It’s hard work being a mom but it’s the most rewarding job on earth. If you want to be a great mom, you have to do your homework and that means reading up and getting prepared. Fortunately, we’ve scanned the Internet to find the best books to help you be the mom you want to be!
We’ve broken the list down into blocks of ten to make it easier to skip through if you just want to get to the Top 10 but I’d recommend that you read it all. Why? Because there are some fairly niche topics covered outside of the Top 10 that are really important if they apply to you and your pregnancy.
The 50 Top Books (For New Moms) Of All Time
Numbers 50 – 41
Number 50: Nutrition for Children: Practical and To-The Point, Web Edition by Matt Prazak
It’s not got the most interesting of covers and it’s seldom in print, but people consider Nutrition for Children: Practical and To-The Point, Web Edition by Matt Prazak to be something of a classic. It’s a short handbook which focuses on what kids need in the way of food.
Tammy on Goodreads says, “I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway for free. I love this book. I work in a school kitchen and this book will be a wonderful addition. I like how it gives the amount per serving and how it breaks things down into age groups. What a wonderful book!”
You can’t ask for more than a recommendation from a child nutrition specialist, can you? You can buy Nutrition for Children: Practical and To-The Point, Web Edition by Matt Prazak on Amazon but only second hand at the moment.
Number 49: Easy Guide To Baby Sign Language by J R Cagle
We’re going to say that if you own a Kindle or have the Kindle reader installed on your phone that this is a book to buy in the electronic version. It’s less than $4 that way but nearly $20 in paperback!
The Easy Guide To Baby Sign Language by J R Cagle is all about how you can communicate with your baby before your baby can learn to speak! Given that every mom is dying to learn what’s on a baby’s mind, this seems like a very sensible investment.
Booklover on Amazon says, “The book is broken into 13 chapters, three of which are dedicated to teaching parents; The History of Baby Sign Language, The Benefits of Baby Sign Language and Helpful Hints to Getting Started. The remaining ten chapters are dedicated to basic ASL signs for; food, family, animals, the body, manners, bedtime and playtime -just name a few, with each sign being both explained and illustrated. The layout of the book is very simple, uncluttered and easy to navigate which to me is one of the most important aspects of any guide.
Author J.R Cagle set out to write a Baby Sign Language book and wrote an excellent ASL beginners book for all children and their parents. I plan to use the book to teach myself and my two girls basic ASL words, although both my little girls are highly verbal, there is a great feeling of satisfaction in learning a new language and there will be an even greater sense of accomplishment if one day we are lucky enough to meet a friend who is fluent in ASL.”
Which is high praise, indeed. You can buy the Easy Guide To Baby Sign Language by J R Cagle on Amazon too!
Number 48: A Child’s Book of Dog Body Language with Pictures: Help Keep Children Safe by Amber Richards
One thing every mother should learn about is how to integrate their children with any dogs that they have in the home. If you don’t get this right, the outcomes can be truly traffic.
Fortunately, A Child’s Book of Dog Body Language with Pictures: Help Keep Children Safe by Amber Richards is at hand to save the day. It’s really cheap on Kindle too at less than 3 bucks.
It’s no use to your children until the can understand you reading to them, of course, but it’s a great way to teach your little ones how to be safe around the family’s best friend.
Lucidity when reviewing this book said, “I read this book with my little brother to educate him on how to properly respect and interact with dogs and I found it very useful and suitable for my needs. My brother loves animals and is always trying to play with our dogs but sometimes he doesn’t realize that there’s certain times when it might not be the most appropriate decision in certain situations.
My dogs are by no mean vicious or aggressive, but I wanted to teach my brother things such as to not interfere with a dog while they are drinking or feeding as at the end of the day they are animals and sometimes they act on impulses. I decided to follow the directions and read the book myself before sharing it with him and I must say that I learned a lot of information myself for building up a healthier relationship with my pets. The book focuses on prevention and safety and I think that is important regardless of how little, large, calm, or active your dog may be. I am very satisfied with the material.”
Number 47: Becoming Mum by Koa Lou Whittingham
Dr. Koa Lou Whittingham is a clinical and developmental psychologist who specializes in parenting research and in particular, in how mothers behave during early childhood.
The book Becoming Mum by Koa Lou Whittingham is her finest achievement. It’s designed to help a new mom grow into being a mother without stress. It helps a woman reason out her own values and how to use these to support her transition into motherhood.
Shannan Murphy was certainly a big fan, “Becoming a mother has to be the biggest change that can happen in a woman’s life. And while there are all kinds of books out there that provide advice on birth and baby care, this is the only one I’ve come across that helps you through the transition to parenthood. The book assists you to take a step back and think about what kind of mother you want to be so you can parent in a conscious way, in line with your values. It also provides helpful advice on how to deal with the difficulties that sometimes arise. This book helped me enormously in the early months of my daughter’s life and I think I am a much more thoughtful mother because of it.”
If you’d like to read Becoming Mum by Koa Lou Whittingham, it’s on sale on Amazon now!
Number 46: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
If you like your mom stuff backed up by science this may well be the book for you. Maureen P Corry (the Executive Director of the Maternity Center Association, no less) said, “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth [by Henci Goer] puts the power of the latest scientific research into the hands of women to help them discern the facts from the myths and make informed decisions about their maternity care.”
We agree at Project Mom. This is an intelligent, highly-directed text which is going to make any new mom feel confident about what’s going on at any point during the birth process.
Henci Goer’s a professional Lamaze Instructor and she also helped found the Coalition for Improved Maternity Services. She knows all there is to know about birth and it shows in her work. We highly recommend this title.
Number 45: The Pregnant Body Book by Sarah Brewer
The Pregnant Body Book by Sarah Brewer is now a DK print title and it’s absolutely massive. Like all other DK titles, it’s stuffed to bursting with diagrams, pictures and infographics. Sadly, this all comes at a fairly hefty price tag and it’s the reason that this isn’t higher up on the list, we think.
It is absolutely brilliant. One of the finest texts written about pregnancy that we’ve read but its weight makes it a bedside book and not something that you stuff into your purse to leaf through on your lunchbreak.
Leader of the House of Mama on Amazon says, “I got this book to look through with my kids (aged 10 and 15) when I was expecting my 3rd child. It was a great visual to help them (and my husband) understand what was going on in my body as my baby grew. This book is pretty thorough and a bit graphic. I’d recommend that parents look through the book first before allowing your child to look at it. That way, if you find anything you don’t want your children to see, you can cover it up. I ended up putting a few post-it notes over just a handful of the images in the book (I only have boys and one of them is sensitive to “inappropriate” things.) Otherwise, I found this book super helpful and scientific!”
If you have the funds to but it, make sure to get a copy of The Pregnant Body Book by Sarah Brewer on Amazon today!
Number 44: 50 Things To Know Before Having A Baby by Lisa M Rusczyk
Lisa Ruscyk’s book is actually 3 books on Amazon. 50 Things To Know Before Having A Baby, Part 1 can be found here. This is a good thing because it gives you a cheap intro to the series so you can decide whether to part with more cash or not.
This one is very popular with Goodreads readers but only does so-so with Amazon’s reviewers. Aundrea is one of their Top 50 Reviewers and she said this, “While this book might not change your life, it does give a few helpful tips. I have an 8-year-old, so I went through this a while ago. My husband and I just started trying for our 2nd child now, so I thought I’d download this just to browse over to think about my next pregnancy and plan ahead for it. I think it’s a good supplement to other parenting books and find value in the simplicity and succinctness of it. “
However, I’ve got some good news for our readers. If you’ve got Amazon Prime membership – it’s possible to read this title for free!
Prime members can read 50 Things To Know Before Having A Baby by Lisa M Rusczyk for free here.
Number 43: Affirmation Poetry for Expectant Mothers by Elizabeth D Gray
We have no hesitations on recommending Affirmation Poetry for Expectant Mothers by Elizabeth D Gray in its Kindle format. It’s barely $1. That makes it one of the most economical investments in your pregnancy on this list.
Elizabeth teaches, well, affirmation poetry for mothers. That is she uses a Neuro Linguistic Programming technique to help moms have confidence in themselves. Some people say that this is really effective, others say it’s hooey. All we can say is, it’s $1 – you can make up your own mind.
Amazon reviews of Elizabeth’s work are quite spiritual in nature such as this one by Normi Shamblin, “A collection for all faiths. There are some entries that I will use as a mantra for meditation. Thank you, Elizabeth.”
You can obtain your copy of Affirmation Poetry for Expectant Mothers by Elizabeth D Gray on Amazon here.
Number 42: Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant: An Essential Guide For Dog Owners Who Are Expecting A Baby by Lewis Kirkham
OK, you’re definitely going to want a Kindle to read this on. It’s an insane $50-something in hardback and more than $40 in paperback. And… it’s less than $10 in electronic format. Given that you’re not going to get too much mileage out of Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant: An Essential Guide For Dog Owners Who Are Expecting A Baby by Lewis Kirkham – we can’t recommend spending 50 bucks on it.
However, it is a serious title which is designed to help moms acclimate their dogs to their baby even before they arrive in this world.
We’ll let Dr Dane Horsfall an Emergency Physician tell you why you need it, “’Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant‘ contains essential information for expectant parents and carers. It provides clear explanations of how to best prepare your dog while enabling owners to make informed decisions to seek veterinary help early. This could be the key to preventing horrific injuries or possibly saving a baby’s life.”
If you have a dog, you need to buy Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant: An Essential Guide For Dog Owners Who Are Expecting A Baby by Lewis Kirkham (for Kindle) at Amazon, right now.
Number 41: The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori
If you’re thinking that the name Maria Montessori sounds familiar, it’s because there’s a whole branch of children’s education named after her and Montessori schools can be found around the world.
It’s worth noting that her pragmatic approach to learning through play and self-direction has its critics as well as its enthusiasts. But if you want to make up your own mind, you can certainly do worse than read The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori.
It is, without doubt, her most comprehensive work and it’s also less than a buck if you have a Kindle reading device or application. Which you really should because a hard copy will set you back nearly $25!
“This book deserves careful reading, for the author’s views are as relevant (and revolutionary) now as when they were first proposed.” ―New York Times Book Review and it’s hard to argue with that. We’re big fans of the Montessori method. I’ve been to visit several schools using it and I’ve never seen such happy children.
See if you like it by buying your copy of The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori at Amazon now.
Numbers 40 – 31
Number 40: What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway
For once, we’re not going to recommend the electronic edition but we do think you might want to consider going second hand for this title where you can find a bunch of copies at around a dollar each in hardback and even less in paperback. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway is, thus, a bargain at this price.
It’s been out of print for a while now but you shouldn’t let that put you off. This is one of the classic mom books and the second hand market makes it a near essential purchase.
“Unquestionably the best book for parents of infants in their first year of life that I have had the pleasure to read.” (Morris Green, M.D., Perry W. Lesh Professor of Pediatrics, Indiana University Medical Center)
So, don’t take our word for it. Take the word of dozens of medical professionals who left reviews like the one above.
Number 39: Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy And Beyond by Hillary Flower
OK, Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy And Beyond by Hillary Flower is a specialist and out of print title. That means you’re not going to find it cheap anywhere.
However, if you’re a pregnant mom who is already nursing a newborn, you really need this book. It’s the only one to tackle this dilemma in detail and examine how nursing and the mother’s health are related and how to ensure both your unborn infant and your nursing child can be catered to in a healthy fashion.
Peggy O’Mara, the editor of Mothering Magazine said, “Every page of Hillary Flower’s book delights me! It’s full of helpful information and personal support.”
We agree with Peggy and if you can afford it and you need it, you ought to grab your copy of Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy And Beyond by Hillary Flower from Amazon while you still can!
Number 38: Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers The Wisdom Of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
This was a major bestseller when it was released, and it tore up the New York Times charts like a French man on his way to the cheese shop. Which is good because Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers The Wisdom Of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman is all about the stoic parenting habits of French people compared to those popular in America.
It’s important to note that her conclusions aren’t in favor of either parenting system but rather they’re slanted to “what works”. That’s something we can get behind as Americans who believe in a scientific approach to child rearing.
The Wall Street Journal reached this conclusion on the book, ““ n questions of how to live, the French never disappoint. . . . Maybe it all starts with childhood. That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bébé.”
I strongly recommend that you make up your own mind and give it a shot, the book is, if nothing else, immensely entertaining and much less dry than some of the other titles on our list.
Number 37: Who Wants A Mommy With A Moustache by Dalia Menhall Mirza
Sometimes it’s nice to lighten the mood and that’s what Who Wants A Mommy With A Moustache by Dalia Menhall Mriza sets out to achieve.
The only trouble is that it’s hard to find a copy and when you do; it’s insanely expensive.
That shouldn’t put you off if you do find it, as Adriana Pedroso Rangel says on Goodreads, “This is a sweet, funny tale about losing the main role in your own life’s movie production to become a cameo – though still an absolutely essential character – in your kid’s saga. It’s about learning to negotiate your time and balance your own individuality and freedom while accommodating someone else’s needs. If you are a mother, you know how it goes, but Dalia reminds us of the hilarity within the frustration, the adventure and struggle that emerges from what most people would simply view as quotidian life. Finally, it is about learning ways to continue being yourself while you now seem to belong to this new little person.”
I really enjoyed this and would heartily recommend it when you feel like your drowning in new “mommy responsibilities.”
Number 36: Birth: The Surprising History Of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy
Some books on this list are hard work because they’ve got a bit too much science going on, others are too much into “ancient wisdom” without any facts. Birth: The Surprising History Of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy joins the two camps together and gives us a fresh and bouncy look at humanity’s everyday miracle.
It’s fair to say the only “flaw” in this book is that Tina is very much pro “natural birth” and it shows in her writing. We prefer a bit more balance and don’t think it’s necessary to pick a favorite. Healthy children come from all approaches to birth. Choose what works for you.
We’d say that Leslie H nailed it when she said, “Interesting and informative book, but I found it a little rough reading sometimes. Some chapters were data-rich and well-edited, while others seemed bare bones and under researched. WAY too much explanation and multiple mentions of craniotomy. I’m currently pregnant and had to skip some of them because it was too much for me to digest. I agree with some other reviewers that the author has an obvious agenda and wove some politics into this book, so the reader should keep that in mind. She is very evidently against traditional medical intervention and very pro-new age approaches to birth. As someone who personally would love to deliver at home, try a waterbirth, or whatever new resource might be available to me, I have complicated pregnancies and have no choice but to deliver in a hospital in the OR. The author leaves very little room for such situations and to some extent, she demonizes doctors and hospitals.” In her review.
Number 35: The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide To Getting Your Child To Sleep From Birth To Age 5 by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivak
Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivak deal with America’s most privileged moms on a day-to-day basis. Yes, they’re the designers of The Sleepeasy Solution to which Hollywood’s star moms are addicted.
You can find all the details of their methods in The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide To Getting Your Child To Sleep From Birth To Age 5 by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivak.
It’s an invaluable companion to sleep not just for newborns but for all young children and it’s worth the cover price if it saves you just one sleepless night. Take it one from one mom to another, I know this.
Ben Stiller and his wife, Christine Taylor, are proud to endorse the book too, “This approach was truly amazing in helping our family to thrive… We are eternally grateful!”
If you’re like to help your little ones sleep like a celebrity, you can find The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide To Getting Your Child To Sleep From Birth To Age 5 by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivak on Amazon right now. The good news is that it doesn’t require a celebrity salary to be able to buy it!
Number 34: Super Baby Food: Absolutely Everything You Should Know About Feeding Your Baby And Toddler From Starting Solid Foods To Age Three Years by Ruth Yaron
This may be the best-known guide to child nutrition of all time. One of the most important things to know about Super Baby Food: Absolutely Everything You Should Know About Feeding Your Baby And Toddler From Starting Solid Foods To Age Three Years by Ruth Yaron is that it makes things easy for the new mom.
If you don’t think you have the time to feed your baby properly, relax, you do and Ruth is here to show you how.
Our only concern is that Ruth seems a bit obsessed with vegetarian and vegan options. We’re keen for you to remember that human beings are designed to be omnivorous and children are best given options on their diet in their early years.
Bphoto on Amazon says, “We were given this book by a good friend. I love to cook and was excited to cook for our daughter but was worried about giving her the proper nutrition and cooking the food properly. After reading Super Baby Food, I realized that it wasn’t all that difficult and took much less time than I had thought. The bases of SBF is the author’s Super Porridge. If you have a food processor or blender it is very easy to make and SO much better for your child than that flaky rice cereal. My daughter loves it! The author gives a lot of detail about what foods you can feed your baby, the best ways to cook and prepare the foods and which foods you should stay away from because of potential allergies. I’m constantly referring back to the book as my daughter gets older and seeing what new foods I can introduce to her each month. She’s now 11 months and is incredibly healthy, happy and loves to eat. One of the best things about SBF is that following the meal plan sets your child up to enjoy foods that are good for them through toddlerhood and behind.”
Number 33: The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
This is now in its 4th edition which should give you an idea of how popular The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin has been with America’s dads-to-be.
If your partner is a tough-headed and pragmatic man, he’s going to love this book. It’s the ultimate in dad books and it doesn’t deal with birth and pregnancy in a “soft, feminine style” but rather helps a man understand how he should support his woman in her finest hour.
We’ll let Elliot A Kazkoff tell you about his feeling on the book, “I read this book as a husband. It was the only good birthing book that I read. It was informative, didn’t have all of the soft lovey dovey stuff about birth-This book teaches you actionable techniques and realities of the mother. My parents taught me nothing about birth and this book informed me about everything that I need to know to be comfortable, useful and prepared. I highly recommend this book to husbands who don’t want to read all of the other soft books about your feelings on birth. This book is actually useful.”
My husband had very similar things to say about it too. Penny Simkin knows what men want!
Number 32: The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide To A Good Night’s Rest For The Whole Family by William Sears
William Sears is one of the ultimate mom authors and this may be his weakest effort and it’s still in the Number 32 slot on our list. That’s because there’s no such thing as bad advice from him.
The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide To A Good Night’s Rest For The Whole Family by William Sears is obviously concerned with how babies sleep but it also goes further to help the whole family rally round when things are tough in the early sleepless periods.
Kristine over on Amazon is a big fan, “I really love this book, gave me the confidence to go with my gut instinct that you don’t have to sleep train you baby right away. We are co-sleeping and breastfeeding, so we got a lot out of this book! Similar to The no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley, except with a little bit more emphasis on attachment parenting, however, it does cover crib sleeping and bottle-fed babies, well-rounded book.”
If a good night’s sleep sounds like something you want – check out The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide To A Good Night’s Rest For The Whole Family by William Sears on Amazon today.
Number 31: It’s No Accident: Breakthrough Solutions To Your Child’s Wetting, Constipation, UTI’s And Other Potty Problems by Steve J Hodges
You might want to hold off on buying It’s No Accident: Breakthrough Solutions To Your Child’s Wetting, Constipation, UTI’s And Other Potty Problems by Steve J Hodges until you know that you need it but when you do, don’t wait around.
You see, we Americans are embarrassed to talk about all things toilet-y and thus, we often don’t seek help for our little ones when it’s needed in the bathroom department. Steve Hodges puts an end to that with as little mess and fuss as possible.
Ljkinney’s review is typical of those caring for children who have read it, “My granddaughter was 4 and still had not pooped in the toilet 🙁 She would go hide and go in her panties. It was so frustrating and sad for everyone. She would cry and scream and say it hurts! Poor baby girl. I found this book, and we followed the protocol given. Amazing! In one week she was going only in the toilet and it’s been 2 months and not one accident. She is so much happier and not in pain anymore. This book saved us! Thank you so much!”
Numbers 30 – 21
Number 30: Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Guide T0 Helping Your Child Go TO Sleep, Stay Asleep And Wake Up Happy by Kim West
If you’ve made it this far down our list, you’ve probably realized something by now… there are a ton of books to read for expectant and new moms. The trouble is, there aren’t enough hours in the day to read them all (even if you wanted to).
So, it might come as a relief to learn that Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Guide T0 Helping Your Child Go TO Sleep, Stay Asleep And Wake Up Happy by Kim West is less of a book and more of a slightly extended pamphlet.
That doesn’t mean that it’s light on value. Many moms swear by the tricks inside its pages; “After years of being a mother, I learned some things about helping babies and moms get a good night’s sleep. I’ve always called the way I raised my children a ‘flexible routine.’ I disliked the term ‘schedule,’ (though, in reality, there is nothing wrong with the word or the concept) but I found the sleeping books that were available when I had little ones either too restrictive and hard-line (no room for mama’s wisdom) OR too permissive and lax (children always running the show). Somehow, by God’s grace – I found middle ground – and with rare exceptions, our children slept well and were on great routines. I had to keep a routine for the good of everyone and I knew that a rested child was usually a pleasant child.
Well, I found this little book this year and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is struggling with little ones who are not sleeping well. I appreciate so much the fact that Suzy recognizes parents have the wisdom to adjust and evaluate as they use the principles in this book,” says Jameson Broggi on Amazon.
You can rest easy about getting your child to sleep when you buy Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Guide T0 Helping Your Child Go TO Sleep, Stay Asleep And Wake Up Happy by Kim West on Amazon!
Number 29: Magical Child by Joseph Chilton Pearce
This is an all-time great of the child books world and it’s been around for a long time. I read Magical Child by Joseph Chilton Pearce during my first pregnancy and its message stayed with me.
The author wants us to consider how current Western cultural practices may hinder rather than help our children’s development. I don’t think he’s right about everything but there are certainly many solid points that he makes in its pages. I am certainly glad that I read it when I did.
Raven Dana on Amazon adds, “A longtime favorite book, bought for a friend. Enjoy the blend of science and philosophy, the style of the writer is engaging and prompts the reader to see himself/herself in a larger context with greater possibilities than he/she may have imagined. Also serves as a good reminder of how to look at and treat children to help them expand their awareness, rather than contract into a limited version of themselves.”
If you want some food for thought while you wait for baby to arrive you can do much worse than Magical Child.
Number 28: Dad’s Playbook To Labor & Birth: A Practical Strategic Guide To Preparing For The Big Day by Theresa Halvorsen
Theresa’s name is on the cover of this guide for dads but it’s clear that her husband Brad had a lot of input into what’s inside the book.
The idea behind Dad’s Playbook To Labor & Birth: A Practical Strategic Guide To Preparing For The Big Day by Theresa Halvorsen is simple; it’s turn an expectant father into the lean, mean birth coaching machine that society expects him to be.
This one’s not as in-your-face as some of the other dad books and it relies a lot of parable-style stories to get its point across. So, you might want to peek inside the cover to decide if that’s what you like before you buy it.
Mandy Hoyle on Amazon says, “Perfect Fathers Day present for my husband! He was very nervous about labor and delivery, however, after reading this book, he was prepared for our unexpectedly early big day. He was extremely helpful to me during labor and even knew important questions to ask that I wasn’t able to remember to ask in the moment. It’s very funny and enjoyable to read. I very highly recommend it!”
Number 27: The Attachment Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide To Bonding With Your Baby by Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters
This book is actually a second edition of an older book but the title The Attachment Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide To Bonding With Your Baby is brand new. So, if you have a book by Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters, the odds are – you already have this just with a different name on the cover.
Laurel and Tracy founded the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association which is the largest childbirth association in the world and as you might expect, they know their stuff.
This is a reasonably slim volume given all the information inside too and it’s very readable. If you want to bond with your baby “straight out of the gate” as it were, this one’s for you.
As Green Child Magazine says, “[It’s an] excellent book [which] offers advice for raising a healthy, well balanced child from the moment of conception with…practical insight for building a community that welcomes new life with trust, love, and compassion.”
The Attachment Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide To Bonding With Your Baby by Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters is one of the few books on our list to cost nearly the same on an Amazon Kindle as it does in paperback!
Number 26: Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids: Why Being A Great Parent Is Less Work And More Fun Than You Think by Bryan Caplan
I loved the premise of Bryan’s book. He thinks that we’ve all worked very hard at making parenting a “job” rather than the fun, inspirational, growing activity than it actually is.
He says that being a parent isn’t an unpleasant chore and that we can dig deep and realize that our genetics will do most of our child raising for us and that upbringing is nowhere near as critical as we’ve been led to believe.
I think that’s a good enough reason to read Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids: Why Being A Great Parent Is Less Work And More Fun Than You Think by Bryan Caplan. However, it’s fair to say that while his arguments are solid, it feels like they’re often padded out to fill up space in what is a fairly slim book already.
Robert Plomin of the Medical Research Council and Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry is an unqualified fan, however. He says, ““I loved this book. Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids should be required reading for parents—as it will be for my children, who are now having their own kids and getting caught up in the more-work, less-fun traps of parenting covered here. And as a geneticist, I can report that Bryan Caplan has the facts right. Even better, he interprets those facts in a way that will change our view of parenting.”
If you want to put a little extra joy into your parenting, I recommend you check out Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids: Why Being A Great Parent Is Less Work And More Fun Than You Think by Bryan Caplan on Amazon.
Number 25: Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: The Wisdom and Science Of Gentle Choices In Pregnancy, Birth And Parenting by Sarah J Buckley
This is a classic work but sadly, one out of print. That means if you can find it, it’s not cheap to buy. That may put some moms on a budget off but it’s actually a very solid collection of articles with a lot of depth and I would say if you can find it (try a library) it’s worth it.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: The Wisdom and Science Of Gentle Choices In Pregnancy, Birth And Parenting by Sarah J Buckley is a doctor’s eye view of the science of all things pregnancy related. It’s easy to dip in and out of, because it’s all short essays and I loved it.
Charlotte on Amazon says, “Wow. What a supportive and informative book. The collection of articles written from this physician’s first-hand mothering experience are both easy to digest and eye-opening. Her writing style is friendly and accessible. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking information, support and guidance for not only natural but ‘undisturbed’ childbirth.”
I couldn’t agree more with Charlotte. You can, sometimes, find second hand copies of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: The Wisdom and Science Of Gentle Choices In Pregnancy, Birth And Parenting by Sarah J Buckley on Amazon. It’s worth it.
Number 24: Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy by Roger Harms
There’s no bigger brand in high quality medicine in America than the Mayo Clinic. So, it should come as very little surprise that their private press has a great guide to a healthy pregnancy.
The Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy by Roger Harms is quite brilliant. It’s a very clear and concise text (well, as concise as anyone can be in 512 pages) and it’s written with genuine warmth and compassion too.
I was expecting something stodgy and inaccessible and was really happy to find that my preconceptions were wrong.
Publisher’s Weekly says, “Would-be mothers looking for precise, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this mammoth pregnancy guide from the celebrated Mayo Clinic. The volume actually provides much more information than most parents will need: week by week accounts of the baby’s development, entries on how pregnancy can be affected by dozens of previous health conditions (such as HIV and diabetes), self-care tips for side effects like nausea and back pain, sidebars that explain the difference between identical and fraternal twins, etc. But the book contains at least one feature that most pregnant women will find indispensable: charts that indicate how to handle “troublesome signs and symptoms” during each three-week period. For example, if a woman has slight spotting during the first four weeks of pregnancy, the chart tells her to notify a doctor during her next hospital visit. But if she has any bleeding at all during weeks 29 to 32, the chart indicates that she should tell her doctor immediately. Another stellar feature is the book’s even-handed series of “decision guides,” which help parents make those hard (and even guilt-inducing) choices about breastfeeding, circumcision and whether or not to go back to work. Some parents may find the book’s cool, no-nonsense tone intimidating, or even scary, but when deciding what to do about mid-term cramps or pain, most readers will find great reassurance this volume’s carefully vetted facts. “
That’s a whole lot of review but I concur. Check out The Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy by Roger Harms on Amazon, you won’t be sorry that you did.
Number 23: Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
What kind of list of books about children would be complete without the wonderful Dr. Seuss making an entry on it? There are no grinches to be found either. This one’s all uplifting, all the way.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss is a wonderful ride of poetry, wit and an endless exhortation to the best of you to be the best you can be for your baby.
I loved it. “There’s fun to be done, indeed.”
Louis O on Amazon says we all need to read this book, “I gave this book to my stepchildren when they graduated from college. I read it myself in my 30s because I was a freelance writer, and this simple book helped me gather the courage to open myself to all the possibilities. I had a very successful career as a freelance writer of only non-fiction. In my retirement, I need to read this again as I’m now writing and indie publishing serious mid-grade/young adult fiction as Pleasant Oliver and once again, I need its boost of enthusiasm and courage for all the wonderful possibilities and opportunities that are going to come my way! In Spring 2018, I will give it my great nephew as he graduates from high school, and in later years, I will give it my other great nieces and nephews when they graduate from high school–maybe again when they graduate from college!”
However, if you’d rather listen to it – it’s available on Audible (for free if you take the free 30-day trial) too. I recommend that you go for both. This is worth listening to.
Number 22: Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover The Natural Choices, And Take Back The Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
I’ll admit that this wasn’t my favorite text but there’s no doubt that many, many people absolutely swear by Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.
Their focus is on preventing women from undergoing what they believe is “unnecessary c-sections”. I am not sure that they have science on their side. Yet, one man’s medicine is another’s poison and it’s also possible that I am wrong about this. Certainly, some folks think I am.
“Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake have taken a wonderful and constructive approach to ensure an optimal birthing experience. Their language creates a ‘climate of confidence’ for pregnant women and their families, who must make key decisions about where, how and with whom to give birth in a health care system often unresponsive to our needs. This book is like a good friend giving wise counsel.” –Judy Norsigian, co-editor of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth and Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves
This text has the backing of the former talk show host Ricki Lake, who probably didn’t do all the writing, so it’s certainly got some serious support too.
If you want to examine your birthing options you might want to check out Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein on Amazon.
Number 21: Birthing From Within: An Extra-ordinary Guide To Childbirth Preparation by Pam England
Pam is a nurse, a midwife and a person of strong convictions. Her objective in writing this book isn’t to “show you the way” but rather to lay out the options for childbirth.
That’s not to say that she doesn’t have some clear preferences but there’s no judgment here and the choices you make are clearly demarked as yours to make without any disapproval.
Birthing From Within: An Extra-ordinary Guide To Childbirth Preparation by Pam England is a solid, medium-length text to prepare women for birth. I think you’ll get the most out of it if this is your first pregnancy but there’s always something you can learn from Pam.
Mary J Jarvis of the Methodist Hospital Medical Library says, “England, a registered nurse, and certified nurse midwife, developed the ‘birthing from within’ approach in a series of birthing classes to help mothers reclaim and celebrate the spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of birth as a rite of passage. Her book is a collection of methods that have been used for class participants. England is quick to point out that this “is not a script or a rigid method,” and she encourages parents and professionals to use those portions that are helpful. There are numerous exercises and activities to help parents, especially mothers, be in contact with their bodies and feelings. The author recommends throughout that the mother and her healthcare professional work together, giving numerous suggestions for making this a successful partnership. England has done a fair amount of research and does include numerous references; at the same time, she makes it a very personal book. It will appeal especially to patrons interested in alternative birthing methods.”
Numbers 20 – 11
Number 20: A Nice Mom’s Guide To Disciplining Your Child by Dawn D Walters
It needs to be talked about, even if it’s not the nicest thing to have to do. Discipline is an essential part of being a parent. If you don’t set rules, offer up values and guide your child through life, who will?
A Nice Mom’s Guide To Disciplining Your Child by Dawn D Walters is great because it helps you see yourself as more than just a “bad cop” when you do this and focus on loving discipline that shapes a child for the better. As you’d hope, there’s no physical punishment involved in this.
Horrorgirldonna on Amazon says, “This is a wonderfully written and handy guide for anyone who is raising a beautiful child in this crazy world. According to Ms. Walters, she’s typically the “good cop” in the “good cop / bad cop” parenting scenario. She has a tough time saying “no” and doesn’t spank. She’s so blinded by the love for her children that she has just cannot bring herself to scold them. I can sympathize because I’m very much the same. Of course, it hardly matters at this point—my two kids are well beyond the toddler years, but disciplining a teenager is a challenge, to be sure! Some of these practices can still apply, however. Some of the sections in this book include setting appropriate rules, much of which is good common sense and a take on the golden rule (something it seems isn’t being taught very much anymore)—eliminating behavior that may harm your child or others, things that may make others think less of them. Plus, Ms. Walters is a proponent of allowing the child to have their say. I wholeheartedly agree. And also, the open communication policy is encouraged. This is terrific, in my opinion. I’ve always encouraged my kids to “tell me anything” and that truthfulness is usually the road to a lesser punishment. Honesty is the best policy! I appreciated the book, the author’s views on parenting, and recommend to anyone who has a child (or children) and has a tough time with discipline.”
If you think that you might struggle with disciplining your child, then pick up a copy of A Nice Mom’s Guide To Disciplining Your Child by Dawn D Walters on Amazon and put your mind at ease.
Number 19: Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide To Being A Happy, Healthy Mom by Dayna M Kurtz
Dayna Kurtz is the lady who writes the Mother Matters blog for the Huffington Post and she stresses the idea that alongside babies, there are millions of mothers being born each year too.
In Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide To Being A Happy, Healthy Mom by Dayna M Kurtz she goes to the ends of the earth to examine all possible mother issues and their solutions. You’re going to find all sorts of standard stuff mixed in with “expressive arts therapy” and the like.
I thought it was a very interesting read. It was a little bit “out there” for me but I freely admit that I am a little conservative and possibly not the target audience for this kind of “mom-ing”.
Dina DiMaggio, a qualified pediatrician, and author says, “Having a newborn is hard work and while new mothers strive to provide the best possible care for their babies, it is also imperative that they take care of their own well-being. Finally, there is a guidebook for new mothers about how to nourish not only their children but also themselves. A must read!”
If you’d like to learn more from Dina, you can find Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide To Being A Happy, Healthy Mom by Dayna M Kurtz on Amazon here.
Number 18: Love And Logic Magic For Early Childhood by Jim Fay
Jim says his methods take the exhaustion out of parenting and help put the fun back in. His legions of fans agree, and his book is widely well-received and has great reviews even though it’s not been in print since the year 2000!
Love And Logic Magic For Early Childhood by Jim Fay is a superb work and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why there is no current edition. It’s very clear there’s a huge demand for it.
DL Pimental is typical when they say, “[It’s] THE best advice on child rearing…ever! Better than John Rosemond, better than Raising Children God’s Way and better than our many sessions w/ our child psychologist, even. Our ADHD, ODD 7-year-old is finally on the right track now that her parents are. Pearls of absolute wisdom. Treats both children and parents with dignity and respect, facilitating a loving parent/child relationship.
Having this info in CD rather than book form is also invaluable as repetition (some experts say 7x) is key to assimilating new information. I just play Jim Fay CD’s continually in my car when driving child-free. ;)”
I haven’t seen a hard copy of this book, but I did manage to find an audio CD and I have to agree, Jim’s advice is excellent. Lots of practical steps and great explanations as to the reasoning behind his thinking.
This works out expensive, sadly, in print too as it’s not in print. You can find second-hand copies of Love And Logic Magic For Early Childhood by Jim Fay on Amazon here.
The audio CD, also second hand, can be found here and it’s quite a bit cheaper. That’s why I opted to listen to the book rather than read it.
Number 17: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
Now in it’s 4th edition, it’s fair to say that Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth is one of the most popular parenting texts around. Each edition has thousands of happy reviews on Amazon and it’s quite possible that this book deserves to be higher up on our list than it is.
As you might expect from the title this isn’t a manual for parenthood but rather a manual for getting your baby to sleep. You might want to wait to buy it unless you really need it. Some babies sleep just fine, but others really struggle and so do their families.
The supermodel and famous mom, Cindy Crawford is a big fan of this book. Here’s what she had to say about it, “I put these principles into practice—with instant results. Dr. Weissbluth is a trusted resource and adviser.”
I didn’t find it hard to get my children to sleep during their early years, but I know so many mothers that have said this is the hardest part of their parenting lives. Trust your instincts but if you feel you need this book, then buy the 4th edition of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth on Amazon here.
Or save a little money and buy a second-hand copy of the 3rd edition on Amazon here.
Number 16: Child Of Mine: Feeding With Love And Good Sense, Revised And Updated Edition by Ellyn Satter
Ellyn Satter has written what may be the absolute bible of child nutrition. Sadly, it’s also about as long as the bible too. Don’t buy this book if you’re not a big reader because there are nearly 700 pages to wade through. Go for a shorter text on the same subject.
However, for those of us who do like to read Child Of Mine: Feeding With Love And Good Sense, Revised And Updated Edition by Ellyn Satter is an incredible tour de force. There is no stone left unturned as Ellyn makes us all experts of baby food and drink.
The Journal of Pediatric Nursing thought it was very good too, “A wealth of practical and solidly researched information for parents and professionals of all levels of experience. [Satter’s] casual, personalized writing style engages the reader and transforms potentially confusing and technical data into understandable and applicable guidelines. It is quite a relief to finally read such a rational, healthy approach to child nutrition.”
If you’re prepared to put in the hard yards to read it all, then you’ll get your money’s worth and then some. Child Of Mine: Feeding With Love And Good Sense, Revised And Updated Edition by Ellyn Satter is available for a very sensible price on Amazon now.
Number 15: Go The F**k To Sleep by Adam Mansbach
Don’t let the profanity in the title put you off. If your child won’t sleep, you’ll be cursing like you’re in a marine corps barracks too. This is not the definitive book on child sleep patterns.
It is, however, a hilarious treatment of the problem and a story that you can read to yourself after you’ve read something more appropriate to your child.
Motherhood needs a little levity at the toughest times and Go The F**k To Sleep by Adam Mansbach is exactly what the doctor ordered.
I can’t recommend this highly enough and at 32 pages long… it’s the shortest book on the list, so even the busiest mom or dad can squeeze it into their schedule!
Heather Beck on Amazon says, “I have three children, ages 2, 7 am daughter 9. One is a special needs child- ASD and CHD; one is Dyslexic, and one is a smartass (gets it from me). By the end of the night, I’m ready for my solitude. This book cracks me up and makes me feel a little more human in the fact that I’m not the only one who is at the end of their rope at bedtime… this book definitely puts a smile on my face, reminds me it’s a temporary situation, and had me laughing until the very last line. I read it to my children and substitute choice words for others (cuss words), and they enjoy it just as much.”
If you’d like to get laughing too, you can get your copy of Go The F**k To Sleep by Adam Mansbach from Amazon today!
Number 14: How To Get Your Children To Clean Their Rooms Using Rubric Rules: A Teacher’s Strategy by Katie Ely
This title seemed a bit “school ma’am” to me but I decided to check out How To Get Your Children To Clean Their Rooms Using Rubric Rules: A Teacher’s Strategy by Katie Ely anyway and I was pleasantly surprised.
My kids are not the tidiest of people. I think they get that from their mom. But using the tricks and tips in this book, we’ve all managed to do a little better. We’ve never going to win prizes for organization in my house but we’re neater than we were, and I think that’s a positive step in the right direction.
Mary N on Amazon gets it right when she says, “This is a tremendously helpful, easy-to-read guide for parents, caretakers, and anyone who regularly interacts with children. We are facing a generation of young people who are incredibly entitled and lack personal responsibility. Despite my good intentions, I wasn’t sure exactly where to start in teaching my girls how to work hard and wondered if my kids were still too young. This book provided me with practical help and a simple process to follow. My daughters (ages 3 and 5) now not only clean their room, but they have also started taking on various responsibilities around the house. This book also includes sections on money management and how to relate it to household responsibilities and is written so that it is relevant for parents of teenagers or toddlers. It has helped me tremendously! There are templates for various ages, so you can actually see examples and make them fit your family/circumstances. So many parenting books I have read left me feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. The author Katie Ely writes from a down-to-earth perspective that encouraged me with her personal stories and challenged me with her wisdom. Buy this book if you are ready to teach your kiddos personal responsibility–you will not regret it!”
Did I mention that it’s also available for a very sensible price? Get your copy of How To Get Your Children To Clean Their Rooms Using Rubric Rules: A Teacher’s Strategy by Katie Ely on Amazon now.
Number 13: Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide To Introducing Solid Foods And Helping Your Baby To Grow Up A Happy And Confident Eater by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
Changing your baby over to solid food is not the easiest of tasks but it definitely comes with big advantages for their growth. There are many general nutrition texts for new moms but this one handles just this one area and it’s very good at it.
Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide To Introducing Solid Foods And Helping Your Baby To Grow Up A Happy And Confident Eater by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett just makes sense. There’s no fluff, no boring busy work, this is all about getting a job done well and it’s the perfect tool.
CLG on Amazon says, “It took me some time to write this review because I just got it back to finish after it was passed around my child’s ENTIRE school! While there is great information online about BLW, nothing beats having a real paperback reference. My son was the first baby to ever try BLW at his school and I have been approached by multiple (pregnant) teachers because after seeing how wonderful he feeds himself, they want to try it with their own children someday. I cannot imagine opening a jar of food and spoon feeding it to my baby. This process makes it so simple and the first few chapters of the book really spell out why it is more natural and healthier for your baby. When the internet seems to overwhelm you with information on how to feed your child, buy this book to focus your thoughts.” And I very much agree.
If you’re going to wean your baby, you MUST buy Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide To Introducing Solid Foods And Helping Your Baby To Grow Up A Happy And Confident Eater by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett from Amazon. You will be so glad that you did.
Number 12: Pregnancy And Men by Pratik Patil
Pregnancy and Men: Your First Step Toward A Great Parenthood is for the dads-to-be out there and it’s a great book. Why? Because it’s short, it’s to the point and it’s very cheap (particularly for a parenting book).
It’s not a comprehensive guide to dad-hood but rather a warm up text to get you engaged with the idea and to make you thirst for more information. It’s funny and informative and you won’t be unhappy that you took some time out to read it.
As AVP says on Amazon, “Pregnancy and Men is an eye opener for men who are totally clueless about HOW, WHEN and WHY of their wife’s / partner’s pregnancy. It is a “must “read for every going to be, planning to be or have already been fathers. A good book with simple and easy to understand language.”
It’s not a perfect book by any means but it is the ideal primer for dads who don’t enjoy reading very much or to coax a little enthusiasm out of a dad who might be feeling overwhelmed at the moment.
Number 11: The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be by Armin A Brott and Jennifer Ash
This wonderful text has been popular for the last two decades and I can see why. The authors have done a fine job at capturing what makes fatherhood a joyful and awe-inspiring experience.
They’ve pulled together plenty of science and interwoven it with historical and spiritual insights to create a fabulous prime for the would-be-father. The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be by Armin A Brott and Jennifer Ash is a must have for any man about to make the leap into fatherhood.
“The best guidebook to date for both the prospective father and his partner in their journey through the nine months of pregnancy…a must for fathers-to-be,” says John Munder Ross, Ph.D., author of What Men Want and Father and Child.
One of the nicest things about the book is how it handles a diverse set of circumstances so that guys can feel ready for anything.
If you’re going to have a baby, your partner needs to buy a copy of The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be by Armin A Brott and Jennifer Ash from Amazon as soon as they can.
The Top 10
Number Ten: Dadspirations: The First 100 Days Of Fatherhood by Pete Densmore
Dadspirations is out of print but don’t despair! Unlike many of the other titles we’ve found that are out of print, it’s dirt cheap second hand. And I do mean, dirt cheap – like less than 2 bucks.
So, why should you read Dadspirations: The First 100 Days Of Fatherhood by Pete Densmore if you are a new dad? Mainly, because it’s easy to fit in around being a dad and work. This isn’t a giant book expecting a huge time commitment. You can dip in and out of it whenever you like for a little extra wisdom.
Ruth, on Amazon, really knows this book’s value, “As the author himself mentions in the introduction to his book if world leaders need guides to help them plan and prioritize their first 100 days in office, then don’t expectant fathers also need a guide? After all, the first hundred days are all about bonding with the new baby and doing so whilst sleep deprived and emotionally drained.
Dadspirations is full of handy hints and tips for the new father. It provides a clear action plan, so the father will not only enjoy the first 100 days but will also have memories to share with his son/daughter when they are older.
Not only that, this book doesn’t take itself too seriously, like some of the other guides out there. If you want a book that will make you laugh out loud, and provide you with some practical tips, this book is for you. I would recommend it to any expectant father.”
Number Nine: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How To Calm, Connect And Communicate With Your Baby by Tracy Hogg
One of the biggest selling baby books of all time and no doubt an all-time classic, Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How To Calm, Connect And Communicate With Your Baby by Tracy Hogg is a super read for any mom or expecting mom.
It’s brilliantly written and so well organized that it can be your constant companion through motherhood, just dip in and out as you need things. You don’t have to try and consume it all in one go and that’s a relief given the demands on your time from all sides as a mother in the modern world.
Heather on Amazon may be Tracy’s number one fan, “This book should be given to ALL pregnant ladies! I have twin girls who were born 7 weeks early. I had gotten into the habit of nursing them to sleep and CONSTANTLY holding them, which worked until they started gaining weight. I knew I wanted to sleep train them, but our doctor said: “No, they don’t weigh enough” (at 11lbs). I didn’t intend on Ferberizing them. Then 2 other twin moms suggested this book. I followed it, and in 3 days I went from being a human pacifier with a bad back to a lady who has time to write a review AND shave my legs! I like that I can sleep train without crying it out. My girls are 5 months, but I wish I had this from day 1! Buy this for all of your friends. This book, a bottle of wine, and a gift card for coffee.”
It’s fair to say that you can buy Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How To Calm, Connect And Communicate With Your Baby by Tracy Hogg for a very reasonable price on Amazon but you can do even better!
Number Eight: The Baby Book Everything You Need To Know About Your Baby From Birth To Age Two by William Sears
This is the second text by William Sears on our list and the first of two in our top ten! Yes, this guy really knows his babies and it shows in everything that he does.
The Baby Book Everything You Need To Know About Your Baby From Birth To Age Two by William Sears has sold in excess of a million copies and America’s moms are universally agreed that this is an essential read if you want an easier parenting life.
Michelle P Duff says, “This was my favorite book as a new parent. I have now just given one to my niece. I was very much into attachment parenting & it worked for me. i love the tips and the way the book is structured. By the way, I tried sleep training for like 10 minutes…it was cruel IMO. My child never had attachment issues when it was time for school and is very independent. I think forming a tight bond from day 1 makes sense in the long trajectory. I was a child of the 70’s and had a mom who did not do attachment parenting and I did not like it and had a lot of issues around sleep and fear etc… So, I swung the other way and tried something that I did not get and made sense to me. This book is a great resource and may just be the 1 book that clicks for you.”
Number Seven: Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course For Parents by Natasa Nuit Pantovic
Let’s be clear about this. Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course For Parents by Natasa Nuit Pantovic is not for everyone. It’s a very spiritually inclined text and it wasn’t at all to my own scientific-leaning tastes.
Having said that, I have a bunch of friends who swear this is the greatest book ever written about parenting and it’s rapidly racing up the Goodreads charts too. So, if you want to help your kids get in touch with “Soul, Love, and Patience” (the capitals are theirs not mine) this may be the book for you.
One unnamed Amazon customer said, “Conscious parenting is a great attempt to help us as parents identify areas of our lives that need attention in order to create a loving and caring environment which enables our kids to thrive. Conscious Parenting is a reminder to parents to live in the present and nurture themselves, so they can nurture their children. This workshop provides a cross-section of brief introductions to different aspects of life and suggests exercises for parents’ self-improvement. In addition, it also provides recommendations for how to deal with various parental challenges. Whether you read it from cover to cover or pick the segments that interest you, you will find thought provoking views and ideas for raising our consciousness as parents to better serve our children.”
Number Six: The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide To Understanding And Nurturing Your Baby by William Sears
This is possibly the most popular parenting book of them all. It’s not as comprehensive as the tiles above it on this list but it is the one most geared at creating a special bond between mother and baby.
It’s based in science, not spirituality and to make things even better, it’s a very short book too, weighing in at fewer than 200 pages. The only slight hesitation I have with recommending The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide To Understanding And Nurturing Your Baby by William Sears is that some people don’t feel it works in practice. Though, I was happy with the way it worked for me.
Clara Ruth a child therapist says, “I found this book to clearly and simply convey everything I would most want to transmit to new parents about what is most critical in enabling babies and toddlers to thrive for the long-term through optimal attachment to parents. I have studied the neuroscience of this, which is very impressive and convincing, but not particularly readable unless you are scientifically or psychologically oriented (if so, the work of Allan Shore, Ph.D. is inspiring). Sears makes this invaluable model accessible for the day by day experience of a new, or new-to-attachment, parent, answering many questions that are likely to come up; and laying out practical details for implementing it. With his expertise as a pediatric physician and his hands-on experience, with his wife, of raising eight children, practicing attachment for many years, his advice feels grounded and trustworthy. Other reviewers have commented that it is repetitious, but I would describe that as reinforcing and clarifying the most essential intentions and practices of this system. As a child therapist and parent, I cannot say enough about how important healthy attachment is for the deep well-being and development of a child. Sears’ book is a great tool for bringing it to life in your own family.”
Number Five: Strong As a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy, and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood: The Only Guide to Taking Care of YOU! By Kate Rope
Kate doesn’t focus on having babies. She focuses on you. She quite rightly recognizes that you’re not going to be a great mom if you can’t be in the best possible mental and physical shape to care for a child.
She’s compassionate, witty and intelligent in turns and everything you find in this book’s pages is sure to help you in your quest to manage your pregnancy perfectly.
Booklist says, “Divided into three parts―pregnancy, surviving the first year, and motherhood beyond―this book recognizes that, as a mother, maintaining mental health should be a top priority. The topics covered are vast (from feeling anxiety in early pregnancy to being a mom to a fussy baby, to handling doubtful thoughts once the baby has been born), and the book can be read from start to finish or consulted by section for mothers’ most pressing need. “
Take care of yourself and get a copy of Kate Rope’s book Strong As a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy, and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood: The Only Guide to Taking Care of YOU! on Amazon today.
Number Four: Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster.
Are you a non-conformist? Well, you may well want to start being one once you’ve read Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster.
Emily’s mission is to try and turn the world of motherhood on its head and to look to science to get the best possible advice on how to handle pregnancy. Oddly, Emily’s not in the medical profession – she’s an economist at the University of Chicago Booth.
That doesn’t stop this from being one of the best evidence-based approaches to pregnancy that we’ve come across. It’s even recommended by the author of our number 2 slot on this list!
The New York Times says its, “A revelation for curious mothers-to-be whose doctors fail to lay out the pros and cons of that morning latte, let alone discuss real science. And it makes for valuable homework before those harried ob-gyn appointments, even for lucky patients whose doctors are able to talk about the rationale behind their advice.”
You can buy Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster from Amazon today and you won’t be sorry that you did.
Number Three: Pregnancy for Men: The Whole Nine Months by Mark Woods
If you want your man to understand what he needs to do during pregnancy, it’s time that he got in on the reading act too. Pregnancy for Men: The Whole Nine Months by Mark Woods is designed to turn the newly expectant dad into a complete partner for birth and beyond.
It’s third on our list because it’s so important. Parenting, ideally, should not be a one-person job because it’s so much harder that way. (That doesn’t mean that single moms and dads don’t do a great job – they do.)
Dads report that they like this book because it’s so easy to understand and it’s very funny. It’s worth pointing out that it contains some “choice language” which won’t work for everybody, but all told, if you’re not overly prudish – it’s the perfect way to get your guy with the program without stressing him out.
Tatjana Kleitos says, “I have bought this book for my husband and he did not read it very much, but he did. A lot of his friends borrowed it. It was universally liked, and it has a lot of necessary facts in it, but also a lot of first-hand info, making you feel normal in your own skin. I think it’s just enough of everything for any future dad.”
You can find Pregnancy for Men: The Whole Nine Months by Mark Woods on Amazon for less than $10! It’s a steal.
Number Two: The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer by Dr. Harvey Karp
Harvey Karp should win a prize for one of the longest titles ever given to a baby book but to be fair, it’s a good way to ensure that you can find The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer on Amazon, isn’t it?
Dr. Karp is the assistant professor of pediatrics at the USC School of Medicine and we hope that means he knows his stuff. Certainly, more than 2,000 happy customers on Amazon and 15,000 positive reviewers on Goodreads think he does.
I’ve found his advice invaluable if you want to sleep at all in the first few months after birth. Babies can’t help crying but you can help how you respond to that and help your baby get the rest it needs.
K.Strange says, “Especially for new parents, this is a great confidence-building book. Rather than just listing the myriad things that can go wrong and touting warnings about extreme and excessive crying that parents just have to put up with until baby turns 3 months old, this book actually provides sensible strategies to get started on the right foot. Will definitely be keeping this on hand for when our little guy makes his appearance.”
However, while the book is great – I think there’s a better reference tool from Dr. Harvey Karp and that’s the DVD of the Happiest Baby on the Block which is also available on Amazon. It’s much easier to put things into practice when you can watch the doctor do them first!
Our Number One Pick is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth! by Ina May
The most popular book on both Goodreads and Amazon for new moms is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. First published back in 2003, this is the ultimate handbook for raising a little one. It’s great value at less than $15 for both Kindle and in paperback and if you only buy one book on our list, it should be this one.
If you don’t like her “peace and love” approach to the world, just skip to the practical advice in the second half as the world’s most famous midwife Ina May knows her stuff and you don’t have to agree with her worldview to get value out of her work.
Thatpinapplelife says, “My midwife recommended this book to me for my first pregnancy. It was very informative and enlightening. I like to overprepare for everything, so I found this book to be very useful. I really enjoyed the positive childbirth stories. Everyone always wants to share their horror stories about birth. It’s nice to know that giving birth isn’t always a bad experience. I strongly recommend that all moms, especially new moms, read this book. Even if you aren’t considering natural childbirth, it’s still a good book to read. I found it to be very encouraging. It definitely eased some of my worries, and I felt much more prepared to give birth after reading it.”
That’s a typical review from a selection of more than 20,000 we could find online!
Buy Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth at Amazon now. You won’t be sorry that you did.
You made it through all 50 titles and I hope that you’ve found at least 2 or 3 titles to help you through your pregnancy and beyond!
You may be wondering how we got these 50 titles together? Well, our methodology was to check Goodreads’ reader compiled lists of parenthood titles. Then we eliminated all the books that weren’t about babies and parenthood, removed the duplicates (there are several) and moved a few around based on our experiences with them.
I’d like to stress that you really don’t need to read ALL of these books. While most of them have helpful information in or are entertaining, people have been having babies for thousands of years without books like these.
Most children are born healthy, most grow up just fine and most of them will live to a ripe old age thanks to the developed society we live in.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t worry a little about your kids, we all do, it’s just to say that while the role of the parent is important, it comes naturally to most people. So, read the titles that fascinate you and feel free to ignore the rest.
Enjoy being a parent. It’s awesome!
Also, one last thing. If you think I’ve missed out an amazing title or if you’d like to give feedback on one of the books on the list – please let me know in the comments below. This is your site, the more you talk to me, the better I can make it for you.