It’s tough out there. Like diet books, parenting books seem to be written by every second former mummy blogger. While we all love an personal story, sometimes you just want some well established facts, not 6 Weeks to OMG I’m a Great Parent.
Helen urges parents to keep it simple and look at four important categories: breastfeeding, infant care, sleep and sex (that last one’s just for mum and dad!).
You could have a whole library of the same book in slightly different variations, but thankfully you don’t need to.
Here’s her shopping list of books we agree are essential reading for new parent:
The most authoritative, entertaining and accessible breastfeeding book ever produced in Australia. In its third edition, this 200 page book has been compiled from the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s information by long-term breastfeeding counsellor and writer Jill Day.
It includes photos and diagrams as well as an informative text gleaned from both scientific research and the collective wisdom of the thousands of mothers who have been members of the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
2.Baby Love (Robin Barker)
Australian, authoritative and totally up to date, Baby Love is the only book you’ll need to guide you through your baby’s first year.
Australia’s bestselling babycare book is loved by thousands of new parents every year. With expert advice for the first twelve months of every baby’s life and full of Robin Barker’s wisdom and humour, this classic guide has been fully revised, including new material on car safety and updates on circumcision, safe sleeping and controlled crying.
3.The Natural Child (Hunt & O’Mara)
Parenting from the heart feels right. Yet conflicting theories about parenting abound, and many of them counsel the use of strict methods to control and coerce your child that don’t seem natural, or even loving.
This book makes a compelling case for a return to attachment parenting, a child-rearing approach that has come naturally for parents throughout most of human history. In this insightful guide, parenting specialist Jan Hunt links together attachment parenting principles with child advocacy and homeschooling philosophies, offering a consistent approach to raising a loving, trusting and confident child.
4.Helping Your Baby To Sleep (Gethin and Macgregor)
In Helping Your Baby to Sleep, authors Beth Macgregor and Anni Gethin argue that this ‘controlled crying’ approach is detrimental for children and can have serious long-term effects. This practice produces anxiety in both parent and child and creates a burden of stress on babies with which they are ill-equipped to cope. In this groundbreaking book, the authors present important research into babies’ emotional and brain development, and offer gentle sleep techniques that take into account a baby’s natural sleep habits.
5.You really can’t go past Rekindling by Martin Snellen.
Melbourne psychiatrist Martien Snellen explores issues around the myriad of relationship changes after the birth of a child. He offers frank and practical advice about getting passion back into the lives of new parents, using a blend of humour, anecdotes, science, psychology and common sense.