View Full Version : Best books for baby's first year?

10-26-2002, 09:39 PM
Since I have some time at home before the birth of our first child (4 months left), I thought this would be a perfect time to start reading up on what to expect from the moment the baby comes home with us and the entire first year. The problem is there are so many books out there that I don't know which ones are good.

Any recommendations? Thanks for the ideas!

10-26-2002, 10:00 PM
I know you're looking for a good solid reference book, but whatever you get, you should ALSO get a copy of Vicki Iovine's The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year. It is a refreshing dose of perspective and reassurance, and in your sleep-deprived state you will need all the laughs it provides.

For my baby-reference book, I mostly used What to Expect the First Year, with a generous salting of my own common sense to balance off the topics that are a tad on the anxiety-making side. It wasn't a perfect book, but it's well cross-referenced and pretty comprehensive, and if nothing else, gives you good practice in listening to advice and deciding what makes sense to YOU! That being said, I think there are better books out there than this one.

Get the Iovine, though!



10-26-2002, 10:16 PM
I agree with Kathy...Unfortunately 4 months into motherhood I am still only in the chapter that deals with your hospital stay. I think somebody has mentioned that while the book is funny, much of the beginning is more relevant to the pregnancy, not after.

I was so turned off by the WTEWYE that I haven't even thumbed through the First Years. I have been tempted though, as it is always for sale at my TJ Maxx.

I don't really have any books that deal with PP, but I have the Baby Book by the Sears. I use it only for reference (Are rosy cheeks a sign of anything?! Honestly did look that one up.), and try not to take too much stock in what they have to say. I guess this is true of all baby help books.

10-26-2002, 10:24 PM
I agree that these are 2 really good books (for different reasons :) ). WTETFY was my main "bible". I also really like Burton White's "The First Three Years of Life" which is written more from the child development perspective, as opposed to a comprehensive reference like WTETFY.


10-26-2002, 11:16 PM
Let's see...I got most of these books as gifts or for free but they were all helpful. I've used these mostly as references for the developmental milestones and to reassure myself when my dd had a strange symptom, etc. I have "Your Baby's First Year" by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the "New Baby Book" by Better Homes and Gardens.

Two other books I found extremely helpful the first year were "Feeding Your Child with Love and Common Sense" by Ellyn Satter and "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child" by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. One thing you might do before buying too many books is to try paging through a few from the library and seeing if you like them (parenting advice can range all over the place.) All that said, you can read a lot and almost know too much so I would do it in moderation. Most moms have found books useful, but sometimes you need permission to close the books and follow your own instincts. As my mom reminded me about 3 weeks post-partum when dd wasn't doing what I thought she should, nobody has yet written the book on YOUR kid! :)

mom to Meghan
born 7/13/01

10-27-2002, 04:02 PM
I would also recommend the Sears book as a good reference. On a different note, I would recommend "What's Going On In There?" I don't know the name of the author offhand but I'm sure you can find it by searching on the title at bn.com or amazon. It's written by a neurologist and discusses cognitive development and the research surrounding nature vs. nurture in laymens terms. Sounds a bit dry I know but the parts I've read and my husband has read to me have been REALLY interesting. Happy reading (Enjoy it now! I've managed to read 2 books in their entirety since my daughter was born.)

Mama to Lola - 9/4/01

10-27-2002, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the reminder re the library. For some reason, I always forget about that, and end up sometimes spending money on books I may not find all that useful. I got several books from the library today and look forward to getting started on them!


10-27-2002, 09:31 PM
>...Unfortunately 4 months into motherhood
>I am still only in the chapter that deals with your hospital

Timing is indeed tricky with this book! I took it to the hospital and very nearly refused to come home because of it!!! Iovine is mercilessly honest about how exhausted you are going to be for the next several months (unlike those more medicalized books which imply that you'll have a 20-minute bout of the "baby blues" and then be your perky self again), and after four days of no sleep, I was not ready to face the reality!!!

A few weeks later I could laugh at the passages that made me cry earlier...

I strongly advise jumping directly from this book into Iovine's book on toddlers. She adored her children's toddlerhoods, and although she is also honest about the pitfalls to come, her enthusiasm reassured me that motherhood could... would... someday... be FUN!!