Here’s a list of the resources I found most helpful from pre-pregnancy to introducing solids. It’s broken down into the “waves” of reading I did/am doing. I read lots of other books, but these are the ones that were key for me. Also, some of them are good resources or skimable. You don’t actually have to read them cover to cover with a highlighter in hand.
Do I actually want to be pregnant/give birth or will we adopt?
See this previous post.
I’m pregnant. What is happening?
I found out I was having twins pretty early on, so I read the books below to learn about twin pregnancy, but if you didn’t do research ahead of time to make sure you wanted to be pregnant and give birth, see books referenced above.
Yikes. We’re having twins!
- When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy by Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein– #1 tip, gain as much weight as possible as soon as you can and drink at least 100 oz of water a day.
- Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding & Caring for Twins or More by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada – See below.
The following are non-essential, but quick, skimable reads with helpful tidbits:
- Twins!: Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year of Life by Connie Agnew, Alan Klein, Jill Alison Ganon
- Double Duty: The Parents’ Guide to Raising Twins, from Pregnancy Through the School Years by Christina Baglivi Tinglof
- It’s Twins: Parent to Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence by Susan M. Heim
- Twins 101: 50 Must-Have Tips for Pregnancy Through Early Childhood from Doctor M.O.M. by Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin
- Twin Sense: A Sanity-Saving Guide to Raising Twins — From Pregnancy Through the First Year by Dagmara Scalise
If nursing is natural and best for my baby, why is it so hard?
- The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins – This is a good resource when you’re nursing and are trying to problem solve or self diagnose
- Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding & Caring for Twins or More by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada – I recommend every mom of multiples put a copy of this in her hospital bag just in case her babies are born early, she has a c-section, or experiences any complication that impacts milk production. I didn’t have it and wish I had.
What about the other “fun” stuff?
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins: A Step-by-Step Program for Sleep-Training Your Multiples by Marc Weissbluth – You don’t actually need to read this book other than the two or three pages on which he describes how to do sleep training. The graduated extinction method described here is what worked for us, but I think sleep training is an area where you have to pick the method, including no sleep training, that suits your family.
- Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods – and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett – We haven’t started feeding our babies solids yet, but we plan to use this method and I know a handful of parents who do this and love it. The book is a quick read and handy resource. Who knows if it will help my babies avoid the we-will-only-eat-french-fries stage, but for ease of introducing foods and maximum cuteness, it can’t be beat and makes a lot of sense.
I’m not a tiger mom, but I want my child to be a well adjusted genius. What do I need to know?
- The Wonder Weeks: How to stimulate your baby’s mental development and help him turn his 10 predictable, great, fussy phases into magical leaps forward by Hetty van de Rijt – An easy to read, very straightforward summary of what to expect during growth spurts. You can skip all the quotes from other parents.
- Your Baby’s First Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics – Another very straightforward summary of what to expect during your baby’s first year. My pediatrician recommended this and it’s been a useful resource.
- Gymboree – The Parent’s Guide to Play by Wendy S. Masi and Roni Cohen Leiderman (or any gymboree book)
- Rockabye Baby Lullaby CDs – These are so much more bearable than many lullaby CDs out there.
A note on moms’ groups
I attended a moms of multiples support group that I loved for three reasons: 1) it forced me to leave my house, which is not so easy with two babies, 2) I could get advice specific to twins, and 3) I met cool, new people I can imagine being friends with for a long time. So, if joining a moms’ group will do these things for you, join one! That said, I think if I just had one baby, I’d probably just hang out with my friends who have babies.
I also feel very fortunate that I have twins because my local moms of multiples club listserv is invaluable. Since there are parents on the listserv who have twins of all different ages, you can better prepare for things that will arise in the future and also get advice from people who are months or years ahead of you. So, for example, if you have questions about sleep training, you hear the details of how to do it from people who just did it recently and also hear from people who did it a couple years ago and can reflect on how it’s impacted their kids’ later sleep habits and what they wish they had known or done differently. If you don’t have twins, I think online forums are a good option, but they feel more impersonal since you’re communicating with people you’ll never meet.