Feeding Your Baby Day By Day by Fiona Wilcock
So, we’re weaning. Well, Milo is. Not wanting to brag, I’ve been eating solids for at least 7 years now. I genuinely can’t remember if someone bought me this book or if it was lent to me by a friend or whatever, but it’s been so helpful. In all honesty, I had no idea about portions/when to start/meal suggestions/introducing tastes and had been planning (naively) on winging it. Before now, I kind of just presumed I’d breeze through the feeding malarky, hand Milo a few bits and bobs to munch on and a spoon to wave around but having read up on everything it’s a lot more complex than that (obviously). You need to be making sure baby’s getting certain amounts of iron, no crazy additives, but then staying away from low-fat products. It can be information overload (if you browse the internet for help anyway). Then I found this in Milo’s nursery just before we jetted off & stopped crying over Ella’s Kitchen sachets. The book gives you day by day recipe ideas, shopping lists, portion details, cooking times…. the lot. Right through to when eating solids is well established, so it might even be good for those of you who are just bored of cooking the same old mush. I’m sure there are a bazillion books on this out there but I like this one and its ability to be simple yet informative… when you’re trying to get dressed one handed, wee and feed the dog, the last thing you need is to be stressing about your baby being on the possible brink of starvation.
Humans Of New York by Brandon Stanton
(by photographer Brandon Stanton) which Greg bought me as one of my birthday presents, and as you can see from the photo, I’m yet to unwrap. I’d been meaning to buy it for yonks, extracts had been popping up on my Facebook timeline for a while so I was originally intrigued by snaps of old men in bright wellies and children in robot get-ups and thought it’d make a nice coffee table book. Don’t be fooled though, this isn’t some throwaway cheap read. It’s packed with absorbing anecdotes and sometimes heart-wrenching tales of triumph and pain. This book focuses on so many diverse lifestyles and nationalities it’ll be in no way difficult to read in one sitting, and with Stanton recently raising $1 million for underprivileged New Yorkers through his blog (which you can find by clicking the hyperlink above), it’s almost inspiring to want to go out and delve in to the nitty gritty from those around you. I can’t wait to get stuck in.
How To Be A Hip Mama Without Losing Your Cool by Jenny Scott
Written by who can only be described as the Angel Gabriel of motherhood, consider this your go-to self-help book when you’re struggling with the tribulations your crotch fruits are throwing at you. Becoming a parent is categorically one of life’s best gifts, but a lot of what comes with it is less of a gift and more of an unwanted consequence, like thrush after sex in a tent. And evidently I’m not the only one who thinks it (thank ZEUS). I struggle with the ‘yummy mummy’ labels, the banal coffee mornings in dusty church halls and the loss of identity that only truly hits you once you’ve realised you’ve squished a human out your larder and then have to just get on with life. When I had Milo, life carried on as normal and I had to too, only I had to do it with slightly shitter tits, eye bags and a forever damp bra. Jenny and the other wonderful women featured in the book understand this. They don’t offer up a jolly trip to John Lewis for some new curtains or recommend buying a new Cath Kidston handbag. They confirm that stuff can be crap but that you get through it, you can still wear Nike and you can still have sex with your other half (just so long as he doesn’t mind the shit tits bit). Jenny’s also created a wonderful network of normal, interesting, savvy mums who want a purpose alongside being a parent and holds regular events, meetings, book clubs etc where you can quite often even take baby with you. Check out her Mothers Meetings website, save your soul and possibly even grow the balls to start up your own business. As soon as I’m back in the country I’ll be heading to my very first MM and will no doubt be blogging about how fantastic it is, already just over various social networks I’ve spoken to some truly wonderful women who can totally understand what comes with being mama to a mini and it makes things so much easier just having someone who’ll quietly nod at your unwashed hair. Never must you set foot in a dusty church hall again (unless you like that sort of thing, no judgement), so grab yourself a copy and conquer motherhood!