Becoming a parent is a huge step with lots to discover and learn. In our blog today, Holly takes a tour through the books that she turned to when she became a parent, offering a few reading recommendations to anyone embarking on parenthood.

As a self-confessed bookaholic, books are always my first port of call whenever I need advice or help. Learning how to cook? Get a book! Want makeup and beauty tips? Find a book! Getting over a breakup? BOOK! 

So, when I did the very adult-like thing of having a baby, luckily there were plenty of books to help guide me along the rocky road of new parenting. If I’m being honest (I’m about to say a sentence I never thought I would…) there were probably too many, all offering conflicting advice. My sleep-addled brain was struggling enough to do even the simplest of tasks as it was – the last thing I could do was differentiate between all the different pieces of advice these books were offering up.

I’ve picked a short list of the few books I found helpful in those early days, weeks, months, and years (where is the time going…?) These were the books that I found useful, that reassured me and helped me to feel less alone during those 3am feeds.

Truly Happy Baby by Holly Willoughby

Not only does she have fantastic dress sense (style envy alert) but it turns out Holly Willoughby has written a pretty fantastic book on parenting too.

This was one of the first parenting books I turned to it and really helped me feel better about lots of things. It was down-to-earth, reassuring, and full of useful tips.

(Side note: I was so used to Holly keeping me company from the comfort of my sofa during maternity leave…Hello daytime TV…It almost felt like this was written by an old friend. Maybe I shouldn’t admit to that…?)

Happy Mum, Happy Baby by Giovanna Fletcher

I found this book to be a really positive and uplifting read. Not in any way preachy, Giovanna shares her own experiences with honesty and humour and gives a realistic insight into motherhood.

I enjoyed reading about Giovanna’s experiences of motherhood and again it contained lots of helpful tips and ideas.

Giovanna’s other book, ‘Letters on Motherhood‘ is also on my ‘To-Be-Read’ pile and I’m really looking forward to it.

The Unmumsy Mum by The Unmumsy Mum (aka Sarah Turner)

I read this book when my daughter was three months old, and I COULD NOT GET ENOUGH OF IT.

Blogger and writer Sarah Turner talks about all the things that you are afraid to say or even think, as a new parent. She is so refreshingly honest and upfront about her parenting experiences and she made me feel so much less alone, which I was really grateful for.

Reading this felt like having a candid chat with another mother over coffee, something which was distinctly lacking in my early days of parenting (lockdown…) Although, probably best not to ACTUALLY read this book with a coffee because I guarantee you will ugly-laugh and end up spluttering it all over the place. You’re welcome.

Knee Deep in Life by Laura Belbin

Instagram sensation Laura Belbin writes not just about parenting, but about life in general in this highly hilarious yet moving book.

I’d recommend it to all women in general, not just parents.

It’s fantastically funny and I guarantee it will make you feel so much better about…well…EVERYTHING.

Will I Ever Pee Alone Again? by Emma Conway

I already loved YouTuber Emma, but this book of uplifting, light-hearted poems about motherhood is ABSOLUTE GOLD.

Perfect for so many reasons, but mainly due to the fact that it’s a book of short poems that you can dip in and out of and can even be read on the toilet (Which is possibly the only time you get to yourself in those early days…Or not as the title suggests…)

How to be a Dad by Dr Oscar Duke

I must admit I didn’t actually read this one, but my partner did. He found it really useful but informs me it didn’t advise that he should run me baths on demand and bring me tea and Jammie Dodger’s on the hour every hour when I was expecting, so I have to knock a few stars off for that…

In all seriousness, I did flick through this book too and must admit it was refreshing to see a book aimed at dads and one that explains all the scary birthing stuff and caters for men’s feelings, mental health and answers their questions too.

Which parenting books have you found useful? I’m always on the lookout for new recommendations so please let me know!