The best books for expectant parents with curious minds

The Books I Picked & Why

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

By Anne Lamott

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

Why this book?

Don’t let the title fool you: Operating Instructions is not a guidebook. It’s an author’s classic memoir about becoming a parent for the first time. While the book isn’t new, and every family’s experience is unique, Lamott taps into something deep and relatable. Read Operating Instructions to get into the mindset of what it is to have a baby and be a parent.


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Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet

By Denise Fields, Alan Fields

Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet

Why this book?

You are about to enter another dimension: a dimension not only of love and responsibility but of consumer goods. You have a lot of shopping decisions ahead of you, many in categories that will be completely unfamiliar to you. Before getting lost in the aisles of a superstore or allowing the hundreds of stroller models on Amazon to plunge you into despair, start with this book. It will walk you through the major types of baby gear and help you understand what factors do and don’t matter.


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Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--And What You Really Need to Know

By Emily Oster

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--And What You Really Need to Know

Why this book?

This is the pregnancy book for hardcore data-seeking parents. A hundred other pregnancy guides offer a hundred opinions, but where do those opinions come from? Anecdote, ideology, received wisdom—or actual research data? Oster, an economics professor, set out to find the data. If a bar chart of the probability of conception by cycle day is your idea of proper advice, this book is your pregnancy holy grail.


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The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us about the Mind

By Patricia K. Kuhl, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Alison Gopnik

The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us about the Mind

Why this book?

We all know, at this point, that babies are not just little adults. But what are they? What is their experience? What are their minds doing, and what do their minds need? This book, by three cognitive science researchers, offers a glimpse at some answers. And it might just help you feel less self-conscious when you find yourself irresistibly chatting to a small person who cannot yet chat back.


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Peek-A Who?

By Nina Laden

Peek-A Who?

Why this book?

This book ushers you into one of the great joys of parenthood: reading to your child. Peek-a-Who is a marvel, a simple but compelling read-aloud that manages to draw babies into the book experience for the very first time. You’ll read it again and again, as your child comes to know each page and eagerly anticipate what comes ahead. Enjoy.


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