9 August 2020

Books for Expecting Parents

This is very off-brand for us but I've been reading a lot of baby books lately and felt it was only fair to get some credit for them in the form of a post since I haven't been reading a lot otherwise. Scott and I are expecting our first baby ~any day now~ which is so fucked, and both of us are the type to be really comforted by research and learning. Here are the books we've been reading / listening to and our thoughts on them in case you're staring at a shelf of baby books in Indigo wondering where to start.
This is sort of a gimme. The kitschy cover alerts you how boring this will be but it almost seems like mandatory reading. I skipped the What to Expect in Pregnancy version since those things were going to happen anyways whether I'd read about them or not, and instead cracked this one at about ~15 weeks. I read it really slowly and in sections, did a lot of highlighting and sticky noting. It's definitely not enjoyable but it's really detailed and I know for sure I'll be referencing it a ton once we have the baby. I actually skipped all the monthly sections and figured I'd read those in real time as the baby grows. So, even though this one looks lame and it seems like they must have made a cooler book since your grandma had kids, there's a reason why it's so popular.
I wrote a full review of this book here and I wouldn't be surprised if it makes a 'best of' list this year because it was so impactful for me. This is very opposite the What to Expect book and is more a memoir of a first-time mom's pregnancy and first year with her baby. It really helps you with processing the emotional toll of becoming a parent, but it's not going to teach you anything practical about babies except for how to keep yourself whole while dealing with them. I've already gifted this once since reading it and know I will be giving it as a shower gift for years to come.
This is really cute and it's written as like a self-help / how-to for first time moms to avoid going insane. The language is really casual and meant to be like you're "chatting with your best friend"- the intro of the book frames itself as looking out for moms, not trying to help you learn your baby or teach you anything. I found there was a lot of stuff in here reminiscent of some things from Meghan O'Connell's book, but delivered in a more lighthearted way. It's a very easy read and it's broken out into really bite-sized sections like "in the hospital" and "sleep" so you can read it in little chunks when you have a chance which is what I did. If crunched for time this is definitely one I could have skipped, but I still really enjoyed it. It would make a great shower gift in lieu of O'Connell's book for people that you just know aren't really readers. The same author has also written a number of other "best friends' guides" related to pregnancy, toddlers, etc. that I'm not super hurried to check out but I imagine would be cute.



I found this at Value Village a while back to lend to a friend when she was expecting. She recently gave it back to me and although I haven't read it, the excerpt and premise look really funny. It's a chicky-fiction book about a woman at home on mat leave who seemingly has a lot of the same realty-television interests as me. I'm really excited to dig into this on my own mat leave but I have a few books I'm hoping to get through first! This is one I'll likely write a proper review for since it's a proper fiction book.


This is kind of dark and I debated even putting it on here but I am planning a re-read after I have the baby. I have had mixed experiences with Joan Didion to Meg's horror but this is one that really stood out to me- there's a sentence I think about over and over...  Didion writes really reflectively about her experience as a mother after her daughter dies suddenly. I feel like I will have a new appreciation for it once I have a kid of my own and am excited to read it from a new lens. I don't know that this is something I'd recommend to new moms but if you are like me in that you like to really fuck yourself up with critical thought- this would be a book I'd explore.

This is an audiobook Scott listened to, I think twice through over the last few months. From how he's explained it it seems similar in style to the What to Expect book I read but it also includes information on your pregnant wife, not just the baby. This led to a lot of fun arguments about who had learned more, faster, about my own body. Scott really liked this book and it's helped him feel like he has a handle on what to expect when we bring the baby home- not sure what more to ask for from a new dad book?


Scott listened to this as an audiobook as well (or I think most of it, at least) and I hope to one day read it myself because I really like Michael Lewis. It's meant to be Lewis' account of household life once he has each of his three children. Scott described it as being 'honest and funny' but if you know my husband you know I had to pretty much pull teeth to even get that out of him. He also said that this is definitely less "learn about being a new parent" and more "how to evolve as a parent" as your kids get older and that he felt overwhelmed listening to it now when he was just trying to retain the info from the other book he listened to. Perhaps he'll give it another listen in a year or so- he's not a super big reader / listener.

1 comment:

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