#5 from my list, 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Giving Birth
When people find out you are pregnant, suggestions start rolling in. Have you bought this? Are you eating this? Have you read this book? There are many parenting books out there and the fact that no two are exactly the same should be enough to tell you that there is not one formula for raising a baby. I have read a few books with some great ideas and suggestions. I have read some truly horrible books about parenting. There are people out there who get so sucked in to certain parenting mantras that they actually believe it is wrong (ie you are a bad parent) if you do not raise your child according to a specific book (and no - I am not talking about the Bible!). This is garbage.
We have dozens of friends who are great parents and I cannot think of two couples I know who raise their child exactly the same way. Similar values, yes. Similar ideas about certain things, yes - but not everything. But exactly the same parenting styles? No. If someone tells you "Oh you HAVE to read this book, it changed my life" it would probably be on the top of my list of Books To Not Read. Oh and trust me - many of the ideas you have about parenting may change after Baby arrives.
Do not ever let people feel guilty because you are not raising your child the way they think you should. This is ridiculous. There are some good books out there - but do not get into this cult like mentality that if you do not do exactly what it says on page 154 your baby is doomed.
One book that I did find useful is not a book about parenting, but about baby development, The Wonder Weeks. This book examines various key stages in a baby's development and explains why they may be behaving a certain way and things you can do to help them through this process.
The Wonder Weeks
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