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Stuff We Love: Books for Parents

In case you missed my gushing in like 25 previous posts and Tweets, we are expecting a new nephew in January.

My sister has been the beneficiary of bag upon ban and bin upon bin of (crap) stuff Mac has outgrown.  So she has A. LOT. of stuff already.  However, this is her first child and there will be a shower. . .And since Mac is still using a lot of the bigger ticket items:  pack and play, crib, stroller, high chair – she registered for these sorts of things.

I adore my sister.  But I didn’t really want to shell out for a big-ticket item.  Plus, by the time I got to the registry, many other friends and family had already purchased these items.

Of course sister told me not to get her a single thing since we had already donated mountains of clothes and toys and blankets, etc.  But you can’t go to a shower empty-handed.  Can you?

So I asked her if she had any books.  And happily, she didn’t have many books for baby or books about baby for her reference.

That was all the encouragement I needed.

I will admit, when I was pregnant,  I was too afraid to open the ubiquitous What to Expect When You Are Expecting book.  The last thing my hypochondriac ass needed was to read about a bunch of things that could be wrong, might go wrong, or would generally cause me to be worried or physically miserable for 9 months.  So when someone gave us a gently used copy, I promptly placed it in the Goodwill bag.

However, books about Babies?  Those I could happily read.  I received two in particular that I found particularly useful:

1.  The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp – This book discusses Dr. Karp’s theory that all babies are born “too early” and really the first few months after birth could be considered a 4th trimester.  Dr. Karp offers techniques parents can use to keep baby calm and restful.  He also does a nice job explaining both the WHY and HOW of his simple techniques (no high-tech equipment necessary).

Upon the recommendation of a close friend, we both read this book before Mac was born (It’s not too long).  We started using the techniques as soon as Mac was born.  Mac is a mild-mannered child and “good sleeper.”  However, in the early days, when he was upset or uncomfortable, it felt really good to know we had a plan to help him calm down.  And if you have a baby that is less docile or more sensitive, it’s definitely worth a read.

2.  The Baby Book by Sears – If you can only afford one book, this one will definitely give you a lot of bang for your buck.  It covers EVERYTHING you might ever need to know about your baby from birth to about age 2.

Yes, Sears touts the recently controversial “Attachment Parenting” style.  And I personally felt their seemingly never-ending championing of breast-feeding was a little off-putting.  However, if you want to read about baby’s developmental milestones, need ideas for developmental game/activities for babies, or just wonder if something like this is “normal”

I lookz cross-eyed at thiz frog. . .

then you might want to check out Sears.  There is also practical advice about things like teething, times to be concerned when baby is ill (i.e., call your doc), introducing solid foods, dental care. . .Basic information about questions that always seem to slip my mind when I’m actually in the Doctor’s office.

Good luck new parents. . .You’ll need it!


No Responses to “Stuff We Love: Books for Parents”

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who really dreaded the ‘What to Expect’ series. And I owned them all. Sadly. AND read them. Even more sad, I know. It really was funny after the fact – especially my birth plan. Sooooo outdated and unneccesary!

    • Deni Lyn says:

      I’m hearing from quite a few folks how much they don’t care for this series. Yet, it seems to be the first book every expectant mother is given. How does this happen?! What was the “funniest” or “craziest” think you put in your birth plan? If I were a medical professional, I’d ask all parents to write one just for my own entertainment purposes. 🙂

      • Actually, it was the whole practice of women being shaved prior to childbirth. My OBGYN actually laughed a little when she saw that I objected to it since it was no longer common practice…

        • Deni Lyn says:

          At least you had the courage to write something (about that too!) I had no idea what to expect and I wasn’t sure if I should ask. . .or if I had a choice. Hell, by the time my due date rolled around, I was hoping someone might be able to put that disaster area back in order. LOL. I love that you had the guts to address it with your doc. 🙂

  2. Happiest Baby on the Block was fabulous. As far as What to Expect….When I was acutely nauseous for the first fourteen weeks of my pregnancy with Mbot, I grew to HATE the cover of that book, with its peaceful looking pregnant lady rocking calmly, encircled by mauve flowery border. She clearly was not puking her guts out or worried about miscarriage. It was an early indicator that I might not find what I needed, support-wise, in traditional literature.

    • Deni Lyn says:

      I’m sorry you were so ill at the beginning. Children! They can make you a mess even when they only consist of a few cells. Ha! Thanks for weighing in. We love us some Happiest Baby on the Block. 🙂