A comprehensive guide to parenting resources and books
A letter to you from Amy Potter, former editor of HoneyKids Asia and mother of two.
So here you are, ready to embark on the wonderful journey of parenthood. First off: congrats! For sure, it’s one heck of an exciting time counting down to baby’s arrival. But nursery paint swatches and ‘It’ pram aside, pregnancy and becoming a parent can be mega daunting, too. Your changing body, your anxiety about birth, your worries about how everything changes once you become ‘Mum’… it can be a lot to take in. It’s why parenting websites, magazines, apps and books can be a huge support.
As editor of HoneyKids Asia, one such parenting and lifestyle site, I may sound biased. But I’ve been in your shoes. When I first arrived in Singapore with two young children (my son was eight months old and my daughter just over two years), it was hard. The heat! The humidity! The search for a decent flat white! As I was coming to grips with my new everyday and learning a new city, there were so many questions. Where could I go for a pram-friendly walk? What’s the best indoor play centre for toddlers? Where can I buy craft supplies? So I did what every mum does: I turned to my faithful friend, Google. And my digital BFF served me up some awesome articles and life-saving tips from the various parenting websites here in Singapore.
When the opportunity arose to become Editor of one of my favourites, it was a no-brainer. It’s been a total passion project, and honestly, there’s nothing better than hearing from readers who say how much they love our content and how it’s helped them. From firsthand advice on what baby gear you really need and what you can live without to how to deal with tantrums (your own included!) and the most kid-friendly places to take your new bub, it’s all at your fingertips. My advice? Find the sites, mags and apps that resonate with you, follow them on the ol’ socials, then get stuck in! Guaranteed sweet reads await, ready to inspire you throughout this crazy parenting gig. You’ve got this.
Love and LOLs,
PS. While we’re on the topic of reading, Amy Brown, an Associate Professor of Child Public Health at Swansea University wrote an article for The Conversation asking ‘Are baby advice books making mothers depressed and anxious?’ It’s worth a read!
HoneyKids Asia is an online parenting and lifestyle magazine that helps the new mum live the sweet life with her family in Singapore. As well as sharing all the best things to do and places to go, it delivers honest advice, heartfelt feels and trustworthy parenthood tips. The team prides itself on its fun and friendly tone, and for being refreshingly real. Its former editor, Amy Potter, is a mum to two tiny terrors, meaning she’s a professional multitasker and an expert in all things one-handed. With a belief in supporting mothers and showing solidarity, she’s all for shining a light on the highs and lows of parenthood.
Sassy Mama is an online parenting site that began in 2013 when a group of fun-loving mamas set out to discover the family-friendly side to their favourite city, and share the latest news in the world of parenting in Singapore. The Sassy Mama team do the research on everything you might want to know as a mama-to-be or parent, and make this information easy to read and accessible - ‘cos they know you’re short on time, probably haven’t slept much (those newborn nights!) and may not have had your morning coffee yet (they get it, they’re mums too!). They are for being truthful about motherhood (even the not-so-wonderful parts). They are against mama guilt and for working with what you’ve got, not what you wish you had. They are for safe births (however your bub makes their entrance into the world), breastfeeding AND bottle-feeding, knowing all the options, going on adventures and expeditions, and squeezing in some self-care. They respect that every parenting journey is different and there is no one way to parent.
The Sassy Mama team gives you all the info so you can make an informed decision, whether that be choosing the right school for your kid or dealing with a parenting problem. And they are serious about hunting down the fun stuff in town too - from kid-friendly museums to the best free playgrounds! Soon-to-be mamas should check out their pregnancy section for all the essential tips, whether you’re looking for a suitable OBGYN, antenatal and postnatal classes, recommended baby must-haves or even a confinement nanny. You can join one of their Due Date Clubs on Facebook to connect with other mamas who are due around the same time. Plus, follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates ('cos info changes so fast!) on what’s hot for kids and families in the little red dot. They can’t wait to welcome you to their Sassy Mama tribe.
From Fear to Love | Red Miller
‘From Fear to Love: Your Guide to a Fearless Magical Birth’ by Singapore-based biodynamic midwife Red Miller is a step-by-step guide to identify your fears and discover the secrets they hold to empower and transform your birth experience; connect to your innate wisdom and inner compass for critical decision making; develop a self-nurturing plan that will enhance your body’s ability to nourish and grow a healthy baby; work with your pain guides, to increase your capacity to cope with labour’s intensity; inspiring your birth partner to step up and lead with you; be better prepared to embrace the experience of birth regardless if it is the organic water birth you plan or a Caesarean.
This book is for pregnant mothers who wish to experience the healthiest, most joyful and nurturing birth experience possible.
Available on Amazon.
The Positive Birth Book | Milli Hill
Work out what kind of birth you really want, and learn how to maximise your chances of getting it, in this refreshing, warm and witty guide to pregnancy, birth and the early weeks. Packed with vital and cutting-edge information on everything from building the ultimate birth plan, to your choices and rights in the birth room; from optimal cord clamping, to seeding the microbiome; from the inside track on breastfeeding, to woman-centred Caesarean, ‘The Positive Birth Book’ shows how to have the best possible birth, regardless of whether the plan is to birth in hospital, at home or by elective Caesarean. Find out how environment, mindset and expectations can influence the kind of birth experienced, and be inspired by the voices of real women, who tell the truth about what giving birth really feels like. Challenging negativity and fear of childbirth, and brimming with everything that needs to be known about labour, birth, and the early days of parenting, The Positive Birth Book is the must-have birth book for women of the 21st century.
Available on Amazon.
Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting | Janet Lansbury
Janet Lansbury’s advice on respectful parenting is quoted and shared by millions of readers worldwide. Inspired by the pioneering parenting philosophy of her friend and mentor, Magda Gerber, Janet’s influential voice encourages parents and child care professionals to perceive babies as unique, capable human beings with natural abilities to learn without being taught; to develop motor and cognitive skills; communicate; face age-appropriate struggles; initiate and direct independent play for extended periods; and much more. Once we are able to view our children in this light, even the most common daily parenting experiences become stimulating opportunities to learn, discover, and to connect with our child. ‘Elevating Child Care’ is a collection of 30 popular and widely read articles from Janet’s website that focus on some of the most common infant/toddler issues: eating, sleeping, diaper changes, communication, separation, focus and attention span, creativity, boundaries, and more. Eschewing the quick-fix ‘tips and tricks’ of popular parenting culture, Janet’s insightful philosophy lays the foundation for a closer, more fulfilling parent-child relationship, and children who grow up to be authentic, confident, successful adults.
Available on Amazon.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding | La Leche League International
Dedicated to supporting nursing and expectant mothers, the internationally respected La Leche League has set the standard for educating and empowering mothers in the natural art of breastfeeding for generations. Now, their classic bestselling guide has been retooled, refocused, and updated for today’s mothers and lifestyles. Working mothers, stay-at-home mums, single mums, and mothers of multiples will all benefit from the book’s range of nursing advice, stories, and information - from preparing for breastfeeding during pregnancy to feeding cues, from nursing positions to expressing and storing breast milk. With all new photos and illustrations, this ultimate support bible offers:
- Real-mum wisdom on breastfeeding comfortably-from avoiding sore nipples to simply enjoying the amazing bonding experience.
- New insights into old approaches toward latching and attaching, ages and stages, and answers to the most-asked questions.
- Strategies for mums who choose to breastfeed for a short time or who plan to nurse for a year or more.
- Reassuring information on nursing after a C-section or delivery complications
- Recent scientific data that highlights the many lifelong health benefits of breastfeeding.
- Helpful tips for building support networks - at home or when back at work
- Nursing special-needs infants, premies, multiples, and how to thrive no matter what curveball life throws.
- Guidance on breast health issues, weight gain, day care, colic, postpartum depression, food allergies, and medications, plus-Internet references for further information, including La Leche League support sites and groups.
Mothers bringing babies into a new world want sustainable, healthy, positive ways to help their children blossom and thrive. There is no better beginning for your baby than the womanly art of breastfeeding.
Available on Amazon.
The Science of Parenting: How today’s brain research can help you raise happy, emotionally-balanced children | Margot Sunderland
Backed by the most up-to-date scientific research, ‘The Science of Parenting’, 2nd Edition, provides evidence-based parenting advice, with practical strategies from birth to 12 years of age. Child psychotherapist, Dr. Margot Sunderland, has more than 30 years’ experience that she brings to this internationally-acclaimed guide, and she provides numerous case studies to relate the science to real life.
From separations and time apart to forms of discipline to the latest thinking on screen time, this guide traces the direct effect of different parenting practices on a child’s brain. Summaries at the end of every chapter provide key takeaways and make action points simple and clear so parents can begin to implement them immediately.
As a professional who works with families, Dr. Sunderland is attuned to the struggle of parents juggling lives at work and at home. ‘The Science of Parenting’ remains the greatest work on what science can teach about parenting and the remarkable effects of love, nurture, and play, on a child’s development.
Available on Amazon.
The book you wish your parents had read (and your children will be glad that you did) | Philippa Perry
Every parent wants their child to be happy and every parent wants to avoid screwing them up. But how does one achieve that? In this absorbing, clever and funny book, renowned psychotherapist Philippa Perry shares what really matters and what behaviour is important to avoid - the vital dos and don’ts of parenting.
Instead of mapping out the ‘perfect’ plan, Perry offers a big-picture look at the elements that lead to good parent-child relationships. This refreshing, judgement-free book will help you to understand how your own upbringing may affect your parenting; accept that you will make mistakes and learn what you can do about them; break negative cycles and patterns; handle your own and your child’s feelings; and understand what different behaviours communicate.
Available on Amazon.
The Gift of Birth | Emeline Hare
Every woman has a unique set of goals, ideas, and circumstances as she approaches the journey towards motherhood. Emeline Hare wrote ‘The Gift of Birth’ to help empower mothers with knowledge to make informed decisions, and develop faith and confidence in their bodies to ensure they achieve a joyous birth and the best start with their baby.
‘The Gift of Birth’ guides expectant and new parents to understand birth options, understanding the stages of labour and birth, prepare emotionally and physically for birth, develop a tailored birth plan, pack for the hospital, manage and control pain, understand the first hours, days and weeks with a new baby, and develop an everlasting bond.
Emeline Hare is a British, Singapore-based mother of three children who has supported hundreds of parents around the world and has drawn on her hands-on experience to author ‘The Gift of Birth’.
Available on Amazon.