My Pregnancy Reading List

When I was pregnant, I shelved my favorite genre (fiction), in order to read up on pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood.  There is a wealth of information on the web, but sometimes the internet is just not enough.  If you’re a reader like me, these are my two favorite book sites – PaperBackSwap and GoodReads.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the books I read, some I enjoyed more than others:

1.  Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by: The Mayo Clinic
(5/5 stars) – Focus of book: What to expect during and after pregnancy.
This book gives you a week by week breakdown of your pregnancy and tells you how your baby is developing. It also has several chapters dedicated to the different stages of labor as well as a reference guide to numerous pregnancy health conerns.  Super informative without being judgmental or biased towards any one view.  Props to the Mayo Clinic for putting out a great book!

2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting: 4th Edition by: Murkoff, Eisenberg & Hathaway
(4/5 stars) – Focus of book: What to expect during and after pregnancy.
This book is similar to the Mayo Clinic book except it’s written in more of a conversational, fun way.  It also breaks down your pregnancy in a month-by-month format and gives recommendations on eating, exercising, and staying healthy throughout the pregnancy process.  This is a very popular series, but there are mixed reviews on it because many women find that this book is condescending with a bent on the alarmist side.  It didn’t come off that way to me though.

3.  Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality by: Laura Jana & Jennifer Shu
(4/5 stars) – Focus of book: General newborn care.
Good all-around info about what to expect once you come home with your baby and how to handle everything from diaper changes to illness.

4. The Happiest Baby on the Block by: Harvey Karp
(3/5 stars) – Focus of book: Crying/fussy babies
I liked the ideas in here, but I felt that the main points could have been summed up in one chapter rather than stretched out into an entire book.  The book gives new parents insight on how to deal with a crying/colicky baby based on the 5 “S’s”, which are swaddling, side/stomach, shushing (white noise), swinging, and sucking.  It’s also written in very simplistic terms, which made it easy to read.

The rest of these books are all about how to get your child to sleep.

5.  Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by: Marc Weissbluth
(5/5 stars) – Focus of book: Sleep
If you want the research and data and case studies behind the importance of sleep and its affect on childrens’ temperaments, then this is the book for you.  Basically, he stresses the importance of putting your child to sleep before you actually notice symptoms of tiredness, and the need to “protect” your child’s naptimes. One of the best books on sleep out there imo.

6.  Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by: Tracey Hogg
(5/5 stars) – Focus of book: Sleep
This was the first book on sleep that really captured me.  I loved Hogg’s gentle tone and her methods were so helpful.  She recommends putting baby on a flexible schedule called “EASY” (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You).  There’s even an entire chart in here that breaks down what your baby might need depending on the type of cry.  It was very helpful in those early early days when I was a lost, confused new parent!

7.  The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by: Tracey Hogg
(5/5 stars) – Focus of book: Sleep
This is a more expanded, detailed version of Secrets of the Baby Whisperer… and goes into great detail about things that left me confused in the original book.  It even separates out the how to tweak your baby’s schedule according to age (0-3 months, 4-6 months, toddlerhood, etc.).

8.  On Becoming Baby Wise by: Gary Ezzo
(3/5 stars) – Focus of book: Sleep
Similar to The Baby Whisperer, this book recommends that you put your baby on an eat/activity/sleep schedule.  While I liked the ideas in this book a lot, I found it too strict and controlling… and personally, I didn’t like their recommendation of putting your newborn on such a strict parent-directed feeding schedule from Day 1.  Different strokes for different folks I guess.  I did take concepts from this book and mixed it with concepts from The Baby Whisperer though… and Noelle has been a pretty good sleeper ever since Week 6.

9.  The No-Cry Sleep Solution by: Pantley and Sears
(2/5 stars) – Focus of book: Sleep
My least favorite sleep training book.  It’s marketed as a gentler approach to the cry-it-out method, but I found the information a convoluted mess.  Everything in here sounded like common sense to me, like singing lullabies to your baby or giving him/her a “lovey” to fall asleep with.

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2 thoughts on “My Pregnancy Reading List

  1. thanks again ange for letting me borrow your top fav sleep books!
    i hope luke sleeps well too! (oh and btw, i like your new blog look! the colors are soothing~)

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