Top 20 Books for Pregnancy & Beyond

Becoming a parent is probably the best and scariest thing that can happen to a person. There is no manual or handbook on how to raise a little person. However, there are tons of people willing to share their experiences about pregnancy, the newborn stage, the toddler years, becoming a mom, and beyond. In this sisterhood of motherhood, we help each other. That’s how we make it through, from the moment we find out we’re expecting to when we’re up in the middle of the night with our crying baby. Our mom BFFs and books help us out. I don’t know what I would have done {or would do} without them.

I’m a reader and researcher by nature. Wanting to share what I’ve learned about becoming a mom was one of the main reasons why I started blogging in the first place. I even have an entire New Mama 101 series on my personal blog. Because of that, I thought we needed a list of the best books about pregnancy, parenting, and beyond. If you’ve ever Googled pregnancy books or parenting books, you know that there are a TON out there. But don’t you worry, we’ve come up with the top 20 books, curated just for you, hand selected by HMB contributors and friends. {I’ll let you know which ones are my personal favorites, too.}

pregnancy books & beyond

Pregnancy ::

1. The Pregnancy Journal: A Day-by-Day Guide to a Healthy & Happy Pregnancy by A. Christine Harris :: I loved this journal so much. It let me know what was going on in my pregnancy each day, and I had room to write about what I was feeling.

2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff & Sharon Mazel :: This is the probably one of the most popular books on the market, but it also can scare the bejeezus out of you. At least it did that to me. Proceed with caution, but many expecting mamas love this book.

3. Expecting 411: The Insider’s Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Michelle Hakakha & Ari Brown :: A question and answer format, and a highly recommended read.

4. The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine :: I will definitely read this next go-round. This was recommended by several mamas.

5. Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy :: I laughed so hard with this book.

6. Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy by Rosie Pope :: When I was pregnant with my baby, Rosie Pope had a reality show about being a pregnancy concierge in New York City. I was enamored, because a} NYC and b} I loved how informational and chic she was on the show. Once I heard about her book, I was sold. It’s not only one of my favorite pregnancy books, but a lot of other mamas recommend it as well.

Parenting ::

7. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp :: This was recommended to me by one of my mommy BFFs when I was up all night with my colic-y baby, and I read it in the wee hours of the morning. I have never been so thankful. The 5-Ss are pure genius. It works!

8. What to Expect the First Year by Murkoff & Mazel :: This list wouldn’t be complete without another one of the What to Expect books. This covers the first year in question and answer form, much like the first book.

9. The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by Dr. William Sears :: This is new to me, but it looks wonderful. Highly acclaimed and recommended.

10. Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year by Dr. Ari Brown & Denise Fields :: Another book in the 411 series, another highly revered read.

11. The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward by Frans X. Plooij & Hetty van de Rijt :: I absolutely loved this book! It actually has an app that accompanies it, and whenever my baby was fussy, I would look at the Wonder Weeks growth chart and understand that my sweet little baby doll was going through a leap, a growth spurt if you will. It also provided ways that I could help with the transition and growth. I highly recommend this one!

12. Cherish the First Six Weeks: A Plan that Creates Calm, Confident Parents and a Happy, Secure Baby by Helen Moon :: Another new-to-me book, but lots of mamas loved this one.

13. Parenting with Love and Logic by Dr. Foster Cline & Jim Fay :: I have not read this yet, but I plan on it. It was recommended by several friends and contributors.

14. Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel & Max Lucado :: If you’re looking for more of a spiritual parenting book, this should be your jam. I can’t wait to read this one.

Baby Sleep ::

15. The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep — from Birth to Age 5 :: This book! If there is one book on this list that I suggest you absolutely should have in your parenting arsenal, it is this one. I stand by it, and I know it’s why my little bambino sleeps so well at night. It provides so much scientific information that just makes sense. I used this for sleep training, too.

16. On Becoming Baby Wise Series by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam :: People either love this or hate this series. I loved it. The natural planner, type A mama that I am thrives on schedules. I won’t go into why that’s a good thing; it may very well NOT be your thing, and that’s perfectly fine. I did follow this book’s suggestions paired with The SleepEasy Solution and some other bloggers’ suggestions, and I was a happy camper because my baby was.

17. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth :: I haven’t read this one, but I’m guessing it’s a good one, because several HMB contributors and several friends recommended it.

For the Mama ::

18. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle :: If you have ever read The Big Mama blog, then you know Melanie Shankle. Her first book is a memoir about becoming a mother, and let me just tell you, it was such a breath of fresh air for my new mama soul! I tell anyone who will listen to read this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll want to read it all over. It’s definitely a must-read.

19. 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Dr. Meg Meeker :: This was recommended by a working mama who loved this book when her maternity leave was up. The title alone has me intrigued and wanting to read more.

20. Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I learned as a New Mom by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor :: There is something about short essays full of wit that make you laugh. I haven’t read this yet, but because so many friends sing this book’s praises, I’ll be sure to dive in soon. Practical advice for the new mom is sure to be a good read.

And that’s it, sister. You think you have enough reading material? Don’t worry. There won’t be a test. If your kid is smiling, I think you have this gig aced.

Did any of your favorites make the list? Any of your favorites left off? Do share!

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Kristy was born and raised in the coastal town of Port Lavaca, Texas, but has called Houston home since 2006. She majored in English and Public Relations at Texas State University and later received her Masters in Education Administration. In 2008 at a Halloween party, Kristy met her match, Michael, a sweet “nerd” in the crowd, and they were married in October 2010. They welcomed their sweet baby girl Charlotte into the world in February 2013. After teaching high school English for nine years, Kristy left the world of education to stay at home with her daughter. Charlotte now teaches Kristy a thing or two about life. Kristy loves Chick-Fil-A, Target, Starbucks, and all things girly. She writes at Seven Graces, a place where she shares stories about her faith, family, and favorite things. Kristy would love to connect with you through her blog’s Facebook page or through Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest as @kristy7graces.


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