Baby Reading List: Library Edition

A good trip to the library is a favorite thing of mine, to grab a handful of books, bring them home and peruse through them at ease without feeling like I have to love them and soak them up because I spent $10 on each of them. While we don’t have access to the most extensive of library collections locally, I still have found plenty of books to read for this mama-in-waiting time.

So here are some of the books from my most recent trip to the library:

Sign with Your Baby: I’m really excited about this. The book is full of testimonials about how you can start teaching kids as early as 6 or 7 months to communicate with signs but it isn’t until months later than they are able to start talking, so by giving them tools the tools of signing, they are able to communicate more effectively rather than just relying on crying or a parent’s intuition. Plus, I really like about this book is that they use the same signs as American Sign Language (ASL) rather than ones they made up themselves, so that if something were ever to happen, there’s a chance someone who knew sign language would be able to understand them.

And the more I read in this book, the more I can’t wait to integrate it into life with our little one, which is why I’m trying to learn some of the key signs now, so that it doesn’t feel like I’m having to learn that on top of learning how to care for a baby. My husband and I have been practicing (he’s really good at picking them up quickly!), and so far we’ve learned a couple dozen, including ones for: eat, milk, please, thank you, more, tired, play, toilet, pain, cat and Jesus. My husband and I have been trying to integrate them into our daily conversation which has made for some funny conversations (“eat” “more” cat,” for instance) but has also made learning them not feel like a burden.

Homebirth in the Hospital: This book is full of testimonials about how different women have achieved more natural births in a hospital and their stories of doing so. The author (who is a doctor herself, who employs a lot of midwifery techniques) talks about what she considers essential elements for having this kind of birth, the biggest of which seems to be having confidence in the fact that your body can do this vs. getting overwhelmed by fear. That fear can be powerful, and while I have no idea what birth will be like, it has encouraged me to continue to learn more about it so that no matter what happens, I can feel better aware and understand what’s going on to hopefully have the best experience possible (given the reality that it’s called “labor” for a reason!).

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: I haven’t actually started reading this one yet, but I’ve read quite a few reviews and recommendations about it online. It’s written by the La Leche League, which is a big proponent of breastfeeding and provides meetings throughout the county to educate and equip women in breastfeeding. So, they know what they’re talking about, since they do this for a living. I like the authority of that.

It’s a pretty thorough resource, and I’ve read some reviews who have criticized that it’s too in-depth, particularly about problems that can arise in breastfeeding (and therefore intimdates them). But I imagine that if you’re experiencing those problems, you’ll really appreciate the in-depth answers provided.

Jo Frost's Confident Baby Care: This is another book I haven't yet read, though I've flipped through it. I saw another blogger rave about this book, but then when I was reading through the Amazon reviews, they were rather tepid. Fortunately, my library carries the title, so I figured I'd check it out there before making a decision either way.

Having flipped through it, it seems like a good overview on almost every topic related to having a new baby, from making the decision about immunizations to what to expect through the baby's first twelve months. There are also chapters with charts and cheatsheets that look pretty handy. It doesn't appear that any of the sections go particularly in-depth, but could make for a good resource to reference.

Any good books that you've been reading lately or other titles you'd suggest I check out? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. If your goal is a natural birth, I highly recommend the following:

    Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth: By Ina Mae Gaskin
    Expecting Trouble: By Thomas H Strong
    The Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth: By Henci Goer

    Also find a REALLY GOOD natural childbirth class, and hire a doula!!! Our culture DOES NOT prepare us for natural birth and while it's TOTALLY DOABLE, you definitely have to do your homework! :)

    Start reading positive birth stories now! They can do wonders for your assurance that you can, in fact, have a baby :D

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, Megan! I have heard lots of recommendations for Ina Mae's book and actually just watched one of the episodes of More Business of Being Born where Ricki went and spent a weekend with Ina Mae. That was really neat. I also saw there's a documentary out about her, so I'm hoping that becomes available sometime soon. I'd be really interested in seeing it. Too bad The Farm is so far away from us (I did check!)

  2. I second everything Megan said and recommend finding a class on the Bradley Method. My husband and I just finished it and feel as prepared as possible to give birth in a few short weeks!

    1. That's so neat! The class we're looking at is a compilation of all the best techniques from various classes (Bradley, Lamaze, Hypnobabies, etc), which I really like.

  3. AH! Jo-Jo the British nanny wrote a BOOK? Who knew? I liked her lots on TV (a lot of that had to do with the accent, I'm sure...)

    I love baby-sign. There's nothing cuter than your little nine-month-old niece walking up to each of the 20 people at a party to ask for cake. You can just tell the kid's tone by how they sign, "Please??!? Please!?!? MORE?!?!"

    1. Haha! I loved watching her show, too, well before I was thinking about getting pregnant! And I can't wait until our kid is able to sign and tell us what he/she wants. Although I might have to avoid teaching him/her the sign for "cake"! ;)

  4. AHHH!!! As a fellow believer, I read Supernatural Childbirth. It is incredible and empowering. I agree with the PP, believe in your bodies ability to complete this wonderful journey of growing and giving birth to LIFE!! It's incredible. My baby was born 10/7 at home, in the tub un assisted. My little man was a bit eager to join us and so the midwife arrived 10 minutes after he was born. You can do it, just trust your body. ...I completely give thanks to God & to the wonderful birthing center that I went to for prenatal care and for the birthing class. The class you and your husband have picked out sounds great. I also encourage you to watch the rest of Business of Being Born, Both are available via NetFlix- YAY!! My midwife also recommended the Dr. Sears book (It's pink & all about babies titled, "The Baby Book" i think) it is helpful to answer your questions about baby after they are here. I hope and pray that you too have a wonderful & easy birthing experience. :)


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