I think there’s probably a fine line between being WELL-informed about pregnancy, labour and the wonderful world of children and OVER-informed! I have had loads of books given to me from friends and family who have read all sorts of things, but they’ve all continued to say to me that no pregnancy experience is the same and to just do what feels right for me. I actually think that’s great advice because some books are quite regimented, while others are not. Some books contain WAY too much information (and visual images) about labour for me, while others give me the information I think I’ll need without going into so much detail that it makes me want to cross my legs so that the labour process never starts!

Anyway, here’s a book of some of the books I’ve found useful and some that friends have suggested too. I’m sure you have lots of others that you found helpful and I’d love to hear about them too please!

Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke

(also available as an app)

This book is a cracker. Funny, informative and well-written, it makes you feel much better about that extra bit of weight you’re putting on that is perhaps not entirely all baby, while also providing you with details about labour, what to buy and what not to eat.

Kid Wrangling by Kaz Cooke

I’m only part-way through this book. The book helps you through recovery from the birth, breast feeding, bottle feeding, routines, toilet training and much more. My obstetrician recommended this and I have really enjoyed it so far as it’s written with the same tongue-in-cheek humour as Cooke’s book Up the Duff.

The New Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford

This book is about routines and is very extensive and quite regimented. I actually really like it as it gives me an idea of babies sleep patterns, behaviours and some common problems. It’s broken down into small chapters, but can be quite a full-on read at times as it’s loaded with information. I’m hoping by reading it aloud that my baby will know how to sleep like a champion when he/she is born…. hmm….. somehow I don’t think I should hold my breath!

Baby Love by Robin Barker

This book is very popular and provides you with bountiful information about how babies feed, play, sleep and why they cry etc. It’s broken down into Birth-3 months, 3-6months, 6-9 months and 9-12 months. I have been skim-reading it and finding bits that fill the (many!) gaps in my knowledge. It’s a pretty massive book but one worth having.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Harthaway

(available as an app too)

I actually have this book but haven’t read it. I’m staring at it now and, as it’s one that’s been given to me from a friend, it’s dog-eared, well-thumbed and looks really old-fashioned! Having said that, I have the app on my phone, which is AWESOME. It’s got everything you need to know about the different weeks of pregnancy and has been spot-on for me. I love that it gives you daily and weekly updates, images, emails and has a forum too. It’s also got a ‘tracker’ so you can keep on top of where you’re at. I’m sure the book is just as good (minus the emails)!

What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

This book has all the information you need for the first year (just in case you didn’t work that out from the title). It’s a whopper of a book and is loaded with information about feeding, sleeping, concerns you may have and so on. Whenever I look at this book’s front cover, I always wonder why Heidi Murkoff’s name is so much bigger than Sharon Mazel’s name. I guess Heidi did most of the work, but hats off to them both for a comprehensive guide to what’s sure to be a challenging first year of baby-rearing!

The Contented Mother’s Guide by Gina Ford

My mum gave me this book and I love it, not just because she gave it to me but because it’s the smallest baby book I have! I love that this book has information about how to deal with mother-in-laws, working (and the guilt often associated with this!), getting back into shape and just getting out of the house! My mum highlighted a part in the book that reminds you that your husband and you will probably not agree on everything, but that it won’t help to be stubborn at these times. What are you trying to say mum?

Silent Nights by Brian Symon

I always laugh inside that this is written by a man, but I know I shouldn’t. Anyway, this book is actually really good- and it’s not too long! I have been skim-reading this book and like that it looks at sleeping, feeding, dreams, nightmares and colic. Informative, not too overwhelming and well-written, this book is worth a read too.

The Sensible Sleep Solution by Sarah Blunden and Angie Willcocks

If you’re someone (like me!) who is thinking, ‘Why are there so many books about babies sleeping? Is it THAT bad?’ then this is the book for you. A more relaxed approach, yet entirely sensible, to getting your baby to sleep. The author’s are South Australian and , well, I have a soft spot for Wakefield Press! There’s a lot of great information explaining to you why your baby might not be sleeping as well as you would like. It’s a middle-of-the-road look at baby sleep, somewhere between co-sleeping (when you really need your space!) and controlled crying (where you sit outside the baby’s door in tears). I think it’s going to be a great book for me to refer to during those times of anxiety!

Birth Skills by Juju Sundin, with Sarah Murdoch

My sister-in-law recommended this book, as did the mid wife and obstetrician, and it’s been really good. It’s very realistic and has so many great tips for how to deal with labour and all the pain (agony!) that comes with it. It has visualisations (coffee plunger!) and exercises, plus great tips for your partner to help him/her be involved in helping you through the process too. The book has many quotes from different women who have tried many of Sundin’s various techniques and I am finding this book very helpful. Although I’m quite nervous about labour, I am glad that I have a bit of information to help me try to deal with it at least! I don’t really want to go into the process with no idea at all. I highly recommend this book and have enjoyed the way it’s written.