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Best Parenting Books
Updated on
February 27, 2023

Best Parenting Books

By Babylist Team
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Best Parenting Books.
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Best Parenting Books

Now that baby’s here, you may have a lot more questions than you did when you were expecting. And if you’re still in the expecting phase, it’s not a bad idea to gather some essential knowledge ahead of time.

There are parenting books out there for every topic, from basic newborn care to all the different parenting styles to working through your own childhood trauma so you can parent more effectively. As you browse parenting books, keep in mind that no book is a 100% perfect fit for every parent. You may find some you almost completely agree with except for one section or idea; you may find some in which only a small part is helpful to you and you disregard the rest. Just remember that you’re in charge of your own unique parenting journey, so take whatever advice feels the most right and helpful for you and your family.

Here are our favorite books to help you out on your big parenting adventure.

 American Academy of Pediatrics: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child - $18.99.

From the experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) comes this incredibly thorough, encyclopedia-like book on everything about raising a child from birth up through five years old. Breastfeeding? Covered. Potty training? Covered. Milestones, environmental hazards and childcare options? All covered, and all from a trusted source.

American Academy of Pediatrics: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child

$18.99
Baby 411 - Paperback - $14.39.

This book is a deep reference guide for whatever quick question you might have about your baby. 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 (there’s even a glossary at the back!).

Baby 411 - Paperback

$14.39
 Cribsheet - $15.70.

Can’t decide which parenting style would work best for you and your family? From economist Emily Oster, author of Expecting Better, this research-based, data-driven book analyzes all the options and debunks myths so you can confidently make your own parenting decisions.

Cribsheet

$15.70
 Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids - $12.89.

If you’re not already practicing mindfulness exercises, becoming a new parent is a great time to start. Even if you’re in the middle of your parenting journey, learning mindfulness can help reduce the daily stresses of parenting by training yourself to react calmly and compassionately to your child’s most frustrating moments.

Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids

$12.89
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - Paperback - $7.63.

If you’re struggling to understand your baby’s various cues, this book aims to teach you “baby language.” It covers a variety of parenting topics, with a focus on deciphering what your baby is attempting to communicate to you. As for parenting techniques, the author advocates for a middle-of-the-road approach between strict (parent-led) and flexible (baby-led).

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - Paperback

$7.63
Bringing Up Bébé - Paperback - $15.89.

The author of this book is an American mother who, while living in France, noticed that French children seemed better behaved than American children. Blending her personal story with studies and research, she explains how French parents are more comfortable with setting limits for their kids, teaching them to be patient and knowing “how to be involved without being obsessed.”

Bringing Up Bébé - Paperback

$15.89
The Happiest Baby on the Block - Paperback - $14.99.

From the creator of the Snoo bassinet, this book focuses on how to tune into your baby’s natural calming reflex to soothe fussiness and promote better sleep. Broken down into five simple steps, Dr. Karp’s method helps calm even the most colicky babies.

The Happiest Baby on the Block - Paperback

$14.99
 The Montessori Baby - $12.99.

Montessori has long been a beloved childrearing technique for parents of preschoolers and beyond, focusing on learning through self-guided play, natural materials and limited intervention from adults. Montessori has also been shown to benefit children even before they enter a classroom; this book teaches caregivers how to incorporate the Montessori method from the earliest days with baby.

The Montessori Baby

$12.99
On Becoming Baby Wise - Paperback - $10.99.

If you are looking to put your baby on a schedule, this is the book for you. It includes sample sleep and feeding schedules with guidance on how to implement a routine early on. Keep in mind: Many parents consider this book to be helpful, but consult with your pediatrician before following these schedules too rigidly. We found this article helpful in understanding why some parents love Babywise and other parents hate it.

On Becoming Baby Wise - Paperback

$10.99
 The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) - $17.29.

We’ll give you fair warning now: this book might make you cry. Ever heard yourself talk to your child and think you sounded just like your parents?If you find yourself feeling negatively about that, then this book is for you. It gently guides parents to examine their own upbringings to understand how it can inform the way they respond as adults to their own children. In order to be the parent we truly want to be, sometimes we have to care for our inner child, too.

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)

$17.29
The Sh!t No One Tells You - Paperback - $14.88.

The book walks you through the more difficult parts of parenting a new baby in a hilarious way, helping 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 so 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!

The Sh!t No One Tells You - Paperback

$14.88
 How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen - $11.49.

Once your little one has reached the toddler stage and their independent, defiant side starts to show a little more (or a lot more), you might quickly realize that some forms of communications just won’t work on them. This book addresses common struggles between young kids and parents and the most effective ways to communicate to reach understanding. There’s even a chapter dedicated to the special communication circumstances of children with autism and sensory processing disorder.

How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen

$11.49
 Toddlers Are A**holes: It's Not Your Fault - $9.95.

We promise your toddler doesn’t actually have it out for you, but it can often feel that way. If you’re struggling through the infamous Terrible Twos or trying to parent a “three-nager,” this book offers commiseration and a chance to laugh a little through all the tears of frustration.

Toddlers Are A**holes: It's Not Your Fault

$9.95
 Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be - $18.79.

If you’re constantly dealing with daily tantrums, defiance and all the other struggles of parenting a toddler, it can be hard to remember that your child really doesn’t mean it personally. This book serves to instill that reminder with the philosophy that, no matter what they say or do, your child is inherently good inside. And so are you, even in your darkest parenting moments. Rather than focusing on “correcting” behaviors, this book encourages parents to focus on emotional connection and nurturing the “goodness” in their child and in themselves.

Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be

$18.79
 The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind - $12.89.

Co-authored by a neuropsychiatrist and a parenting expert, this book teaches strategies for responding to your child’s emotions in ways that promote healthy brain development. This book is a good choice for parents looking to understand the biological reasoning behind tantrums, outbursts and all the other high-energy moments that occur daily when parenting a toddler (hint: it has to do with how toddler brains are wired).

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

$12.89
 Brain-Body Parenting: How to Stop Managing Behavior and Start Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids - $19.19.

It’s not just toddlers’ brains that are developing; it’s their bodies, too. And in the same way that a toddler’s brain can be the root cause of frustrating behaviors, so can their body. Using groundbreaking new research, this book helps parents understand how a child’s physiological developments can present as certain “negative” behaviors. Instead of trying to correct those behaviors, parents should address the physiological development and provide the right resources and support for self-regulation.

Brain-Body Parenting: How to Stop Managing Behavior and Start Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids

$19.19
 The Wonder Weeks: A Stress-Free Guide to Your Baby's Behavior - $14.29.

Have you encountered a time when your typically calm, happy, mild-mannered baby was suddenly irritable and un-soothe-able for a few days without explanation (no illness, no change in routine), then went back to normal just as quickly? That might have been a developmental leap, a point in which they’re about to hit a major milestone in brain development. Dozens of developmental leaps happen over the first two years of a child’s life, and you may be able to understand their behavior as a signal. The Wonder Weeks maps out each developmental leap, when you might expect it and what behaviors you might see.

The Wonder Weeks: A Stress-Free Guide to Your Baby's Behavior

$14.29
 Anger Management for Parents - $16.79.

Parenting can be immensely frustrating, no matter how old your child is, and it’s okay to admit it if you get truly angry sometimes. The important part is that you take steps to reduce your anger, frustration and stress in order to be a more effective parent. It won’t happen overnight, but this book aims to help. By guiding parents to understand their emotional triggers, Anger Management for Parents helps foster a calmer and more emotionally controlled family environment.

Anger Management for Parents

$16.79
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