It’s hard to know which parenting books are worth the read and which are better left on the shelf. As a student of psychology, childcare worker, educator, and parent, I have had the opportunity to read a lot of theories and books about raising children. These are the best parenting books that I have found for new parents!
While many of these books cater to parents of young children, even the seasoned parent can find a parenting book worth reading in this collection. I wish that I would have known about some of these long before I found them. This is why I want to share the best parenting books with you!
Related: 15 Ways to Raise a Helper
The Best Parenting Books for New Parents
I highly recommend each of these books for raising young children. They are equally indispensable to me.
I recommend that you search for these at your local library or used bookstore first. If you can’t find them, I have provided Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. If you click to purchase, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
**Click on the blue hyperlink title for information about each parenting book.**
1. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth
The must-have parenting book for everything sleep related. Weissbluth delivers facts and suggestions allowing each parent to make their own choices about which sleep training techniques to use (or not to use) with their child. He also covers the colicky infant in-depth.
2. The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by William Sears
This parenting book for new parents presents a practical approach to parenting that reflects the way we live today. Focusing on the essential needs of babies–eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort–it addresses the questions of greatest concern to parents.
The authors acknowledge that there is no one way to parent a baby, and they offer the basic guidance and inspiration you need to develop the parenting style that best suits you and your child.
3. Becoming the Parent You Want to Be: A Sourcebook of Strategies for the First Five Years by Laura Davis.
I found this book about raising young children to be a comprehensive must-have resource for parents of young children. It delivers solid information on many aspects of child development for new parents.
Becoming the parent you want to includes specific tips covering many areas of parenting including sleep issues, discipline, and toilet learning. Reading this parenting book for raising young children will help you discover and work with your own parenting philosophy.
4. Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting by Janet Lansbury
Inspired by the pioneering parenting philosophy of her friend and mentor, Magda Gerber, Janet’s influential voice encourages parents and child care professionals to perceive babies as unique and capable human beings. Once we are able to view our children in this light, even the most common daily parenting experiences become stimulating opportunities to learn, discover, and to connect with our child. A must read for all new parents!
5. You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six by Rahima Baldwin Dancy.
A parenting book that explains the different stages of learning that children go through from birth to age six, giving parents the wisdom and understanding to enrich their children’s natural development in the right way at the right time.
6. How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success by Tovah P Klein.
When you find a book about raising young children reveals what you can do to help your toddler grow into a more fulfilled child and adult, you tell others about it. This wonderful book about raising toddlers offers practical advice and indispensable tips covering many aspects of child care and development for parents of young children.
At the end of the book, the author has compiled a list that is like a “cliff notes” version of the book, summing up all her major points making it easy to go back and find the toddler tips you need at the moment you need them.
7. Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky.
A great read that offers parents a way to help young children develop life skills to reach their full potential. In this parenting book, the author backs up each of her claims with solid research and real-world examples.
The information provided in this book about raising young children is separated into 7 life skills that are easy to understand. Fortunately, these parenting skills and techniques can be used with children of any age, not just young children.
8. Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded): How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina
A parenting book that shows parents how a baby and young child brain really works! Learn what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five in this fun and fascinating read. The author backs up his claims with solid research and practical advice.
9. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D.
This parenting book suggests a parenting style that recognizes the child’s potential to assist the parent’s development and healing. Reading it can help you grow to be both the parent and the person you want to be.
10.The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne.
This parenting book discusses the impact of parenting on brain development. It offers powerful tools for helping children develop the ability to be successful in the world, and offers specific techniques to help parents assist their children in the development of emotional intelligence.
11. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne M.Ed. and Lisa Ross.
With today’s emphasis on too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, this book offers parents a refreshing solution. In it, the author shares how to reclaim the space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish.
12. Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children by Sharifa Oppenheimer
This book balances a theoretical understanding of child development with practical ideas, resources, and tips that can transform family life. The author suggests wonderful ways to make the home environment warm, loving, and consistent with your highest ideals.
Learn about your child’s unique love language and how to help them feel loved in a way that they understand. Reading these books about raising children will help you build a strong foundation of unconditional love for your child.
14. Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
A parenting book is for all parents that are blessed with a spirited child. This book is our bible. It provides a lot of helpful real-world advice for dealing with the challenges of parenting willful and difficult children. With that said all parents can find good information here, especially those of us with the spirited ones.
The Best Parenting Books About Raising Young Children
I hope this list of books about raising children zero to five helps you find parenting books that make you the parent you always dreamed of becoming. I love these books so much I have even read some of them twice! Yes… they are all that good.
You may also like this collection of positive parenting books for parents and teachers. If you have an infant, you will need them sooner than you think!
For more parenting tips click on the link. Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If You Liked These Parenting Books About Raising Young Children, You may also like:
- 12 Positive Discipline Books for Parents and Caregivers
- Kids Books that Teach Kids Important Life Lessons
- Social-Emotional Learning Games for Kids
- How to Raise a Helper
The One Essential Tool You Need To Keep You and the Kids Happy!
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…