books to read when pregnant - books for parents

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Books about caring for newborns - general

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Gentle Baby Care: No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry--Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby
by Elizabeth Pantley, Harvey Karp

A Wonderful Baby Encyclopedia
Reviewer: A reader

   Gentle Baby Care gives information on hundreds of topics. Each topic begins with a question, this is followed by general information in a "Learn About It" section, which is generally brief and concise. This is followed with more specific solutions, checklists, charts and such. And finishes with a list of websites and books as additional resources.

   An example is the entry on "Colic". It begins, "My baby is very fussy and cries a lot, mostly at the end of the day. Does she have colic?" The Learn About It area defines colic and describes the known causes.

   This is followed by "Can Colic Be Prevented?" which explains health issues that can cause crying, and also tells what is known about colic prevention.

   The next part "Things That May Help Your Baby" gives a long bullet list of many ideas that may help your baby feel better and stop crying. As is typical in the book, there is yet another section called, "Tips for Coping" which gives tips on how YOU can handle this difficult time.

  Next comes, "When Should I Call the Doctor?" with a bullet list to guide you on when you should be concerned.

   The last section, "For More Information" guides you to several books on the subject, if you want to get into more detail.

   The layout of this book allows for a quick yet thorough examination on topics that may arise during the first two years such as Bathing, Burping, Car Seat Crying, Constipation, Diaper changing (tips, choosing diapers, and what to do when your baby doesn't want to be changed), Fever, Food allergies, Grandparents (both overzealous and reluctant), Immunizations, Massage, Milestones, Sleep (fabulous sections on this topic!), Travel, Visiting, Weaning. These are just a few examples.

   I highly recommend this book as one to keep handy for the first two years.



The Mother of All Baby Books: The Ultimate Guide to Your Baby's First Year (U.S. edition)
by Ann Douglas

A Handy Reference For The First Year
Reviewer: A reader from Canada

   What an enjoyable and informative book!! After Reading "The Mother of all Pregnancy Books' and finding it both humorous and informative, I rushed out to purchase "The Mother of All Baby Books." I read it cover to cover within a week and have referred to it at LEAST once a week since then. The chapter on breast-feeding is fantastic. The information on baby's health has been consistently valuable to me, a first time mom, who has been checking for every sign of illness. It helped me quite a bit to have a realistic understanding of the physical limitations of my post-pregnancy body and an idea of what a normal recovery period was.

  I could go on and on about the multitudes of useful information in this book. However I feel that some of the most valuable portions of this book are the (often humourous) anecdotes that helped me and my husband feel validated in our concerns and less isolated in our experiences. Let's face it, not many of us can call another parent of a feverish 6 month old at 3 am, but we can refer to Ann Douglas's book and find out not only when to be concerned enough to head to the emergency room, but also be consoled that other parents have been through the same thing.

Heading Home with Your Newborn : From Birth to Reality
by Laura A. Jana, Jennifer Shu, Jennifer Shu MD

Finally! An easy to read, MAKE SENSE book on having kids!
Reviewer: Jen & Kevin M (Iowa)

   My wife and I have read MANY books in preparation for the birth of our child and most of them read more like a clinical manual, but this book is full of common sense answers to the "real life" things that can and WILL happen while raising a child. If you plan to raise your child in a bubble, you can save your money--otherwise this book is a MUST HAVE!!

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Your Baby's First Year (Second Edition) (Paperback)
by Steven P. Shelov (Editor)

Pediatric Excellence: Now Babies come with an Instruction Manual!
Reviewer: Dr. M. Anderson FAAP "Dr. Mike" (Canton, GA USA)

This non-profit book, published by The Am. Academy of Pediatrics, is essentially "Pediatric Excellence." The book is a compilation of the best advice from the pediatrician members of the Academy. The information covers the spectrum from unborn to one year.

"PART I, Preparing for a New Baby," starts with pages on getting-it-right with your prenatal person. Topics include, choosing a pediatrician, preparing your home and family for arrival, routine and not so routine issues that can occur during delivery and immediate day-to-day care.

In "PART II" these pediatrician experts address the many questions that some parents may not have the time or courage to ask their pediatrician. How many BM's and what color? Birth-marks, Colic, the umbilical chord, traveling, going outside, baby's ability to smell, sitters, day care, and pages and pages of more. The breast-feeding chapter is a recipe for success, while not demeaning people who for one reason or another need to bottle-feed.

The books exhaustive index is a quick guide for re-checking or searching down a certain problem. Unlike many other books, this one covers the health from the baby's perspective, with the express focus of what is best for your baby's care, directly from the Academy, the world's foremost advocate and authority on children's medicine.

Each chapter contains information that is easy to read, yet avoids being simplistic. All parents, no matter their experience or education will find the information in these pages essential and valuable. For best results, buy the book early in mother's last trimester. If you wait until the baby arrives you will miss one-third of the book. However, if you wait until after the birth, you need to also go out and buy it for the rest of your baby's first year. It is still worth it. As a practicing pediatrician and a professor of pediatrics I give the book to each every new parent and each and every new pediatrician in training. At the Northside Children's Pediatric Center this book is required reading.

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100 Things I Wish I Knew In My Baby's First Year: Keys To Making Parenting Easier And Your Baby Happier (Paperback)
by Randy Dean, Lorri Gorno

A Wonderful Gift for New Parents
Reviewer: Michelle (Columbus, OH)

   As a mother of a 2 year old who read all the "latest" baby books on the market, I put this one at the top of my list. I feel it consolidates all of the great information you read from the "must have" books into one comprehensive and easy to read book. Looking back, the most important tools I learned during those first 12 months were good sleep habits, a schedule for your baby, and how to make the most of their developmental stages. And the authors of this book incorporate each of these tools and help make it easier for you and your baby adapt to these stages. I've already given several away as gifts, knowing that this book will be a "lifesaver" for many parents of newborns.

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How to Survive Your Baby's First Year: By Hundreds of Happy Moms and Dads Who Did and Some Things to Avoid, From a Few Who Barely Made It (Hundreds of Heads Survival Guides)
by Hundreds of Heads (Editor), Lori Banov Kaufmann (Editor), Yadin Kaufmann (Editor)

What to Read When You are Reading the "so called" experts
Reviewer: Sophie's Dad "John" (Bismark, ND)

   What a pleasant surprise. I was given this book and figured it would be like all the other baby books...i.e. they make you crazy. In the other books some expert tells you how exactly your child will develop and how you should respond. That's not real life.

Every child is different (as is every parent) and that is the strength of this book. The editors have interviewed hundreds of parents who have been through the same new born child experience. They share great and different advice. It is quite frankly a relief to know that there isn't just one way and that other parents share the doubts and experiences that the rest of us do. I highly recommend adding How to Survive Your Baby's First Year to your library.

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The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood
by Vicki Iovine

Not MY Girlfriend
Reviewer: K. K. Barre (Chatsworth, CA)

   OK, she can be funny--so two stars for a cutting sense of humor. She's funny as she mocks everyone who disagrees with her style of child rearing. She's funny as she explains how VERY unhappy you will be after giving birth. She's funny as she reminds you time and again that men are only useless sperm donors(as the back cover of her book says so clearly, "Husband, what husband?"), so don't expect the father to get off the couch for you. Basically, she's funny as she describes how very miserable your child will make you.
   My son is five months old, and I love being a Mom. I did natural childbirth--hey, it's not for everyone, but Ms. McCarty thinks that means I'm some kind of freak. I love spending time with my son. Some people get the baby blues, but according to her if you don't hate life within three hours of labor, you aren't really a "Girlfriend". My husband is a fantastic father, who not only changes more diapers than I do (*gasp*) but actually takes fathering seriously, and was an invaluable support for me during the postpartum recovery period. Since he's not a jerk, I can't be a "Girlfriend".

   If you are having a very difficult time adjusting to motherhood, if your partner is an unsupportive clod... it should make you feel better. If you are struggling and overwhelmed and ready to take most of what she says with a large grain of salt, it might cheer you up. It is NOT a good read if you want to remain positive about your first child entering your life.

   Vicki Iovine is an expert, has a monthly column in Child magazine, makes the rounds of the talk shows. But I have to question her qualifications. Since when did being a Playboy centerfold make you a "Girlfriend"? What makes a snide high-powered media insider a "Girlfriend"? Life in the fast lane living with rock stars makes you a "Girlfriend"? Sorry, but out here in the real world, we work full time at home or at a job, don't live in Malibu, don't live in your world, Vicki. And we seem to enjoy motherhood a lot more than you do.

Dr. Mom: A Guide to Baby and Child Care
by Marianne Egeland, M.D. Neifert

It's a book every parent should have to turn to for answers.
Reviewer: scgiese

   I received this book when I had my first child and any time we have had a question or problem with health or accidents this is the first thing I turn to when in doubt. With the definitions of illnesses and disorders in the book you can go directly to the symptoms and treatment and further prevention listed in the back of the book. It goes step by step with the new parent from the delivery of the baby, breast feeding and circumcision with illustrations to name a few. The first months of a baby's life to starting them potty training and discipline. Dosages of medication. Understanding there behaviors.
These are only a very small portion of the content in this book. We have owned a copy for eight years that is worn out literally. We are now ordering a copy for a family member and a new copy for ourselves.

The only regret is that we have not located a hard cover version of this book.

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