This is in no way an exhaustive list but I thought it would be useful to go through for expectant and new moms, all the books we had, and which ones we found most useful, and not so useful.
What to expect when you are expecting
This book is huge and full of information. I would say we used less than 5% of it though. It was useful for telling you what would happen in each month but there was just so much there it took a long time to find what you were looking for. A lot of the information is relevant for America and I found the following book much more relevant.
The Irish Pregnancy Book
We loved this book in our house and I would highly recommend it for anybody giving birth in Ireland. It has just enough information and is a pleasant and manageable resource.
French Children Don't Throw Food
Probably the book I read the most and got the most out of! The French have a lot to teach us about their approach to food, manners and sleep. Its also very funny. Highly recommended! I loved it so much I bought -
French Parent Don't Give In
The sequel to French Children Don't Throw Food is more of a manual. It skips all the funny anecdotes from the first book and gives 100 parenting tips in 6 categories. We used and still use this book all the time.
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
This book is excellent if you are considering trying to get your baby into a basic routine. I learnt many basics facts about babies from Tracy, such as not keeping your baby awake for too long. Tracy also recommends the "Dream Feed" which worked a treat with my son. Her routine is nothing like as strict as Gina Ford and we used it for a while before discovering Gina!
The New Contented Little Baby Book
This book was our lifesaver and still is with our second child. Gina gets a lot of negative press but you need to read her book thoroughly to really understand her technique. At 4 months my son was waking every hour during the night and I was at my wits end and I was ready to try anything. I spent two weeks establishing Gina's routine (which was hard work and I didn't really leave the house). After two weeks he started sleeping through and has continued to be a fantastic sleeper ever since. Sleep is extremely important for babies and children's growth and development but a good sleep pattern without stress gives parents a break too. I also found that while Gina's routines were strict it took a lot of the stress out of parenting a baby (she even tells you to have a glass of water at certain times and when to sterilise your equipment). Gina is definitely more geared towards breastfeeding mums though and it can sometimes be difficult to adapt the routines for bottle fed babies.
Minus Nine to One, Jools Oliver
A lovely book that I was surprised I enjoyed so much. Reading it really prepared me for pregnancy, the birth and after. Jamie Oliver's wife narrates her experiences like a story
Neven Maguire's Complete Baby & Toddler Cookbook
A really good book for those who are looking for food inspiration. The recipes are easy, tasty and good value. Neven provides fantastic recipes as well as week long food plans. Introducing food can be really confusing and take huge amounts of time in preparation. Neven's plans can be used to make shopping lists and give you a reassuring routine so you don't feel alone.