As a writer and author, and a friend to many authors, you could say I’m “into” books! While I read mostly on my Kindle these days, there are still plenty of books that still grace my shelves—most of them parenting books and cookbooks! With some books, you’ve just got to be able to hold it in your hands and turn the pages. Today I share my favorites:


Strong as a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood: The Only Guide to Taking Care of You! by Kate Rope. This book didn’t exist when I was pregnant—if it had my first new months as a new mom would have been a lot calmer. Most moms-to-be—me included– read a load of books and attend classes from birthing to breastfeeding, but none really address the elephant in the room—how to care for your family while keeping your sanity! This one does.

The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be by Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash. Let’s not leave the dads-to-be out! He’ll enjoy this book that gives the 411 on expecting from a guy’s perspective—including the emotional, financial, and physical effects of parenthood. Now in it’s 4th edition, this book can help dads-to-be feel more confident and be more supportive.

Eating Expectantly: Practical Advice for Healthy Eating Before, During and After Pregnancy (4th Edition) by Bridget Swinney. Yes, this one’s by me. If you want to know what you should eat (and why) for a healthier pregnancy and baby, this is your book. I wrote the first edition (more than 20 years ago) after having my first child and realized the eating advice out there was not very practical, so I wrote my own!


Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 from the American Academy of Pediatrics edited by Steven Shelov MD and Tanya Remer Altmann MD. I think this is the one book on child development every parent should have on the bookshelf.

Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents’ Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers by Tanya Remer Altmann MD. It’s often said that babies should come with an instruction book—this is the closest thing to it with the common questions of new parents.


The Nursing Mother’s Companion, 7th Edition by Kathleen Huggins RN. I can attest to this: breastfeeding may be natural, but it doesn’t come naturally to many new moms. This classic has been in print for more than 30 years and gives moms all the tools she needs to be successful at breastfeeding, even after going back to work.

Fearless Feeding: How To Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School by Jill Castle RD and Maryann Jacobson RD. There’s a lot of good and not-so-good advice out there about feeding kids—this steers you in the right direction! This book can help you: get through food jags unscathed, not become a short-order cook and raise healthy eaters that are a joy to have at the table. This second edition was just published and is used by dietitians and pediatricians alike.

Baby Bites: Everything You Need to Know about Feeding Babies and Toddlers in One Handy Book by Bridget Swinney RD. Another book of mine is part nutritional guide and part recipe book with both simple and creative recipes for babies and toddlers. If you’re confused about when to start solids, and what to start with, this book will guide you, as well as help you keep mealtimes positive. As with my other books that include recipes, the recipes are always tested by the audience—in this case, babies, toddlers and even a few adults!