I love a good parenting book. When Darby was just born I was reading several baby books at once and I became confused about which one to follow.
One said babies should never cry at all and it will damage them psychologically and another said a little crying won't hurt them and they need to learn to soothe themselves to sleep.
One said to swaddle this way and another that way.
Once said to keep everything as quiet as possible around the baby and another to vacuum around them while they slept. (The vacuuming thing works - BTW.)
I remember my mom lecturing me in one particular moment of despair: "Stop reading so many books, Whitney! You're driving yourself crazy!" She was probably right. Definitely read all of the books before the baby is born and then just pick one to use as your guide - for the baby's sake - and your mom's.
I did find a few gems during that time and I wanted to share them with you. I have gleaned some great information and parenting practices from each book. Let me know if you have any favorites I should read as well.
- Moms On Call - I have talked about this one before. It has the best baby schedules and strategies for getting your baby to sleep through the night as soon as possible. There are also great tips for feedings, bath time, and wake time.
- Bringing Up Bebe - I had a few French students when I was a teacher and they were the.best.kids. And, their parents did not worship the ground they walked on which was so different than what I observed with American parents. (One of the French moms called me because she thought her daughter's grade was too high and it was a mistake on her report card - true story. Not a problem I'd ever encountered as a teacher before.) So, when this book came out, I had to know what the fuss was all about. Love it so much and I try as hard as I can to be as French of a mother as I can be.
- Don't Make Me Count To Three - I read Shepherding a Child's Heart a long time ago, but I had trouble with practical application. This book has a similar philosophy, however, it gives practical advice and scenarios. It's great for 2 year olds to kindergarten age. My two favorite lines from the book, which I use all the time, are 1) "I love you too much to let you [insert unfortunate child behavior here]" and 2) "Listen all the way, right away, with a happy heart."
- The Blessing of a Skinned Knee - This is such a great book, and one every parent should read. In short, it focuses on teaching your children to be self-reliant by avoiding the temptation to" over-protect, over-indulge, and over-schedule" their lives. The author also wrote The Blessing of a B Minus which I haven't read yet, but I will when I have teenagers. The author is Jewish and bases her philosophy on Jewish principles, but this is a great read for anyone, even if you're not Jewish. (I'm not Jewish, but I did always want to name my kids Chava and Hodel - I watched Fiddler on the Roof a few too many times as a kid.)