When I was pregnant with Reese, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t too overwhelmed with information about parenting, birthing, breastfeeding, and pregnancy. I tried to keep everything as simple as possible. I pretty much asked for recommendations from siblings, friends, etc. to narrow down what I thought was worth my time. I also wanted books that weren’t too contradicting based on how Grant and I thought we wanted to parent. So here are my recommendations to anyone wanting a short list of what I thought was most helpful.
The documentary the business of being born was a great watch, it can be seen for free at the link below.
The documentary Babies was a fun watch with very little talking. It follows the pregnancy, births, and early child rearing of a few babies all over the world. It was great for perspective, and if you are pregnant super fun to see all the cute babies. It can also be viewed for free on youtube.
My favorite birthing book
We read the book rather than paying for the Bradley method birthing classes. I’m sure they are wonderful,but the price was just crazy to me. We did attend the free birthing class that our hospital provided which was great. I would HIGHLY recommend reading this book even if you plan to have an epidural. It is so much better, I think to know all of the parts of labor before they happen. Also, this way you can’t get pressured into things out of ignorance, and if you do need some form of medical intervention know your options.
My favorite breastfeeding book
This was the book recommended to me by my mom,and I really liked it. There is a ton of useful information, and after pregnancy, I would just see people in one of the facebook groups I’m a part of ask the same questions again and again. Just read the book before having a baby, and then use it as a reference guide after that. A lot of people also like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding which I skimmed through. I thought it was good, but I preferred the one above. I also went to a breastfeeding class at our hospital as well as took full advantage of their lactation consultant and my mom’s advice. 🙂
My favorite sleep training book
Some of my nieces and nephews were sleep trained, and we thought it made a world of a difference. A lot of people are VERY against the Babywise book,but I will say this. I don’t think you can be against a book if you haven’t read it. (A lot of the negativity I see is against things people heard were written in the book,but not actually in the book at all.) Also, the book specifically states to take everything with a grain of salt and each child is different. Also, schedules don’t apply during growth spurts, sickness, teething,etc. We didn’t have Reese on a crazy schedule; we just used some of the concepts in this book as a guide line and useful tips. It worked wonderfully for us, and we plan to use it or closer to the Ferber method with any future children. However, even if you plan not to sleep train, I think the biggest thing is to be on the same page. Nothing will confuse your child more than to have one parent trying to implement on thing and the other something different. Also, if you tend to lean toward very legalistic tendencies, this book might not be for you.
Bringing up Bebe
This is a fun book to read about how parents raise their children in France from an American’s perspective, it is a short read and very fun. A lot of the concepts were how I was raised, and they also sleep train similarly to Babywise so I thought it was good.
French Kids Eat Everything
This book is similar to the one above,but more about the concepts of food education in France. I also enjoyed this one, and again a lot of this book is how I was raised in terms of no real snacking, being able to help cook and bake with my mom, and always eating together as a family.
My favorite pregnancy book
This book is a classic, but it was nice to have a new chapter to read each week and see the development of your baby. They do have an app these days that says some of the same information,but I still think the book was nice to have.
My favorite fertility book
This is what we used to prevent getting pregnant and to eventually get pregnant once we wanted to. My sister recommended it to me, and I honestly feel like this book should be read by all teen girls because there is sooooo much information that I feel like is never taught.
This app was nice for tracking typical cycles and fertility if trying to conceive.
This one has lots of great features, and I liked it a lot.
I’m a dork and like count downs. This whole app is more centered on the counting down rather than up like other apps.
What to Expect When Your Expecting
This one has a nice layout, and they put you in a big forum with other moms due the same month as you that you can chose to take part in. They also have weekly videos that are nice of your babies development.
This was the app that I used to time my contractions, and I liked it.
This app is my favorite for tracking things for Reese, anything from poppy diaper, stats from the doctor, photos, memories, sleep and wake times, feeding frequency,etc. It is amazing!
I hope this list helps! I feel like these days there is SOO much information out there that it can be very overwhelming. So, these are just the books I read, movies I watched, and apps I used.