Before Aviya was born, I put together a list of books to help prepare Ameli for the whole home birth and childbirth thing. This list has increasingly grown and grown, as I’ve found new books to add to our resources, which I now often loan out to friends about to have their second babies. Separate to the issue of the actual birth, however, is that of adding to the family, as this is something children – especially first or only children – aren’t really prepared for. While Ameli was lovely with her sister, I think it came as a bit of a shock to her when she didn’t leave when the rest of the family went back home! As such, I’ve now separated the two lists, so that there’s a great resource for those who need to help prepare siblings for the arrival of a new baby, irrespective of the manner or place of birth.
I hope you find it useful!
The book opens with mother, father, older sibling (which could pass as a boy or a girl) and baby in bed. Baby is breastfeeding and daddy is playing with the older sibling.
Later you see baby nursing again while OS eats a plate of finger foods, and on the next page, baby is in a sling while OS walks, with the words ‘I love walking. When will Baby walk like me?’ below it, so there are attachment parenting themes throughout, but it’s not alienating – baby is also carried in a bucket car seat, and cries during a nappy change before being put into a Moses Basket to sleep.
It’s a very simple book, and it doesn’t deal with the birth of the baby at all, but only with there being another baby.
I think it can be used as quite a useful tool later on too – reminding Ameli to put her own jumper on, like the girl in the book, while Mama dresses the baby, and so on. I also like the fact that though I think it’s obviously a girl on the cover, which works in our favour, you could get away with it being a brother, I think.
I Love You, Alfie Cub is a stunningly illustrated book about a little fox cub, Alfie, whose mama has a new litter of pups – twin girls. Mama Fox explains that the twins will take up a lot of her time and need a lot of love and care. Alfie is kind of excited about having new play mates, but by the end of the first day, they haven’t even grown yet! (I so relate to this. Ameli’s first question about her sister was ‘Can it walk? – at about 2 minutes old!)
Alfie’s Mama is tired, and falls asleep without reading him stories. She doesn’t play with him as much, and she is always busy with the twins. He fears that she has run out of love for him, so he spends the day looking high and low for love. A friendly frog reminds him that he still has love, so he can share his love with his mother. Alfie has an idea and sets about making a play space for his sisters.
The last few pages of this book make my eyes well up with tears. Seriously, I get so emotional. Alfie realises that his mother loves him, and she reminds him that she will never run out of love for him.
I Love You, Alfie Cub is so incredibly beautiful, it’s one of my favourites, it’s sweet, and it lays the foundation for older siblings to say that just because Mama is a bit busy right now does not mean that she doesn’t love or has replaced them.
There are a lot of subtle things in this book, like the toddlers bed pushed up next to the parents’ for an authentic family bed. In the explanation of what life with a new baby will be like, there’s a lot of inclusive language, like “You can come cuddle with us and meet your sister” or “Some days we could all nap together”.
There’s a mention and image of tandem feeding, although it’s not called that, folding up reusable nappies (called diapers in the book) and both baby and toddler are rear facing in their car seats. There’s even a picture of Mama wearing the baby and big brother “wearing” his baby, and another of daddy wearing the toddler in a back carry with Mama carrying baby in a ring sling.
It would be great if it were easily found in the UK, but I’d go so far as to say it was it’s worth importing.
The Magic Basket opens with Amy crying on her bed because she doesn’t want to become a big sister. Her mother brings her a piece of cloth, which opens up into a blue magic basket. Amy puts her hand in the basket, and out comes a feeling – curious – who guides her through how to explore her feelings. Being curious he asks her what she was doing when her mother came in, and next thing you know, another feeling – sad – comes into play. Curious and Sad help explore her feelings of worry about why her parents want another child, and help her realise that maybe they’re not trying to replace her, but ‘add to’ her. It’s a really lovely message, actually, and the transformation that comes from realisation and understanding is very sweet.
I asked my Facebook followers for their recommendations of books, since I can’t possibly buy them all. Here’s what they recommended:
What’s Inside Your Tummy, Mummy? – Abby Cocovini
– This book looks amazing. It’s the perfect book for introducing a young child to to the concept of where babies come from and how they grow. This is a great book to share and discuss all the changes going on inside ‘mummy’s tummy’.
Every month a new picture shows how big baby is and how far along a timeline (featured at the foot of each spread) baby has moved. The real attractiion of the book is the ‘life-size’ nature of the drawings, giving mother and child a fantastic opportunity to really explore what is happening, how big baby is in context to everyday objects and what baby can hear or indeed eats!
Ah, the joy of having two girls. Or two children. I’m not sure if gender makes a difference here, but sharing … oh sharing. That bastion of kindness and sisterly love. I jest. But most of the time, my girls are actually pretty good at sharing and taking turns, and more often than not, when there are issues, it’s because the youngest – Aviya, aged 21 months – has upset the balance and won’t share.
It’s easy to immediately call out Ameli – aged 4 years 3 months – because she’s the oldest, and she should know to share. And generally, Aviya shouts the loudest. Of course, when you take the time to notice ‘who had it first’ it turns out the culprit changes with the occasion. I often feel like a game referee!
The book “Mine” arrived here a few weeks before Christmas, and went straight into the cupboard waiting for an opportunity to be read, and today, a quiet, rainy Sunday became that day.
Mine, written by Sarah Hammond and illustrated by Laura Hughes, is a story about a little girl, Kitty, who plays at being a ‘cafe lady’. Her friend Lea comes to visit, and to be fair, is a bit loud and bossy, and soon Kitty doesn’t really want to play with her anymore, hiding all the cafe foods and guests in her tent. But, oh no! hiding away in the tent, Kitty and all her (stuffed animal) friends are feeling miserable. When Lea asks if she and the farm animals can join them, Kitty suggests an indoor picnic, and Kitty, Lea, the cafe guests and the farm animals enjoy a fun afternoon and share the cakes Lea brought with her.
The obvious follow on for that is to create a little tea party for ourselves, which is just what we did.
It’s lovely when you can talk about taking turns, sharing, the end of fun when you’re not able to share nicely, and then take turns being the ‘cafe lady’. The nice thing about stories and role play is that lessons that could seem tedious on paper, (Take turns being the shop keeper. Discus the value of sharing or taking turns. Talk about paying for what we eat in the cafe. Bring in money, cost and change – light math) all transfers very easily and without effort in play.
On Tuesday I told you about the Mindful Nurturing eBundle, and what was in it, but I thought I might go through the bundle and tell you more about each of the 22 items. Hopefully a description of what’s in it will show you how fabulous a resource it is!
Click on the Buy Now buttons throughout to buy the whole bundle for US$24.95/£16.49/AUS$25.90.
The total value of these, if you bought them all individually would be US$236/ £155.95/ AUS$245.05.
This whole bundle is for sale between 28 May and 10 June 2013
AUDIO – Amy Phoenix (Presence Parenting), value $50 USD/lifetime access
Relaxation Meditation helps you access inner awareness and resolve, cultivating the space for true, lasting transformation. Relax into parenting as you enhance your relationship with yourself, your child, and life at the same time.
Becky Eanes (Positive Parents), 30 pages, Value $4.99 USD
The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting is an introduction to the philosophy of positive parenting. It addresses what positive parenting is, and what it is not (permissive parenting). It discusses how to change your mindset from the traditional paradigm of control and fear to the positive parenting paradigm of connection and love. It gives you teaching tools and discusses the differences between consequences, punishments, and problem-solving. Finally, it goes over enforcing limits without punishments and 10 alternatives to punishments as well as 10 things that are more important than discipline.
This eBook will give you clarity on positive parenting and offer you tools and skills that will strengthen your relationship with your child while teaching values and instilling the self-discipline that will benefit your child for a lifetime. The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting provides several scenarios so you can see how positive parenting principles are applied in everyday situations.
(Childhood 101), 55 pages, value $4 USD
Bursting with ideas for playing inside and outside, with activities for moving, talking, cooking, creating, thinking, singing, imagining and constructing, Play Grow Learn is a downloadable e-zine that provides both inspiration and information for parents and educators of children from birth to 5 years. Issue 3 includes over 100 playful activities including play suggestions for toddlers, an outdoor math hunt, ideas for exploring science in the kitchen, woodwork activities perfect for kids, an exclusive full colour set of printable puppets to get you singing with your kids PLUS art projects, book reviews, toy suggestions, playful parenting ideas, tips for making pack away time fun…and more!
AUDIO – Genevieve Simperingham (Peaceful Parent Institute), value $7.58 USD
Listen to this audio to gain lots of insights into the tendency to meltdown, why it happens, how to see it coming and what to do instead of yelling or otherwise acting from a place of overwhelm and frustration. You’ll gain reassurance that it’s much more common than you thought, that it’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility. You’ll learn that there are psychological triggers going back to childhood at the core of your tendency to lose your cool. And most importantly you’ll gain lots of great tips and strategies from Genevieve and Patty that will make it so much easier to be the peaceful parent that you know that you really can be.
Stress Relief for Parents
AUDIO – Genevieve Simperingham (Peaceful Parent Institute), value $4.05 USD
When you’re at your wits end and need to rest and recuperate, this CD is a fantastic resource ~ Grab yourself fifteen minutes or so, choose your track and let Genevieve’s calming voice and supportive words guide you back to your self … back to your centre … back to balance … back to you at your best … back to peaceful parenting!
The track “Bliss” takes the listener through a 15 minute deep body relaxation. Genevieve’s soft Irish lilt backed by the celtic harp offers a soothing balm to their feelings and played at night next to their bed will ease their transition into a deep and restful sleep. Other tracks offer guided exercises that guide and teach the listener to centre and return to a calm balanced state and a warm connection with their child.
EMAIL COURSE – Gina Kimmel & Katherine Lockett (Connecting Family and Seoul and Creative Playhouse), value $25 USD
Mindset for Moms
Jaimie Martin (Mindset for Moms), value $4.99 USD
Mindset for Moms: From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 Days is a guide for better thinking and increased happiness in parenting and in life. Lessons about positivity that took Jamie years to learn, you can learn in days–30 days, to be exact. She’s consolidated the concepts in this e-book into short entries–perfect for busy moms to read and apply for immediate results.
Moods of Motherhood
Lucy Pearce (Dreaming Aloud), value $9.99 USD
A compilation of her best-loved posts on motherhood from her popular blog, Dreaming Aloud, columns from JUNO magazine and many new pieces, never before published. According to one reader, “This book puts the mother, back in motherhood”. “It is no ordinary parenting book” but full of her trademark searing honesty and raw emotions. It will make you laugh, cry and feel deeply accepted – wherever on your mothering journey you may be.
Topics include: pregnancy and birth, happy days, anger and fierceness, sleep, playfulness, grief, love, patience, tenderness, homemaking… it is illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white photographs.
Melinda Roberts, value $10.29 USD
42 Rules for Divorcing With Children offers practical ways to manage a healthy divorce, build a better team in two houses, minimize stress and anxiety on all fronts, and construct relationships with open and consistent communication. In this book you will learn:
Use this book as objective advice, refer to it often, share it with others, use it as a reality check, and realize that divorce is not linear and that damage is not permanent or irreparable. If you do this well, the other parent will always be in your life. Find a way to make that tolerable for everyone, because no matter where you go or what you do, your children are tethered to both of you in an incredibly delicate and important way. Learn to accommodate each other as a gift to your children while they grow. Share others’ success stories for simple, practical advice and insights. See how taking care of yourself will help you take care of your family and prevent divorce remorse and divided loyalties. Set good examples that will help them make their own relationship choices wisely by drawing on your positive experience. And for you, know that someday, somewhere, you will almost certainly find a partner with whom you can have a mutually respectful, loving, and responsible relationship.
Renee Tougas (Tougas Café), value $3 USD
Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms is a book to help you growcreatively.Nurturing Creativity is about embracing the seasons of motherhood and appreciating where you are while helping you to make creativity a priority in your life.
Shawn Ledington Fink (Awesomely Awake), value $4.99 USD
The Playful Family encourages and challenges busy parents to slow down and spend quality time together with their children, regardless of their age. With nearly 100 ways to connect, engage and play together this easy-to-read e-book is a must-have resource for any parent interested in becoming more playful and happy while raising children. Each chapter includes dozens of ideas as well as a challenge to motivate families to put their own ideas to work in real life.
Lauren Wayne (Hobo Mama), value $9.37 USD
I sling my baby like a bindle on my back,
tramping along the tracks
countless feet have worn before.
Poetry of a Hobo Mama contains three years’ worth of parenting poetry, written from the time Lauren and her husband, Sam, were preparing for Mikko, through watching him grow to three years old. She has included poems that speak of their natural parenting journey — breastfeeding, the family bed, elimination communication, and natural birth among them.
The book is a combination of free verse and more traditional poetry forms, and the topics and tone run through all the variations the poet felt when writing them: the grief of miscarriage, the anticipation of trying to conceive, the upheaval of the newborn months, the joy of parenting, and the balance of motherhood and personal passion.
Teresa Graham Brett (Parenting for Social Change), value $8.97 USD
Parenting for Social Change: Transform Childhood, Transform the World(2011, Social Change Press) is a powerful parenting book that isn’t about children, but about the harmful cultural messages we, as parents, perpetuate in our relationships with children. It addresses the work we as parents must do to free ourselves, the children who share our lives, and our world from those harmful messages.
The author, Teresa Graham Brett, uses current social science research to debunk the myth that controlling children is necessary to ensure they grow up to be healthy and responsible adults. She demonstrates how changing our parent-child relationships plays a critical role in creating social change. More importantly, it gives parents strategies and tools for letting go of harmful control of children.
Kelly Bartlett (Parenting From Scratch), value $2.99 USD
Encouraging Words for Kids gives parents over 150 examples of phrases to say that inspire a child’s confidence and self-motivation. Encouragement is about drawing forth a child’s own drive to work hard and do what’s right without being told; this book shows you how to get there. It is a guide that parents can turn to again and again whenever they need a dose of inspiration in creating positive communication with their kids.
Jilian Riley (A Mom With A Lesson Plan), value $7.99
Raising a Creative Kid: Simple Strategies for Igniting and Nurturing that Creative Spark is just what you need to transform your environment into a creativity growth center. With creative exercises following each of the sections I have made moving into a creative lifestyle as easy as possible. Just like I do with everything else on amomwithalessonplan.com, I use and recommend materials that are inexpensive or free.
Tara Wagner (The Organic Sister), 72min audio + 39 page workbook, value $25 USD currently only available as part of The Organic Sisterhood
This mini-toolkit helps you recreate the whole family’s experience with food. No more fighting at dinnertime. No more forcing or bribing. No more worrying about your child’s ability to make good choices. You’ll have the tools necessary to begin to release control, lean into Trust, and make mealtime a joyful and fun experience. But it starts with your own relationship with food. It includes:
DeAnna L’am, 41 min. audio, value $27 USD
If you would you like to feel relaxed, confident, and at ease when speaking with your girl about becoming a woman – this is for you!
You will experience a sense of CALM and PEACE within yourself; An INNER EASE about the girl YOU once were; A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING of what your girl is feeling; SELF-TRUST going into any conversation with your girl; And a growing EASE in your relationship with her.
This down-loadable recording will deepen trust between you and your girl, and lay a foundation for lifelong openness between you!
Michelle Carchrae (The Parent Vortex), value $6.99 USD
The Parenting Primer is a guide to the main ideas and strategies used in gentle discipline. It will show you how attachment works to create harmony in families, empowering you to parent in a positive, creative way.
The Parenting Primer begins by looking at how love and limits influence our parenting, then explores other topics that affect our relationships with our children, such as information on brain development or personality, communication skills, lifestyle choices, creativity and self-discipline.
Laura Schuerwegen (Authentic Parenting), 27 pages, value $2.99 USD, first-time opportunity, launch sale!
Mommy Overwhelm is a step-stone guide for parents who want to overcome daily overwhelm, stress and depression.
In this book, Laura draws from her own experience overcoming a longstanding depression to hand you the tools to heal. From strengthening foods and herbs to exercises and activities, this guide will kickstart your journey to happier, balanced parenting.
Marcy Axness, value $13.95 USD
This set includes the Dr. Marcy Audio Coaching Session “Speaking to Your Child’s Subconscious” and companion eBooklet, A Unique 7-Step Parenting Tool: Sleep Talking.
Throughout my recent talks all over the world, what were SO many people interested in learning about? After hearing about the power of prenatal imprints, they wanted to know what parents could do when things didn’t go so smoothly in pregnancy, birth or around conception. I make it clear that repair & healing are ALWAYS possible at ANY age, and mentioned an somewhat out-of-the-box approach I’ve developed over my years of coaching parents — which includes talking to your child in his or her sleep.
They were so keen to learn, that I put together this primer in the power of the subconscious mind — and how to use it to create healing change. This 75-minute presentation includes a powerful guided imagery to use the power of imagination in making positive changes to parents’ own inner lives and childhood history. (It is an excerpt from / preview of the “Calm Authority for Parents” series.)
The Mindful Mothering Challenge
Jennifer Saleem (Hybrid Rasta Mama)
This 57 page eBook takes mothers through 20 small steps designed to help them become more mindful mothers. Follow along with Jennifer’s journey as you begin your own. The Mindful Mothering Challenge will awaken your mothering, push you beyond your comfort zone, and deepen your connection with your children.
Teleseminar – (Attachment Parenting International), 2 hour teleseminar; value $38 USD
Attachment Parenting isn’t new. In many ways, it is a return to the instinctual behaviors of our ancestors. In the last sixty years, the behaviors of attachment have been studied extensively by psychology and child development researchers, and more recently, by researchers studying the brain. This body of knowledge offers strong support for areas that are key to the optimal development of children, summarized in API’s Eight Principles of Parenting. Enjoy the exchange among the world’s leading experts in AP discussing API’s 8 Principles of Parenting, listen to their responses to questions of our time, and hear their answers to questions from the audience.
Panel experts include:
“AP is learning to read the cues of your child and responding appropriately. Open your heart and mind to the individual needs of your child. Let your knowledge of your child be your guide.”
~Dr. Bill Sears
— I will receive an affiliate fee if you purchase through my buy now buttons. You will not pay any more, but will be helping me maintain the website. Thank you for your support!
We’ve been going through a really hard few months since my husband lost his job last year. Our Christmas was paid for on loyalty card points from local supermarkets. Ameli received review items as Christmas presents from her mama and daddy. Hubby and I bought each other a £10 gift each, both of them practical. January wasn’t much better as the financial realities of two part time employed people came crashing down on us. That, with a baby due in February, was a particularly stressful time for us, and I’m not very good at sharing my needs, or showing my weakness. When I reached my breaking point, however, and spilled my fears and stresses to a few people in my support network, the love and generosity that poured out from them was amazing.
I feel a little like an Oscar winner when I say this, and with the friends that I have in my life, I’m better off than an Oscar winner, but here are a few thank you’s from Martin and I to some amazing people.
Actually, it’s not a small thing at all. It’s a big thing, a massive thing. With a 6kg dry and 9kg wet capacity.
Remember last week, when I told you about Hyperemesis Gravidarum and how sick water was making me?Â The smell of water, that is? And how my washing machine, drying laundry and wearing clothes from my washing machine were making me vomit?