As a parent, I’ll take all the help I can get. Although listening to my intuition is certainly crucial, I’ve found a lot of comfort and gained a lot of knowledge from books, blogs, and DVDs. Here are the eight resources I loved and recommend to new moms!
1. Babywise. I know this book and its authors can be misunderstood (and I have to admit I was one of those people who rolled my eyes at it a bit when I first heard about it), but it was a huge blessing for me and my mommy mind when my daughter was a newborn. I found a lot of comfort in it and felt it was right for our family at the time. My daughter set her own schedule, but it lined up directly with this book. It offers sample schedules for babies based on age, as well as tips on attaining an eat-wake-sleep routine. Buy the book here.
2. Babywise Mom blog. This blog is written by Valerie Plowman, a mom of four kids who is not associated with the Babywise book itself but is a close follower of “the Babywise way.” Honestly, I think the blog is even better than the book! It’s super easy to search by category, like Bedtime, Cry It Out, Sleep Problems, Naps, or Waking Early, or by age. I get lost in her site and always have like 10 tabs open at a time with all the stuff I want to read. I used the Blog Index and Index by Age pages the most. So helpful! Follow on Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest.
3. Happiest Baby on the Block (DVD). My husband and I watched this when our daughter was three weeks old and it made SO much sense. It was made in 2002 and could really stand to be updated, but we actually learned a lot from it. Dr. Harvey’s tricks and tips worked really well for our family (my favorite is his pacifier trick to teach a baby how to keep it in his/her mouth!). We liked it so much that we lovingly refer to it as “The Happiest Parents on the Block.” There is also a book with the same title. Buy the book / DVD.
4. Happiest Toddler on the Block (DVD). This DVD had a lot of great takeaways. Your toddler is not a mini adult. Their brains are unbalanced (leaning toward impulse instead of reason). Think of them as little cavemen. Another tip: Gossip about your child. Let your child overhear you praising him/her to your spouse. For example, I might say to my husband, loud enough for Rooney to hear me, “I heard Rooney ate all her peas at daycare today! What a big girl!” (Hint: Only use this method positively.) Here’s a full recap post with my thoughts and takeaways. There is also a book with the same title. Buy the book / DVD.
5. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I borrowed this book from my sister and am SO happy I did. I picked this book up again last week and got some good tips about when to transition to a big girl bed, so it’s not just for babies! I would say this book is good up to age three. My biggest takeaway when Rooney was a baby was how to recognize sleep signs in babies to time their naps correctly, which is really important to sleep overall, since sleep begets sleep. My daughter started sleeping through the night at seven weeks and now, at age two and a half, is still a great sleeper. I give lots of credit to this book! Buy the book here.
6. New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding. This is another book I borrowed from my sister. She got it free from the hospital. Even though I took a breastfeeding class before my daughter was born, I found this very helpful when talking about different holds and latch and what to look for while breastfeeding. Even though breastfeeding didn’t work out for us past the first month for several reasons, this book was really helpful for me to read while breastfeeding to try to figure it out! Buy the book here.
7. The Best Birth (DVD). My husband and I watched this DVD in lieu of a birthing class at the hospital. I wanted something geared toward natural childbirth, and this gave me a lot of ideas of different positions to try. I took notes while watching it and then studied them at home after my water broke before we left for the hospital. I ended up having a natural birth and credit the confidence I got after watching this DVD (and the fact that my labor went very quickly). This DVD was also great at equipping my husband to support me during my labor and childbirth. Buy the DVD here.
8. This blog (of course!). The Des Moines Moms Blog is a great place to meet other Iowa moms and get a strong community of moms in the same city who can relate to what you’re going through. Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I certainly get a lot of comfort from talking it out with other moms who understand. Follow on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest.
I’m always looking for new awesome parenting books, blogs, and DVDs. What resources do you recommend?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.