I thought some of you may be interested in the books we have read and like for pregnancy/childbirth, infant/baby care, and childrearing. So I wanted to give you a preview of what we're doing! I'm waiting to write reviews of the books until I have actually put their concepts into practice and can tell you how they work for me. So this will just be a taste of what's to come!
Hypnobabies, by Kerry Tuschhoff - Recommended by my sister
This isn't actually a book, it's a 6-week childbirth preparation program for women who are at the end of their pregnancies and want a natural childbirth. It is a "self-hypnosis" program, which sounds weird, but it's not the same kind of hypnosis you see on TV where "you're getting very sleepy" and you can make somebody who's been hypnotized think they're a squirrel or something. I would describe it more as techniques for teaching you how to completely relax your mind and body. The concept is that childbirth is so painful because women are afraid, which causes them to be tense, which causes them pain, which causes them to be more afraid, and the cycle continues. So if you can be educated about your childbirth choices, know what to expect, and know how to relax your mind and body to break the cycle, childbirth will be much easier and shorter. This is how it's SUPPOSED to work - I'll let you know how it goes. :) I do already know that the relaxation techniques are great in helping me rest and get to sleep at night, and the "natural anesthesia" you can create with your mind has already helped me in getting rid of headaches and backaches.
BabyWise, by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam - Recommended by my sister and several other friends
I have not actually read the book BabyWise. I have read the Christian version by the same author, which is called Let the Children Come Along the Infant Way. From what I understand, the concepts are identical, but the presentation is just a little different. This is apparently a very controversial book, but it seems like mostly common sense to me. Basically, as my child's parent, I am responsible for teaching him when and how to eat, be awake, and sleep so that he can develop properly and learn how to function in our world. This book gives a step-by-step way in which I can do that. As someone who is very organized and orderly, I look forward to learning how Eli and I can get on a system together that optimizes health and life for both of us.
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau - Recommended by my sister-in-law
When I first heard about this book, I thought it was going to be totally opposite from the BabyWise system. However, after reading it, I think the two go perfectly hand-in-hand. BabyWise offers more of the system and structure, Baby Whisperer tells you more how the same system can be applied to your own child given his personality. I think the two books can be melded together to make a really neat approach, and I look forward to trying it with Eli! I think it is also an excellent way to learn how to read and understand our child, since we're planning on parenting using the below book.
Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp - Given to us by our former Sunday School teacher in Waco
This book won't be something we can put into practice until Eli is a little older and begins developing a mind/will of his own. But I am THRILLED at having this book already and being able to start out parenting with the concepts it provides. This is the most Scriptural approach to parenting I have ever heard of. It will NOT be easy, not in the slightest. But I cannot wait to see it working! The basic principle is that you can't just raise your children training them to act or not act a certain way without addressing the heart issues behind all their actions. We believe that all people are born with sin natures, and it's these predispositions to sin that make a child disobey, lie, speak disrespectfully, etc. So if you just punish him for lying without ever addressing the sinful nature behind WHY he lies, then you're doing him a real disservice. This book provides a biblical approach to discipline that allows parents to know their children's strengths and weaknesses, understand the heart issues behind what they do, and address them in the context of training your children to be worshippers who want to glorify God with their behavior. Heavy, but really powerful.