Thursday, August 16, 2012

So Many Parenting Books, So Little Time

A first time pregnant lady starts her maternal education, typically, with a pregnancy book.  Makes sense.  I've previously given you a list and some reviews of not-so-serious pregnancy books (here).  Eventually the education turns to the actual labor and delivery, then parenting.  Also makes sense.  At a certain point one can become saturated with pregnancy knowledge.  A mom-to-be is naturally freaked out curious about the next step (aka the arrival of the baby) and a little knowledge can prevent curiosity from turning into anxiety.

What does a newbie mom-to-be read when she wants to learn about childbirth and parenting?  Well, turns out that childbirth is usually covered in the pregnancy books.  Easy enough.  It's the how-to-parent guides that come in separate manuals.  There are many books and many theories about the perfect techniques for helping babies smoothly transition from womb to world.  So, choosing the right guide can be a little overwhelming.

In a previous post, I (briefly) covered the method of attachment parenting (more on that here).  But even for this one parenting style there are a bazillion book of which is entitled Beyond the Sling and written by Blossom.

Side note: Blossom currently stars on The Big Bang Theory.  
Remember when Blossom was on Blossom?

Back to the topic at hand - how can you successfully sift through all these parenting styles much less all these books about parenting styles?  I have no idea.  Yeah, not the answer you were hoping for.  I can share that my circle of friends recommends The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp.  I've heard it called the sleep bible.  Apparently it helps your baby be happy (hence the title), which in turns helps your baby sleep.  

There's also Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, which is SO hot right now.  Even if you're not a first time mom-to-be you probably know about this book because it's been all over the news this year (here, here and here).  Apparently it's the next Tiger Mom style, a reference that will only make sense to you if you remember how hot the Tiger Mom book was last year.

Starting with personal recommendations is a great tool.  General surveys work, but make sure to ask those friends whose parenting style you admire.  Peruse the reviews on  People are overly detailed and often brutal in their Amazon reviews, which is quite helpful.  Use your local library to test the waters on a couple books that seem like good fits.  Or be the obnoxious person in Barnes & Noble who basically reads the book before purchasing.  Keep in mind that there's no wrong choice.  The idea is to get you excited for the next step, so if it takes a couple tries then so be it.  

If you've read a parenting book and have some solid advice - Leave A Comment!  Sharing is caring.  



Cami said...

My favorite is Eat Sleep Poop written by a dad who's a pediatrician. I recommend it to all my pregnant friends!

Amy said...

I'm currently reading The Happiest Baby on the Block, and so far so good!

I'm not sure if these would be called "parenting" books, but I've read a lot of books about newborn & baby care. A few of my favorites were Baby 411, Heading Home with Your Newborn, and The Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby's First Year. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend the Mayo Clinic's books--I also read their book The Mayo Clinic Guide to A Healthy Pregnancy & it was awesome--definitely the best pregnancy book I've read. TONS of great information but a lot less fear mongering than "What to Expect." I am finding their Baby's First Year book the same way (I'm about halfway through reading it).

Sara said...

I was given Bringing up Bebe shortly after announcing our pregnancy... as with most of the 'do it this way' genre of books I take some and leave some. I thought it was well written and agreed with a lot of her observations but there were chapters that I knew simply wouldn't apply to me (ie. the 'french women dont breastfeed' concept) The most helpful part of the book I found was talking about getting the babies to sleep through the night & establishing a cadre/foundational framework at home.

superfizz said...

Any Dr. Sears book, but in particular The Baby Book. Love it.