I'll be honest, I'm not actually a huge fan of parenting books in general. I think more often than not people use them to capitalize on new parents' fears about doing everything "right". The reality is there simply are no parenting books that are going to make this easy. There is no one right way to do things and not every method is going to fit every child/family, but wanting to "study up" on parenting is the norm.
I made this list for a few reasons. I love to read and I see no harm in utilizing books for ideas and answers to our questions. I also believe if you're going to be reading parenting books, you definitely should be reading good ones. Finally, these 4 books helped me a lot in my parenting journey so far. No, none of them are a perfect parenting guide but each served a purpose in my son's first year.
1. Strong and Kind - Korie Robertson
This is probably my favourite parenting book. You won't necessarily be able to practically apply the lessons of it until your kids are a bit older but I think it's an amazing book to read sooner rather than later. It helped me figure out my goals and purpose as a parent. It is a faith-based parenting book but I think it would be an enriching read regardless of where you stand with faith. As the cover says, it's about raising kids of character. The book asks parents to decide what exactly they want to instill in their children and offers practical information on how they can do it.
2. Baby Led Weaning: The Essential Guide To Introducing Solid Food
Before my son was born, I'd already begun to give thought to introducing solids with a popular emerging method called "baby-led weaning". As Elias got closer to the 6 month mark we planned to begin solid food at, it became increasingly clear that this method would be the best fit for him. Given that it was something entirely new and a bit nerve wracking for me, I wanted to research a bit about how to do it properly and be successful with it. I couldn't have asked for a better resource than this book. It contains so much information about the benefits of baby-led weaning and how to do it safely. It answered all my questions and concerns and eased my mind when we came to bumps in the road that may have otherwise made me break out the purees.
3. Precious Little Sleep
It's no secret that one of the biggest challenges for parents of littles and one of the most controversial parenting subjects is sleep. My child was a particularly terrible sleeper. From day one he just would not sleep more than an hour or so and was incredibly difficult to ease into sleep. I was constantly looking for answers and solutions but was not having any luck. I was struggling to find an option that would help him (and everyone) get more sleep without compromising on what I felt comfortable with. I knew what we were doing wasn't working but I didn't want to let him scream. Just as I was beginning to feel like I would literally never sleep again, I discovered this book. It was the first one I'd ever seen to offer a variety of options and solutions. This was the first book that seemed to understand babies are different and there isn't a one-size fits all fix. We utilized a couple methods before finding what worked but within a couple months of buying the book we had made huge progress and now our son sleeps generally pretty well!
4. Simplicity Parenting
Our family has been working towards embracing a more minimalist lifestyle so I decided to look into some information on parenting with a minimalist approach. I was expected to read a lot about minimizing your child's clutter so they can better concentrate and make decisions without being overwhelmed but this book offered a lot more. The book discusses a lot of evidence based information on the benefits of raising your kids more simplistically. Covering babies all the way to teens, it emphasizes a less stressful, more connection-based life with kids and highlights the benefits of less TV, less strict scheduling, and less "stuff."
I can't stress enough that nobody needs parenting books. Whether you decide to carve time out of your day for these or not, you will do just fine raising your children. If you're going to read parenting books it should be something you enjoy and something that will actually be helpful. I definitely found these four books hit the mark!