In the past few years, I am ashamed to admit I have not read a lot of books (magazines and blogs are another story, I've read many many of those). As a young girl and teen, reading was probably one of my most major hobbies. My idea of a fun weekend was going to the library by myself and coming home with a bag of books. I used to read the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley books like they were going out of style. I also read the Full House "Stephanie" books. Laugh all you want, they were awesome. I would also get passionate about new subjects seemingly each month and read books about those too (I once read books all about the history of doll houses for a month straight).
As I got older and the internet became more and more part of everyday life, I definitely noticed my reading began to decline. Plus, working full time, blogging and other responsibilities left little time for reading.
When I found out I was pregnant though, I knew I'd get back into reading because I wanted to learn all there is to know about pregnancy, babies and parenting. I'm especially interested in books about parenting in various cultures and on baby's brain development.
Mayo Clinic- Guide to a Health Pregnancy (buy it here)
This is the first pregnancy book I got---someone wonderful actually sent it to me before I even got pregnant! I like reading the weekly summaries and refer to it each week. It seems to have a lot more detailed information on labor, birth and newborn care than the week-by-week development, so I'll do a full review once I've gotten to that point.
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chau (buy it here)
A co-worker lent this book to me and I am so glad she did. I think Chau's story was totally over-hyped in the media to make her out to be something different than what I read in the book. Don't get me wrong---some of her parenting methods are definitely extreme, but the book reads more like a memoir of her own experiences raising her two daughters and not a parenting guide.
Though guidance is exactly what I came out with as I read the last page. I 100% agree with Chau's overall, underlying premise: that as a parent, you must invest in your child and push them to be the best they can be---because no one else will do that for your child. How can a child reach their full potential if their own parent doesn't encourage and push them to achieve what they never thought was possible? If you want your child to be great---show them they are capable of doing incredible things---even things they never thought they were capable of. Another part of her book I appreciated was that she admits that being a strict parent, as she was, is hard. It's much more difficult, time consuming, and heart-wrenching than being a parent who is more passive. I was raised by very strict parents and though I do not agree with a lot of what went on in my childhood (the same way I don't agree with all of Chau's parenting experiences), I do believe that I am a more confident and motivated individual partly due to the way I was raised. The bottom line/takeaway from Chau's book for me--- invest time in your children, even if it's not "easy" and push your children to achieve what you know they can---because no one else will do it for you and if you instill in your children that they can be great---they are more likely to rise to the occasion. Let me know what you thought of the book if you've read it in the comments!
Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman (buy it here)
I am 81 pages into Brining Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman and I absolutely love it already. The author didn't like Paris when she first moved there but she noticed that French children and babies seem so clam and well-behaved. In the book, she explores the reasons for this and breaks down several of the concepts French parents follow, seemingly naturally or instinctively. I cannot wait to finish this book and provide a full review. Truthfully, I find myself more drawn to non-American parenting theories. I think every parent needs to do what works best for them and their child(ren), but for me, these more structured and disciplined parenting styles are more appealing.
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D. (buy it here)
I have not started to read this one yet, but it came highly recommended by many friends and bloggers. I believe it's considered to be a must-have book for any new mom.
Dad's Pregnant Too! by Harlan Cohen (buy it here)
A friend of mine who is well into her pregnancy recommended this book to me. She originally bought it for her husband, but she enjoyed it so much herself that she told me I should get it for Kevin and we should read it together. That's the plan!
Baby Bargains (buy it here)
This book was another book I saw popping up on all of the mommy blogs I read. I look forward to checking out the money-saving tips and deals :)
What books would you recommend I check out and why? Please leave your recommendations in the comments below and thank you!