I am a book-y sort of person, the type who likes to get a lot of books when I'm about to embark on a new experience. I am a fan of the travel guide, the cookbook, the home improvement book. When I started trying, I bought every pregnancy and baby book I could find. When I started wondering if there was a problem, I bought every infertility book I could find. You get the picture.
I'm excited because I get to go book shopping today for Lindsay! There is nothing quite like living vicariously through friends.
I know I usually write about infertility, adoption, and loss books, but today I'm going to write out a list of newborn, baby, and toddler books that worked for me and hopefully, you will add a few that worked for you or for people you know. This may be a post that you don't feel like reading now but want to bookmark for the future (and it is labeled "read me" so you can find it in the future). I can promise you that I'm working on a fun sex question for Barren Advice for tomorrow so...it's back to infertility then?
Since she will have a lot of time to read without visitors during her stay in the adoption state, my plan is to get everything I liked and everything I know other people liked and let her sort it out herself. These are my picks for baby books and you can add your own below if there are ones that you liked that either (1) were helpful or (2) gave you confidence.
In no particular order:
I have never heard someone say anything bad about Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block. I am not certain we would have made it through the first few months without it. His 5 S's were so good that I typed up an executive summary for Josh that I still mail out to people who announce they are at their wits end. I'm sure someone will say in the comments section below that it didn't work for them, but as I write this post, I have yet to hear someone say that this book wasn't the most useful thing item a new parent can own.
I read the book when the twins were in the middle of that crying stage that lasts from about week 6--week 8. Josh was at work and when he came home, I set one of the twins down so they would start crying. Then I picked them back up and quieted them in under 15 seconds. After 2 weeks of crying (that was so bad that I wore a construction worker headset because I couldn't handle the constant noise) it was like magic. The off switch.
His next book for toddlers didn't work as well for us and by "as well" I mean "not at all." But his first book was gold. And actually, in the grand scheme of books out there, his second book was bronze.
For most things, we turned to Elizabeth Pantley. She will be happy to know that we still use our key words before bed and the twins are now 4 1/2 years old. They have literally heard the same words every night for about 1460 days. The first book we used was her No-Cry Sleep Solution. We waited a long time to actually do any sleep training, but we accomplished it in two nights with this book and our kids have never had to relearn sleep habits. Plus, they go down and stay down until morning.
She now has a new book that is specifically for naps called the No-Cry Nap Solution. I actually got a copy of it even though we are past the nap stage. It focuses on newborns and babies, explaining how and when to drop a nap, how to lengthen naps, etc. All I'm saying is that our kids took a 3 hour nap until quite recently--I mean, when they were three, they were still taking a monster nap in the afternoon and going to bed from 7 pm to 7 am. Have I mentioned that I love Elizabeth Pantley?
I know every child is different, but her techniques really worked on the twins. We potty-trained with only one accident or so per child with her potty-training book and I like one of her books, Perfect Parenting, right now because it is organized by problem and gives an explanation for the behaviour and five or six solutions.
We were not a Weissbluth or Ferber family, though I'm picking those up today in case they work for Lindsay. We were also not big Sears and Sears sorts even though we own a bunch of their books. I liked the What to Expect series, though they sort of freaked me out a bit too.
The Baby Whisperer was fantastic for us. Not her first book, but the follow up one that explained more, The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. She didn't actually solve all our problems since, you know, our biggest problem was the whole premature thing. But she did help us figure out how much to feed them and other sorts of things.
I love Marguerite Kelly for her straightforward advice. We have the Mother's Almanac, Father's Almanac, and the Family Almanac. There's a lot of overlap between the books, but she always makes me feel better when things are going to shit. She's like a cup of hot tea.
We didn't get to breastfeed and I got rid of all the breastfeeding books I bought in a moment of anger. But we did make all of our own baby food (the twins only ate from a jar once) as our comparable-pain-in-the-ass-feeding thing and the book we thought was the easiest was Mommy Made. I wish the "Daddy too" in the title wasn't an afterthought because Josh spent a lot of time peeling apples and chopping string beans. But there you go.
We had a few twin books, though none that impressed me completely. A few preemie books, though none that impressed me completely.
What else have people found that have really worked for them? Which books would you give a second recommendation to on the list?