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Very worried and clueless first time mum!(14 Posts)
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Hey! I'm still only about 8 weeks pregnant with our very unplanned baby (I have been on contraceptives for 10 years but suddenly decided to fail!).
After much thought, we are going ahead with this but I am very nervous and know virtually nothing about pregnancy or babies. Apart from my neice who is now 11, there are no children in my family and not many of my friends have kids. My partner has a lot more experience than me as he has a large family with a lot of children and he has a lot of friends with kids. But I, myself am very nervous and clueless. I love doing research but there are so many different websites that can contradict each other.
So does anyone know any good and useful books to help guide me through the confusing world of first time parenthood?
Hi @Snookers, congratulations on your news and a warm welcome to Mumsnet.
We're going to move your thread over to our Pregnancy topic as we feel that's a better fit for it. We're also going to post a few links to info which we've compiled for new mums-to-be.
Babies / Parenting tips
Essential advice for new parents
Hopefully some Mumsnetters will be along shortly with some book recommendations as well.
Hey and congratulations! I bought two books which I thought were really good, What to Expect and Pregnancy for Dummies. Also the Ovia for pregnancy app is really good and baby centre. Good luck
Congratulations! My advice would be to take all advice (especially books) with a big pinch of salt. I read far too much before having my first, found a parenting system etc and then learned the hard way that baby didn’t like it.
Try to find friends with older kids, toddlers etc. Their mixed wisdom is much more valuable than a book of answers.
The NHS website is the most useful for basic info imo. They’re not trying to sell you anything! There’s a site called “parenting science” which I also found helpful and relatively unbiased.
I really recommend "Expecting Better" by Emily Oster. It examines a lot of the dos and don'ts around pregnancy in a very analytical way. For actual parenting I liked "The Baby Whisperer" for how to manage things like sleep and routines, and "The Wonder Weeks" (much of it debunked to some extent but still really useful for what the baby will do when developmentally). I recommend NCT as long as you take it with a pinch of salt and remember that they are obsessed with natural birth at all costs (their coverage of c-sections is mildly offensive if you have to have one for medical reasons as I did) as it is worth it to meet people who will be having babies at the same time as you.
I think reading books is really helpful as long as you bear in mind that the baby won't have read any of them and won't care what you think! What I liked about the Baby Whisperer was that it is about watching what your baby does for a few days, as they do have their own little routines, and then building your routine around that rather than trying to impose one on the baby.
Do NCT, best money we spent.
I had never held a baby before I had mine, neither had DH. It’s very instinctive, don’t worry. I was 41, DH 46 and we managed it!
Congrats OP 🙏. This book was my bible -
Kaz Cooke - Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth
Thoroughly recommend. Remember - this is your pregnancy and baby - no one else's. It will all work out and make sense in time. Relax. 🙏
Mumsnet is a great place to get advice
For pregnancy I found What to Expect when you are Expecting a good guide.
I agree with Carter The Baby Whisperer is all about taking cues from your baby. But, there are a million ways to parent, sometimes you are with the majority, sometimes you are with the minority. For my sons, with Ds1 I was returning to work but had a 12 month maternity leave so I had a lot of time to learn his cues etc. With Ds2 I had Ds1 to deal with plus Ds2 was very poorly with reflux so I parented completely differently, basically attachment parenting as I had to keep him upright (he was under a paediatrician).
Just know that a lot of this comes down to gut feeling, read a lot of conflicting stuff, it is good to have different viewpoints. Understand that parenting advice from 20 years ago may go against today's best practice. Everyone will offer you advice
tell you you are doing it wrong even complete strangers. Trust yourself. Trust in your decisions and don't be afraid to say this isn't working, let's try something else.
It's great, by the way, OP. Hard work but lovely. I was quite scared of babies before I had mine but your own is a completely different kettle of fish. I learned that when you hold a baby that's not yours and they cry it's because they want their mum or dad, not because there was something terribly anti-baby about me
Thank you so much guys! I'll have a look at those recommendations! Just feel so unprepared and so not ready at all! xx
Hi, I was terrified too when we first found out - I think it's a good thing, means you'll use your pregnancy to prepare well. And it takes ages to make a baby. I'm 22 weeks and feel like I've been waiting a long time - and there are still 4 months to go!
I second the recommendation for Expecting Better by Emily Oster - made me feel much calmer and more informed about the pregnancy element of it.
The Positive Birth book is absolutely incredible! I started reading when I was around 14 weeks, just a bit every few days. And it's made me feel completely different... I'm not longer worried or anxious about the labour or birth itself or the few days after the birth! Highly recommend xx
Definitely join an NCT group. Then you'll have a group of new mums who are all experiencing life with a new baby together! You'll also get good education provided.
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