We purchased LOTS of books before having our baby because we wanted to be as prepared as possible. Many of them were recommended to us by friends, family and baby groups. The reality is that nothing can really prepare you for the colossal change that’s about to occur. Becoming a parent is a completely life-changing, roller-coaster experience and you really just learn as you go along.
Having said that, there are some books which we found useful, more so because they just helped us to understand the developmental milestones, phases and leaps our baby was going through, and try to make sense of it all. Out of all the books we bought, I recommend the following:
The Wonder Weeks by Hetty Van de Rijt, Frans Plooij and Xaviera Plas-Plooij (you can also get the The Wonder Weeks App)
These books are really insightful when it comes to understanding your baby’s behaviour at particular stages of their development. For example, they might help to explain why your baby is extra grizzly or hungry, when they’re likely to be going through a growth spurt or developmental leap (and behaviours associated with that), and set realistic sleep expectations (deploying a gentle approach – rather than using tactics such as the CIO (cry it out) method).
So whilst there’s definitely no manual as such for parenting, these books are the next best thing when it comes to arming you with the right knowledge and tools for dealing with some of the challenging and confusing times ahead!