Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baby Tips: Baby "How To" Books

A bunch of my girlfriends are pregnant this year {yay!}, and I've been asked a lot of questions regarding tips and advice.  I must admit that it feels a little weird to be the one giving out advice now when I still am such a newbie!  Here are 4 books I found the most useful.  I read A LOT of baby books while pregnant and during Leah's early months, but I wish I only read these 4 and spent the rest of the time relaxing!

1. Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby's First Year

Most of the baby books out there are super long, wordy, and take some time to get through.  This book is the most concise and down to earth.  The book provides general guidelines/milestones for each month, and I love how Dr. Cohen gives his own daddy stories.  The stories make you feel like you don't need to be a perfect parent to be a good one.  This book is an easy read and a staple on my night stand.

2. Bringing Up Bebe

This book has been controversial, but I found it very interesting and insightful.  It's not necessarily a "how to" book like the others listed in this post, but rather Pamela Druckerman describes her observations on French parenting.  What I got the most out of this book is that I didn't need to be the obsessive, hoovering-over-my-baby parent to raise a successful child.  I also really liked the concept of "La Pause" - where instead of reacting immediately to your baby's cries, you watch and wait and allow the baby a chance to self-soothe.  This is also a pretty quick read.

3. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

The #1 issue for all new parents is probably trying to get their baby to sleep well.  For Leah's first 3 months, I was obsessed with getting Leah to nap/sleep longer.  I researched online for hours and read a lot of books/articles.  This book is really lengthy, but it gives a detailed explanation of sleep patterns as well as steps for creating good sleep habits.  Dr. Marc Weissbluth also gives solutions for when sleep problems develop.  While I don't think any one book provides all the solutions, I definitely use this book as a guideline and implemented a lot of the steps. 

4. The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems

Between this book and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I was able to develop a system that worked well for my family.  The best concept I got from Tracy Hogg was the EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) routine.  While the routine is not a strict schedule, Leah did fall into a pretty predictable timeline after a couple weeks, and as a result, we were able to accomplish more throughout the day.  The EASY routine really does make day to day life easier and I began to really enjoy motherhood.

{Another popular book is The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey KarpWhile I did find the book helpful, I recommend watching the DVD.  It's easier to understand the tips he recommends when you can visualize it, and you can watch the whole thing in 2 hours.}

Hope you find these books useful!

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