After all the work it takes to have a child, first time parents often bask in the glory of a victorious pregnancy until reality hits: The single greatest responsibility is fast approaching, and it comes without instructions.
Don’t worry. You’re not the first new parent, and you won’t be the last.
Books can be a great resource to help new parents feel informed before the journey begins. Here are five of our favorite titles we recommend for first-time parents.
1. Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year by Dr. Ari Brown & Denise Fields
This is one of those gems that combines real-world experiences and advice from parents who have been in the trenches with research-based input from a pediatrician.
The book covers everything you need to know about your baby, including advice to help you get them to sleep, how to choose a pediatrician, and how to feed your baby. This book is a fantastic find for any new parent.
Available on Amazon.
2. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp
Dr. Harvey Karp has a well-known and respected reputation for getting babies to sleep better. If you’re hoping to save peace of mind by getting babies to sleep better, this is a must-read choice.
New babies often struggle to sleep which means parents will too. Sleep deprivation is in no one’s best interest, making a read like this one worth the time.
This title offers some tips and advice to help everyone in the family improve their sleep-deprived status and enhance the new parent experience.
Available from Happiest Baby.
3. What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff with Sharon Mazel
The What to Expect empire is widely known—and for good reason. The books cover all topics and offer great advice. For new parents, What to Expect the First Year is no exception.
Often referred to as the “New Baby Bible,” What to Expect the First Year is one book every new parent should have. It pretty much covers everything a new parent may encounter and serves as a good reference to have on hand.
Available on Amazon.
4. Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach
The approach Leach takes to this title sets it apart from other must-reads for new parents. The book offers the same—or similar—advice you may find in other baby books, but the author’s advice isn’t limited to simple tips around childcare. She considers what your child is doing, experiencing, and feeling, adding important context to the conversation.
Your Baby and Child is also a great choice because it advises parents through the first five years. Any new parents that take to this author’s method will likely peruse her pages for years, making it a worthwhile investment.
Available from Penguin Random House.
5. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Shefali Tsabary, PhD
This title helps new parents improve their technique—and inevitably, the life of their child—by explaining the impact of your actions on your baby. Children will absorb and mirror what their parents do, so before a parent can provide quality parenting, they need to evaluate themselves first and foremost.
Tsabary’s approach is very different from most of the other baby books for new parents available today but absolutely worth the time to read.
Available from Barnes & Noble.
There are countless ways to help prepare you for the day you bring home your newborn. Whether you’re interested in books, podcasts, or blogs, you can find invaluable resources online, in stores, and in person to make sure you’re ready for your path to parenthood.