New mums often feeling they are drowning in advice, and no matter how well-meaning it is, finding your own motherhood path can be difficult, right?
Could the answer lie with the tranche of celebrities, bloggers and reality stars who have all committed their parenting know-how to paper?
The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner
What’s it about? Popular blogger the Unmumsy Mum, aka Sarah Turner (she has more than 40,000 Twitter followers and her Facebook fans top 600,000) turned author and GQ online agony aunt, lays motherhood bare in this no-holds barred account of life as a new mum.
No subject is off-limits for the witty writer who is certainly a child of the over-sharing, social media savvy generation.
She happily discusses everything from dresses with easy boob access to post-baby vaginal tightness owing to the sewing skills of an over-zealous midwife all with a lightness of touch that leaves the reader feeling they are sat having a coffee with an old friend and not reading the intimate details from the life of a total stranger.
From the book: Chapter 4: The Daily Grind – Mum rage – Abuse of ‘Parent and Child’ parking spaces
“We’ve all seen some bad-ass rule breaker casually swinging into one of these without a child or with a child aged 16.
“Yes, I’m glaring at you as I park in a normal bay. Not because I’m lazy but because, in a standard-width space, it is almost impossible not to scratch the Audi next to me as I heave the car seat out and the toddler exits wielding his lightsabre. Dick.”
Do read: If you have had your fill of poo, sick and sleeplessness.
Leave on the shelf: If you are averse to a bit of bad language and were looking for a politically correct guide to parenting.
Available from: Amazon
Happy Mum, Happy Baby, My Adventures in Motherhood by Giovanna Fletcher
What’s it about? Author, blogger, vlogger and actress (phew) Giovanna is the wife of popstar-turned-author Tom Fletcher of boyband McFly, and this is her experience of being a mum to young boys – Buzz (nearly four) and Buddy (23 months).
It follows the Fletchers through a diagnosis of PCOS and the sadness of miscarriage, to the birth of their first son and then the arrival of a second baby.
Giovanna is a very positive mummy, and often speaks very honestly – but I must admit her ‘every dark cloud’ attitude did become a bit wearing as did the constant name-checking of her novels, magazine deal, vlog, stores and coffee shops.
She does have a lot going on to be fair – which is amazing – but while product-dropping may work online, in print it really jars and although while always trying to sound well-meaning she sadly comes across as slightly self-satisfied. Or maybe just too happy.
From the book: Chapter 16, Getting Back to Work
“I wanted time away to focus on my family, and fully realise my potential as a mum… I was adamant that my editor wouldn’t charm me into anything else… and then I got blooming inspired and creative.
“Before I gave birth I ended up going to the publishers with an original idea that they loved, so I knew I’d be working on that as soon as I felt ready.”
Do read: If you feel in dire need of some positive energy.
Leave on the shelf: If you think reading all about another mum’s jet-setting life with her popstar husband might not be quite what you need right now.
Price: £16.99 (hardback)
Available from: Amazon
Truly Happy Baby – It Worked for Me by Holly Willoughby
What it’s about: This is a range of tips from the first lady of daytime TV and mum-of-three Holly Willoughby which is more of a traditional guide to motherhood, than a day-to-day account of how she coped with her overwhelming sense of love and drippy breast pads.
All her tips have been checked with a medical advisor and are all delivered in a light, helpful non-judgemental manner.
At 277 pages, it is very detailed and aside from the glamorous shots of Holly cradling cherubic infants, there is nothing here to make new mums feel the least bit inadequate, in fact, you’ll find plenty of handy hints well worth giving a go.
From the book: Chapter Five: Looking after You
“Your stitches will dissolve within a couple of weeks, but to begin with they feel sore and itchy, particularly when you need to wee and the urine touches the area. Leave off your underwear to stop any chaffing and allow the area to heal.”
Do read: If you want some gentle, non-preachy advice on everything from post-partum haemorrhaging to airline baggage allowances.
Leave on the shelf: If you are pushed for time – the sheer size of this tome could mean your newborn has her first birthday before you’ve finished reading.
Price: £16.99 (paperback)
Available from: Book Depository
The Honest Toddler – A Child’s Guide to Parenting (under the supervision of Bunmi Laditan)
What it’s about: Born out of a Twitter feed by Canadian mum Bunmi, this is a very humorous guide to anyone approaching the ‘terrible twos’ written from the toddler’s point of view.
It offers tips on feeding (don’t bother with anything green); sleeping (The Six Stages of Night Grief) and terms parents as “volunteer care givers”. This is very astute and will appeal to anyone who has or is faced with a temporary child from hell!
From the book: Chapter 16 – Vacationing with Your Toddler
“Did someone tell you that vacations are supposed to be relaxing? That’s hilarious. Vacations are a chance for you to parent outside your comfort zone.
“If you can care for a toddler in a new place and without supplies from home, you’re a true pro.”
Do read: If you are at your wit’s end and have nowhere left to turn.
Leave on the shelf: If your toddler has drained all humour from you.
Price: £7.99 (paperback)
Available from: Wordery
My Baby & Me by Sam Faiers
What it’s about: The Towie favourite shares her ‘survival tips’ for new mums and in doing so is very open about a lot of things from getting pregnant early in a relationship to feeling happy and healthy while carrying her son which she attributes to being sober for a long period of time.
There are plenty of tips, recipes, hints and ideas, but no dos and don’ts and she even talks about trying to feed a baby when his mouth is full phlegm.
A really, down-to-earth pregnancy and birth guide which is a surprisingly good read too.
From the book: Bottle versus Breast – What Worked for Me
“My top tip here is: if you are having one of those days with the baby glued to you, make sure you have your supplies to hand – lots of water, your phone or book, the TV remote and some snacks to keep your energy up.”
Do read: If you’re a Towie fan who likes to be told how it is.
Leave on the shelf: If you have no idea what or who Towie is and are not remotely interested in the mummy musings of a reality star.
Available from: WH Smith