Best books for new parents

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

If it’s your first baby, and you're about to become a new mum or a new dad for the first time, you’re bound to have so many questions.

Family, friends, and the internet will give you a combination of old wives’ tales, truths, and experiences that make up different expectations of bringing up a child. But as much as you love your family and friends, they are sometimes a little bit too close to you to offer you the best advice.

And, we all know that the internet will leave you in a rabbit hole, where you’ve diagnosed them with an allergic reaction when it’s probably just a nappy rash. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and don’t feel bad, because it’s always good to check!

Covering everything from sleeping patterns to cradle cap and fussy eaters, you’ll find everything that you need to know in these helpful books. So, whether you’ve just had a baby or have a little one growing in your tummy, here are the best books for first-time parents to help prepare you for bringing them up in this world. What are you waiting for? Pop at least one of these into your basket now.

The best books for first-time parents

Happy Mum Happy Baby
Price: $15.99

Giovanna Fletcher has told all about what it means to be a mother and win Celebrity Mum of the Year. This book isn’t about creating the perfect family but is an honest and upbeat personal account of her own experience. Learning about other mothers’ journeys can help shape your own and encourage you to be confident in your skills as a parent.

Promising review: "I read this before having a baby, which I was so glad about! It gave me an insight to motherhood. What to expect and not to put too much pressure on myself, my baby is 12 weeks old now and I always think happy mum, happy baby! It works! Listen to the ‘Happy mum, Happy baby’ podcast also, when I go for walks with baby, I smile away and relate so so much to what Giovanna and her guests are saying. They have helped me through some dark times after having baby and I’m so grateful to her for sharing stories so you don’t feel alone. Big big thank you!"

First-Time Parent

Rrp: $22.95

Price: $21.79

Find out how mother-of-three and health journalist Lucy Atkins has raised her children. It includes medical aspects from childbirth through to the funny reality of day-to-day being a first-time parent. If you haven’t already, pick up your copy and learn about the concerns of all new mothers.

Promising review: "Where do I start. My partner and I are expecting our first born. And this book does bloody wonders. Spoken from a first person in the most REALISTIC perspective, it really helps you understand the needs of the parents and the baby. It also explains what’s going on around you and how to promote the babies cognitive and behavioural development in the most positive way. Even how a baby reacts and thinks in terms of their behaviour and what different styles and techniques for the parents to implement into the household to deal with said tantrums or whatever. I really really recommend this book. I’d give it 10 stars if I could."

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read
Price: $16.27

If you’re looking for a read that is a judgment-free guide, this book will be perfect for you. Instead of laying out the law on what makes the perfect parents, this book looks at the bigger picture. It’ll help you understand your own upbringing and how that may affect your parenting skills.

Promising review: "The book I wish I had written! It’s a great help for parents and parents to be and a great book for improving ALL relationships. Philippa teaches us to relax and go with the flow rather than trying to steer everything and this is a much-needed breath of fresh air in today’s stressful climate. Her words will both ease your mind and help you think and feel your way into what’s best for you and your child or children (and others!). The audible book is great too as Philippa has a lovely, soothing, very relaxing, ‘story at bedtime’ (but not patronising!) reading voice. A nice short book too which will be a relief for many parents of younger children, with limited time for focusing on a book. As a fellow psychotherapist and a mother, I’d say this is the book we’ve all been waiting for. Give yourself a treat! Buy it!"

The Day-by-Day Baby Book
Price: $71.39

For thorough information on what to expect when having a baby, you won’t get much more detail than with this book. This extraordinary publication covers every single day of your baby’s first 12 months. All this great info has come from leading pediatricians, midwives, psychologists, and nutritionists so it really is expert advice.

Promising review: "Yes it's basic, but you know what as a first time mum I was looking for a bit of simple. I was overwhelmed with advice, getting confused with all the websites, forums etc. In the end, I just used this. I would read the month ahead. I'd then have a rough idea of what I might be in store for. Some of it I follow, some of it I don't, but I wasn't looking for an exact lengthy transcript of how to raise my baby, I just wanted a little oversight of what you expect at each milestone. I found her progress was easier to appreciate with that little extra knowledge, without being overwhelmed with info on how I should be raising my bub, or judging me or her if we weren't achieving them on time. Perfect I think."

Pregnancy for Men

Rrp: $17.99

Price: $13.80

Want to help your partner get some tips on becoming a dad? This honest account provides lots of facts and figures to help with pregnancy and what to expect when it comes to fatherhood. It's recommended that they read the book a month at a time, to find out about other Dad’s experiences simultaneously.

Promising review: "Bought this for my husband soon after finding out we had conceived. He was a little unsure at first of having a book to read. But after picking it up and reading a couple random paragraphs he was looking forward to reading it. He's enjoyed it, founding funny and informative without being patronising and too "blokey". He understands a lot of what I'm going through too after reading it in this book. I ended up buying the next book after for him too as he liked it that much."

Mama You Got This

Rrp: $34.95

Price: $23.49

Emma Bunton, aka, Baby Spice may be most famous for being in the Spice Girls, but she's also a very proud mum of two, so has written a book all about motherhood and the challenges we face every day as parents. Emma hopes the book will give other parents confidence, strength, and knowledge to feel like you've truly got this!

Promising review: "Bought for my daughter before the birth of her first baby. She tells me it was a good read she can refer back to in the first few months."

Parenting The Sh_t Out Of Life
Price: $24.99

From the creators of and the Dirty Mother Pukka podcast, Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka and Matt Farquharson aka Papa Pukka, this book is an honest guide for parents that'll have you laughing and crying. Written from both the mother and father's perspectives, so is a great one for both parents to have a read of.

Promising review: "Personally I have found this book very down to earth. I love the fact that the same story is being given from 2 different perspectives, giving a chance to see how two different people react to the same kind of events. I have also very much appreciated them talking about their miscarriages. Having suffered from one recently myself, I have found that part of the book very open and supportive. Loved the fact that again, they both shared their experiences about it, as often men are forgotten when a miscarriage happens. All in all, it was a very easy and quick read with very strong two people's opinions and an insight of what it is to be raising human beings."

I Am Not Your Baby Mother

Rrp: $17.99

Price: $11.99

After finding out she was pregnant and researching all the best baby products, Candice Brathwaite got thinking, "Where are all the Black mothers?". This prompted her to start blogging about how motherhood is portrayed in the British media and how Black mothers are unrepresented. This book explores all the hurdles Black mothers have to face from pregnancy to primary school.

Promising review: "I read this book in one sitting. I’ll read it again when I’ve come down off the ceiling. It hit me hard - Candice deals unflinchingly with so many tough topics that just don’t get enough daylight. Attitudes to young black female bodies, serious failings in antenatal and maternal care, mental health, economic power, relationship dynamics, navigating racism in schools....oh, you just need it in your life. If the themes aren’t familiar to you, you need them to help you be and raise better allies. And if they are, you’ll be moved to hear yourself reflected, acknowledged, and uplifted in this way. Candice, thank you."

Why Did No One Tell Me_

Rrp: $33.99

Price: $26.92

In this guide, Emma combines her expertise as a specialist women's health physiotherapist with personal experience to create a warm and informative handbook to help pregnant women and new mums take control and care for their changing bodies.

Promising review: "I've already learnt more from the first chapter about my own body than I have in 34 years of living in it!! This book is essential for any woman. It is well written, informative, down to earth, full of diagrams and detail. The anecdotes from everyday women make this vital taboo subject relatable. Highly recommend to anyone thinking of being a Mum, pregnant, or even those who already have children. You are guaranteed to learn something!"

Maybe Baby

Rrp: $28.99

Price: $20.42

New for 2022, Kate Lawler shares her journey from parentally undecided to early motherhood, providing an open, funny, and honest account full with all the highs and lows. Perfect for new dads and mums, it will show that you're not alone and help you feel seen and completely understood at those times when it's easy to feel lost.

Promising review: "I read this in a day! Kate writes truthfully honestly about her feelings both pre-child and during that first year. This will help new mums hugely!"

The Making of You

Rrp: $28.99

Price: $22.49

Binky Felstead recently announced her new book which explores her lived experience through motherhood. Sharing on Instagram, Binky wrote that this book, "is part my story of my pregnancies with India and Wolfie, how I’ve dealt with confidence, miscarriage, having a ‘blended family’, finding new friends, juggling work and parenting life, and part expert advice from 30 incredible experts on post-natal anxiety and depression, to nutrition and relationships."

Pre-order now for release on the 23 February 2023.

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