Essential books for every new parent
Got a baby on the way? Mumsnetters share their favourite books for pregnancy and
beyond, from the least patronising parenting guides to downright silly and uplifting reads
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"If you're after solid advice without the preaching, this is an excellent
resource. Like a lot of things, parenting is something you learn by doing, but
practical, essential information, conveyed in an adult-to-adult tone, is
invaluable. It's also set out very clearly with no waffle - she gets to the
point quickly and is never the slightest bit patronising, just reassuring and
"I found The Expectant Dad's Survival Guide really useful and
non-patronising. Many of the others on offer seemed to be the useless
'Wahey! Blokey bloke' type, but the Survival Guide was actually useful
throughout my other half's pregnancy and also useful on practical things like
picking car seats, pushchairs etc."
"Your Baby Week by Week is great. It was invaluable for me in the first
couple of months."
"There are a couple of pages on each week about what to expect in terms
of crying/sleeping/feeding etc. It's not a parenting guide, it just
tells you what to expect that particular week."
"It was very accurate for my daughter and very reassuring about what was
normal and when various phases were likely to end."
"If anyone is looking to buy a pregnancy or parenting book, they should get this instead as it's much more realistic and definitely more entertaining."
"Anybody who has had or intends to have children should be given the chance to read it."
"Brilliant. Doesn't tell you what to do, but focuses on how fabulous and
underrated we are."
"Highly recommend What Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen which helps you get your
head around some of the more unexpected emotional changes that come with
"What Mothers Do (especially when it looks like nothing) by Naomi Stadlen
should be required reading for every new mother."
"Hugely accurate and hilarious!"
"I absolutely love Go the F*ck to Sleep (especially when read by Samuel L.
Jackson) and am very much looking forward to the sequel, You Have to F***ing Eat
. Modern classics but maybe not for the very young."
"Sensible advice arranged in developmental order, lovely pictures of real
families, and a real sense of love for both babies and parents
"Originally published in the 70s or thereabouts. It has been updated since
then. Penelope Leach is fairly non-prescriptive and gives mostly the
sort of common sense advice you'd want from your own mum, but without the
judgement or agenda."
"Beautifully drawn, honest and hilarious illustrated guide to the everyday
life of a parent."
"Not patronising or over-prescriptive, it's great anti-guilt stuff with
some top time-saving tips and shortcuts."
"I love this book and re-read it regularly as I come up against different
problems! Required reading. It basically espouses the 'benign
neglect' school of parenting but the most important thing it gave me
was that most of it just doesn't matter - the baby will still be fine. And
he was, and is."
The Mum and The Dad - Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris
"It has a very nostalgic feel as it is written and presented in the style
of the old Ladybird books of your schooldays yet contains wry (and very
apt, I must say) observations of motherhood which are, in some cases, very
witty indeed. A nice little book to keep on your coffee table or give as a
stocking filler-type gift."
"It has kept me company and in stitches through many a long night
feeding!! Practical and honest. It's a good read and a far cry from the
other regimented baby books."
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