Went to the mall last night and bought a copy of 'What To Expect: The Toddler Years' (available in most popular bookstores retailing at RM44.00). Oh, yes, I DO need a book to tell me how to 'manage' my toddler! ;-P
The series by Heidi Murkoff and some other moms and healthcare professionals is the next in line after What To Expect : The First Year and What To Expect When You're Expecting. I am hoping to find many tips, advices and suggestions in there for the next two years of raising Baby O just as how I relied on the first two series.
Some friends bought me the 3rd edition of What To Expect When You're Expecting as a birthday present years before we even thought of having a baby. One of the best and most useful birthday gift I must say. This is like every pregnant woman's (and her other half's) pregnancy bible! Even more so for us when we were having the baby in a foreign country on our own with no family around to turn to for advice (which may be a good thing at times to avoid being restricted by too many myths and superstitions! Eg. Consuming lamb during pregnancy will result in having a baby with epilepsy; drink more soy milk to have a fair baby and avoid coffee or baby will have dark skin - refer NOTE below). Every step of pregnancy is detailed in the 2-inches thick book telling you basically, well, what to expect at the different stages in a light-hearted, mother to mother-to-be manner. It provided me with a lot of assurance especially since it was our first time. There were times when I kept wondering if everything was alright with the baby because I couldn't see it physically growing or had any other pregnancy symptoms.
What To Expect: The First Year (another 2-inches thick, over 800-pages book) covers topics such as breast/ formula feeding, what baby may be doing each month, low-birthweight/ special needs/ adopted baby, how to deal with grandparents who are spoiling the baby, and recipes for when baby starts solids. They also give sound advices and suggestions on topics like discipline and when to wean from the breast. Both dear hubby and myself find that when we had some doubts, we could almost always rely on the book for an answer. Which is why the series will grow with us and Baby O.
The only drawback of the series (as with most pregnancy related books out on the shelves of popular bookstores) is that it is catered for the Western community so don't expect to find recipes which includes siew pak choy; or things like confinement food and taboos; or an answer to 'Can I give my baby coconut water?' in it. You may also find that the healthcare system may differ. They also currently do not cover Baby-Led Weaning in their 2nd edition of The First Year. However, the series is definitely a good investment if you want to be more aware of the A to Zs of pregnancy and caring for your baby/ toddler. A good reference with a lot of sense while putting things into perspective especially for those having/bringing up a baby in a very culturally superstitious environment!
NOTE: I am not totally against the many myths/ superstitions/ taboos related to pregnancy. I believe that many a times, these superstitions have a real reason behind it. For example, not to consume lamb meat during pregnancy may be due to the fact that taking too much red meat may cause hypertension which may worsen the condition of a pre-eclampsic woman. Nutrition wise, soy milk is definitely better than coffee which should be minimised anyway. Balance is the key!