Hi there. Have you ever been on the Internet? Have you ever looked for advice on pregnancy or babies or anything else? Was it a raging freakshow? Did it make you fear for humanity? Me too! I wrote a blog post all about it called Stupid Pregnancy Advice for Fricken Idiots.
There, there, little bunny. Everything is going to be okay.
The Panic-Free Pregnancy: An OB-GYN Separates Fact from Fiction on Food, Exercise, Travel, Pets, Coffee, Medications, and Concerns You Have When You Are Expecting I do recommend this book for anyone who is pregnant. Really. After reading tons of dubious “expert advice,” we really wondered what the real science was. Reading this book confirmed for us that a lot of the conventional wisdom given to pregnant couples is complete, total bullshit. Really. I had read multiple times not to sleep on my back. Don’t sleep on your back! Your back! Don’t sleep on it! Because it restricts the blood flow to the baaaabieeees! I really wondered how that could be such a problem, since humans have been having babies since, well, forever, and we didn’t get that advice forever ago. And amazingly, we are still here. This book says, yup, you’re not going to kill your babies by sleeping on your back. Otherwise, women would grow humps protruding out their backsides to keep them from rolling over. And other such debunking. I highly, highly recommend this book.
Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born This is NOT a pregnancy advice book. Arguably, this is not a book for pregnant people at all. It’s a history of how giving birth has developed through the ages. It’s primarily about western civilization, and it describes the dominance of midwifery for much of history, and how doctors and modern medicine eventually took over. Most of it is very interesting. But some of it is downright gruesome, which is why I’m saying it may not be a book you want to read while pregnant. But this book will certainly make you happy to live in an age where we understand what bacteria are, and we no longer roll our newborns around in cow droppings soon after they are born!
The Happiest Baby on the Block Our babies never cried for hours on end. They never actually cried for no reason. For this, I realize we are lucky shits. But when we did have to soothe them, this book was a huge help. We swaddled our boys and it helped them sleep. The “shhhhh” thing actually works.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins: A Step-by-Step Program for Sleep-Training Your Multiples We have twins. They are well rested and mostly sweet tempered. We found we had to have a system to get them to nap at the same time, or Mama was going to go insane. Having well rested babies is the difference between sweet little angel babies and crabby little cranky pants. The same book is available for singletons here.
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting We are in agreement philosophically with much of this book. And it was helpful to read even in the very beginning, since she discusses how the French get their babies to sleep through the night waaaay earlier than we do in the States.
Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps – And What We Can Do about It This book is not book about pregnancy. But it does describe the differences and similarities between boys and girls starting in utero. I was interested in this book because I was a bit of a square peg growing up. As a little girl, I liked superheros and action figures rather than stuffed animals or dolls. I had probably higher-than-average spacial reasoning, more on par with boys than girls. And perhaps I was not as developed in relationship building like most little girls. This book describes differences between genders from pre-birth to puberty (hint: the differences are tiny until culture takes hold). There were also interesting discussions about twins and how boy/girl twins influence each other. This is a bit of a dense book, but both Dave and I got a lot out of it. Another good book to read before starting your baby making.
Is Breast Best?: Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood (Biopolitics Series) Breastfeeding is a rager. People are nutty about it. I breast fed our boys (via pumping). We also used formula. This was what worked for us. There are as many answers as there are families, so I am suspicious of of anyone who drumbeats one solution for all. This book is a good introduction to the “other side” of this raging debate.
Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t (See note above, same thing here.)
Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods – and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater We are so glad to have read this book. Dave says he doesn’t care to give advice, but this is the one book he’d recommend to anyone. We have had a ton of fun giving our boys real food, and we hope their early adventures with tastes and textures will keep them from subsisting solely on chicken fingers when they are toddlers.
The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: 130 Easy, Nutritious Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat (and Love!) a Variety of Solid Foods-and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy Recipes good for babies. We actually bought this book and the above and reference them often.
Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) More a commentary on “societal parenting,” than and advice book. It will make you question what you hear in then news about kidnappings. And it will make you question whether you want to put your kids in the car. Highly recommended. I wrote a review here.