I know the blog has been dormant for over a year and my publication, information, and resources halted. The reason being is that I had a baby that came a bit early and impacted my ability and time to maintain the blog, review books, and continue to publish the magazine. For all of you that submitted, I can only hope that you’ll understand and will be interested in continuing to use this site as a way of marketing yourself as a writer, contest holder, or resource. We are transitioning to get back to it and enjoy maintaining the website again. If we are slow to respond to emails, submissions, or anything at all, please understand that having a one-year-old is rewarding but time-consuming.
In the meantime, we thought it would be fun to share some of the books we’ve been reading this past year. While I love a good fiction piece, these past months have been everything pregnancy and baby related. Enjoy!
Known to many as “the baby bible” the What to Expect When You’re Expecting series is a must-have for those trying to conceive, currently pregnant, and parents of newborns. I was very lucky I could skip through the chapters about how to deal with morning sickness, aches and pains, and “pregnancy brain.” But, if you do have to deal with a rough start, she walks you through how to cope. The same goes for if you run into complications.
The 7 Secrets of the Newborn by Robert C. Hamilton MD is a bible study in disguise. After a few pages in, I knew right away why my very religious friend gave me the book. I decided to see what these “7 secrets” are, and was disappointed. It wasn’t necessarily a secret about what behavior babies exhibit when they are however months old. Hamilton puts his religious twist on why at this age it is fun to have a baby. In his afterword, he explains that he wrote this book to encourage people to have children and lists the reasons why Americans are hesitant to do so. I argue that it isn’t that people don’t want kids, but more so that things have changed since his generation had kids. Americans are having kids later in life because parents are establishing themselves financially before making the decisions as to whether they can properly care for a baby. He tried to use other countries as examples who do well creating large families. However, the countries he shines the light on are countries where women are abused, raped, and abortions are chosen for them.
One book that got our guy sleeping through the night by four months is Dr. Bucknam’s Babywise. In his book, he explains why you should put a baby on a schedule versus the usual on-demand method of taking care of a baby’s needs. Despite our new grandparent’s skepticism, it did. Bucknam has written an entire library of books about how to take care of a baby, including toddlers, preschoolers, and even teens.
Another “how-to” book on getting your baby sleeping through the night quicker is Happiest Baby on the Block. Dr. Harvey Karp introduced me to the Five S’s; swaddle, soothe, suck, side, sway. His method of soothing a baby was a key player in getting a fussy baby’s eyes to close and get the screaming to stop. Sooner than you know it, you’ll have a little angel passed out in your arms.
Obviously, not every parent needs to read this one. I’ve included it on the list because I have epilepsy and needed a lot of support throughout my pregnancy. Just like the author, I had given up on the idea of having a baby because of my pre-existing condition. The medical community gave me conflicting views which affected my confidence. If you have any pre-existing condition and are trying to conceive, I highly recommend looking for an author who has been in your shoes or find a group (online or in-person) that can provide you support and increase your confidence.
Not everyone needs to read this, but if you are like us, it is a good resource. I didn’t read it cover to cover as our NICU stay wasn’t very long. But the parts that we did read were helpful. Our guy came early which again was a reason why the blog and publication was put on hold. He’s a rockstar and an absolute joy to have! We’re so excited to get back into the swing of things as they say and start promoting indie authors.
*A quick note about submission and review requests. We know the pandemic inspired a lot of writing. I’ve met many people online who turned to writing as a way to cope with the change society is experiencing. Please note that The Book Smuggler’s Den will not be accepting any pieces regarding the pandemic. This includes personal essays, apocalyptic fiction, bioterrorism, or any fiction that mirrors the pandemic.
For a list of publications that are accepting submissions in relation to the pandemic, please visit our writing resource page.