Essential Reads For Parenthood

With my due date for baby number two fast approaching, I’ve been revisiting my go-to books for parenthood. In this post, I’ll share with you my top reads for early infancy.

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Originally I wanted to write ‘essential reads for motherhood’ but after observing my husband and his hands-on approach it has reminded me that dads want to be just as much involved in their child’s development as we do. When we received the all clear from our test results with Mahari, I dived straight into pregnancy literature trying to find out what it would be like and what to expect during labour. I read tons of material on hypnobirthing and natural approaches to labour and delivery. As a teacher, I was also naturally intrigued to find out what I could do to support Mahari’s early development.

The books I’ve shared below are the ones I found the most useful and the ones I’ve actually taken ideas from and used. I had and still do trawl through various blogs, vlogs, websites and books, but I’ve found some are fairly outdated and some just don’t suit my parenting style. I usually take the information I’ve read and adapt it to suit me. Below are the books that I’ve used consistently and that Pat and I will revisit for our second child.

1. Truly Happy Baby….. It Worked For Me by Holly Willoughby was my go-to guide in the beginning. British television host Willoughby is a mum of three and shares her experiences of what worked with each of her children. Chapters are split into key areas- sleeping, feeding, daily care etc. The chapters I repeatedly referred back to were the sleeping and feeding routine. Willoughby shares a rough timeline for how these routines should evolve from 0-12 months. I found the feeding schedule particularly helpful for when I returned to work (you can read how I prepared for that here). If you’re looking for a guide when it comes to structure I would highly recommend this book.

2. The Wonder Weeks by Frans X. Plooij and Hetty van de Rijt is probably my favourite book I’ve read to support parenting in the first year so far. I think all parents should be taught this information when they are expecting a child and even caregivers. The book explores development milestones that every single child will experience and explains how a change or ‘leap’ can impact a child’s behaviour, sleep and even eating habits. Details are given as to how you can support your child through a leap through experiential play, games and toys etc. There’s also an app available to support the information in the book and help you track your little ones progress. I feel that the info contained in the book and app helped me to be a much calmer parent as I understood why some of Mahari’s mood swings etc were taking place. I would say this is a must for your nighttime reading.

3. Baby’s First Skills: Help Your Baby Learn Through Creative Play  by Dr Mariam Stoppard is great if you’re looking for detailed ideas about what games to play with your little one that are appropriate for age and stage. I used this as a guide when starting tummy time and introducing songs.

4. Weaning Made Easy by Dr Rana Conway was useful in helping me decide what feeding route I wanted to take. I opted for BLW but this book gives you the pros and cons of traditional weaning and baby led. Make sure you read my article on Baby Led Weaning to learn all about why I chose this method.

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Let me know if you have any other recommended reads!

Follow my Instagram account @desertmama_xx for regular updates on general mum life and Mahari’s antics.

Much Love

Desert Mama xx


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