To put it simply, being a new parent is terrifying. It comes with so many emotions: happiness, anxiety, exhaustion, elation, the list goes on and on. It can get extremely overwhelming! If it wasn't for my "mommy village" of friends, I wouldn't have survived. I'll always admit that they were like my Rosetta Stone for parenting.
These days, we are lucky. There are so many trusted books out there that help ease our anxiety and give us the answers we need...when we need it.
Here are 10 books I've read over the years that I recommend to every new mom:
1. Happiest Baby On The Block
By: Harvey Karp
If you haven't heard of this book, I'm about to preach the gospel. It's an essential to all new parents--especially for their first. I remember when I had Brooks I would panic when he started to cry. It was all new to me! All I wanted to do was calm him...but I wasn't exactly sure how. Dr. Harvey Karp breaks it down to highly scientific methods to soothe our little ones:
1. The Fourth Trimester: Why babies still yearn for a womblike atmosphere . . . even after birth 2. The Calming Reflex: An “off switch” all babies are born with 3. The 5 S’s: Five easy steps to turn on your baby’s amazing calming reflex 4. The Cuddle Cure: How to combine the 5 S’s to calm even colicky babies
Reading this book definitely took some stress out of new motherhood and it's something I always refer back to.
2. The First 40 Days: The Essential Art Of Nourishing The New Mother
By: Heng Ou & Ameley Greeven
The first forty days after birth are an essential period of rest and recovery for a new mother. Unfortunately, we don't see it that way anymore...but it's crucial we do. The First 40 Days goes deep into the lost practice of self-care with recipes and tips to help post-partum.
3. The Sleep Easy Solution
By: Jennifer Waldburger & Jill Spivack
Feeling sleep deprived? This book will literally come to your rescue. I've known Jennifer and Jill since I had Brooks. They are co-founders of a company called, Sleepy Planet that help promote and teach healthy sleep habits from babies to preschoolers. I love their tips and they've DEFINITELY helped me (and the rest of the Hollywood community, too!)
4. Happy Baby: The Organic Guide To Baby's First 24 Months
By: Robert W. Sears
As you know, I'm very passionate about keeping it green. I believe it's important for both our health and our environment. I'll be honest--I didn't have these same priorities and beliefs until I had children. When I started realizing how little switches can make a difference, I've been on board since. Happy Baby is a great read for all mommas who go green or have any interest in doing so.
5. The Wonder Weeks
By: Hetty van de Rijt & Frans Plooij
The most important developmental weeks for your baby are in the first 20 months. This book helps carefully document their progress with trusted answers along the way. A calender and checklist are also included so it's easy to follow along.
6. From The Hips: A Comprehensive Guide To Pregnancy, Birth, & Becoming A Parent
By: Rebecca Odes & Ceridwen Morris
Two words: mommy wars. We all deal with it. Especially as a new mom, you'll always be getting everyone's unsolicited opinions. But at the end of the day--there is always more than one way to do things. This forward-thinking book helps break down all options in all aspects of motherhood in an uncensored and judgement-free way.
7. The Mindful Mom To Be
By: Lori Bregman
God Bless, Lori Bregman! She's helped me with all 3 of my babies as my holistic pregnancy coach. Her book, The Mindful Mom To Be, is like all the advice she's ever given me all wrapped up into one. Lori guides you in your journey toward motherhood (before and after) by empowering you to find what works best for you and your baby. The book includes nutritional advice, natural remedies, spiritual exercises, techniques for labor, and other valuable information for mothers-to-be. Lori is passionate that you aren’t just birthing a baby, you’re birthing yourself as a mom, too!
8. The Sh*t No One Tells You: A Guide To Surviving Your Baby's First Year
By: Dawn Dais
Motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. In reality, it's a lot of dirty diapers and sleep-deprived mornings. Dawn Dais keeps it real and helps us feel better in the process. This book is hilarious and is a good reminder that life and motherhood isn't perfect nor should it be.
9. Baby 411
By: Denise Fields & Dr. Ari Brown
Think of Baby 411 as your motherhood bible. As new moms, we all have those 3am moments where the baby is crying, we don't know why...and we panic. Instead of calling my doctor or friends at all hours of the night, I would open up this book. They cover everything from first aid, how to pick a pediatrician, and the question every mother has asked themselves: is my baby normal? I still refer back to it!
10. Permission To Parent
By: Dr. Robin Berman
Even though this book isn't directed toward newborns, it's never too early to start preparing for the future. Permission To Parent provides the tools for parents to be comfortable to set boundaries while maintaining a loving connection, fostering self-esteem, respect, and emotional maturity.
More of an online reader? Check out my favorite mommy blogs here!
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.