Preparing to be a parent is an exciting but nerve-wracking experience, especially if it’s your first time.
As a new parent, you need trusted and reliable tips and tricks to help with everything from getting your little one to sleep through the night to less cute things like how to get through the messy potty training stage.
But it’s not just about the day-to-day routine of raising a kid, parents also want advice on how to communicate with their child, how to avoid arguments or distress at home, and overall how to raise a well-rounded kid.
So who do you turn to for this advice? Getting unsolicited advice from a friend of a friend isn’t exactly helpful in this.
And looking online can lead you down a rabbit hole of conflicting advice leading you more confused and stressed than ever.
This is where parenting books step in. Often written by parents for parents, if you have a question about parenting someone has already written a book about it.
Below are the best parenting books on the market right now, all aimed at helping you be the best parent you can be.
You’ll also find a buyer’s guide that will show you what to look out for when buying your first book.
Written by the experts behind New York Times bestseller The Yes Brain this book tackles a parent’s biggest stress – how to discipline.
Through explaining the link between a child’s development and how they’re disciplined, this book gives you all the advice you could need on dealing with the three T’s – tantrums, tensions, and tears.
Covering all ages and stages of child development, No-Drama gives you strategies to help you communicate with your child in the midst of a tantrum and helps you solve the problem in a loving yet consistent way.
Complete with stories from real parents who swear by these tactics, No-Drama will help you work with your child’s unique personality and help you restore peace to your home.
- Written by child psychotherapists – Both authors are experts in the field of child psychology, providing you with the best information to help your child grow and develop.
- Gives facts on how a child’s brain develops – Learning about this helps you as a parent choose the best discipline strategy for your child’s stage of development
- Possibly not good for strong-willed children – a common complaint, although many have said that some of the advice is still practical.
The dreaded potty training stage fills parents with fear, but thanks to Oh Crap! you’ll be given practical advice on how to go from diapers to the toilet in just 6 steps.
Answering all your burning questions from ‘How do I know if my child is ready?’ to ‘What do I do about nighttime?’ this book has all the answers.
Parent tested and a very funny read, Oh Crap! has already helped thousands of parents through this tough and messy time with its practical real-world potty training information.
Once you’ve read this book you’re one step closer to being done with diapers for good.
- Proven success – Thousands of parents have successfully potty trained their kid’s thanks to this book
- The author also makes YouTube videos giving advice – aimed to be used alongside the book, author and social worker Jamie Glowacki provides more advice for getting through those tough potty training days on her YouTube channel.
- Suggests taking 3-4 days off to make this method work – While this may not be practical for all parents, working with daycare providers can help work around this.
Answering all the basic questions parents want to know, The Wonder Weeks explains what your baby’s behavior really means.
Covering the first 20 months, parents get answers as to why their child may be fussy or cranky and explains how this can be a sign of a child’s natural development.
It also gives a guide on how to help your child sleep through the night – a godsend for parents everywhere.
With features like fill-in-the-blank checklists to help better understand your child’s personality, fun games to support brain development, and much-needed anchor moments to keep old and new parents sane, The Wonder Weeks is a catch-all book that will help you through any challenge you and your family face.
- Explains “leaps” in brain development that can affect a child’s behavior – finally explaining why your child is suddenly so fussy, this book details the 10 “leaps” your baby will take on the path to becoming a toddler.
- Has an app that can be used alongside the book – While the book provides much more information, that app is perfect for quick advice on the go
- Can be a bit repetitive – like many advice books this comes with a lot of ‘fluff’ that doesn’t seem needed but the advice is still worthwhile
With an endless choice of parenting books on the market to choose from, it’s not surprising if you feel overwhelmed by all the options.
After all you can’t buy every single one, but how do you know which are the best to get? To make it easier there’s a few simple tricks you can use to find the right book for you.
First of all, and most importantly, what do you want to know? While the answer may be “everything” it helps to be specific. Do you want to know how to potty train your child?
Then search for books in this category. Do you want help with discipline? Do the same thing.
All parenting books have a clear theme, and so tailoring your searches to a specific one can save you some precious time.
Of course there are still dozens of results but that’s where the next step comes in.
Next look at the author. Many people may not think about this and go straight to the reviews, but if you’re following advice from someone on how to raise your child, you’d want them to have some experience in this subject.
Many authors of parenting books are parents themselves, or have some experience in childcare/child psychology, making them a trusted source for all your parenting questions and needs.
Most importantly, remember that not every book will work for you. Children are complicated and while they may all pass through the same stages of development their personalities will vary from child to child.
A book that was a lifesaver to one parent may not be helpful to you at all, and that’s ok.
Don’t be discouraged if one book or method doesn’t work for you because there will be dozens of different books out there that will be perfect for you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Parenting Books Worth Reading?
Parenting books can provide practical real-world advice on how to raise your child in a healthy home. They’re a great tool to use when you’re expecting your first child and you’re filled with all the nerves of a new parent.
While they may not be for everyone, just like how regular reading isn’t for everyone, it’s something that new parents should try at least once.
When Should I Start Reading Parenting Books?
As soon as you’re expecting! While you want your pregnancy to be as calm as possible for everyone involved, being well prepared can never hurt and these books will give you a head start to parenthood.
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