Inside: Find the Best Books for New Parents. You only three you really need…you can chunk the rest. This post contains affiliate links.
My last “baby” is six years old.
I’m far from being a newborn mom.
But I am a brand new auntie, so I signed up for one night of swaddles and diapers and shushing so my sister could sleep a little.
It was a gift to spend that night with my niece. But snuggling her took me back to the tough days of no sleep, struggling with breastfeeding, and not being productive because I had to constantly rock my babies or they’d cry.
And it brought back the rush of emotions too: fear and uncertainty and a lack of confidence in knowing how to help my baby, coupled with an intense and fierce love for this human I brought into the world.
When I was in the thick of the infant days, I was so overwhelmed.
And I quickly realized I couldn’t do it on my own.
I needed other mom friends, my own mom, and well-researched parenting books to get me through the months of those sleep-deprived, emotional newborn days.
But with so many parenting books out there, I didn’t know which ones to choose.
And frankly, I was too tired to choose.
So I relied on my girlfriends to tell me what to read so I could be a better mom to my babies.
And after weeding through books that made us feel guilty or scared, we found the gems.
We found the books that made being a mom easier and more enjoyable, even if we weren’t sleeping through the nights anymore and had sore nipples.
Here’s our list of must-read newborn parenting books that will make your life easier so you can enjoy the days-and nights-with your infant.
The Best Book for New Parents To Soothe Their Newborn
When I was a first-time mom, I had no clue how to soothe a crying baby.
I was worried I wouldn’t know what to do or when to do it and I hated knowing she was uncomfortable because I felt helpless to comfort her.
So I turned to Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block.
It was hands-down, the most enlightening parenting book I read as a mom.
Karp describes the first three months of a newborn’s life as the “fourth trimester.” And with that revelation, he encourages new parents to recreate a womb-like atmosphere to comfort babies.
The book helped us create what babies need by introducing us to the 5 S’s: sushing, sucking, swinging, swaddling and being on their side or stomach to emulate their time in the womb.
And if my husband and I did any combination of these 5 things, our daughter would instantly calm down. She would be at peace.
And we weren’t left wondering why she was screaming at 2 am.
Don’t have time to sit and read an entire book? Now, there’s a DVD for parents to watch, which is a perfect way to stay awake during those middle of the night feedings.
The Best Book for New Parents to Understand Their Baby
But what to do when the 5S’s just won’t cut it anymore?
There’s a new book on the market that is half science, half magic, called The Wonder Weeks.
With sleep deprivation and worries if they’re getting enough milk, getting the right amount of sleep, or if they’re growing properly, parenting a newborn is overwhelming.
Parents are constantly wondering, ‘Why can’t I just put you down so I can sleep, or eat, or actually shower?’
It’s so easy to worry with ‘mom guilt’ that we’re not doing ‘enough’ as moms.
And then there are the times when our babies seem extra inconsolable. Extra miserable. Extra everything.
It makes the days and nights even longer.
The Wonder Weeks book explains babies’ extra fussy episodes as growth weeks or “wonder weeks.”
These weeks come at very predictable intervals (like at 5 weeks old and 8 weeks old) and explains what your baby is experiencing and why they’re uncomfortable.
Since there’s a logical reason behind their need for extra comfort, it has the power to change parents’ perceptions. The baby isn’t fussy and screaming just because. They’re uncomfortable and scared and unsure of what is happening to their world.
Knowing this empowers parents to be more patient, to have more empathy towards their baby, and to be more willing to provide the extra comfort needed during these wonder weeks of growth and change.
The Best Book for New Parents So Everyone Gets Sleep
I can’t lie. The early little to no-sleep days with my newborns were not my finest parenting moments. I don’t function well with poor, interrupted sleep.
It makes me cranky, easily frustrated, and sucks the patience right out of me. Which doesn’t bode well if you’re also having to parent toddlers at the same time.
I had to sleep train my babies for my own sanity. And for everyone’s safety.
They needed sleep. But I needed the sleep more.
The Sleepeasy Solution was my saving grace.
I had read that parents can start to “sleep train” babies between 5-10 months, but I had no clue how to do it.
And if you search for it, there’s a myriad of ways to sleep train a baby.
It’s incredibly overwhelming to figure out who to listen to and what is the “right” way to do sleep train.
For us, it was The Sleepeasy Solution because it was the middle of the road intensity level of sleep training that my family needed.
And it saved us all.
I went from having to bounce my babies all night long sitting on an exercise ball, to putting them down and gently teaching them to soothe themselves to sleep.
They became better sleepers and I became a happier mom who was able to function and enjoy them during the day more.
Because let’s face it. The newborn days are hard. We all need help to make them a little easier.
And that will allow us to focus on the really important task at hand.
Getting to know our babies and falling in love with them even more.