I read a ton of parenting and pregnancy books when I was pregnant. I was going to be a parent for the first time and I had no idea how to raise a kid. I did not even have siblings and had never taken care of a child before. That made me very anxious and scared of this new phase in my life. So when I was pregnant, I read all these books. Yes, I read them when I was pregnant and not after having a baby. I think it was the anticipation and the restlessness that made me read these books. Once my baby was with me, I never felt like reading another book on parenting. If you are looking for some good parenting books, here are the ten books that I read. I did Google searches, read plenty of blogs and then read these books as they had lot of good reviews.
- The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp – My biggest worry was how to handle a crying baby and I read many books and articles on that. I remember expressing this fear to a colleague, who said “maybe your baby wouldn’t cry so much”. And she was right! Our baby never cried and was a calm one. Even today, he cries only if there is a real reason like either he is hurt or is feeling sick or sleepy. So it was completely useless to me. But this book might be helpful to kids who actually have colic and for babies who cry for hours together for no real reason. I donated my copy of this book to library recently as it was simply gathering dust.
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley – Another book which was useless to me. Our son never cries without any reason so I don’t have to apply any of these techniques. He sleeps through the night without any issues, unless he is hungry or sick. It might be helpful for parents whose kids don’t sleep at night.
- Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents by Vimala Schneider McClure – Not a very useful book. It is difficult to massage looking at the book as you won’t understand half of the strokes. Better to watch a video than read about it. But if you have no idea why massaging is needed for babies or you have no idea about massaging at all, then pick this book. My mom already knew how to massage and I learnt it from her, so I hardly referred to this book.
- Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different–and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men by Steve Biddulph – Interesting book. I realized I didn’t know much about raising boys at all after reading this book. Hopefully I will be able to apply some of this knowledge in practice. One of the most useful books in this list for sure.
- The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child by Robert W. Sears – I read this book mostly because of the controversy surrounding vaccines. Not a very useful book but if you are interested in understanding what diseases these vaccines are given for, you might still like it. It was interesting to learn more about the various diseases for which vaccines are available and also how important these vaccines are for our babies.
- What’s Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life by Lise Eliot – Amazing book! loved it. Definitely one of the most interesting and educative books I have ever read. I did learn a lot about neuroscience and what one can do to improve brain development in kids. Must read for every single parent. Since this book talks about neurology in general, as well as for babies, it is one of the best science books I have ever read.
- The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson – Interesting concepts. But I am not sure if they will indeed work. I will only know once my kid is old enough to throw a tantrum. This book is more appropriate for parents with older children who throw a fit or tantrum.
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman – Educative book, talks about the latest scientific research done on kids. This is one book that I will definitely come back to as my kid grows. There is a chapter about teenagers too, so this book will stay with me for a long time. One of the best parenting books available for sure.
- One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One by Lauren Sandler – I already reviewed this book here. I read it just for curiosity and also because I am an only child and I am planning to have only one child.
- Stress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child by Sara Au, Peter Stavinoha – Lot of interesting points which I hopefully can apply. They have separate chapters on training kids of different kinds. But the author kept saying the same thing again and again and that made the book boring. This happens in all the self help books and that’s one of the reasons why I avoid reading them. They repeat the same instructions again and again so that it can enter any dumb brain and that is annoying. I read this book quite recently.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish – I have not finished reading this book yet. I read few pages of this book and found the concepts interesting. I need to read it soon but again this book will work with older kids and not with young babies so I am planning to read it after few years when my son is old enough to understand everything that I am saying.
Have you read any of these or any other parenting books? Do you know any good books that you think I should read?