Getting ready for a new baby is an exciting time, but naturally there are anxieties that come with expecting. To calm your nerves and help prepare for this major life change, we recommended getting stuck into some great books.
Always keep in mind though, parenting is your journey. While it’s great to read advice and gain top tips, be sure to save some room for your natural parenting instinct. You’ve got this! You’re a queen after all!
For pregnancy health
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, by Roger W. Harms
Offering a month-by-month look at mum and baby, this new Mayo Clinic book can help you make informed decisions about your health when pregnant. A comprehensive guide, you can explore tough decisions such as how to select a health care provider, prenatal testing options and pain relief. Other topics covered include:
- Morning sickness
- Back pain
- Yeast infections
- Preterm labour, gestational diabetes
A clear, thorough and reliable reference, it offers peace of mind in a somewhat unpredictable journey. It helps that it’s been written by someone who’s both a medical expert and parent!
Read this for: clinical advice with zero judgement
For first time parents
First time parents, by Lucy Atkins
If you like a side of humour to your words of wisdom than you’ll love this ‘keeping it real’ parenting manual. Starting from the very first day, the moment you lay your eyes on your newborn and ask where are the instructions? It’s packed with practical advice and level-headed reassurance. Content covered includes:
- The equipment new parents ‘actually’ need
- How to cope with the first few hours
- Coming home
- Learning to decipher baby’s cry
- Physical and mental development
- Health considerations
- Romance and the mother-father relationship
This guide also includes information on single parenting, on going back to work, adoption and special needs children.
Read this if: you want to build your confidence in parenting
Commando Dad: Basic Training: How to Be an Elite Dad or Carer from Birth to Three Years, by Neil Sinclair
Written by an ex-Commando and a dad of three, Commando Dad provides clear and logical advice on all things fatherhood. Well, the early years, anyhow.
If you’re a prospective father, this book will give you basic training and sound advice in no-nonsense terms. It doesn’t go too deep, nor does it pretend to. Topics covered include:
- How to survive the first 24 hours
- How to prepare and plan to prevent poor parental performance
- How to maintain morale in the ranks
- How to feed, clothe, entertain and transport the troops
Put together with precise bullet points, it’s got a conciseness many men will appreciate.
Read it for: bite size logical chapters and easy-to-take-in information
For those determined to have some fun with parenting
Dummy: The Comedy and Chaos of Real-Life Parenting, by Matt Coyne
Heartwarming yet side-splittingly funny, Dummy has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting preparation books. Packed with completely impractical advice and stories of bewilderment, it’s not your average ‘guide to parenting’ publication.
The way Matt Coyne describes the beautiful insanity that is parenthood, you can’t help but feel excited for the change that’s about to occur. You’ll laugh through all your exhaustion and learn to smile at every tough time. Topics covered include:
- Baby’s first year
- What you might find in your baby’s nappy
- Finding deep love and admiration for your partner
- The brutal truth of parenting (and just how good it can be)
Ashton Kutcher describes it as, “One of the best descriptions of fatherhood I have ever read”.
Read it for: A fresh take on the bewilderment and joy of having a baby
For navigating the newborn stage
The First Six Weeks, by Midwife Cath
Cath Curtin is described as the ‘newborn baby guru’, a truly calming voice in one of the most terrifying times of your life. With a gentle hand she guides you through the first six weeks of parenthood, offering you a wealth of knowledge that’s second to none. Topics covered include:
- Bringing baby home
- Bottle feeding and expressing
- Baby’s first bath
- Sleep and the bedtime routine
- Establishing habits
- Building a lifelong bond
The First Six Weeks is a practical, easy-to-use guide that covers all aspects of a newborn’s first month and a half earth-side and Cath’s invaluable experience will make you feel like you have a midwife in your corner 24/7.
Read it for: Cath’s Bath, Bottle and Bed routine
For scientific and developmental advice
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Neuropsychiatrist and author of best selling book Mindsight, Daniel J. Siegel has teamed up with parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson to explain the science of how a baby’s brain is wired and how it matures. Learn how emotions tend to rule the logic of the left brain and apply your discoveries to everyday parenting. Turn an outburst, argument or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain, and foster vital growth to raise calmer, happier children. Topics covered include:
- Right and left brain behaviour
- Listening to your child
- Helping your child to understand their emotions
- Sensations, images, feelings and thoughts (SIFT)
- Encouraging empathy and social success
Divided into age-appropriate strategies complete with illustrations, The Whole-Brain Child is a complete and easy guide to emotional and intellectual development.
Work. Pump. Repeat.: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, by Jessica Shortall
Breastfeeding is a rewarding job, but there’s no denying it’s difficult. This is especially true if you find yourself going back to work. Work. Pump. Repeat. is the first book to offer a road map to breastfeeding as a working, breast pumping mum. It shares the nitty-gritty basics of surviving the workplace and offers plenty of breastfeeding tips without the judgement. Topics covered include:
- Finding the right bra to suit your needs
- War stories, hacks and humour
- Stress and guilt
- The world beyond ‘breast is best’
Written in an inspiring and witty way, Jessica draws on her own experiences of a demanding job that involves travel in developing countries.
Finding your baby bible
There are so many pregnancy resources out there that it can be overwhelming. Try when you can, to find a source of information that’s written in your preferred style of writing. Be it scientific, comical, male-oriented, brutally honest or layered in fantastic advice, you’ll find a book you can relate to if you take personal preference into account. Your pregnancy planning stage should be an enjoyable time, so don’t fill it reading the wrong resources. Find a bible you love and savour every lesson and practical tip!