What Were Your Favorite Baby Guide Books?

During all nine months of my first pregnancy, our home was littered with books instructing me on how to gracefully cruise into motherhood.  Many of them simply freaked me out while others seemed utterly unrealistic.

None urged me to trust myself, buy less stuff, use cloth diapers and opt for used gear–all of which we emphasize in our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.  In fact, back in 2006 I could not find a single book on green pregnancy or parenting!  That was part of the reason Rebecca and I were so inspired to write The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.  During the months that we wrote and re-wrote the text, green baby books started to pop onto the market, but none of them had the frugal emphasis that was essential to our eco-friendly message.  We were also surprised to see that none of the green baby guides had an in-depth section about cloth diaper usage and we were careful to dedicate two detailed chapters to cloth diapering, although we could have filled an entire book with our cloth diaper wisdom.  (If you don’t already know, we are rather ardent cloth diaper fans who strike up conversations with total strangers about Fuzzibunz and flushable diaper liners.)

The books I did enjoy were Baby Bargains (which provides a wide range product information and does encourage buying secondhand gear) and Momma Zen, a book which kindly allows you to forgive your imperfection in those first challenging months of new parenting.  I haven’t read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, but it has gotten rave reviews from friends.

What are the books you would recommend to pregnant women?


  1. I loved Baby Bargains and consider it a must have for any parent-to-be. It is hilarious too – everyone I know who has the book also has pretty much the same ‘stuff’ as we do (Lands End diaper bag, Sony baby monitor, Graco car seat…).

    The best pregnancy book I found was Our Bodies Ourselves: Pregnancy. It did a good job of keeping things relaxed and real, while not taking away from the joy and excitement of pregnancy. And they covered some of the scary remote possibilities without scaring the crap out of me.

    Also, blogs and podcasts were awesome. In addition to this blog (obviously) I always recommend the podcast Pregtastic and the sister podcast New Moms New Babies. Both are filled with great info, relate-able stories, and entertaining hosts. And while they aren’t specifically green, I did pick up a lot of green tips from the various moms and moms-to-be on the podcasts.

  2. My favorite book hands down was Our Babies Ourselves by Meredith Small, an anthropologist. It basically puts all the baby advice books in context and shows how culturally driven expectations for babies are. Since my baby did not conform one iota to the expectations set up by baby sleep books, I found this book extremely reassuring. I recommend it to everyone.

    As for buying guides, I think the best advice I have gotten came from this blog and then the Green Baby Guide book.

  3. I second Baby Bargains. I’m quite the minimalist mother and bought very little new. What we did got use through 2 children. I loved Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth as well. Read it while I was preparing for my second daughter’s home birth.

  4. I love your book of course! Have to mention Sustainable Baby as well (it’s a downunder view), I also love the Baby Whisper and Oh Babay (though not green books).

  5. Wow over $30,000 for the first year! Slightly different approach than the eco-nomical baby guide. This is enough to scare anyone off from having a baby!


  6. I loved Raising Baby Green by Dr. Alan Greene. It is awesome. It goes through every room in your house and how to make it ‘green’. It is really a great book just on how to be green, even if you are not pregnant.

  7. I also own Raising Baby Green, although for me, it goes in the overwhelming category. I sometimes turn to it for ideas (it is very thorough and has a huge amount of information), but I found it kind of freaked me out when I was first trying to go green. And a much bigger emphasis on limiting toxins than saving the earth. I would still recommend this book to others, but if you are a new parent and slightly paranoid, you might just worry if you cannot handle making all the changes suggested at once.

    I think The Eco-nomical Baby Guide is the best book I’ve seen about limiting your impact on the earth, and also addresses some of the toxins issues without being too overwhelming.

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