Since Caleb was born, I’ve been reading a lot of books. Most of them have been about how to keep your baby alive and thriving, and also on breastfeeding. Here are my thoughts on the books I’ve read thus far:
- The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by William Sears and others – I LOVE THIS BOOK. I read it from cover to cover and it pretty much covered everything I wanted to know about helping my baby thrive. Dr. Sears has opinions about how things should be done parenting-wise, but I’ve found his ideas to be very successful thus far. He does, however, say that ultimately the parenting needs to be what works for the baby and parent while still pushing attachment-style parenting. I really appreciated all of the doctoral advice so that I feel like more of an expert on caring for my son. Definitely recommended reading.
- The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by Martha Sears and others – Again, I love the Sears’ books. This book helped me much more than the other breastfeeding book I read. It was very clear, had great pictures, detailed a lot of research, and just had a good overall tone to it. The difficulties I have encountered breastfeeding were all addressed in this book and it has helped me to feel more confident.
- So That’s What They’re For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide by Janet Tamaro – At first, I got this book over the other breastfeeding books because it seemed to have a sense of humor, which I wanted at the time. Once Caleb was born, however, I wanted the information without all the humor and it drove me nuts. Things like, “My breasts are engorged – tell me how to fix it and stop making jokes!!!” So, I ended up putting it down part way through and picked up The Breastfeeding Book instead.
- Baby Minds: Brain-Building Games Your Baby Will Love by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn – I haven’t finished reading this one yet because most of the games in here don’t apply to little Caleb yet. I tried peek-a-boo several times and that just freaks him out. He looks horrified. So, we do things like watching the cat, looking at the framed drawings on the wall in my living room, singing songs (well, I sing the songs anyway), dancing around the room (am I ruining his Baptist heritage already!?!), and cuddling.. He is not really interested in games yet. So, I shelved it and will pick it back up in a few months to see if he actually has interest in any of the things in the book yet.
- The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family by William Sears and others – Honestly, we haven’t really needed this book. Caleb sleeps really well so far and I’ve been feeling rested as well. He still wakes to eat every three hours or so, but it’s all relaxed and stuff. He very rarely wakes up crying and I usually am able to get him feeding before he has a chance to get mad. I learned most of the sleep techniques we’re using from The Baby Book, but got this book just to learn more about the subject. This book goes into more detail about reasons babies wake, the science of a sleeping baby, weaning, different techniques for putting babies down to sleep, etc. I’m glad I read it so I have an arsenal of knowledge for if/when we do face different sleeping issues.
- Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality by Laura A. Jana and Jennifer Shu – I finished this book just before Caleb was born. I got it when I realized that I had been learning so much about pregnancy and birth but that I didn’t really have a plan in place for when the baby was born. And “wing it” didn’t work for me. (“Wing it” was actually our official birth plan and it ended up being pretty successful for us…) This book went over a ton of basics like bathing your baby, taking his temperature, safe sleeping, etc. Honestly, there was very little in here that I didn’t know already and I wish that I had just read The Baby Book But, this book was much more concise and basic so it would’ve been a good starting place for people without a lot of baby experience.
- Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More, Argue Less, and Communicate Better as Your Family Grows by Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O’Neill, and Julia Stone – This book was funny, honest, and had some good ideas in it. Honestly though, I think Josh and I would’ve figured this stuff out on our own anyways since we’re pretty good communicators and we love to laugh. I liked reading the different male/female perspectives of what adding a baby means to the family unit and Josh and I discussed some of the stuff in here. I would read some of the real-life stories to Josh and he’d be like, “Whoa, you’d never do that to me.” Indeed I wouldn’t. Who ARE these people that turn on each other after their babies are born??? Overall, it was a good read and brought up some interesting discussion points.
Now I’m on to reading some other books that are very interesting thus far. I’m still into the “motherhood” genre since I’m new to the game. My favorite part about reading books about motherhood is that, though I’ve been home alone parenting Caleb, I feel connected to many mothers throughout the world and time. Reading the stories and thoughts of others who have gone through motherhood helps me to find more value in the importance of mothering and also helps me to feel like I’m a part of something big and important. I’ll write more about the books I’m reading later.