D & I are closing in on our first year of parenting. It’s hard to believe that just one year ago we were (im)patiently anticipating the arrival of our little bundle of joy. Some days it feels like it was only yesterday. Other days it feels like she’s been in our lives forever.
Over the last year, I’ve read a lot of parenting books. Some have been helpful – others, not so much. And as family and friends begin to announce they will be welcoming their own bundle of joy, I just can’t help but share with them my favorite (and not so favorite) books to help get them through their first year.
Because ya’ll … that first year is hard. Wonderful, beautiful, and precious. But hard. And I’m so thankful for the wisdom of others who have gone before me. In all my reading, I came across five books that clearly rose above the others for me. I’ve gone back to these books over and over again, and they have found a permanent place on my bookshelf.
Spirit-led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year by Megan Tietz and Lauren Oyer
This book was a true God-send. I can’t remember how I first discovered it, but it came at just the right time for me. I admit, I wish I had read it around month 1 … but I’ve read it several times since I got it around month 6. Every time I fall in love with parenting just a little bit more. This book truly transformed the way I parent … or at least how I approach those who want to give me advice. God is changing me through my little one … and it’s because of this book that I’m aware of that.
If you keep up with me even a little bit on Facebook or Twitter, you know how much I adore this cookbook. I’ve already given it as a housewarming gift to one friend and I’m about to place an order for several more. It is, hands down, the best cookbook I’ve found. The recipes are easy peasy – terrific for little (and big) eaters, and most of them are super quick. Especially as a new parent, quick and easy is essential! She’s even got a “baby puree” section at the very beginning. Don’t be fooled by the title … us adults love to eat them too 🙂
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
I am a supporter of breastfeeding. I do believe, in most cases, it’s the best thing for babies to be breastfed. I also believe there are circumstances that make it impossible for mamas to breastfeed, and I fully support the decisions made by those mamas. But I won’t hide my preference for breastfeeding. I also won’t hide my frustrations with the lack of support I have found for my own breastfeeding journey. I had very little helpful support after my caesaran delivery in the hospital. It wasn’t until I got home at Day 3, broke down into a ball of mush in my bed while holding my sweet sleeping baby, and spotted this book on my nightstand that I remembered I could do this. I remembered the encouragement of my childbirth educator, my dear friend J, and the ladies at the one La Leche League meeting I had attended while pregnant. You can do this mama. It’s hard at first, but don’t give up. You can do it.
Here we are … one year later … still doing it. And it’s still frustrating at times … but when times get real hard, I pick up this book and find encouragement from mamas who have gone before me. I’m not sure when our breastfeeding journey will end … but until it does, I consider this my “Breastfeeding Bible.” Anyone who wants to breastfeed needs a copy.
The Baby Book by Dr. Sears
This is another one of those “Parenting Bible” books. It’s been so helpful in reminding us of developmental stages, sleep arrangements, introducing solids, and on and on and on. A new edition just came out, and I replaced my old, used edition with the new one. A especially likes the picture of babies on the front.
The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears
This is, by far, the best book on vaccines out there. I refer to it every time we go for shots. We use an alternative vaccine schedule, based on the information in this book. Vaccinations may have been one of the hardest decisions I had to make as a new parent. This book gave me the knowledge D & I needed to make the decision we thought was best for our family.
So there you have it. My top five books for new parents. If you’re looking for a gift for a new parent, you really can’t go wrong with any of these books.
And – in celebration of our growing online presence (yay for 300+ followers on Facebook!) I’ve decided to throw a giveaway party! I’m giving away one copy of each of the books listed above. To enter, simply fill out the form below and we’ll notify winners the week of February 25!