy is a bit granola for me, but it has some really great exercises that my favorite prenatal yoga teacher does and since she's in South Africa for a few months, I copied some of the pages so I could do them myself. It also has some good illustrations for massage, hint hint hubby.
What are your favorite books on pregnancy and infant care? I'd love to add to my binder!