Monday, August 21, 2017

Ten Book Recommendations for New Parents

I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for another Top Ten Tuesday.

I missed the great revival of Top Ten Tuesday last week because I was linking up with Quick Lit, but I didn't want to pass up this first topic, so I'm getting to it a week late. I've been wanting to compile my recommendations for new parents in one place, and it seemed especially appropriate since many of the TTT hosts took a break due to new babies!

These ten books are divided up into sections based on when I think they're most helpful to read. Even if you've missed the window, I think they're still worth a read!

Before Birth

1. Baby Meets World by Nicholas Day
This overview of the history and science of child-rearing will show you that there are very few "wrong" ways to raise a child, so you don't need to panic about fundamentally damaging your child as long as you're doing your best.

2. The Science of Mom by Alice Callahan
This is a readable, scientifically grounded overview of the most controversial areas of parenting, from vaccinations to breastfeeding to co-sleeping. It'll make you feel more confident about sifting through the wide range of unsolicited advice you're inevitably going to receive.

The First 6 Months

3. Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
I'm glad my best friend pointed me to this method for introducing solids. It's cheaper, easier, and more developmentally appropriate than feeding your kid sugary purees.

4. The Happy Sleeper by Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright
I wish I'd read this book in my son's first six months, but unfortunately I was lulled into thinking he was an easy sleeper when he didn't have any problems his first two years. Then suddenly he developed a knack for pulling out every stalling technique in the book and pushing all our buttons, and we had no toolbox for dealing with it. Learn from my mistake and start developing your toolbox early!

Around 18 Months

5. Einstein Never Used Flashcards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
Right around the time you might start feeling the pressure to break out the flashcards, this book provides a nice reminder of all the ways in which kids learn through play, and gives you fun milestones to look for that you might not otherwise notice.

6. Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki
This potty training method came highly recommended and worked wonders for us. You have to be committed to the process, but it's so worth it. Read it when your kid's around 18 months and you can start looking for the first signs of readiness to start training.

2 Years and Up

7. Dear Mister Rogers, Does It Ever Rain in Your Neighborhood? by Fred Rogers
This isn't a parenting book per se, but I learned a lot in seeing how Mister Rogers responded to the wide variety of letters he received over the years and reading some of his commentary on those responses. He provides a nice model of how to answer your kids' questions with honesty and empathy.

8. Liberated Parents, Liberated Children by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This is a classic parenting book that led to the even-more-classic follow-up, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. It provides a way to approach parenting that's both constructive and kind.

9. How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King
This recent publication co-authored by Adele Faber's daughter takes the techniques from Faber and Mazlish's classic books and focuses them on kids ages 2-7. Through example scenarios and concrete suggestions, they provide a toolbox of ways to deal with the challenges of parenting.

10. Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon
I need to reread this book, which provides a framework for identifying which communication methods are most appropriate for different situations with children. Along with the How to Talk... books, this gives parents a wide range of effective tools for parenting.

What parenting books would you recommend?

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