Since a few friends and acquaintances are currently preggo, and since I am just now starting to find the idea of being pregnant again slightly palatable, I thought I'd do a quick list of the books that have been most helpful to me over the past year. I know I've done a book list before, but that was a shot in the dark. The ones listed below are tried & tested winners.
The Happiest Baby on the Block - I've sung this books praises before, buy it and read it well before you deliver!
The No-Cry Sleep Solution - I have yet to do the post on baby sleep that I keep telling myself I must do, but let me just say that this book has been so helpful to me so many times. Every other sleep book out there will espouse some version of crying it out. (Hello, It works! But at what psychological cost?) And, if you missed my facebook posts about it, or were fortunate enough to not have been privy to some opinion-blasting group emails, then you'll know that I am NOT a fan of letting your baby cry alone in a dark room. Particularly before 6 months of age, but really, not ever. Pantley is not a fan either and she has some practical, sound alternative advice.
Welcome to Your Child's Brain - This is a good one to read during the early month's hour-long breastfeeding sessions. It is so interesting and so refreshing to read because - unlike other books which blast you with unsubstantiated opinion - it offers scientific fact from which you can reach your own opinions.
What to Expect the First Year - A good basic reference book which I would check each month to see how baby boy compared to the "norm." I also received (and still receive) the daily emails from whattoexpect.com - which I highly recommend - but the book goes into more depth and is worth having.
And last, but certainly not least,
Baby Led Weaning and the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook - I can't remember who told me about baby led weaning for the first time but I cannot thank them enough. I had been all set to make my own purees, buy a fancy baby blender, and spoon feed my baby. And then I learned about BLW (weaning means introduction of solid food in British English) and I was intrigued. When baby boy starting showing an interest in food, and reaching for it himself (at about 5 and a half months old), I just let him have a go of it himself. And it has been one of the best decisions I have made. While he isn't always a champion eater (he is most of the time), and he goes through phases (like all babies), he DOES have the most amazing array of food preferences, and he can CHEW like nobody's business. Letting them only have solid food from the get-go means they actually learn to chew, and baby boy has been gumming down tough meats from 7 months! We went to sushi when he was 9 months old and the entire waitstaff was in awe of him as he sat gobbling down his california roll. Sure, it's messy, especially at the beginning, but so - apparently - are purees. For a good overview of weaning go here, and even if you're not convinced about the BLW thing, buy the cookbook. It has great recipes for babies and toddlers, and some really good ideas about how to make easy, varied breakfasts and lunches.
That's about all for now. This past year has gone by so fast. I'm off to go order What to Expect The Second Year.... and will let you know how it is ;)