Parenting guide: Your pregnancy reading list

Published: February 19, 2014
Expecting a baby soon? It is the calm before the storm and the perfect time to read up on parenting books.

Expecting a baby soon? It is the calm before the storm and the perfect time to read up on parenting books.

Women are born researchers and often hit the bookstore immediately after confirming a positive pregnancy test. But many a times, they do not know where to start, especially considering the vast variety of literature available regarding babies and expecting them.

But fret not! To make your pregnancy easier, I have conjured a list of some classics that helped me through this trying time in my life. Hope it helps you as much as it helped me!

1) What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway:

This divine book for pregnancy has accompanied thousands of expecting mothers across the world through nine months of prenatal tests, food cravings, bathroom problems and of course, all that anxiety and worrying. Written in a month-by-month format, What To Expect makes for an interesting and continuous read throughout your pregnancy. Updated frequently to include the latest information about babies and childbirth, as well as modern nutritional guidance, the book is comprehensive and comforting — especially for first-time parents.

2) What to Expect In the First Year by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway:

Is your baby eating enough? Is crying this much normal? How will you know when your baby is really sick? This hefty, 671-page guide answers all such questions. The three authors, all mothers themselves, are calm, clear and encouraging as they tackle the many aspects of child-rearing, month by month. The easy-to-absorb chronological format includes a variety of sections such as ‘What your baby may be doing?’ ‘What to expect at this month’s checkups?’ ‘Feeding your baby’ and ‘What you may be concerned about?’

3) Baby and Child Care by Dr Spock:

His no.1 rule for effective parenting: Trust yourself! You know more than you think you do. Dr Spock’s guide has been passed down from one generation to another and now, in its eighth addition, the classic handbook is finally complete. It includes all the information parents may need to meet the challenges of raising a child in the new millennium. The best-seller covers a range of topics including nursing, nutrition, vaccinations, common toddler disorders, first aid and even how to raise non-violent children!

4) The Baby Owners’ Manual by Joe Borgenicht:

This baby manual is nothing less than a life-saver! It takes a gimmick and makes it work like no other: ostensibly written as the missing instruction booklet your new baby should have come with, it is a no-nonsense introduction to baby care for new parents. The book is divided into seven major chapters: Preparation and home installation, general care, feeding, programming sleep mode, general maintenance, growth and development and finally, emergency maintenance. And the best part is that unlike most other baby books, this one doesn’t focus on the love and frustration a new baby brings home, using lots of warm fuzzy verbiage. It covers a multitude of topics briefly, with carefully chosen words and each topic that requires parental action offers some tips broken down into simple step-by-step instructions. But just like any other instruction manual, the book may fail you if you acquire a serious problem.

5) Battle Hymn of the Tiger by Amy Chua:

Although Chua’s book isn’t exactly a book about parenting, it offers an interesting viewpoint to raising children in today’s world. Brutally honest and relatable, Chua’s extreme candidness can often embarrass the reader but goes a long way in preventing parents who tend to mollycoddle their children from raising spoiled brats.

Extra tip: Finish off your reading list in advance of your baby’s arrival as they might not be so keen on letting you get away from them once they arrive.  While the books have proved a great help for many, the internet is also a wonderful resource for parents who wish to do some deeper digging. With countless baby blogs, video tutorials, parenting forums and websites such as, important information is simply a few clicks away. So read on and prepare yourself for the joys of parenthood. Happy reading!

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, February 16th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Feb 20, 2014 - 2:19AM

    In the development of the all on line prenatal and parenting course we also discovered that first time mom’s in particular are eager to learn and highly anxious about the prospect of childbirth and labour. Dad’s, although more involved, tend to have mom’s screen what they need to learn about (or know). With a growing number of websites, books and other resources on pregnancy, childbirth, raising children, many with contradictory information make the journey towards effective parenting feel like a walk through a mine field.
    I would also suggest Canadian author Ann Douglas who has a wonderful blog and several book on parenting, including Mother of All Parenting Books.
    Greg Lubimiv


  • Nida.
    Apr 27, 2014 - 11:24PM

    Great Article, and indeed really Informative. Comfort for baby and as well as mom are really focused issue. I am Glad that You discussed this very efficiently. But you forgot to discussed about to use the pregnancy pillow. Dont you think?

    Thanks for Sharing.
    Nida from NZ.


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