As an excited first time mom to be, I’ve of course gotten sucked in to reading various books during my pregnancy. I’ll admit having a brand new Kindle that I am in love with has been a big part of that. ;)  I’ve done my best to pick books with good reviews and free of a condescending tone, because I am more interested in the science behind baby’s development and factual information I can use or relate to, versus a book who tells me that there is only one right way to give birth and raise a child. The parenting will come, but for now I just want to learn all I can about what’s going on in there. And how to prepare.

One category of books I’ve been picking from are all about the science behind baby’s development, from the moment they are a bundle of cells until they become their own little person. I am endlessly fascinated by the developmental milestones and how in the grand scheme of things, babies truly are little miracles and wonders, as so much develops so quickly in the womb alone. Developmentally, babies of course don’t stop the minute they are born; there’s still so much going on behind the scenes that’s crucial in the shaping of the baby’s brain, personality, and well being the first two years or so. These books have been incredibly interesting.

Books I’ve picked up in this category:
Brain Rules for Baby – John Medina
The Baby Book – Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two – William Sears
Baby 411 4th Edition: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for your Baby’s First Year – Denise Fields & Ari Brown M.D.

I’ve also been lured in by the good reviews of a couple of “real mom” books, where the author describes the duration of their pregnancy, (moreso than their parenting styles) all while managing to throw in some humor rather than using scare tactics. They share the very real ups and downs of dealing with pregnancy when you have no idea what your body is about to go through, from a first time mom’s point of view, all while keeping it together and not making you want to panic. The books in this category that I’ve picked out have all given me confidence instead of making me feel like I have to be Supermom. I can still be a super mom without having to be perfect. No one is perfect. And that’s ok! I enjoyed how real these moms were in their books.

Books I’ve picked up in this category:
How Not to be a Perfect Mother – Libby Purves
Belly Laughs – Jenny McCarthy

And finally, based on the recommendations of a couple friends who have recently had children in the past year or two, I’ve also picked up a book on essential baby gear, and getting good deals on these items. At first this was a book in a category I wasn’t even going to consider reading, but more than a few friends have praised this book (and it keeps turning up on user submitted lists of mommy must haves elsewhere, too) as being really informative, and that the book helped them as first time parents skip out on all of the unnecessary stuff that lots of first timers get sucked into. This book was more about the essentials instead of the fluff, and how to choose well reviewed products that you need instead of wasting money on things you don’t really need. I’m having a baby in the middle of the summer; what more could he/she need than love from Lucas and I, and some onesies and diapers?

Book(s) I’ve picked up in this category:
Baby Bargains – Denise & Alan Fields

Currently the books I’ve been picking up for my Kindle aren’t so much about parenting, but more about the processes until birth and then tidbits of factual information about baby’s needs right after birth. I may have a hard time picking out books in the parenting category because the more I read reviews, the more the common condescending tone found in these books infuriate me. Not to mention the fact that there just is no one-size-fits-all parenting method, and most books tend to tout their method as being the best. I am not sure I want to stress myself out over picking one specific parenting method anyway… who knows, the baby may come and NONE of those methods work for us and we’ll have to shift our approach completely. I think having the right ingredients and foundation is key; as long as our methods are backed by the same ingredients and a strong foundation, the rest will fall into place once we meet our baby and begin to meet their needs. We’ll learn as we go, and thankfully we have a great support system who raised us both well. I also feel lucky in that Lucas and I have talked a lot about this already, and our foundation is solid. Starting out together on the same page somehow makes me less scared about being a parent and more confident that together we’re going to be great parents. I can’t wait!

A few of the books I’ve mentioned in this thread I have finished, and some are still on my “to read” list. Soon I’ll get around to writing a proper review for each one, or at least for them together as a category, as I finish them. Each book deserves a little more information and details for those who may be considering a copy for themselves. I’ve also got thoughts on some products I’ve come across or am considering, and have been putting together a list that I’d like to share, too. As always, I’m looking for feedback. I’m clearly no expert! If you have book recommendations or product suggestions for things I just won’t be able to live without once the baby arrives, I want to hear them!

Thanks for learning with me and helping me learn as Lucas and I do our best to tackle first time parenthood. :)

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