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What books would you recommend I read in preperation for DC1?

(22 Posts)
SuzanneSays Tue 18-Feb-14 19:09:16

Hi, I'm pregnant with DC1, live abroad and have no access to NCT classes. I'd really appreciate any recommendations for books I should read to prepare me for the first weeks/months/years. Ideally books with advice, tips, safety for the baby and what to expect/look out for. Thanks

redhead78 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:13:19

I was recommended Your Baby Week By Week by a friend and I bought it last weekend. I've only read the first few chapters so far but it seems to be very good and exactly what I was looking has advice on what you can expect each week in terms of development, behaviour etc even down to how many nappies you can expect to chance and how many feeds you'll be doing, but also has sections on what might be happening to your own body as well. It's written by two women, one of whom is a paediatrician, who have quite a number of children between them and seems to be based around common sense and practicality rather than the "latest" scientific research or advice.

The only downside as far as your point of view goes is that I think it only goes up to six months.

AlwaysDancing1234 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:15:59

It kind of depends on what ideas you may have about the sort of parenting you want to do. Some mums swear by the author Gina Ford which is all about very strict routines from when the baby is tiny but other mums would burn Gina Ford books on a bonfire!
When I was pregnant with DC1 I went to a library and grabbed a dozen books from the pregnancy and childcare section, scanned through them to get a rough idea then borrowed or bought the ones that fitted in with my vague ideas of the type of birth I wanted and the sort of parenting I wanted to learn more about. I would recommend it.
Also ask loads of questions Mumsnet! You will often get varying opinions but again you can take the advice you think sounds useful and ignore the rest!

MyNameIsKenAdams Tue 18-Feb-14 19:18:06

"The Fat Ladies Club" - autobiographical account from four ladies during their pregnancy/1st year. Great relaxed read.

I also used the Gina Ford - Contented Little Baby Book

MyNameIsKenAdams Tue 18-Feb-14 19:19:03

TheRaniOfYawn Tue 18-Feb-14 19:32:43

They're is an NHS book called 0-5 which you get for free which covers the basics of just about everything.

I highly recommend Whst Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen which helps you get your head around some of the more unexpected emotional changes that come with motherhood.

If you are planning on breastfeeding, The Food of Love is apparently very good and I would also find out how to contact your local breastfeeding counsellors. Take a breastfeeding book and helpline number with you in your hospital bag just in case you have problems.

The NCT website is a fantastic resource with really good information leaflets about infant feeding, nappies, sleep etc.

With guides on how to deal with sleep etc that depends a lot on your personality and that of your baby. One that I think genuinely is a middle ground with something for everyone is The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp which gives lots of tips on how to make a baby feel relaxed and safe without having to go down the attachment parenting route.

Babycalm is also very good.

TheRaniOfYawn Tue 18-Feb-14 19:34:44

Sorry. I missed that you live abroad so the NHS book won't apply and you will need to find the main breastfeeding support organisation in your country of you plan on breastfeeding. La Leche League covers most countries.

MrsPixieMoo Tue 18-Feb-14 19:37:38

This sleep book

Loopylu84 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:43:03

Hi Suzanne!

Congrats on your pregnancy!
Firstly I would strongly encourage you to avoid anything that advocates early routines like the absolute plague...stay away from Gina Ford!

The two key books I would recommend for any pregnant/new mum would be the NHS Birth to Five book as mentioned by a previous poster-it can actually be downloaded from the NHS website though I imagine you might be able to pick up a hard copy online, unfortunately the NHS don't print them anymore
The other book is Why Love Matters by Sue will go a long way to explain in lay terms why attachment is so crucial in the early days/months, and why it would be best to avoid the likes of Gina Ford and similar!

Other than that the NHS has a good website for parents and you can sign up for email updates etc, they also have lots of videos on things like breatsfeeding and first aid which you may find useful smile

Hope that helps!

FrankelInFoal Tue 18-Feb-14 19:43:45

I'm also expecting my first child to and the most useful books I've read so far are:

Your Baby Week By Week

First Time Parent

Food of Love (if you want to breast feed)

FrankelInFoal Tue 18-Feb-14 19:45:01


Potol Tue 18-Feb-14 19:48:14

I would also recommend Lucy Atkins' First Time Parent. A very sensible book. There are plenty of books with routines and what not, read them to get a sense of what appeals to you as a parent and what doesn't, but at some stage your instinct will kick in. I also enjoyed the 'French Children Don't throw food' book a lot. Again not everything I would do as a parent but did contain some things I do.

Stevie77 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:52:09

Not an "instruction" book but I have found Kate Figes' Life After Birth hugely helpful in terms of getting my head around WTF has happened to my life. So much do that I have given it as a gift to every subsequent friend of mine who's had a baby.

ChazzerChaser Tue 18-Feb-14 19:52:50

What mothers do

And the baby book by Sears

And stay away from Gina ford

Toothygrin Tue 18-Feb-14 19:54:10

Another vote for Your Baby Week by Week. I'm due my second in summer and I know it will be invaluable again.

Toothygrin Tue 18-Feb-14 19:55:34

Oh, and the Your Baby Week by Week authors also wrote a sequel covering 6 months to two years. Again, excellent.

everydayaschoolday Tue 18-Feb-14 19:57:56

Congratulations, Suzanne!

If you are interested in a natural birth, I'd recommend this easy to read book by a well-respected American midwife, Ina May Gaskin. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

Bluestocking Tue 18-Feb-14 20:01:08

The only baby book you need is "Your Baby and Child" by Penelope Leach. Sensible advice arranged in developmental order, lovely pictures of real families, and a real sense of love for both babies and parents throughout.

Redhairmum Tue 18-Feb-14 20:52:02

Hi op, would recommend that you DON'T read any how to parent books, nhs 0to 5 is fine, but I was given baby whisperer, Gina ford by a friend before ds, and spent lots of time worrying and stressing about why he didn't do what 'babies should'. I would have been much better off trusting my instincts, taking care to note his timings, eg when he slept, fed etc.
Am 13 weeks with dc2 and am looking forward to just going with it!
Good luck, and congratulations.

MissHC Tue 18-Feb-14 20:54:39

DD is 12 weeks. I was recommended Your Baby Week by Week and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding on here. Both have so far been very useful.

FrankelInFoal Tue 18-Feb-14 21:15:42

I've got The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding too, but haven't had a chance to read it yet!

SuzanneSays Wed 19-Feb-14 20:43:52

Wow- fantastic response- thank you all so much. Will do some research on the recommended books. After TTC for 5 years, all I have focused on is getting up the duff- now panicking that I know absolutely nothing about how to look after a baby- aaargh! I think I am less drawn to the Gina Ford type of parenting (no offence to those who swear by it) and am hoping to have a more relaxed approach - ha - will probably read this back in a year and laugh at my naivety!

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