A friend who may soon be ‘baby making’ asked for my book recommendations on all things baby/ toddler. There are so many to choose from and I obviously haven’t read all of them, but from the ones I did look at here are my current favorites:
I read A Green Guide to Your Natural Pregnancy and Birth: The Kind Way for You, Your Baby, and the Environment when I first discovered I was pregnant and wished I’d had it before. A lovely holistic approach to pregnancy and birth with inspiring ideas and images.
From the same author as A Green Guide to Your Natural Pregnancy and Birth: The Kind Way for You, Your Baby, and the Environment, A Green Guide to Bringing Up Your Baby: The Kind Way for You, Your Baby (0-3) and the Environment was another favorite read once Rory had arrived. Again I loved the holistic approach to child rearing.
All I ever wanted was a healthy and happy baby. Luckily I seem to have one and Your Happy Baby: Massage, Yoga, Aromatherapy, and Other Gentle Ways to Blissful Babyhood gave me lots of tips in the early days.
I read Swaddle Love before Rory was born and practiced swaddling on a teddy. I also purchased several aden and anais swaddles. I put a lot of the knowledge in this book down to Rory sleeping through the night at a very early age.
All of Gina Ford’s books are worth a look at, particularly if you need guidance in terms of routines. I tended to ignore the strict timings, but used it more as a checklist as to what I should be doing with Rory each day. It really helped establish a rhythm for us both that we both benefitted from. The Contented Baby’s First Year was my favorite guide as to what to roughly expect each month.
Rory and I have enjoyed attending RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) classes from an early age until now. Although I may not necessarily do everything to the letter, I really enjoyed the thought provoking Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities from the Very Start and continue to dip in and out for strategies. I’ve also read many of the other RIE books and recommend them if this philosophy suits, but the one above remains my favorite.
Sometimes you need a no nonsense ‘reference’ book for finding out about all things baby (I recently looked up what to do about a splinter under Rory’s nail). The New Basics: a-to-z baby & child care for the modern parent is written by Rory’s pediatrician (a no nonsense Frenchman) and I like the uncomplicated tone and useful advice.
Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting is a lovely read with some thought provoking ideas on child rearing. I introduced Rory to a cheese course after this book, plus the yoghurt cake recipe is worth the price alone.
When I first started weaning Rory I enjoyed the philosophy and recipes in Start Fresh: Your Child’s Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating and continue to dip in and out of it.
Now Rory is a bit older and generally eats what we eat, I love Bill Cooks for Kids: No-Fuss Food for the Whole Family
Another great family recipe book I use is Innocent Hungry?: The Innocent Recipe Book for Filling Your Family with Good Stuff.
For a different approach to weaning and eating I enjoyed French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters and have taken many of the ideas on board. I can’t argue with the French when it comes to food and rituals.
Your Clever Baby is a great reference book that argues that it isn’t just your IQ that matters but your emotional development too. This books discusses how babies learn and how you can support them in an holistic way at home.
As a teacher I like the idea that You Are Your Child’s First Teacher: What Parents Can Do With and For Their Chlldren from Birth to Age Six. This book approaches learning from a Steiner Waldorf philosophy.
Creative Play for your Toddler and Creative Play for your Baby both come from a Steiner Waldorf perspective on learning, which I like. Full of advice for parents on helping your baby/ toddler develop mind, body, and spirit through stimulating imaginative play
The one that started it all…
Home (Familylifestyle) was the book that made me want to start a family and I continue to peruse it regularly to give me inspiration. I Love it.