The baby and parenting section of the bookstore can be a fearsome and overwhelming place. As a mother who didn't know a whole lot about...anything...having just the one book was great. I didn't have to think about philosophies of parenting or anything. I had the one book.
The one book was Baby 411.
Written by a pediatrician and a consumer advocate who are both mothers, Baby 411 gives extremely clear and practical advice on every aspect of raising a child to age 1. It is easy to read, even when you are sleep deprived and covered in Lanolin (yeah, get ready for that) with answers to the questions you actually have. Sometimes it was like the book read my mind. Also, it has first aid and dosing information for common medications and practical solutions to real life baby problems.
Most of all, it spoke to my personality as a mother. It talks about discipline and how to deal with crying, the importance of breastfeeding and vaccines, sleep issues and scheduling. The authors speak from the standpoint of a mother, but also as a physician. I have a friend who is a pediatrician who says she always recommends this book to new parents and is extremely proud that her copy is autographed.
Bonus? It breaks down a whole mess of sleep books and grades them. We actually ended up buying one other book on sleep when Reese was six weeks old and I needed a schedule. Almost as much as I needed a drink.
The same pediatrician friend recommended Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and I never looked back. Very popular with parents who don't mind a little crying, but don't want to the Ferber method (although it's basically the same thing). This book talked a lot about the biology of sleep and how babies process sleep and need sleep. At the beginning, it was really hard to ensure that all naps happened in the crib and there was definitely some crying, but when I tell you that Reese goes to sleep happily and sleeps for twelve hours (plus naps!)...I mean, you can't argue with results.
I mean, how funny is that picture of the baby on the cover? Buy it just for that!
And that's basically it for me. I did just read Bringing Up Bebe, but other than that and the plethora of information on the internet, those were the only baby books in our household. Just a note, I do recommend getting these all in hard copy as opposed to an e-format. There is something way more difficult to loading up an electronic device in the middle of the night when you aren't sure exactly what constitutes a fever in an infant.
Were there any that I missed? Any that anyone else loves?