essential reading

There are so many books on parenting, its hard to decide what to read.  FitPregnancy recommends these and we agree:

1. Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week; by Dr. Glade Curtis, M.D., and Judith Schuler, M.S.

I like that this book is broken down into easily digestible bits of advice so I can just read about what developments I might expect from my newborn in the week ahead rather than having to absorb a lot of information all at once. Filled with health facts and planning advice, there’s even a section to keep track of your baby’s medical records for the first year. The book offers advice on everything from cleaning stuffed animals to new guidelines for car seats to tips on infant massage. I imagine this is the book I’ll turn to when I need practical advice.

2. The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep, by Harvey Karp, M.D.

All my mom friends have been telling me that I can kiss sleep goodbye for the first six to eight weeks. So when I heard that the author of the best-selling The Happiest Baby on the Block book came out with a guide to sleep, I grabbed it in the hopes that I will somehow be able to train my little one to drift off to dreamland. This sleep-deprivation prevention bible offers tips on the best white noise to get babies and parents snoozing; the real deal on swaddlingand SIDS; and why parents should always wake a sleeping baby.

3. The SH!T No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year, by Dawn Dais

If ignorance is bliss, this may not be the best book to read before I go into labor with chapter titles such as “Breastfeeding Is Really F’n Hard,” “Your Life is Officially Over,” and “You’ll Be Blamed in Therapy Someday.” Yet maybe preparing myself for the worst is the best way to go into what may very well be some of the most challenging weeks (months?) of my life as I learn the rhythms of my baby and try to get us into some sort of a routine. It doesn’t mean that I’m any less excited to get my hands on him or feel any less blessed about him coming into my life, but I have no illusions that—besides the overwhelming love I’ll be feeling—my baby’s first days will also feel something like boot camp. Still, I can’t imagine any job I could take on in my lifetime more important and worthwhile than parenthood. I’m bracing myself for the challenge, and looking forward to all the lessons that having a child will surely teach me.

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