There were plenty of things that made me freak out when I was pregnant with my first child. One of those was reading pregnancy books. Those very things that were supposed to be sources of comfort and information turned me into a neurotic mess.

This is why I love the new release from Erin Bried — How to Rock Your Baby. This pregnancy/parenting book is full of practical, useful tips broken down into bite-sized pieces and delivered with a healthy dose of humor. Because you really do need to laugh at all the body-changing, sleep-missing, stress-inducing elements of pregnancy and parenthood. Instead of pages explaining various sleep philosophies (I need a philosophy?!), Bried’s book breaks it down and gives you step-by-step instructions on how to swaddle your baby (pg. 103), rock your baby (pg.110) and put your baby to sleep (pg. 126).

There is plenty of truly practical advice – things I never remember reading in traditional pregnancy books. Tips like:

How to recognize the signs of labor: “Have you just reorganized very drawer, cupboard and closet in the joint? Have you decided now might be a good time to reupholster your couch yourself?…If so, your delivery may be imminent.” I really could have used this one when I decided to sand down our living room bookcase at 38 weeks.

How to push: “Throw all modesty out the window. You’re about to moan and groan, flash all your parts to everyone in the room, and – hate to say it – probably poop on the delivery table.” Again, would have been helpful to know this ahead of time.

How to talk to your baby: “Follow your instincts. You’ll probably want to soften your voice and talk in a higher pitch than usual, and that’s for a good reason. Babies prefer it. Just remember to recalibrate your pitch and tone when you talk to your sweetie; otherwise you’ll annoy every adult within earshot.” I’d like to put the second half of this tip on a t-shirt and anonymously send it to a few people – you know who you are.

Plus there are lots of nitty gritty details you usually only get from a been-there-done-that mom-friend.

How to choose a name: “Check the initials. Anne Suzanne Smith might sound good to you, but in thirty years, do you really want your daughter to carry around an embroidered L.L. Bean tote that says ASS on the side?”

How to bond with your newborn: “Spend as much time together as possible…Some parents connect instantly with their pups while other parent-child pairs require a little more time to get to know each other.”

How to pump: “Any existential crisis you might have sitting still, topless and using both hands to hold two bottles to your breasts can be avoided by either buying a pumping bra or even better just hacking an old sports bra. Cut two holes in it for the flanges and voila! Hands-free pumping!”

Bried even gets crafty with tips on how to make your own baby toys, practical with how to handle unwanted advice, real with how to lose the baby weight and memorable with how to create a keepsake box and even bronze baby shoes.

Bried certainly did her research for this How to Rock Your Baby. She talked to doctors, read scientific reports and most importantly, talked to some pretty amazing moms. The book is peppered with tips, anecdotes and real-world parenting advice advice from mothers who have survived raising children. These include…

Ruth Alsop, 81-years-old: mother of Marin Alsop, the first female conductor of a major symphony orchestra

Rosemary Giunta, 54-years-old: mother of Salvatore Giunta, Medal of Honor winner

Elaine Maddow, 69-years-old: mother of Rachel Maddow, TV host and Rhodes Scholar

Christine Samuel, 59-years-old: mother of Asanta Samel, professional football player and two-time Super Bowl winner

Sunchita Tyson, 83-years-old: mother of Neil DeGrasse, world-renowned astrophysicist

Betty Horton, 102-years-old: one of the oldest mothers in America, mother of two

…and a handful of other women (including her own mom too!)

I have three kids now, but reading How to Rock Your Baby was a wonderful walk down memory lane that had me laughing and tearing up. It also had me purchasing another copy to give at an upcoming baby shower. The perfect book to inform, to educate and to take the edge off all that pregnancy stress!

Visit to learn more and purchase.


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