I have been reading books to help prepare myself, reading the occasional article, asking lots of questions to experienced moms, and doing a lot of OBSERVING. There are times I see parents out in public yelling and screaming at their kids, or completely ignoring them while they wreak havoc, and quietly say a prayer -Please Lord, do not let me be a parent like that! I believe having a strong faith in God and installing Christian values in your home from the beginning is what is most important when starting a family.
The first book I got was the famous, "What to Expect when You're Expecting". A month to month guide to pregnancy. Honestly I haven't actually read the book that much, because I have the app on my phone and I get weekly emails from their website. The information is great though and literally I will be feeling some weird symptom, then that day get an email from them telling me it's completely normal! I don't know what I would do with out. I am pretty sure I would be going crazy thinking that every thing I am experiencing was a bad thing if I didn't have this resource.
The next book I got, "Baby Wise" is actually quite controversial. After reading it though, I honestly don't understand why. There are literally groups called "Mom's Against Baby Wise" -but what I really think they should be called is, "Mom's Against Getting Good Rest and That are FOR Letting Your Baby Run Your Lives". Basically the book suggests that you feed and nurture your baby in a "Parent Directed" manner. And that the baby is a PART of the existing family... not the CENTER of it. The mom does not drop down and nurse the baby every time she cries, but rather offers to nurse the baby according a schedule set by mom. -I am TOTALLY for this, especially as a full time working mom that has a husband, friends, and personal interests to attend to as well. Following this book usually gets babies sleeping through the night by 6 weeks- and I personally know people who have used this and swear by it. Kyle has also read it so we can be on the same page. Obviously I am not expecting a perfect schedule right away and know that it will be a learning curve, but having a game plan going in makes me feel better.
Another book I am reading is called"Dr. Denmark Said It". Dr Denmark practiced as a pediatrician until she was 103 years old... 103! She has some very strong opinions or raising children, some of which kind of shocked me. For one, she believes even newborns should sleep through the night with out being offered a feeding between 10pm-6am. What?! How is this even possible? She also says absolutely NO pacifiers ever, the baby should always sleep on their STOMACH, no juice or milk -just breast milk/formula and water when appropriate, and no table food until they are at least 2 years old (only "mush" -pureed baby food). She is also a big advocate for setting a schedule, but hers doesn't allow for much grace. She expects the baby's room to be quite, dark and eliminate any visitors, pets or anything else that may wake the baby. -These were all shocking, and while I'm sure there is a good reason for all of these suggestions, I really don't want our lives revolving around our baby. Rather, our baby to be integrated in to our life. I haven't finished it yet, but I am looking forward to what else she has to say. What I do know, is that the book was suggested by a couple who have raised great kids -so it's at least worth my time to finish it!
So pregnant/new moms- What have you read that helped? I know each baby is individual and all you can do is take a little bit of advice from each place and develop a system that works for you. So that is what I am trying to do -for some reason, I guess the Type A side of me, feels better having a "plan" going in to this whole being a mommy thing!