Ah the fabled second trimester. You finally get to tell everyone you’re pregnant, you’re finally showing, and for some people, you are feeling better! I honestly felt the same the entire time, so I never really got that last one. But that’s neither here nor there. As your pregnancy progresses, now is the time to start thinking about what you’re actually going to do when you bring your baby home. I consider both of these books essential reading pre-baby.
This book was my Godsend, hands down. Every Mom I know who has (really, truly) read and implemented the theory with their baby had them sleeping through the night by 16 weeks at the very latest. That’s right – every. single one. Babywise gives you the background on why schedules and sleep are important, how to start, what ages to make each transition, how much milk and sleep your baby needs by their age, what different cries mean, how to deal with everything from colic to bottle refusal. It’s truly, truly a miracle book for Moms.
Start reading in your second trimester, finish it in your third, and you’ll be referring back to it throughout those early weeks and months. Babywise makes a whole series of books based on your child’s age, so you can continue with their strategies as your baby gets older too!
As a warning (warning feels like a strong word but I’m just gonna say it) I have a few Mom friends who I convinced to buy this book while they were pregnant, and then received semi-panicked phone calls and texts from them months later wanting tips when their 10 weeks old babies still had no sleep or feeding schedule and couldn’t figure out what to do. 100% of them didn’t actually read Babywise. I’m telling you…..this is pretty dense book, but it’s a LOT harder to digest it when you’re sleep deprived and dealing with a crying baby. Dig into this puppy ASAP and you will be so thankful you did!
“The quality of each activity is as important as the order each activity…..when Mom consistently works with her baby to take a full feeding, it eventually leads to productive wake times. A good wake time impacts nap time and a good napper is a better feeder. As the quality of each activity deepens, it facilitates healthy nighttime sleep.”
Oh man I just love this book. Bringing Up Bebe is like the lighthearted dessert to your denser, more technical entree of Babywise.
The part memoir, part parenting guide is told by an American journalist who is both mystified at how French women handle parenting, and mortified that her own child seems so much more out of control. (The opening scene, of course, takes place when they’re on vacation, at a fancy French restaurant – you can imagine how her child is behaving).
Druckerman sets out to discover the secrets of French parenting and makes some very interesting discoveries, in everything from pregnancy to breastfeeding, sleeping through the night to daycare. There are also a lot of cringe-worth comparisons to her friends back in the US with their overzealous helicopter tendencies and toddlers taking chello lessons.
I learned a lot from this book and have put much of it into practice with Teddy already. It actually follows some of the same general theories as Babywise, and I found it both very interesting AND very informative.
French parents delight in the fact that each child has his own temperament. But they also believe that any healthy child is capable of not whining, not collapsing after he is told “no”, and generally not nagging or grabbing stuff….French parents don’t worry that they’re going to damage their kids by frustrating them. To the contrary, they think their kids will be damaged if they can’t cope with frustration. They treat coping with frustration as a life skill. Their kids simply have to learn it. The parents would be remiss if they didn’t teach it.