So, you’re going to have a baby.

First things first, congratulations! Now that you know that you’re with child, you are hopefully going to love nosing through this list of books that we recommend reading to get to know more about what to expect – before and after.

And for parents who are reading this that already have a baby at home and are simply looking to expand their knowledge, we hope you’ll enjoy this list as well.

There’s so much information to digest and plenty of places to access it, but if you ask us, it’s so much sweeter when it’s all in one place. Don’t you think?

The Mini Manzil Must-Read List

  1. The Gentle Birth Method by Dr. Gowri Motha
    From the simplest tips and tricks on how to avoid the dreaded bloat during pregnancy (cutting out the main culprits such as wheat and sugar) to outlining a step-by-step guide to lush massages that she advises your partner perform on you regularly, Dr. Gowri Motha’s advice is both helpful and heavenly.
  2. The New Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford
    Ready for a routine? Gina Ford’s methodology is almost the polar opposite of ‘The Gentle Birth Method’ and has been labelled quite controversial by some. However, many swear by the author’s advice and strict regime as it comes with years of experience caring for over 300 babies working as a sought-after maternity nurse.
  3. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
    If you identify as a “crunchy parent” you will love this. And a word of warning: This book may get a bit too hippie-dippie for some with excerpts like “I knew her cervix was dilating because I could feel my own pulsing” lining the pages. However, the author sure does know her stuff. The first section is full of birth stories, tearing away any fears, doubts and horrible visuals society has instilled in us. If your dream is to have a natural birth without drugs, this empowering book is for you.
  4. Not In Your Genes: The real reasons children are like their parents by Oliver James
    This book isn’t necessarily about childbirth, but it is quite fascinating as it explains the humongous influence parents have on their children, and how genes have virtually nothing to do with our personalities and potential personality disorders – which are all shaped and created by our experiences and our nurturing. The perfect prep for the daunting task ahead.
  5. Gentle First Year: The Essential Guide to Mother and Baby Wellbeing in the First Twelve Months by Dr. Gowri Motha
    We recommend reading this book as you enter your third trimester when your focus begins to shift from a fascination with your pregnancy to the real excitement of your newborn baby entering the world. Another beautiful book by Dr. Gowri Motha, author of Gentle Birth Method (listed above) with, you guessed it, more wholesome advice on a natural approach to motherhood.
  6. First Time Parent: The Honest Guide to Coping Brilliantly and Staying Sane in Your Baby’s First Year by Lucy Atkins
    The perfect book to wrap up your 9 months of pregnancy, this book is a real gem as it’s chock full of practical advice and lots of useful information. Similar to Gentle First Year, this book is sectioned off into ages and stages making it a handy manual to keep going back to for sound advice in trying times.
  7. Loving Hands: The Traditional Art Of Baby Massage by Frederick Leboyer
    A book with few words but a powerful message, Loving Hands is a picture-led tome featuring a beautiful young mother sitting with her baby on her lap as she gently massages it with oil, following the sequences and techniques she uses. The art of baby massage is used to communicate love and strength to infants in the weeks and months following birth as it looks to the primal language of touch and sensation.
  8. Keep Calm, The New Mum’s Manual by Dr. Ellie Cannon
    Relax, trust your gut and enjoy your new baby – that is exactly what GP and mum of two, Dr. Ellie Cannon is telling you to do in this new-age guide to parenting. A light-hearted, sensible guide filled with essential advice for the early days, sleeping, feeding, soothing, weaning, development, health and everyone’s favourite topic: Vaccinations, this book is being called the perfect antidote to inflexible, guilt-inducing parenting guides.
  9. Dr. Spock’s Baby And Child Care (9th edition) by Benjamin Spock
    For over 60 years parents have trusted Dr. Benjamin Spock’s advice and his #1 rule of parenting: “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” Now, in its 9th edition, this baby and child care book has been updated by leading paediatrician Robert Needlman to include a revised glossary of common medications and a resource guide that compiles the most reliable online resources.
  10. Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide To Breastfeeding by Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman
    This book covers all of the hard to handle situations with breastfeeding from: How do I help my baby to get a good latch – How can I know if my baby is getting enough milk – How can I help her/him get more? – Can I avoid sore nipples? – Will my medication affect my baby? – How do I fit breastfeeding into my life when I’m so busy?
  11. The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
    Anywhere between the ages of 4-6 months, your baby will be able to sit up on their own, and when they do they will be grabbing everything in sight and putting it into their little mouths – a prime time to begin healthy eating habits with solid foods. This book is a great guide on to how to get started and what to begin with, thanks to its recipes and advice on helping babies learn to feed themselves, to gauge appetite, and to love a variety of nutritious foods.
  12. The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent by Michel Cohen, M.D.
    Dr. Michel Cohen covers it all in his alphabetically formatted guide to child care. Named as the hip “must-have” paediatrician by the New York Post, Dr. Michel’s book includes everything from when an antibiotic can be helpful to when it is harmful, advice on breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle weaning, sleep patterns and more. With one extremely important and helpful message: Don’t worry so much, Dr. Michel Cohen includes a section called “Real Questions from Real Parents” throughout the book, based on questions he has been asked over and over again by his very own patients. If all of this wasn’t enough to make you want to pick this up, it’s good to note that it also covers other parenting challenges such as biting, hitting, ADD, separation anxiety, how to cope with the terrible twos (and threes and fours …), and preparing your child for a new sibling.
  13. Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden
    Dads, this one is for you. Even the cover is designed for the dad who doesn’t want to be seen flaunting a pastel covered book, we love the vintage-inspired handyman’s guide style design. So, what’s inside you ask? MacGyver-esque tips and tricks, and no-nonsense advice for mastering the first year as a dad. It’s all about the important stuff, of course. Things like boobie traps – or shall we call them baby traps? – of drawers filled with decoy phones, wallets, and remote controls to throw your baby off the scent of your real goods, how to pull off constructing an emergency diaper out of a towel, a sock and ducktape, how to change your baby at a packed stadium, and more importantly, how to stay awake at work. Oh yes, this is a real gem of a book for the soon-to-be-dad keen to conquer his new role.
  14. Making Babies: Stumbling Into Motherhood by Anne Enright
    Novelist Anne Enright and her husband were married 18 years before having children. After each of her two children was born, she wrote this book during each nap, noting the mess, the glory and the raw shock of motherhood. The Sunday Times said it’s: “Supremely observant and endlessly quizzical, Enright “has pulled off that rarest of tricks: writing brilliantly about happiness.”
  15. Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year by Ari Brown and Denise Fields
    The ultimate FAQ for new parents, Baby 411 is a mix of all of the parents who came before you’s advice mixed with sound medical advice from a nationally-renowned paediatrician. A few things that caught our eye with this handy guide was the advice on how to pick a paediatrician, how to handle first aid – what to do, what not to worry about and some seriously down-to-earth advice that you can trust, how to babyproof your home to make it a safe environment for your baby to grow and develop in and most importantly, simple ways on how to make your baby smarter with things like talk time and the latest research and tips.

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