Pregnancy brings with it a flood of mixed emotions – joy, expectation and a whole lot of uncertainty about how to get things ‘right’ with a new baby. Quality, well-researched pregnancy and baby books can be a real lifesaver! Whether you’re a new parent learning the ropes or an old hand facing new challenges, there’s a book on the market to help answer your questions.
Choosing the right baby book for you
With thousands of pregnancy and baby books on the shelves – not to mention the many websites that offer theories and advice about parenting – it’s hard to know where to start reading!
There are a few things to keep in mind:
- There is no ‘right’ way to parent, but there are plenty of tips and tricks available. Pick and choose what works for you!
- Most pregnancy and baby books claim to be written by ‘experts’. If you haven’t heard of the author before, take a few minutes to research their background before you take too much of their advice to heart.
- Pregnancy and parenting ideas change over time. Go for recently published titles, or revised editions of old favourites, and stick to books published in your home country to ensure any links to government agencies or medical associations are relevant.
Need some suggestions? Here are 5 of the best pregnancy and baby books for sound guidance and fresh ways of looking at baby raising.
Up The Duff: The Real Guide To Pregnancy
Kaz Cooke, Penguin, RRP: A$45.
Kaz Cooke’s irreverent look at pregnancy and birth is hilarious, honest and well-researched. Kaz blends the week-by-week story of her own pregnancy with medical and lifestyle information, including expert opinions and links to handy websites and other books. Pregnant mums love this book for its no holds barred discussion of the all the leaky, bloated, sticky, uncomfortable stuff that you never see on those wistful nappy commercials. Up The Duff is revised every few years to ensure currency and can be followed up with Cooke’s other popular title, Kid Wrangling, when the baby stage is over.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting
Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, Harper Collins, RRP: A$39.99
This worldwide bestseller has been revised recently and released in an updated Australian edition. This is a week by week guide to your pregnancy including what to expect from your body, from your medical team and from your baby as it grows. The latest revisions include a broader look at lifestyle issues, from the safety of vegan diets, aromatherapy or Botox, through to current Australian workplace laws. It is very straightforward with a helpful index at the back should you wish to dip in and out rather than read the whole guide. Similarly to Cooke’s books, What To Expect In The First Year is the go-to follow up read.
The Day by Day Baby Book
Ilona Bendify, Penguin, RRP: A$39.99
Once you have your little bundle in your arms, it can be tricky to find time for reading. This title is one for the time-poor, or even just the ‘visual learner’. Taking the form of a ‘coffee table book’, this gives daily updates on what you might observe in your baby’s first year via listicles, graphics and plenty of photos. The sound medical guidance is still there, but the format is user friendly for anyone who needs information at a glance.
The Australian Kids’ Health Book
Johnny Taitz, Harper Collins, RRP: A$27.99
One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of life with a baby is managing their health. How do you know if they’re crying in pain, or just crying? When does a harmless nappy rash become something that requires medical attention? Written by a paediatrician, this book is an A to Z of common childhood illnesses and development stages. It covers everything from baby care, to first aid and allergy awareness and can be very helpful for allaying your fears – at least until you can get to your GP.
Buddhism for Mothers
Sarah Napthali, Allen & Unwin, RRP: A$26.95
This is a worthwhile read at any stage of the parenting journey. It doesn’t matter if you’re not ‘into’ Buddhism, this is Napthali’s take on how to overcome the feelings of fear, stress, overwhelm and worrying about other people’s expectations that can take hold when a baby enters your world. It is touching, funny and practical using the basic philosophies of Buddhist thought to help parents take a deep breath and get some perspective during the darker times.
Lara Cain Gray is a reader, writer and mum. You’ll find more book reviews at her blog This Charming Mum CLICK HERE for more parenting information. Was this Story helpful? Share it with your friends on Facebook!