In Life, Parenting, Reviews

The Most Useful Baby, Pregnancy and Parenting Books

Here’s a list of all the most useful baby / pregnancy books I read for everyone who wants to know!

I wouldn’t suggest buying any of them if you’re on a budget because you can just borrow them and make notes. Otherwise, they may be helpful to have around as reminders.

A lot of these books have add-on books (they’ve become series unto themselves), so once you find a style you like, there is sure to be 2-3 more from the same author.

Some of the advice given in some of the books was NOT applicable to Baby Bun (e.g. sleeping schedules and trying to get him to sleep 1.5 hours, play 1.5 hours, etc), but you’ll figure it out as you go what works best for you and your baby.

I tried my best to implement most of the advice given in the following books, but you can only do so much before you stress out; keep in mind that your baby is his/her own person. You can try your best to force him to nap for more than half an hour as per advice given in the books, but SOMETIMES he doesn’t want to and you shouldn’t freak out.

Same with eating patterns and so on. Try your best, have fun with it.

Also, don’t worry about losing the weight after being pregnant… at least I didn’t worry about it and I didn’t go to the gym or do anything like that.

It was a good 6 months before I could wear pants again and get back into my 00 pants, although that’s probably a delayed time frame for me considering I was eating cake and cookies weekly plus 3 big meals a day and sleeping right after eating.

As I read more parenting books, I’ll update this post.


PREGNANCY

Standard issue. A very handy book to know how big the baby is as he/she grows.

I also liked that month by month I knew what he/she was generally doing. It also helps calm you down when you start experiencing things like nosebleeds and think: WTF!?

NEWBORN / BABY HELP

I read this book in detail and really tried to implement almost everything she noted in there.

The best tips I got from this book was getting him to sleep without being rocked. DO NOT get your baby used to this. I ended up getting him to sleep just by laying him down and patting him gently. After he started sleeping on his belly, it was MUCH easier to get him to sleep, because I just patted his butt and didn’t hold him.

Other good tips from the book included how to decipher is cries, and all the great notes on breast milk and so on. Really comprehensive and helpful.

Some areas, I “failed” in include:

Getting him on a sleep schedule (sleep 1.5, play 1.5, etc.. he NEVER adhered to this for very long); the only thing I can control is when he wakes up in the morning and when he goes to sleep (sometimes) at night.

Getting him to sleep without eating — some days he can’t sleep without eating, other days, he can but it is decided by him, not by me. I nurse him to sleep but some days, I don’t nurse him to sleep at all.

Dream/Sleep feeding to get him to sleep longer — Unless he wakes up and WANTS milk, I could have fed him 50 ounces of milk and he still would wake up half an hour later asking for milk. He decided WHEN he wanted to have milk and even sneaking it into his mouth and forcing him to eat without mentally wanting to, did not help.

GENERAL ANECDOTAL HELP

These books are applicable for when your baby is older but I read them ahead of time to kind of get a feel for what to expect.

I read all of the following 3 books on French-style of parenting and thought: that sounds like plain ol’ common sense to me.

But I read it anyway and enjoyed these 3 in particular although they’re all tied to food (LOL surprise, surprise)

I will note though, that I don’t believe in the strict French method of letting a baby cry for food and forcing him/her on a schedule of 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and so on. I know what it’s like to feel hungry (LOL hungry + angry = hangry) so I can’t do this to my kids, especially when they’re so tiny and helpless. I simply can’t force them to wait an hour to eat when they’re angry and crying NOW as a newborn or a baby.

As a side note on this, Baby Bun ate constantly. And he ate a lot, every 3 hours sometimes more or less. I tried to control how much he ate in the beginning and tried him on a schedule but IT DID NOT WORK.

He basically tripled in size in 5 months and he simply needed all that food. He’s also not obese or whatever my pediatrician warned me about in terms of overfeeding him, so listen to your baby and act accordingly.

I also really liked this series of Boys versus Girls, because I found a lot of it SO TRUE for Little Bun. This is a life-time book for their development:


For fun anecdotal stories and French parenting notes (they are not perfect, but they do have decently behaved children for the most part).

I read all three and found them interesting, with a few good tidbits but of course, take everything with a grain of salt, we are after all NOT LIVING IN FRANCE (as I have to constantly remind my partner).

This French Kids eat Everything book is so true — Little Bun eats things like radishes, plain yoghurt with no sugar.. we just tell him everything is yummy, let him try it, and let him decide.

For developmental and emotional reasons (the “Raising” series above is really the best, but these are supplemental):

I also like this hands-off approach. We are too Helicopter-like as parents, and it means we end up having no lives of our own, centered around our kids and as they get older, we feel a void when they leave, and try to glom onto them as long as possible.. basically, hell.

I like being involved, but I am my own woman and person too. I have my own personal needs that comes before my child so I can be the best mother possible, and that’s why I’m a fan of not being so involved.

Enter this book:

And I like a lot of the principles of parenting in here, but I cannot implement half of it unless I live in Sweden.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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9 Comments

  1. dojo

    I read What To Expect When you’re Expecting and What to Expect the First Year. Loved them both and they really helped me 🙂
    Great list, keep them coming, please

    Reply
  2. Miemo

    yaaay! Thank you for this!

    Reply
  3. Potato

    Nice list, I also liked “the pause” from the Bringing Up Bebe.

    I’d suggest editing the post though to remove “It was a good 6 months before I could wear pants again and get back into my 00 pants, although that’s probably a delayed time frame for me considering I was eating cake and cookies weekly plus 3 big meals a day and sleeping right after eating.” before you know, the murder.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Well I’m all about honesty. No need to lie if it ain’t true. I had a hell of a time not fitting into my pants for a while…

      Reply
  4. Morgaine

    Adding these to the library reading list (besides what to expect, already have that one 😉

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That seems to be standard issue.

      Reply
  5. Jennifer Roberts

    I’m a big fan of The Baby Whisperer, too. Her routine vs. strict schedule idea really works, and I also totally agree with her advice to keep the baby’s room (or sleeping area) calm, soothing and low-key as far as decor. It really makes a difference. The first few months with a baby are tough no matter what, but both of mine became excellent sleepers.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Mine became a great sleeper. We don’t stop living once he sleeps, we play music, talk, eat and he still continues sleeping in his room with the door closed.

      Reply

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