Title: The What to Expect Series

Author: Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

Basic Overview: This helpful series includes the newly revised What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect the First Year and What to Expect the Second Year. Overall they are down-to-earth, detailed guides to help new and seasoned mothers alike navigate the exciting years of pregnancy to toddlerhood.

 What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Personally, I found this first book a bit overwhelming. It deals with everything from conception to labor and delivery with week-by-week guides to your baby’s growth. There was so much information about anything and everything that would or could happen, that I could see myself becoming a bit paranoid if reading it while pregnant.

On the other hand, POM’s co-founder, April Perry, had the following to say about What to Expect When You’re Expecting:

When I was expecting my first daughter, I used it as a resource just about every week. Before I’d call the doctor and complain about all my aches and pains, I’d read through the book to see if it had some advice to calm me down. I liked having a resource available to describe the technical stuff that I knew nothing about.

So I guess it just depends on your personality: if you like having a lot of information to ease your mind, this book is definitely for you. If a lot of information makes your imagination and fears go wild (like me), then use it to look up just what you have a question about or stick with your doctor.

What to Expect the First Year

I asked my sister to review this book since she has a ten-month-old baby.  Here were her thoughts:

This is a positive resource filled with non-judgmental, broad and diversified advice. It highlights that one size or one style does not fit all and gives plenty of options so you can do what works for you and your baby.

I loved the small special sections on infants in NICU, infants with special needs and adoption. They gave and hope and reassurance to mothers in these situations are and also gave helpful tips on how others can help, rather than hinder, in these special situations.

There are great resources in the “mother’s care” sectionvital information as we often forget to take care of ourselves when we are so consumed with taking care of our infant. I found good advice regarding siblings of the newborn and reasoning and explanations on discipline during the first year.

 Other favorites were baby’s first recipes, crying interpretation and different methods to deal with night waking.

A note of caution: the dosage chart for Acetaminophen/Tylenol (pg 758) is inaccurate and incomplete. There are two different formulas (of different strengths) on the market right now which is causing a lot of confusion.

What to Expect the Second Year

I really liked this book and found helpful advice that applied to even my three-year-old.

There are sections on feeding, sleeping and behavior that offer a variety of solutions and tips. For example in the sleeping section, the author presents several different methods of sleep training so you can decide which would work best for you and your child.

I loved the behavior section; it had so many helpful strategies. My favorite? How to get a screeching, back-arching toddler into their car seat or stroller. Use the ‘belly-button push trick': “As you put your toddler in the seat, playfully push or tickle his or her belly. He or she will reflexively retract that arched back and lean forward, allowing you to buckle him or her in” (216). Who knew? I’m definitely adding that to my bag of tricks!

One of the nice things about all of these books is that they don’t require you to sit down and read through the entire thing to get help or advice. It is very easy to find the section or question you’re looking for and find a variety of solutions.

Would you like to receive ALL THREE What to Expect books? Leave a comment below until Thursday, May 17th at midnight. Check back on Friday, May 18th to see if you won!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Shelley D. and Amber R!


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