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New Parent Bookshelf

With a new baby in your arms, you don’t usually have much time for reading. And yet, while you probably spent plenty of time reading about birth throughout the course of your pregnancy, you’ll find you have a million new questions now that baby is finally here.

Most pregnancy books barely touch on what happens after the birth; sure, you’re well informed (and likely opinionated) about the eye goop, vitamin k supplementation, rooming in, and perhaps getting started with breastfeeding. But once you’re home from the hospital or birth center—or your midwife has gone on back to her own home—you’ll discover that there’s still so much that you don’t know. Is my baby sleeping too much? Or maybe not enough? Breastfeeding is hard! Is this a growth spurt? What exactly is colic? Help, this diaper rash won’t go away!

Where do you turn for help?

Babies don’t come with manuals, and there is no one book that covers every piece of information you might need to know. Instead, your best bet is to compile a mini library of your own, with books that cover topics that are important to you. Need some ideas on where to start? We’ve got you covered! Check out below for some important subjects you might want covered on your bookshelf, and a handful of great books on those subjects.

General Development

Everybody could use a book on basic baby development. A book like this covers the basics of growth, milestones, sleep, feeding, and more. You’ll find tips for soothing a fussy baby, coping with a clingy baby, breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding, when to start solids, and more.

The Baby Book by William Sears
The Vaccine-Friendly Plan by Paul Thomas, Jennifer Margulis
The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt, Frans Plooij
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Teresa Pitman


Breastfeeding is the biologically normal way of feeding a baby, but for many of us, it doesn’t come naturally. While there are many factors that can contribute to a healthy, happy breastfeeding relationship, education is among the most important; having a good book can help you counter the misinformation you’ll find at every turn, as well as troubleshoot some of the issues that may arrive. And what about when baby gets bigger?

The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk by Diana West, Lisa Marasco
Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley, Tracey Murkett
The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies & Toddlers by Anthony Porto, Dina DiMaggio
Baby Self-Feeding by Nancy Ripton, Melanie Potock
Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron
By Holly Scudero