Book Summary: The “What To Expect” Series

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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  1. karina todoroki says

    I would love to have these,I am a married, stay at home mom of a three year old boy and expecting our second child in October of this year,and never owned a copy of these books and would love to have a little more insight the second time around. Keeping my fingers crossed

  2. tasha Mendelkow says

    My little sister is pregnant with her first baby. Neither her Or her husband have ever even changed a diaper. Lol. These books would be fabulous for them!!

  3. Kristen Resener says

    I would absolutely love to win these! I hear so many wonderful things about these books. What a great giveaway :) This is my first child so i would be extremely happy to have them :)

  4. Alexis says

    “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “What to Expect the First Year” were my go-to books when I was worried something might be “wrong.” They were so good, however, that I lent them back and never got them back! I would love these books!!

  5. halesar says

    I didn’t realize they had a book specific to the second year. I have the “…Expect the Toddler Years.” I think I need it ASAP and I’m excited to try the belly button tactic tomorrow!

  6. Amber R says

    I’m hoping (praying) to be expecting my first child in the next few months after unfortunately suffering a miscarriage earlier this year. And need all the help I can get! :)

  7. Amber R says

    I am hoping to be expecting my first child in the next few months after a heart breaking miscarriage earlier this year and need all the help I can get! :)

  8. Edona says

    I’m from Kosova and we don’t have books like this here. With my first baby I had a book from my friend and I give it back to here. I would love to have the books for the next one.
    Thank you

  9. says

    I found an old version of what to expect the first year at my local library sale and loved it! It would be great to have all three of these in up to date version :)

  10. mommyminna says

    I LOVE reading and I especially love reading materials that will help me to be a better Mom and relieve some of the worries I have about what comes next! When I was pregnant with our now 8 month old baby girl, I borrowed “What to Expect When Your Expecting” from a friend and it was so fun and exciting to read what was going on with her development and I also learned so much about what was happening to me and my body, so when a new ache or pain appeared, I knew exactly why and how I could relieve it. I would love to own all three books so I can have great go-to resources as Emmelyn grows and also as our family grows! They would definitely be used in this house! Thank you for this chance to win such great books!

  11. Kim says

    This would be so great for me as I have a two year old and a six month old. I could really use the wisdom fro
    these resources!!!

  12. Ariana says

    I would love these books for information. My son is 4 months old right now and I am always wondering if I am over-reacting to a cough or under-reacting to it.

  13. kimsmu says

    perfect timing as my 11 month old son is about to enter his second year and we are planning for another one on the way! Thanks!!

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