As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, as a first-time mom, I started reading all of the books. I read about what to expect during each trimester, how to breastfeed, all about sleep schedules, feeding routines, and so much more. Most of the books I read were generally good reads. And then there were the books that I kept referring to in the first few months after the birth of my twins (because baby-brain, where nothing stayed in my memory for long).
Here are 9 pregnancy and baby books every first-time mom (and dad) should read.
If you have a partner who’s not so much into reading as I do, I would suggest sticking post-it notes on pages that are absolute must-read sections. I did this for my husband, and he would sit in the car after he was done work, before driving home, to read a few pages every day. It helped him to understand certain concepts (*ahem* sleep schedules), and it helped me to not have to explain everything to him!
Keep in mind that every pregnancy, birth, and baby is different.
While these books can give you some useful and actionable information, I’m recommending them because they made me feel comfortable and more at ease with becoming a new mom. Plus, they were easy to read and understand.
If you don’t want to buy all these books, I actually found most of them through the local public library, and a few were second-hand copies from other moms. Below, I’ve linked each title to Goodreads, a really helpful site/app that shows you where to get the books and includes a ton of reader reviews.
1. “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” and “What To Expect The First Year” – Heidi Murkoff
This book series is a good overview of exactly that – what to expect. I found them straightforward and easy to flick through when I had specific questions in mind. They are a bit of a dry read (like a textbook), so I would use these books as reference guides.
2. “The Girlfriends’ Guide To Pregnancy” – Vicki Iovine
I found this book to be a humorous and fun read while I was pregnant and dealing with insomnia. Down to earth and honest, this book is an entertaining read.
3. “The Happiest Baby On The Block” – Harvey Karp
I learned about the concept of the “fourth trimester” in this book and it made a lot of sense to me. The book talks about the first 3 months after birth when babies are trying to transition from inside to outside the womb and how parents can help make it easier.
4. “The Happiest Baby Guide To Great Sleep” – Harvey Karp
I learned all about sleep schedules in this book and was grateful for it. Also, how to swaddle a baby!
5. “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” – Marc Weisslbluth
This was also a great book on introducing sleep routines.
6. “The Happy Sleeper” – Heather Turgeon & Julie Wright
Another book on sleep (can you guess the number one challenge I had with my twins?!) My husband and I used the techniques in this book to gently guide our twins into structured sleep patterns (for naps and overnight) and it really helped. We still use the same routines a year later!
7. “The Conscious Parent” – Shefali Tsabary
An overall interesting read about the parenting mindset. It helped me to envision the type of mom I wanted to be while I was pregnant, and put it into practice during the first year and beyond.
8. “Baby Led Feeding” – Jenna Helwig
This book is a helpful resource for when your baby is ready to start eating on their own (typically after 6 months). After discussing with our pediatrician, we implemented some of these feeding techniques with our twins, and it helped them learn to eat on their own. There are healthy recipes included in the book, some of which I tried and the twins enjoyed.
9. “Baby-Led Weaning” – Gill Rapley & Tracey Markett
If you’re not familiar with the concept of BLW (baby-led weaning), this is a good book to pick up during the first year and when your baby is ready to eat solids. This book focuses on allowing babies to discover food with minimal interference by the parent.
Here are 2 bonus books if you’re having twins or multiples, because trust me, it’s a whole other ball game with two or more!
10. “Twins” – Dr. Carol Cooper & Katy Hymas
I really liked this book because it was written by two mothers of twins (a doctor and a popular blogger). Their practical advice made me feel more comfortable with having twins and gave me a better idea of what to expect.
11. “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins” – Marc Weissbluth
Sleep is a challenge for all parents, and this book was helpful in explaining sleep schedules for twins specifically.
There are so many books out there that are really helpful during pregnancy and for the first year. Are there any that you really liked that aren’t listed above?