Best Parenting Books
Best Parenting Books
October 4, 2018

Best Parenting Books

Best Parenting Books.
Photo by @lechefswife
Best Parenting Books

Now that baby’s here, you may have a lot more questions than you did when you were expecting!

We asked Babylist families about their favorite books that got them through the first year, and here’s what they told us. (And don’t worry. You’ve got this!)

Helpful Options

This book focuses on how to tune into your baby’s calming reflex and can be really helpful when it comes to soothing babies and increasing sleep. Laura says, “I love Happiest Baby on the Block—it’s medically based, but doesn’t make you feel bad when something isn’t working, just provides you with many great options and advice through the stages.” Anjuli echoes this: “Everything was very helpful, especially when it came to soothing and swaddling our baby.”

Budget Pick

This book covers a variety of standard parenting topics, with a focus on trying to understand what your baby is attempting to communicate to you as well as talking to your baby. The author advocates a middle-of-the-road approach between strict (parent-led) and flexible (baby-led) parenting approaches. Stephanie tell us, “I loved it! It prepared me for bringing home the baby and what caring for her would be like.”

Baby's Sleep Guru

If you are looking to put your baby on a schedule, this is the book for you.

Babylist parent Tabitha says, “The book is about feeding/sleeping schedules and how to implement a routine. I liked the example schedules. If I had to list a dislike, it would be how the book made you feel like your child wasn’t meeting expectations if they weren’t sleeping through the night by 2-3 months of age. If you take this with a grain of salt and focus on a schedule, yet adapt when needed, you’re golden.”

The book is helpful, but it’s important not to be too rigid in following its advice. This book was criticized in an American Academy of Pediatrics journal and can be controversial. We found this article helpful in understanding why some parents love and other parents hate the book.

Happier Sleep

Therapists Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright balance the goals of cosleeping parents to be sensitive and nurturing with the structure of traditional “cry it out” methods in this amazing book about infant and preschooler sleep patterns.

The Babylist Editor-in-Chief says that the reverse sleep wave changed her life!

Informative and Practical

This is a deep reference guide with a glossary in the back that you can use any time you have a question. It covers pretty much all the important topics in your baby’s first year, and people say it’s a nice alternative to calling your pediatrician all the time.

Gear Advisor

The average cost of a baby in its first year tops $7,000–so having this book is pretty useful. It gives you a general framework for thinking about each category of baby product, which can be more helpful than individual product reviews. Babylist mom Katharine says, “Baby Bargains is THE resource for all the gear you will need as a parent. They break the essentials down into categories and rate them so you know the best gear from the ones you’d be wasting money on. They also tell you where to get the gear for a good price!”

Baby Bargains


Stress Free

Calm the F * ck Down: The Only Parenting Technique You’ll Ever Need has its origins in a viral blog post by a tongue-in-cheek daddy blogger. It methodically goes through the most common and urgent parenting worries, like “My baby’s poop shoots out,” and calms you down with gems like, “Congratulations! You’ve just earned a parenting merit badge. Everyone who’s ever changed a diaper has experienced the poo fountain.” It gives you all the information you need to keep from freaking out unnecessarily, while making you laugh.

Research Based

Written by an American mother in France who noticed French children were better behaved, this book blends the author’s personal story with studies and research. She says French parents are more comfortable with settings limits for this kids and teaching them to be patient. Also, they “know how to be involved without being obsessed,” she writes. One Babylist parent says, “I loved it. I felt like even though it was a parenting book it still read like an actual book. Plus it had all the important points listed in the back for my husband, who didn’t want to read the whole thing.”

Culture Shock

The book is written by a first-time mom who toured the world to observe parenting styles in different countries. The fascinating thing: a lot of parenting practices that would be considered heresy in America work out just fine for other cultures!

Realistic Winner

The book explains the difficulty of parenting a new baby in a hilarious way and helps new parents realize they’re not alone in finding parenting to be a less-than-idyllic task. One of the chapters is called, “No One Is Loving This as Much as Their Facebook Posts Would Have You Believe.”

Parenting is crazy hard, and you’re not alone in your frustrations. All parents suffer through this stuff, but at least with this book, you can laugh about it!

Confident Decision-Making

With so many parenting books out there (and so much conflicting advice), it can be difficult to feel like you’re in control of your own parenting style. Enter economist Emily Oster, author of Expecting Better, who’s done her research on all things parenting—from trends to expert advice. The result? A data-driven book that shows you options, debunks myths and gives you the confidence you need to make your own parenting decisions despite all the misinformation out there.

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