Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What to Expect the First Year (What to Expect)” as Want to Read:
What to Expect the First Year (What to Expect)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What to Expect the First Year

(What to Expect)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  17,297 ratings  ·  1,007 reviews
Some things about babies, happily, will never change. They still arrive warm, cuddly, soft, and smelling impossibly sweet. But how moms and dads care for their brand-new bundles of baby joy has changed—and now, so has the new-baby bible.

Announcing the completely revised third edition of What to Expect the First Year. With over 10.5 million copies in print, First Year is
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 832 pages
Published October 16th 2003 by Workman Publishing Company (first published May 30th 1989)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What to Expect the First Year, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What to Expect the First Year

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,297 ratings  ·  1,007 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of What to Expect the First Year (What to Expect)
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to C by: What to Expect When You're Expecting
I read this because I liked What to Expect When You're Expecting. I liked this one even better. It's packed with facts and practical advice. As a first-time dad, I found it especially useful.

The chapters on illness and first aid are overwhelming; I quickly gave up on trying to take notes. I skimmed the chapters to become aware of what could happen, but I'd rather rely on advice from the pediatrician or medical staff in the event of serious sickness or injury.

I found the section on baby sign lang
- Jared - ₪ Book Nerd ₪
Babies are definitely scary your first time. I mean there's this new little life that's counting on you get things right and if you screw it up they might die! No pressure though, right? Thank God our child came with instructions. Amazon claims that the book was published just like any other book but I swear it must have been hidden somewhere in the placenta. Because shortly after the birth of our baby, it appeared out of nowhere and it never left my wife's side until she finished it. The book w ...more
Alicia Bayer
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
I dislike this whole series of books. The author spends too much time making her beliefs sound like facts in some areas (like against co-sleeping and for "crying it out") and then pandering to both sides (like bottle feeders and breastfeeders) in other areas in an obvious attempt to sacrifice the best baby advice for coddling to readers who may not have gone the path that's best for baby and don't want to feel bad about it. The advice is more along the lines of my mother's generation than the cu ...more
Another manual that should come home from the hospital with the newborn! I devoured this book and have a lot of highlights! A must have for new moms and dads. Nicely laid out.

I'm glad I got this book out of the shelf to add to GRs. I found a Mother's Day card to me inside it from my Grandmother! God rest her soul.
Ashley Kvasnicka
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: First Time Mommys
Actual Rating: 3.75/5

A great guide to the ever growing unstable wet squish that is your baby!

I didn't find this book as important as the first one (which was my savoir having known NOTHING about babies!), though it is still very well written. It's incredibly informative and a great guide for following the development of your baby during his first year of life.

My rating isn't indicating anything wrong with this book. There's nothing wrong. It's perfect. But I found it to be more of a fun guide -
Apr 06, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is good, and it's definitely the most popular baby guide. But, there are other books that are better, like the one from the American Academy of Pediatricians, Caring for Your Baby and Young Child. I felt this book included too many topics that were just hype. It also covers topics in an inflammatory way, and then more calmly states the actual facts at the very end of a topic.

For instance, it lists a number of foods not to give your child the first or even second year. I was starting t
Jan 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
***I will preface my review by saying that, apparently, my parenting style is referred to as "Attachment Parenting" which I understand is an institutional term for "Damn Hippie". I simply do what feels natural and right for me and my baby. I have learned to trust my baby, listen to her pediatrician (with a discerning ear), and phooey on anyone that tells me I HAVE to do X-Y-Z to make sure she scores high on the S-A-T. (seriously, if she doesn't eat solids at 120 days old, she will still learn to ...more
May 11, 2022 is currently reading it
So this is why I am not around much lately. I will end up posting a huge dump of reviews when I can of what I read (or honestly mostly listened to-audiobooks are my jam/only thing really possible right now).
Amy Alice
Jan 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Did not like the tone of this. And when I read that you shouldn't buy your baby yellow or green as a gender neutral option "because many babies can't pull off those tones" I was out. ...more
Nov 30, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
This book has some basic information that's useful, and tables for common OTC drugs based on weight and type of suspension at the back that are great for when internet access is out and you need to look them up. And this book helped teach my husband how to change a diaper.

However, some of the information is just not great. I would recommend skipping the whole section on breastfeeding and reading some better books on it instead. The growth, eating, sleep, and sibling sections have been spectacula
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A straightforward survey of child development during a baby’s first year written largely in a question and answer style. I especially appreciated the “Developmental Milestones” section (to see what the average baby should be doing per month) and the “Baby Basics at a Glance” boxes (to see what each month of your baby’s first year should look like in regards to sleeping, eating, and playing). Like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, I didn’t read this cover to cover but only read the sections w ...more
Maiden Misty's Musings
Nov 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Everything you need to know about your child's first year of life. From picking a doctor to the milestones your child should be reaching, In-depth information about a babies diet and what you should avoid. Highly recommend. ...more
Jul 21, 2009 rated it did not like it
Very unhelpful and I found it to be a bit biased or maybe just one-sided. She definitely has opinions so if that is what you're looking for maybe you'll like it. I also hated the way it was organized by month rather than by topic. If your baby isn't on the exact same path as she expects them to be then you will have to leaf through looking for the info you want. Also the Q&A sections of each chapter are strange. I didn't really find any useful information in the book. I don't know if there are b ...more
Amanda Coak
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Babies don't come with instruction manuals, but if they did, it would probably be this book - which is a beast of a read filled with monthly data/milestones to expect, medical information, and tons of feeding advice. I was overwhelmed reading it, but I'm glad I have it on hand for the future. I also realized that I KNOW NOTHING as a new parent AND WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO?!, but at least there are books like these that provide tons of important info. ...more
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Good basic overview that shows both sides of parenting traits, even if it is slightly biased towards one side.
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We made it to one year!! It was comforting to have this book as I had NO idea what I was doing and no other resources besides the internet. However, it wasn’t the best resource if you really need to dig into something, like feeding or sleeping or another specific developmental area. It keeps it pretty surface level, though it does have some information that I needed at point of use and the things I learned were helpful.

But, because it’s trying to be so generic and apply to “everyone,” I feel lik
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I had an older edition of this book which I found helpful, because like 60% of advice for new moms not only changes wildly from decade to decade, but is frequently contradictory. If you are only reading newly printed material, you are missing out on CONTEXT. The specific edition I had (2nd?) Was concerned about baby's cholesterol levels. No one in the year 2019 or 2020 has ever inquired about my or the baby's cholesterol.

I began reading "historical" pregnancy documents out of frustration about
Smita Jha
I think like a lot of people who loved "What to Expect when you're Expecting' I have mixed feelings about this book.

It was helpful and had a lot of useful information organized by age. But I think the first year is more about time ranges for things to happen and some specific issues just occupy more of your time. I spent half my time trying to figure out nutrition for the baby (breastfeeding and then solids) and then dealing with teething. Colic wasn't much fun either. The development stuff was
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only thing truly helpful in this for me was the list of milestones. Otherwise, the writing felt a little overly judgmental. Parents have it hard enough with hearing conflicting recommendations on how to raise their child. The advice in this book is a bit over the top in terms of its ability to be realistic for the average parent. Instead, it seems to just add stress by insinuating that those who don't make efforts to follow all of the "guidelines" in the book are doing their little ones a di ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Let's be honest - I've only read through the "first month" chapter, but I feel like I'll always be coming back to this book to read and reread. And it's not going to sit on my "currently reading" book forever!

Things I like so far: the page with all the milestones and the step-by-step instructions on swaddling, changing diapers, nursing, etc. I'm sure there's more, but I'm in cram mode and I forget!!
Courtney Hatch
Great resource just like the other "What to Expect..." books. The library was out of copies in English, so I got some nice and needed Spanish practice with this one which was fun to learn some medical/baby terms I didn't know. Anyway. I liked that the chapters never said "this month your baby will..." because all babies are so different. I'm glad that the book makes an effort to acknowledge all the different ways children develop. ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phew! This is a fantastic book but I am so glad to be done with it and move on to another book. It is incredibly long but that is just because it is so thorough! I just love this series! Any question you can think to ask about parenting is usually covered in these books. This will be a great reference book once our son comes into the picture!
Ann Stader
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I know this book (and other baby books) can be controversial. While I didn't agree with all the advice, the book was a great companion to the first year of my son's life and understanding his growth and what to look forward to. Great resources in here especially for health, food and engagement/play. ...more
Nov 28, 2007 rated it did not like it
This book often made me feel like the worst parent in the world. It is very single-sided about most parenting stlyes that my husband and I are practicing, such as co-sleeping. If you are approaching parenting in a very loving and nurturing manner, I do not recommend that you read this book.
Jaclyn Harrison
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the month-to-month chapters. I also like that she lists milestones by the percentage of children that reach them by that age (90%, 75%, 50%, and 25%).
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I need a research based infant development book that cites studies. I don't believe anything. Sigh ...more
Feb 14, 2021 added it
Pros: excellent source of concentrated information, arranged month by month. Probably the most useful of the books I've read so far.

Cons: I hated reading it every month. Boring, boring, boring, preachy.

And there's an added zinger to families during the pandemic. There are so many "this is the time to ask for help! it takes a village! parents can't do this alone!" sections that I wanted to scream. NO ONE CAN HELP. The best they can do is bring dinner and/or Grubhub cards, because it's not safe t
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: child-rearing
This is a solid reference for standard, American, AAP-approved parenting advice during the first year of a baby's life. It covers nearly every topic that is likely to cause parents of a new baby worry. However, its chatty but clinical addressing of issues can become either overwhelming (especially early in that first year) or irritating (later in the year as one gains her own parenting sea-legs). It is large on caution against any and every possible hazard, which may be a safe way for the author ...more
Jason Strayer
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Baby: the owner's manual. It's a massive tome -- and of course I wouldn't expect anyone but me to read it cover to cover -- but the material is indexed and organized chronologically, so it is accessible to the stressed out parent. If you have a question in month four about what to buy your infant in the toy department, this book has the answer. For those competitive types, the handy chart of development milestones starting on page 106 will help you determine if your little one is already getting ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has been invaluable to me this first year of parenting. It gave me a helpful guideline for what to look out for and answered my silly developmental questions when I couldn't trust the Internet and felt too stupid to call the pediatrician. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What to Expect the first year 5 29 Dec 13, 2018 12:47PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
  • Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food
  • The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two
  • The Wonder Weeks: A Stress-Free Guide to Your Baby's Behavior
  • Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
  • Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool
  • The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
  • Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
  • The Wonder Weeks. How to Stimulate Your Baby's Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases Into Magical Leaps Forward
  • The Newborn Handbook: Your Guide to Bringing Home Baby
  • Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby's First Year: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!
  • Precious Little Sleep
  • Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning: How to Integrate Foods, Master Portion Sizes, and Identify Allergies
  • Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five
  • Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Heidi Murkoff is the author of the What to Expect® series and author of Eating Well When You're Expecting, The What to Expect Pregnancy Journal & Organizer, What to Expect the First Year, The What to Expect Baby-Sitter's Handbook, and the What to Expect Kids series from HarperCollins. Her interactive website is, and she lives with her family in Los Angeles, California. ...more

Other books in the series

What to Expect (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting
  • What to Expect the Second Year: From 12 to 24 Months
  • What to Expect the Toddler Years
  • What to Expect Before You're Expecting
  • What to Expect at Preschool
  • What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting
  • What to Expect at Bedtime
  • What to Expect Gift Set
  • What to Expect Baby-Sitter's Handbook
  • What To Expect Pregnancy Planner

News & Interviews

The book gods, in their infinite kindness, have built second chances into the very structure of the modern distribution business. If you miss...
19 likes · 0 comments
“Kids who know they’re cared for and cared about have fewer behavioral problems and stronger relationships. •” 0 likes
“The following houseplants are poisonous, some in very small doses: Dumb cane, English ivy, foxglove, hyacinth bulbs (and leaves and flowers in quantity), hydrangea, iris rootstalk and rhizome, lily of the valley, philodendron, Jerusalem cherry. Outdoor plants that are poisonous include: Azalea, rhododendron, caladium, daffodil and narcissus bulbs, daphne, English ivy, foxglove, hyacinth bulbs (and leaves and flowers in quantity), hydrangea, iris rootstalk and rhizome, Japanese yew seeds and leaves, larkspur, laurel, lily of the valley, morning glory seeds, oleander, privet, rhubarb leaves, sweet peas (especially the “peas,” which are the seeds), tomato plant leaves, wisteria pods and seeds, yews. Holiday favorites holly and mistletoe, and to a lesser extent, poinsettia (which is irritating but not poisonous), are also on the danger list.” 0 likes
More quotes…