So, you’re having a baby or recently had a baby and maybe you’ve even stocked up on every version of What to Expect and How to Care for Your Baby that you can possibly fit on your bookshelf or Kindle. Why would you want or need another book on parenting and buy The Christian Mama’s Guide to Baby’s First Year? It’s not that this book is going to tell you every technical or medical fact relevant to baby’s first year. It’s because sometimes want you want is a friendly voice to remind you of what’s essential, what’s realistic, what’s honest, and even sometimes what’s just plain funny.
Erin MacPherson reminds the reader throughout the book that she’s no medical expert, so this might not be the only book on your parenting reference shelf. She is, however, willing to share what she did as a mom to three kids and why that may or may not work for you,. Then she takes the pressure off so you can make the best decision that will work for your baby and your life: Like breastfeeding or bottle feeding, when to introduce solid foods, and whether or not to plunk down the $75 for a mommy and baby music class.
She’s always careful to be inclusive. Her tips include info for adopting moms as well as birthing moms, those that had a C-section and those that delivered vaginally, those that breastfeed until their kids are 2 and those that use the bottle in the hospital room, and for working moms, stay-at-home moms and work-from-home moms. And that’s a huge bonus for a mom book because the last thing we need as moms is pressure to meet someone else’s expectations or conform to someone else’s parenting ideals.
Throughout the book, Erin Mapherson includes “Time Out For Moms,” brief devotionals with a quick Scripture verse and prayer to help calm your heart and focus you in on God even when you’re suffering from extreme sleep deprivation and a major case of baby brain.
She also includes info from friends, a nutritionist, and a chapter for dads on how to bond with their babies. She’s a list maker, so many chapters end with lists like what baby gear you actually need and then what could be really cool, how to begin teaching your baby about Jesus early, and what kinds of things to play with your baby both in the house and when you need the incentive to get dressed, do your hair and makeup and go out. In addition, she shares a brief overview of pretty much every baby-to-sleep philosophy out there, some ideas for moms on how to lose the baby weight, information on postpartum depression, and encouragement for new moms on how to keep their marriages strong even when a new baby changes the dynamic and makes romance more difficult.
Just like her book on having a baby, this is really mostly about you as a mom. It’s about your exercise and nutrition, your mental health, your relationship with your husband, and the like. It’s not about the benchmarks and baby milestones to expect for your baby each month or a comprehensive guide to baby doctor visits and vaccinations. So, you’ll probably want to get another book to answer those detailed and often more medical questions.
But for a mom who just wants to hear from another mom what this is really like, how can I really make all this work, and how we can trust God to help us care for our babies, this is a a fun and encouraging book. It’s light and easy to read and very funny along the way. When women lived in small communities and popped over to each other’s houses all the time, we’d probably hear about these things from our mom, aunt, grandmother, and next door neighbor. Now, it may just take someone like Erin MacPherson who is willing to be that friend and resource for us.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”