When you’re about to become a parent, everyone has advice. We decided early on that we were going to stick to one set of parenting systems and take advice from people we trusted who followed the same systems. While we’ve only been parents for a short time, we have found a small library of parenting books that have saved our sanity. These books support our parenting style and have helped us see things (tantrums, etc) through the eyes of our daughter. They are indispensable to us and I wanted to take some time to share them with you! So here they are, six parenting books that have saved our sanity…
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The Baby Book was our go-to guide for everything new baby. This was our beginning guide to attachment parenting. Any time we had a question about something baby related, we looked here first. From preparing for birth through what to expect in the early weeks, breastfeeding, babywearing to babyproofing for a mobile child, this book is a must for any new parent.
A companion book to The Baby Book is The Portable Pediatrician. Dr Sears has over 50 years of experience in pediatrics, so this book was a definite must have. This is a great go-to for at home first aid and basic medical advice. From diaper rash to teething, ear infections, and beyond this book has been a great tool in our parenting toolbelt.
We were first introduced to Dr Karp in our Bradley Birth class. We were gifted a copy of this book by our friend who generously shared her favorite parenting books with us. The 5S strategy for calming babies that Dr. Karp explains in this book was a literal lifesaver. Emma had a short bout with colic at a few months old and this strategy was the only thing that calmed her.
The other big takeaway from this book was the fourth trimester. Once we understood what she was going through when she was freaking out, it was much easier to empathize and not get worked up ourselves. I have gifted this book to so many parents in the last three years.
All of a sudden, at around 18 months, our excellent sleeper began to have trouble sleeping. Nothing we did helped! The same friend that had gifted us “The Happiest Baby on the Block” had also gifted us the “No-Cry Sleep Solution” for babies. I hadn’t opened it since, as a baby, she slept fine. As I was researching resources to help us with toddler sleep, I came across this book. We read it cover-to-cover on the road to our beach vacation that summer, and implemented the strategies right away when we got home. While we’re not exactly where we’d like to be a year later, our nights for the most part have gotten so much better!
One thing I love about Elizabeth Pantley’s books is that she shares her knowledge of what’s going on in your child’s mind and development in order to help parents understand the reasoning behind her strategies. We also learned a lot about the science of sleep, and that alone was so incredibly helpful!
Since we found the Sleep Solution to be so helpful, we went with Elizabeth Pantley again when it was time to potty train. We found this book to be just as helpful! The strategies Pantley shares are plain language and easy. She states at the beginning that successful potty training has as much to do with the attitude and readiness of the teacher/parent as it does the student/child. We learned a lot about the physiology of learning to use the toilet. While potty training can be a confusing and frustrating process, Pantley made this process relaxed, and even exciting as we celebrated small victories along the way.
I discovered this book when I was on a “Mommy vacation” to Barnes & Noble one Saturday afternoon. I was intrigued by the title so I picked it up. This parenting book is brilliant! The ideas shared come from the School for Young Children in Columbus, OH. The author, Heather Shumaker, calls this style of parenting “renegade parenting.” This book is filled with child development information and follows the basic premise that “as long as it doesn’t hurt people or property, it’s ok.”
There are several sections called “take off your adult lenses” in which the author invites us to put aside our adult experiences in order to learn about how our child is approaching certain situations. One of the biggest take aways for us has been letter writing (we call them writing promises) to share feelings. This has helped steer away from many tantrums. This parenting book is a must for any modern parent of preschool-aged children. *Heather Shumaker also has a companion book for parents of older children called It’s OK to Go Up the Slide.
More Helpful Parenting Books
We realize we are only on our third year of parenting and there are many to come. At this point, we are starting to delve in to parenting books about discipline. The following are books we have invested in:
There are many other resources out there that support positive parenting techniques. A few we’ve heard good things about are: