6 Parenting Books Actually Worth Reading Before Becoming A Parent

The moment you announce you’re pregnant the flood gates will open. From co-workers to friends, and even the grocery store clerk; get ready for opinions galore. For better or worse when a woman hears the words “I’m pregnant” a spark goes off in her brain that tells her to share all of her parenting advice with you.  Some of these tips you might find helpful, though some times you wish you could tell them to mind their own business.

We know how overwhelming it can be to figure out which advice you should take vs. which advice should go out the window.

Instead of letting others decide for you, take the time to research which parenting techniques and tools you want to use.

We know how overwhelming it can be to find the right baby books to read – since there are hundreds of options out there – so to help you get started we compiled 6 parenting resource books that are great reads to help you prepare your own parenting plan.  

Gardner vs. Carpenter

In The Gardener and the Carpenter, pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar 21st-century picture of parents and children is profoundly wrong.  Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way.

Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. “Parenting” won’t make children learn – but caring parents let children learn by creating secure, loving environments.

Synopsis from Amazon

Happiest Baby

This is an amazing one-stop shop book. {Side Note: If you don’t like to read you can watch the DVD version instead.}  From infant sleep, bedsharing, breastfeeding, swaddling, and SIDS risk you will learn about it all. Dr. Harvey Karp teaches a life-saving technique on how to soothe your baby along with sharing his tips for surviving the newborn stage. He focuses on five important areas that give you quick takeaways so that you are armed and ready when baby arrives:

  • Why the 5 S’s works
  • Calming tricks used by parents around the world
  • Knowing if your fussy baby has a medical or feeding problem
  • How to wean the 5 S’s
  • The essentials for surviving the first 6 months

What to Expect: The First Year

While this book can seem a bit overwhelming, since it is the size of an encyclopedia, it is filled with great nuggets and wisdom for when baby arrives.. Keeping with the typical month by month guide, you can read ahead to see what life will be like when your little babe is 6 months, 8 months, and all the way to the one year mark. It is a great resource to see what challenges may be coming, as it offers a helpful road map for baby’s development. Keep this book on your nightstand and check in when you have questions about your baby during their first year.

Brain Rules for Baby

Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice. Through fascinating and funny stories, Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, and dad unravels how a child’s brain develops – and what you can do to optimize it. You will also learn what you do right now—before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and through the first five years—will affect your children for the rest of their lives.

Synopsis from Amazon

Babywise

To us, this is our baby bible. As a new parent, you will do almost anything to get a few more hours of sleep. This book is an amazing guide when it comes to finding a schedule for your baby and your family. Perhaps more importantly, the book will teach you how to have baby sleeping through the night within their first few months. We have done the Babywise method with all of our kiddos and found great success with it but it does take practice and patience.

In this book you will learn about feeding philosophies, baby sleep problems, baby scheduling challenges, nap routines, sleep training multiples, baby sleeping props, Colic and Reflux and many other dimensions which impact breastfeeding schedules, bottle feeding tips, and baby sleep training.

The Expectant Father

There are so many books focused on the mom to be and on motherhood, but it’s important to not forget about the fathers. If you are looking for a great book for your partner – even if he is not a big baby book reader- this book is a great gift that will have them prepared for baby in no time. The author – who is a father to three kiddos himself – shares his wisdom and key takeaways on the emotional, financial, and physical effects parenthood has on men. The author’s humor will keep your partner engaged as it reads like he is talking to his best friend.

Whether you read one baby book or a hundred we know you are going to be a great parent. When you start to feel overwhelmed by all of the advice out there, remember at the end of the day as long as your baby is fed, loved, and dry you are doing it the “right way”.

You got this mama.

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