Just a Few Books for New (soon-to-be) Moms

Posted March 18, 2021 by Berls in Just a Few Books I Read, Review / 0 Comments

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This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books are books I read while I was pregnant and shortly after having Dante. Some were more useful than others, for sure. I read a lot… what can I say? I respond to every situation in life with reading lol!

These reviews were written as I finished the books – and I’m adding little notes from my current perspective (Dante is almost 18 months old).

Just a Few Books for New (soon-to-be) MomsTell Your Dog You're Pregnant: An Essential Guide For Dog Owners Who Are Expecting A Baby by Lewis Kirkham
Published by Little Creatures Publishing on January 1, 2001
Genres: Self-Help
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Do you have a much-loved dog? Your 'fur kid'?Are you expecting or trying for a baby? Does your dog know?Do you want to learn how to prepare your dog for the new addition?
NOTE: To make use of the step-by-step guide for using baby and toy noises to prepare your dog, links are included to download 14 soundtracks of baby and toy noises.
Tell Your Dog You're Pregnant offers a practical, intuitive approach for creating a loving bond between your dog and your new baby. Dr Kirkham has packed this book full of information, helpful tips and the latest behavioral knowledge. It is a must read for any dog owning family who is expecting a baby - your dog's and baby's future relationship may just depend on it.
Learn how to:. Prepare your dog for the baby. Accustom your dog to numerous baby sounds, including toy noises. Read and interpret your dog's body language. Adjust your routine and the household to keep your dog calm. Introduce your dog and baby for the first time. Recognise your dog's warning signs. Know when you need professional assistance
A baby makes many different noises and your dog needs to be familiar with new sounds ranging from crying to giggling; sneezing to splashing in the bath; as well as all those noisy toys. Prepare your dog for these new sounds with this step-by-step guide.

Mostly sound, easy to follow advice

This book has got a great structure for laying out what you need to do to prepare your dog(s) for a baby in the house. I feel like what the author said made a lot of sense and the steps should be easy to follow. I will update this review (hopefully) after I’ve been through the process with Buffy. I don’t give it 5 stars for one reason – there is a case study where he recommended euthanasia way too quickly, IMO. It made me question how much he understands that my dog is part of the family and that could never be an option, unless she was ill. However, I don’t want to let one episode cloud what seems like otherwise really sound advice, that is well structured and makes me feel like I have a game plan for ensuring Buffy does well when we bring Dante home in about 5 months. It even had a sound track of baby sounds to prepare your dog – and I saw Buffy respond well to it.

Update: Buffy has done really well with Dante and they love each other so much. I do think this advice helped, but also I think Buffy was just a good dog to bring a baby home to.

Just a Few Books for New (soon-to-be) MomsCherish the First Six Weeks: A Plan that Creates Calm, Confident Parents and a Happy, Secure Baby by Helen Moon
Published by Harmony on February 12, 2013
Genres: Self-Help
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

From baby nurse to the stars, Helen Moon, a step-by-step plan to managing sleep and feeding issues to survive--and enjoy--the first six weeks of your newborn baby's life.

Have you ever wondered why celebrities look so rested in such a short time after giving birth? The answer: baby specialists like Helen Moon. A baby specialist and professional nanny for the past 25 years, Helen has worked closely with hundreds of families, including some of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Helen knows that the first six weeks of a baby's life--when parents tend to be nervous, siblings are needy, and new babies need immediate and constant attention--has a huge impact on the entire family. Getting a baby on a sleeping and eating schedule is an achievable dream, and it's not a mystery. Helen's step-by-step plan shows new parents exactly how to integrate their baby into the family so that she will be able to sleep when she's tired, eat when she's hungry, and calm herself when she's fussy--self-regulating skills that will enable her to thrive for the rest of her life.
Assured that their babies are secure and happy, parents can confidently enjoy this most precious time of their baby's life, trusting their own instincts, and--most importantly--sleeping through the night themselves!

I should probably rate it again after baby’s born to see how easy it is to implement all she says and if it actually works. But the advice is clear, practical, and very useful in its presentation.

Update: I would 100% read this book again if we had another child as a refresher. It really fits anyone with a type A personality. There are schedules for getting your baby to sleep better each week. And yes, just as the book claims, Dante has been sleeping through the night since he was 6 weeks old.

Just a Few Books for New (soon-to-be) MomsThe Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
Published by Bantam on May 27, 2003
Genres: Self-Help
Pages: 267
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Perfect for expecting parents who want to provide a soothing home for the newest member of their family, The Happiest Baby on the Block, the national bestseller by respected pediatrician and child development expert Dr. Harvey Karp, is a revolutionary method for calming a crying infant and promoting healthy sleep from day one.
In perhaps the most important parenting book of the decade, Dr. Harvey Karp reveals an extraordinary treasure sought by parents for centuries—an automatic “off-switch” for their baby’s crying.
No wonder pediatricians across the country are praising him and thousands of Los Angeles parents, from working moms to superstars like Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, have turned to him to learn the secrets for making babies happy.
Never again will parents have to stand by helpless and frazzled while their poor baby cries and cries. Dr. Karp has found there IS a remedy for colic. “I share with parents techniques known only to the most gifted baby soothers throughout history …and I explain exactly how they work.”
In a innovative and thought-provoking reevaluation of early infancy, Dr. Karp blends modern science and ancient wisdom to prove that newborns are not fully ready for the world when they are born. Through his research and experience, he has developed four basic principles that are crucial for understanding babies as well as improving their sleep and soothing their senses:
The Missing Fourth Trimester: as odd as it may sound, one of the main reasons babies cry is because they are born three months too soon.
The Calming Reflex: the automatic reset switch to stop crying of any baby in the first few months of life.
The 5 “S’s”: the simple steps (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking) that trigger the calming reflex. For centuries, parents have tried these methods only to fail because, as with a knee reflex, the calming reflex only works when it is triggered in precisely the right way. Unlike other books that merely list these techniques Dr. Karp teaches parents exactly how to do them, to guide cranky infants to calm and easy babies to serenity in minutes…and help them sleep longer too.
The Cuddle Cure: the perfect mix the 5 “S’s” that can soothe even the most colicky of infants.
In the book, Dr. Karp also explains:
What is colic?
Why do most babies get much more upset in the evening?
How can a parent calm a baby—in mere minutes?
Can babies be spoiled?
When should a parent of a crying baby call the doctor?
How can a parent get their baby to sleep a few hours longer?
Even the most loving moms and dads sometimes feel pushed to the breaking point by their infant’s persistent cries. Coming to the rescue, however, Dr. Karp places in the hands of parents, grandparents, and all childcare givers the tools they need to be able to calm their babies almost as easily as…turning off a light.

Easily the best and most useful newborn book I’ve read so far. I’d already watched the DVD (which I also recommend) but reading the book helped to solidify some of the things I learned from the DVD.

Update: I’d say the strategies from this book, combined with the eating/sleep schedules from Cherish the First Six Weeks made the newborn phase much easier.

Just a Few Books for New (soon-to-be) MomsHeading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality by Laura A. Jana, Jennifer Shu
Published by American Academy of Pediatrics on July 13, 2010
Genres: Self-Help
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

Now in a fully-updated second edition, Heading Home with Your Newborn has everything new and expectant parents need to know about caring for baby in the first few months after birth. Written by two pediatricians who are also parents, this awarding-winning guide covers feeding, sleeping, changing, bathing, dressing, traveling, sickness, child care options, and much more.
The second edition features new chapters on vaccines and choosing a child care provider, plus a robust new section devoted to early learning, with chapters on baby brain basics, baby sign language, fun and games, books and babies, the sounds of music, and the effects of media on the very young. Also included is new or updated information on car seats, safe sleep, cord blood, what to keep in your medicine cabinet, postpartum depression, vitamin D, organic formulas, disposable vs. cloth diapers, newborn hearing screening, and more.
With wit and humor, Drs. Shu and Jana allay the feelings of anxiety, guilt, and inadequacy that inevitably plague first-time parents home alone with a newborn, providing authoritative yet compassionate advice for the sleep-deprived and overwhelmed!
Here are a few special excerpts from Heading Home With Your Newborn as featured on HealthyChildren.org:
Sleeping by the BookThe Many Colors of PoopTo Bathe, or Not to Bathe

This book covers everything in a really clear, easy to read manner. definitely recommend. It hits all the general milestones and concerns of the first few weeks.

Update: I probably was at overkill by time I added this book to my collection – I don’t think I learned much from it that wasn’t already in all the articles and books and apps I’d already read. But if you wanted one place for all the information I was gobbling up all over, this book is a good resource.

Just a Few Books for New (soon-to-be) MomsThe Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby by Lauren Smith Brody
Published by Doubleday Books on April 4, 2017
Genres: Self-Help
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

The Fifth Trimester is your new best friend: a brilliant, tells-it-like-it-is guide that helps moms cope with the demands of the real world after the baby arrives
The first three trimesters (and the fourth--those blurry newborn days) are for the baby, but the Fifth Trimester is when the working mom is born. No matter what the job or how you define work, you're going to have a lot of questions. When will I go back? How should I manage that initial "I want to quit" attack? Flex-time or full-time? How can I achieve 50/50 at home with my partner? What's the best option for childcare? Is it possible to look like I slept for eight hours instead of three? And . . . why is there never a convenient space to pump? Whether you're in the final stages of pregnancy or hitting the panic button on your last day of leave, The Fifth Trimester is your one-stop shop for the honest, funny, and comforting tips, to-do lists, and take-charge strategies you'll need to embrace your new identity as a working parent and set yourself up for success. Based on interviews with 700+ candidly speaking moms in wildly varied fields and incredible expert advice, The Fifth Trimester tackles every personal and professional detail with the wit, warmth, and inspiration you need to win when you head back to work. Like What to Expect When You're Expecting and The Happiest Baby on the Block, this is an indispensable guide every new mom needs on her shelf.

I think every working mom should read this, preferably before going back to work. So many great suggestions and just real true honest moments about the struggle of being a working mom.

Update: Boy, this book is going to need a COVID edition! It was exactly what I needed when life was normal though. It really helped me navigate going back to work. It deals with mom guilt, balancing your multiple lives, how to negotiate work schedules, and things like making your work environment more family friendly. Hell, it even had a chapter on getting yourself dressed and ready for work with an infant… I swear I made it to work every day on time with dropping Dante off at daycare because of the tips in this book!

Just a Few Books for New (soon-to-be) MomsWorking Mom Survival Guide: How to Run Around Less Enjoy Life More by Suzanne Riss, Teresa Palagano, Michele Borba
Published by Weldon Owen on October 4, 2011
Genres: Self-Help
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Every day, working mothers encounter and overcome new challenges large and small at home, at the office, and on the road. From the editors of Working Mother, veteran working moms themselves, this book offers clear, straightforward solutions and practical shortcuts.
From the experts at Working Mother magazine, Working Mom Survival Guide answers your most basic and trickiest questions: Are you addicted to your BlackBerry? How do you get your toddler, or your co-workers, to listen? How do you get on or off a mommy track? Access quickly the information every working mom needs to know—from how to keep tabs on your teen’s online time to how to ask for a flexible schedule—and get back to your busy day, better prepared and more confident. With humor and practicality, Working Mom Survival Guide collects the wisdom and experience of working moms who have been there, too, giving you a head start when you need it most.
Subscription to Working Mother magazine included with purchase (details inside book).
“As a busy professional and mom of three kids, I know it’s not possible to achieve total balance, but the Working Mom Survival Guide definitely makes juggling all these roles more manageable. This book is rich with practical advice on how to organize and prioritize and make life’s difficult decisions, so you can be your best self in the boardroom and in the playroom!”
-Joy Bauer MS, RD, Today show nutritionist and The New York Times bestselling author
“Three cheers for the Working Mom Survival Guide! One cheer for its common sense approach, one cheer for its thoroughness, and one big cheer for its sense of humor. Working moms need backup, and this book provides “been there, done that” advice that really resonates for everyday issues. The authors, Suzanne Riss and Teresa Palagano, write with authority and empathy for the millions of us trying to manage a career, kids, and the occasional ill-advised e-mail rant! This is a must-read for moms trying to raise independent, well-adjusted children in a crazy-busy world.”
-Lian Dolan Parenting expert at oprah.com; creator of The Chaos Chronicles magazine column, podcast, and blog; and mom to Brookes, 16, and Colin, 13.
“All moms have eighteen things to do at once. Make room for nineteen: reading this clever, cheerful, empathetic guide to streamlining your priorities as a working parent.”
-Aline Brosh McKenna Screenwriter (The Devil Wears Prada, 27 Dresses, and Morning Glory) and mom to Charlie, 11 and Leo, 8.
“A terrific resource for working moms who, like me, welcome fresh, realistic advice on juggling kids and career.”
-Kristi Yamaguchi Figure skater, Olympic Gold Medal winner, author, and mom to Keara, 7, and Emma, 5.

Finally finished this. Have to say I think it’s geared more towards moms with older kids (2+) but the advice is still useful (at least in a preCOVID world.)

Update: I was underwhelmed, but I really think I could see myself revisiting this book when Dante is older, like 2 or 3 (which honestly isn’t that long form now!!) It might better fit my world view at that point

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About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 1 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 20 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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