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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baby Week! – 9 months of reading prep for baby

You all continuously amaze me! The last post, I figured, would bore the living crap out of y’all, but instead, you go and add you two cents… your very helpful two cents that this clueless soon-to-be mommy truly appreciates! So I updated my hospital bag packing list. It may still look like a lot – but believe me, this expert over packer can fit it all into a small suitcase and carry-on bag.
I love the advice someone gave me to have the things I’ll want for labor in a separate bag from the things I’ll need for the rest of my stay – GENIUS. Every comment was pure gold and I’m so thankful for your generosity!


Baby Week continues on with my personal baby book reviews.

{Has anyone noticed that my definition of “baby week” has become a “week’s worth of posts” that will be posted over the span of 2 weeks? That wasn’t the plan, just so ya’ know… But it is a “week” of sorts if we’re gonna get all technical about it. So there.}

So anywho – let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A-B-C.
{Anyone catching the Sound of Music vibe here? No? I’ll move on…}

The first book I bought the day I found out I was pregnant was not even a book for me – but for the baby daddy. It was in his box of gifts that he kicked like a box of rocks before realizing they were real gifts and then figuring out the message I was trying to get into that thick skull of his ;)

I asked Nick’s review on this book and he said {I semi-quote here}: “It seemed like a lot of common sense… like don’t call you wife fat and stuff. It was somewhat helpful but I think I could have figured most of it out on my own. Ummmm – I wouldn’t recommend it.”

The last book might have been the first book I bought once I was pregnant, but the next book I bought far ahead of time. I needed to know what to expect BEFORE I was expecting… the authors couldn’t have picked a better title.

I’m sure 95% of you would have bought this book anyway – it is the pregnancy “bible” – but I do highly recommend this book. It even has a chapter of what to do in the conception stage as well as great chapters on labor, delivery, and 6 weeks after.

If I had to describe this book with one word, it would have to be thorough.
{Also sign up on the what to expect website to get daily emails your entire pregnancy. I found them extremely helpful!}

“A Child is Born” is a must buy!! It’s amazing. Frickin’ blows my mind. It’s also a great teaching tool for you children, let alone you and your husband.I lovelovelove this book.
{Plus it’s mostly pictures – I’m not much of reader so that’s a huge plus for me. ha!}

Wanna know more about it than my vague absolute adoration for it – read about it here. Again ~ it. is. a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

This one’s just a fun book that gives you something to read for each day of your pregnancy. Unnecessary, but fun:

Jenny McCarthy brings it down to earth and truly has you LOL in this book. A great entertaining read that has a purpose – to let you know everyone who is ever pregnant goes through the ups and downs. Celebrity status or not.

Cute quotes from fathers. I believe my mom got this for Nick, which brings up the point – this makes a very cute gift!

A book to read to baby in utero – absolutely precious for time between mom, dad, and the “bump”♥

I've heard both good and bad reviews on "naming" books. This was a pretty good one. The only annoying part was that each section or genre of names would repeat a lot of the names that were also in the last genre I had just read. It is truly a test of endurance to read through thousands of names in ANY book!

This one I own... but planning on taking it back!! Not planning a natural childbirth anymore - God willing, I want the drugs =)

I'm in the middle of reading this one and have watched part of the DVD. The DVD seems very helpful to "see" what they're teaching put into effect. I am *extremely* hopeful that the 5 S's he teaches will calm our child beautifully. I will DEFNITELY be updating you on our findings!

This book was recommended to us by the nurses in our birthing classes. I haven't had a chance to read it yet but it looks like it could possibly cover every question we have! I was ready to run out and buy it, but when I met with our baby's pediatrician for our "prenatal visit" they gave a copy to us for free. JACKPOT! This is another one I will be updating you about in the future depending on it's usefulness.

Nick is already reading this one and loving it. {Believe me, I did not expect him to sing it's praises.} More updates to come, I'm sure!

I'm also half-way through this jewel! Lots of info helping me to feel much more secure and confident about breastfeeding, which I hear is half the battle. I would truly recommend it {I got my used copy for a penny on Amazon and only had to pay the shipping!}

I would have never shelled out the dough for this one, but I won it in this contest and have enjoyed a little mindless reading... It has lots of helpful hints to survive the 9 months in style, but I think it may be better suited to the fashionistas in the crowd. {a.k.a. – not the girl next door me!}

Have any book suggestions for baby? I know you do and I'd love to know!


  1. Hi Stephanie!

    I am a new reader and LOVE your blog! I am expecting Baby #2 right now (Due in December) and it is always refreshing to hear the insights from another pregnant bloggy mommy. Best wishes on the rest of your pregnancy---Baby Houston will be here before you know it :)


  2. As far as books for *after* baby is born, I loved "Your Baby's First Year Week by Week" and "What to Expect the First Year." Both were lifesavers!

  3. I liked Baby Bargains. I hardly bought anything at all without consulting this book - and it's helpful after they're born because it goes over every single piece of baby equipment you might need and gives reviews, lists, etc.

  4. Tim said the same thing about the daddy book... he didn't even finish reading it. I read happiest baby (and did a review on my blog) and I promise you, it works. Like a charm! Belly laughs had me LOL and Baby laughs I thought was cute too. It is a nice light read for when you are stressed from a newborn. We also got the Oh Baby the places book as a gift and thought it was so so cute!!

  5. Oh the "Your Baby's First Year" was a gift from our pediatrician...and let me tell you, 2 kids later...we used it to the max! Especially with the first. Very helpful.

  6. Hey Stephanie, I love your blog and cannot wait to see how cute this little boy of yours is going to be. I just started my own blog and would love for you to follow me, us Kentucky girls gotta stick together right? :)

    Anyways, keep coming with the good blog posts and I can't wait to hear all about the little man when he is here!

  7. "Your Baby's First Year" is a great one. You won't be disappointed in a few months to have this one lying around.

    The Baby Whisperer is another good one to offer some suggestions for soothing your baby.

  8. A girlfriend of mine recommended "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy". it is an easy read and definitely reassuring that all of the weird things that you feel and go through are perfectly normal. the added bonus is that its written like your best girlfriend is telling you all of her secrets and giving you advice, and because of's frikin' hilarious!! i highly recommend it...even my baby daddy is enjoying it:)

  9. These are must haves...for baby Houston, but you will love them too! I love you so, by Marianne Richmond and Let me hold you longer, by Karen Kingsbury.

  10. Happiest Baby on the Block is the best. I just watched the DVD, and got more than enough info from it. Make sure your swaddling blankets are big enough: roughly 40" x 40". If you think your baby doesn't like to be swaddled, get a bigger blanket, and watch the DVD again, and make sure you're wrapping him tight enough. All newborns love to be swaddled, that's why the doctors and nurses will wrap him up whenever they examine him!

  11. Happiest Baby and the 5 S's were the greatest thing that ever happened to our family early on! It truly saved us during those first few months.

  12. Please, please, please read Babywise. I PROMISE you that you will be SO happy you did. It is all about getting your baby into a routine from the getgo and I swear by it. I read it before baby #3 and implemented it right away and it was a HUGE difference from my 1st "fly by the seat of my pants" method:) I kept it in the nightstand next to my bed and referred to it many a time during the first year and it has since passed through out all the preggo nurses I work with in the ER. It's a MUST!!

  13. I agree with Erika; I read Babywise (I, II, and Toddlerwise, too) and used it for all three of my children. The reviews I've read online about it were not the most positive. I found it worked great for our family and highly recommend it!

  14. My 2 cents....skip the books and use common sense. You are going to get conflicting data from books, family and friends. It will make your head spin (especially when you are tired and dealing with all the new and exciting changes that a baby will bring). I am a type A personality, neat freak, very organized and always put together type of person. Yet, when it came to having my 2 daughters, I was educated about what to expect in the ways of labor and delivery (althought both were born premature, my youngest extremely premature), but did not overload myself with the "how to" of raising a child. I just figured both my husband and myself had good common sense and we could figure it out. Figure it out we did. We have 2 awesome girls (15 and 9) who are respectful, kind, compassionate and smart. Not saying they are saints, but they are enjoyable to be around. I'm sure you will make a wonderful mom. Just relax, breathe in the beauty of a new baby and don't overload your brain. You will make mistakes, but with love and common sense, your baby will turn out just the way you want him to. Good luck! You will do great.

  15. The happiest baby on the block was good for me.. My nephew hated being swaddled but Carsyn loved it.. I never got the hang of doing the blankets so I used the swaddle me wraps.. By halo and summer I think.. I also read a few breastfeeding books because I think that's a topic I really needed advice on. So far you've picked great books.. Dr Suess was the first book we bought for Carsyn :)
    Hurry up and get here little Houston! :)

  16. Ooooh, I can't wait to hear the news of Houston's arrival!!! Anyway, I have a 3 month old now, and I can let you in on what I read. Before I had my baby, I only read "What to Expect When You're Expecting." It was great before delivery and the few weeks after. That was all I read! (And updates online, I guess). After my son was born, I read Happiest Baby on the Block and Babywise. Let me just say, EXTREME opposites! I also watched the Moms On Call seminar online. I basically took from those three things what made the most sense to me. Some people have already said it, but go with your instincts. Don't get so caught up in doing what ONE book tells you to do. You're Houston's Mama, and you know what's best for him even when you're exhausted and frustrated. Just be in tune with your baby... it's a learning process! Also, I wish I had read more about breastfeeding, so kudos for doing that beforehand. It's NOT easy, but it is so special. I wouldn't trade it for the world, even with all the frustrations that come along with it. Stick with it if at all possible! Oh, and "What to Expect the First Year" is fantastic. I didn't read it word for word. Basically, if my husband and I were wondering about something, we looked it up in the index and read up on it. Man, I write long comments! Sorry!

  17. Moms on Call was a must have for me! I have 4 kids (5 year old triplets and a 5 month old) and used their schedules for the first year. They are amazing and all of my kids were sleeping like champs from 3 weeks on. Their first book is from birth - 6 months and is wonderful! I needed schedule examples to know how many bottles, naps, etc to expect. I had to tweek the schedules a little to fit our life but I swear by Moms on Call!!

  18. I recommend "Babywise" to help with breastfeeding, sleeping, etc. A little note, though. Take it with a grain of salt. I started reading it a couple of weeks after Sam was born, and I was like, "Gosh! We're doing everything wrong!!!" We did a VERY modified version, though, and had great success. Remember, you guys are the parents, so go with your gut on parenting. Although a little advice never hurt anybody. Good luck!

  19. I definitely recommend Babywise. I've been doing it with my 10 month old and he started sleeping through the night (10p-6a) at 9 weeks old. I did vary a little in that we rocked for bedtime. You need to do what works for you. We just stopped rocking when we felt he was ready about 3 weeks ago and was an easy transition with no CIO. Also, HUGE believer of swaddling. The best swaddle blanket out there is called the MIRACLE BLANKET you can only find online. It is a little pricey, but worth every penny. We swaddled until my little guy broke out at 7.5 mths. My pediatrician said we could swaddle as long as he wanted it. We then switched to the Halo sleep sack and again an easy transition.

  20. I second "The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy" It is HILARIOUS. I loved reading it. A must read for all 1st time moms-to-be.

  21. I am probably odd woman out here but I read Babywise and hated it! Payton has been sleeping through the night since 6 weeks and no credit goes to that book because I never even finished it.

  22. I would LOVE to hear your reasoning for natural vs. "assisted" childbirth! I haven't done any research myself but would love to read what you've learned and how you decided!


I just shared my thoughts, I'd love to hear you share yours! {Besides, I'm tired of listening to the voices in my head.} I kid, I kid... ;)