The minute I heard I was pregnant I ran out and bought a book on what to expect for the next 9 months of my life. There was something about reading through all the changes my body would go through that started to make the pregnancy feel real. But after that shock wore off I also had to learn how to care for this new little life, how to BE a parent, and on the second pregnancy how to prepare my son for his new little brother.
There are a lot of great resources out there but for my family the following books have been our personal favorites to not only get us through parenting but to also help us thrive in the process.
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting and What to Expect the First Year - Both of these are like the encyclopedia of preparing for and caring for babies. Use it as a reference when a question pops up.
- The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy - no one gets being pregnant quite like Vicki Lovine. I found myself laughing so hard in bed one night reading this I had tears streaming down my face. It was a much needed reprieve from all the serious reading you do as a first time mom.
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer – This was a great read for us and we also referenced it many times throughout the first 5 months of our first child’s life. It helped us know what to expect, how to be flexible but still be able to maintain a schedule, and things we could do to facilitate good sleeping patterns.
- The Wonder Weeks - We give this book as a gift for every new parent we know. Wouldn’t you love to know what’s going on inside your baby’s head? Well this book tells you. It takes you through “mental leaps” that lead to newly developed skills and brain development. It has been one of the most helpful books we know, and one we have used again with baby #2. They also have a free app for smartphones.
- Loving the Little Years - This is another book I have recommended more times than I can recall. Written by a mother of five kids under five she is truly in the trenches! Each chapter is a short easy read that provides tips, insights and encouragement to young moms who just want to know a better way to parent. I found one of her chapters on toddlers emotions so inspiring I wrote How a Wild Horse Brought Me to My Knees.
- Shepherding a Childs Heart – Once my son got to two and a half and decided he had a will of his own we sought out help on how to mold and shape this will into something positive. Ted Tripp does an excellent job of getting at the core issues of bad behavior so we aren’t just correcting behavior but shaping their heart into one of love for others.
- Big Sibling books – I read a lot of books to Little Man in preparation for Punkin’s arrival. My list of favorite is here.
What are your favorite parenting books?