There are literally millions of baby books out there for the new mum. I remember being gifted, recommended, offered second hand copies of so many books when I was pregnant with Bo in 2012. Books promising to help make my baby sleep, feed well, grow up to be a good person, learn baby sign language, be more of a ‘french’ infant. It was CONFUSING. And then everyone has an opinion.
“You MUST put your baby in a routine as soon as they’re out of the womb”
“NEVER feed your child to sleep”
“Wear your baby all day everyday until she is one year old”
I’m sorry, but that’s just all too much of what everyone else believed and none of what I knew to be true. So I made a pact to myself and my husband that we would parent intuitively, deciding what our baby needed to thrive depending on how things worked for the three of us. And it worked pretty well. Sure she wasn’t one of those babies who slept for 3 hours during the day, but she did long night sleeps and she was very happy. That was enough for me.
But research soothes me and I love to read.
So I took on some of the books I was given, read them cover to cover and took what resonated with me on board and ignored the rest. Absolutely everything I hear and read is taken with a grain of salt. I don’t follow any theory, sleep strategy or tried and tested method to the letter.
I honestly believe this is the key to being a calm and present mother.
Trust, faith in yourself and your baby and the flexibility needed to follow your gut when things aren’t working out how they’re ‘meant’ to.
So in honour of my upcoming second round of newborn life, I wanted to share some books that I absolutely loved. Books that didn’t shove their opinion down your throat, but gave you the tools to trust yourself as a mother, know your baby better than anyone else and implement what works for your family.
This was my first baby book and I devoured it. Not only because I had read that it was Miranda Kerr’s baby bible, but because the author is a very well educated mother who shared not only her personal experience but also case studies to show what has worked in her experience. But the book isn’t opinionated, it gives you the facts and lets you make your own choice.
It’s also divided into three parts - Pregnancy, Birthing and Parenting, which I found so helpful! If you’re going to buy one book, I recommend this one. It goes all the way through self care in pregnancy to tips on first foods and giving your baby the best start and dealing with newborn ‘surprises’ that you weren’t told about!
The author of French Children Don’t Throw Food (I don’t know any French kids so I cannot vouch for this) wrote this gem with 100 Keys to French Parenting. With advice like - always give your children their greens to finish before the main course of dinner and the ever so useful ‘Use the Pause’ which basically was the best piece of parenting advice I ever received - this is a little book of short and practical tips to help you raise a respectful child while staying sane. Worked for me!
I stumbled across this book under Amazon recommendations and purchased immediately because the title jumped out at me. I always wondered if laying a child under a tree was perhaps more normal than having them staring at some bright colourful noisey objects? Not that the colours and noises are useless, they definitely help with vision and motor skills. But where has the simplicity gone? Are our babies being over stimulated at times and in need of some more gentle visual aids to help them unwind and connect with the big world around them? If you’re falling into this category with me, this is your book! It gives practical advice on everything from dealing with temper tantrums to the art of offering choices.
Slightly saving the best for last, but also leaving this until the end because I only read it while pregnant with Harper. Deepak Chopra is an author that I could read everyday. He’s so practical, but also offers a scientific approach to the mind body connection. This book took me through everything from having a conscious pregnancy to staying connected to my husband during this journey - which can be something you need to focus on when there is already a toddler running around, a business to be run and a pregnant woman constantly demanding crushed ice.
This book enhanced even further my experience of pregnancy. With practical strategies to implement yoga, meditation, visualisation and journalling to your pregnancy plus preparation for labor and delivery. A really easy to read book full of amazing insights and the ever inspiring wisdom of Mr Chopra.
Now I want to know, what books left a lasting impact on how you approached motherhood and parenting? Have you read any of the above books?
Let me know in the comments below.