17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, June 09, 2008

From the Tales Inbox: Best Books for a New Mom

Carrie is a new mom in St. George and is looking for some help:

I was wondering what baby/parenting books you would recommend. I am trying to put my baby on a schedule, and trying to be successful at breastfeeding and have heard the what to expect books are crap, so I am hoping you will post on this topic if you wouldn't mind!


So girls, what books were the most helpful to you as mothers of new babies?


  • Definitely The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. It is the best if you are trying to put your baby on a schedule (EASY). It was recommended to me by a lot of other mommies, too. Besides that book, I don't know if I stuck to one particular book per se. I would look things up on the internet a lot and just browse around to see different theories on breastfeeding, sick baby symptoms, etc.
    posted by Blogger beth at 6/09/2008 09:55:00 PM  

  • anything by dr. william sears. we're on baby four and feel like we have at least SOME of this stuff figured out and yet i just bought another one of his books a week ago.

    and his website is one to bookmark, with answers to just about any pregnancy/baby/parenting question you could ever have: www.askdrsears.com
    posted by Anonymous makakona at 6/09/2008 10:00:00 PM  

  • With #1 we were pretty into Dr Sears, but with 2 and 3 I turned more "baby whisperer" and "healthy sleep habits, happy child".
    Dr Sears' "the baby book" is a must-have when a kid is sick or to check developmental milestones and what's coming. I just had to part with him a little on parenting/ideology based on our individual circumstances.

    I completely agree not to bother with "what to expect"
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 6/09/2008 10:32:00 PM  

  • I loved the Baby Whisperer.
    posted by Blogger Mrs. M at 6/09/2008 10:41:00 PM  

  • I second Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. It's our bible when it comes to the sleep philosophy we have adopted with our kids.

    And I third Baby Whisperer. The E.A.S.Y. method is what gets me through the early months of new babydom (in fact we are using it in full force right now).
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/09/2008 10:47:00 PM  

  • Well, I am totally against the Babywise books, but that can be quite a controversial topic, so I will leave it at that.

    I second makakona--anything by Dr. Sears is great!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/09/2008 11:03:00 PM  

  • Dog Whisperer
    posted by Blogger Kage at 6/10/2008 04:35:00 AM  

  • or rather...Cesar's Way by Cesar Milan
    posted by Blogger Kage at 6/10/2008 04:35:00 AM  

  • For a newborn and for breastfeeding help I liked Dr. Sears's The Baby Book and The Breastfeeding Book. I also liked The Baby Whisperer. I thought a combo of Dr. Sears's attachment ideas and Tracey Hogg's EASY worked for me.

    I didn't much like Babywise either, although I did use some things from Babywise II for my toddler.

    Call me old-fashioned but I really like Dr. Spock a lot for some things, mainly his general philosophy and also some of the nutrition stuff. I have the last updated edition of his Baby and Child Care.

    I never use "everything" from any book; I feel like some things (like Babywise) may not work perfectly unless you do their whole schtick. But I think if you just do what you think makes the most sense from each book, then that will work for your child.

    I have The Happiest Baby on the Block but I have never read it. I have friends who swear by it.
    posted by Blogger Eliza at 6/10/2008 05:06:00 AM  

  • I have to give another vote for "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. Dr. Weissbluth was one of the most sought-after pediatricians in Chicago when we were living there and his method has really worked for us (I have 4 kids who all take (or used to take) great naps, never fight us on bedtime, and are generally well rested).
    posted by Blogger Penny at 6/10/2008 05:25:00 AM  

  • I too second Baby Whisperer for the EASY schedule (we're not all shouting "it's EASY" at you, but rather the main philosophy of the book--eat, activity, sleep , you). And I highly recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I would like to thank Tales actually for letting me know it's possible for a baby to go to bed at 6:30pm and sleep through the night because everyone else just thought I was crazy. :) Sleep begets sleep...the best advice ever.

    Also, a little bit of advice if I may--I was one of those new moms who tried to do everything exactly as the book said...it wore me out emotionally and tooks its toll. I think like most moms have said you take what information works for you and leave the stuff that doesn't. I was a lot happier once I realized I didn't have to follow it to the tee (or tea, or t..).
    posted by Blogger miggy at 6/10/2008 05:37:00 AM  

  • "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" really saved my sanity last year. Also remember that you don't have to adopt every single thing the book suggests, but read it and try out some of the techniques.

    Good Luck!

    From another young mom in St. George.
    posted by Blogger Chicken Little at 6/10/2008 08:58:00 AM  

  • healthy sleep habits, happy child is my bible. i love that book so so much!! i will have to look into the baby whisperer for my next baby. mine just got out of newborn stage, and is now sleeping 12 hours thanks to HSHHC!!

    don't do babywise!
    posted by Blogger Nate, Morgan, Asher and Sayer at 6/10/2008 10:50:00 AM  

  • My #1 recommendation for a new mother is anything early vintage Baby Blues.

    posted by Anonymous Researcher at 6/10/2008 11:15:00 AM  

  • We have a few that have helped us gain confidence as new parents and answered important developmental questions:
    1. Caring For Your Baby and Young Child from the American Academy of Pediatrics - very practical!
    2. Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr Karp - great theory on how to help get your infant to sleep
    posted by Blogger danyelly at 6/10/2008 02:20:00 PM  

  • Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child and The Happiest Baby on the Block. I wouldn't recomend any of the Sears books. (Sorry to the Sears devotees). If you need help with breastfeeding, The Nursing Mother's Companion is excellent.
    posted by Anonymous E at 6/10/2008 08:20:00 PM  

  • Kage,

    You have to do a book report on The Dog Whisperer and how it relates to raising children because I think you are right -- it totally does.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/10/2008 08:43:00 PM  

  • I'd actually suggest to a new mom to ignore all the books and follow your gut. Just my 2 cents
    posted by Anonymous mmiles at 6/11/2008 11:40:00 AM  

  • I'm not sure whether we could have survived without "The Happiest Baby on the Block." That thing is gold.
    posted by Blogger A. at 6/11/2008 12:13:00 PM  

  • I always give two books:

    Baby 411
    The Nursing Mother's Companion Guide

    I cannot live without Baby 411. It's not a parenting guide, it's a USE guide for your child, haha. Baby 411 is the book on how to take care of your child; it will save you more than one trip to the emergency room You can look up symptoms and know when to call the doctor, go to the ER, or just keep an eye on things. We love it.

    The Nursing Mother's Companion Guide is a fantastic book on nursing. If I would have read it before I had my first I would have avoided some of the bumps on the road. I always give a copy to friends expecting their first baby. The Ultimate Book of Breastfeeding Answers, by Newman, is also excellent.
    posted by Blogger Azúcar at 6/12/2008 09:02:00 AM  

  • thank you all for the suggestions, I have a few of the books mentioned already and know to take it all with a grain of salt, isn't that what we all end up doing anyway?!
    posted by Blogger Carrie Carnley at 6/16/2008 08:41:00 PM  

  • Quick question: Have any of you been successful in getting your husbands to also read your methodology of choice? Is it enough for one to read and "teach" the other? Just curious...

    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/17/2008 02:34:00 PM  

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