I spent a lot of time whilst pregnant making sure I was ‘being pregnant right’. By that I mean eating the right things and not the wrong things, getting the right vitamins, meeting milestones in terms of foetal movements and lots of other things. I dabbled with a book about all things baby in the later weeks so I felt like I knew what I was doing. Honestly though there is so much more to being a parent than eating, sleeping and pooing. Even those things are complicated. Therefore this is a list of books I recommend you read. I wish I’d read them before Emily was born but I think they’d be of interest at any time.
Beyond the Sling: A real-life guide to raising confident, loving children the attachment parenting way by Mayim Bialik
Ok so this book kinda takes attachment parenting to the extreme, but it is a good place to start off. It gives you a complete overview of attachment parenting in a non-judgemental, non-textbooky sort of way. When reading this book you are just finding out about the experiences of the author. She doesn’t try to force the concepts down your throat but merely explains how and why they worked for her. Naturally she encourages you to give it a go but that demonstrates her passion for the way she has chosen to parent. If you have heard of attachment parenting and think you might like it then I recommend reading this. (On Amazon here)
The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij
Oh my goodness! This is fantastic. Get the app too. Basically they have discovered that all babies go through “mental leaps” at roughly the same time. Mental leaps are times when the baby is learning new skills and their brains are developing to accommodate them. During these leaps babies are likely to be fussier and clingier. Knowing when they are happening gives me a greater understanding, greater tolerance and the ability to help Emily through it. It’s nice to know when you are having the day from hell that this because you are in the middle of a leap. It’s also good to know that it will end. If nothing else it gives you a reason to feel worn out and knackered without blaming yourself. My new favourite phrase is “she’s just going through a mental leap.” (On Amazon here)
Nappy Free Baby: A practical guide to baby-led potty training from birth by Amber Hatch
All about elimination communication aimed at a UK audience. It was this book that got me into EC. It is easy to read and makes complete sense and I wish I’d read it before Emily was born so I could have started from day one. This book talks you through how to get going with it, how to overcome difficult ages, things that will help make your life easier and how to get in the right frame of mind for it. It is one of those books that is hard not to be convinced by and it will dare you to give it a go. I did and haven’t looked back. (On Amazon here)
The next three books you don’t have to read before baby arrives but you might struggle to read them when they do.
Baby-led Weaning: Helping your baby to love good food by Gill Rapley
Supposedly the book on baby-led weaning and I found it inspiring. I’ve yet to put this one to practise but the concepts sound brilliant. Many parents are now choosing BLW and this book gives you the reasons why. Easy to read and makes perfect sense. I’m looking forward to getting started with this and glad I found the time to read this book first. (On Amazon here)
The No Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help your Baby Sleep through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley
If, like me and most parents, there comes a time when your beautiful little sleeper no longer does the sleep thing then you will hunt for any solution possible. Dan and I agreed early on that we would not do the ‘cry it out’ method but that doesn’t mean we want to condemn ourselves to months or years of terrible sleep. After a week of hourly wake ups at night, I read this book and gave one of the ideas a go. That night Emily only woke up every two to three hours. Our half-hearted attempt at one of the ideas in this book improved our sleep situation drastically. Read it before you find yourself Googling a quick fix in the middle of the night. (On Amazon here)
The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline by L. R. Knost
Definitely one for a bit later on but worth getting ahead with some of the ideas and some of them you will find yourself needing sooner than you thought. For example we already find it useful to have “going out toys”. These are toys that Emily only gets when we are out and that makes them special and interesting. It helps to entertain her on the move. This is a simple idea that I might have thought of anyway but is good to know before you think of it. It also gives some examples of other “parenting techniques” and it really shows to you how they perceived by your child and outsiders. Another attachment parenting must have. (On Amazon here)
Well I hope that you find these as useful as I have. I’m always reading so I may have to do another one of these sorts of posts in the future. That’ll do for now though.