There is no shortage of information and advice available to new or expecting parents, much of it unsolicited. However, the sheer volume of it can be overwhelming, the various suggestions often contradictory, and the results can be more headache than help. It is enough to leave new and pending parents feeling frustrated, stressed, and confused. That’s not good.
Fortunately, there are several reliable, fact-based parenting books on the market that can help sort through the noise and provide real information. Below we have provided a list of renowned parenting books from respected professionals to help new or expecting parents prepare for the journey, joy and obstacles ahead. However, we strongly suggest that readers not rely solely on the advice or theories of one particular book or author; rather, research your own situation, questions and concerns, then formulate a strategy built on a foundation of collective readings that work best for you. That’s our advice.
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too! by Pregnancy Experts at Mayo Clinic
This pregnancy book from the world-famous Mayo Clinic provides tons of useful information. It includes tracking tools for weekly updates on baby’s growth as well as monthly changes for mom, a symptoms guide, and helpful discussions on important pregnancy decisions. The book also offers tips and insights for the nurturing and protecting of your unborn baby through each stage of pregnancy.
Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock and Robert Needlman
While Dr. Benjamin Spock may be America’s most trusted name in child care and parenting (his guidebook has been a bestseller for over sixty-five years), it wasn’t above revision. Hence, the addition of pediatrician Robert Needlman on the 9th edition. Don’t worry, all of Dr. Spock’s advice is still here, including his #1 rule of parenting: “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do,” but updated with the most current medical practices and advances in health care in addition to discussion on immunizations, nutrition, cultural diversity, alternative and non-traditional family structures, special needs and environmental health.
The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by William Sears, Martha Sears, Robert Sears and James Sears
Considered the classic parenting book for the post-Dr. Spock generation, the newest edition from the Sears family collective has been revised to include updates regarding nearly every topic in infant and baby care. The Baby Book offers a practical, modern approach to parenting that reflects life in our current society.
The Expectant Father and The New Father by Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash
Both of these books cover a different phrase in the parenting experience, and each is equally valuable to its respective timeframe. The Expectant Father explores “the emotional, financial, and even physical changes the father-to-be may experience during his partner’s pregnancy” in a relatable and enjoyable style. Whereas, The New Father, while still maintaining helpful tips for dad, focuses primarily the first twelve months of fatherhood.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman
Breastfeeding, for those that are able, has widely been accepted as the preferred path to nourishing (and nurturing) a newborn baby. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, published by the La Leche League has been at the forefront of educating and empowering breastfeeding mothers for generations, has been updated for contemporary lifestyles.
The Panic-Free Pregnancy, rather than focusing on stages of baby development, provides a detailed look at the mother’s lifestyle choices. Addressing questions and concerns that expecting women may have, Dr. Broder offers facts on how things like caffeine, exercise, flying, alcohol, etc., may affect pregnancies.
Written by a mathematician after three years of researching thousands of studies, Debunking the Bump shifts the parameters of what is allowed or should be avoided during pregnancy. This is a book for those interested in the proven facts rather than myths and misinformation.
Dr. Karp is perhaps the biggest parenting expert celebrity today. His Happiest Baby book, now fully revised and updated, promises to calm nearly every crying baby, and if book sales are any indication, it delivers.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
How many parenting books are adapted into a movie? As far as we know, one, and this is it. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, according to USA Today, is one of the “Most Influential Books of the Last 25 Years.” We would be hard-pressed to top that as far as ringing endorsements are concerned.
On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Robert Bucknam and Gary Ezzo
Dr. Robert Bucknam and Gary Ezzo are considered two of the world’s leading experts on infant management concepts, and their book On Becoming Babywise has been heralded as gospel for those looking to schedule their baby’s feeding and sleeping patterns.
Did we leave out one of your favorite parenting books? Please share in the comments!