Here’s a list of the best parenting books available today for new parents with babies or toddlers, and seasoned parents with children of multiple ages.
Knowing which parenting books are worth the read, and which are better left on the shelf, can leave most moms and dads feeling like they’re looking for a needle in a haystack. My background in psychology, and experience as a childcare worker, educator, and now parent; have given me the opportunity to read a lot of theories and books about parenting, child development, educating children, and raising psychologically healthy kids.
So I thought I’d help ease the burden of decision-making by sharing some of my favorite positive parenting books as a way of paying this knowledge forward. While many of these books about raising kids cater to new parents and parents of young children. Even the well-seasoned parent with multiple children can find a helpful parenting book worth the read on this excellent list of resources for caregivers. This list of parenting books is so good, I’ve read most of them twice! You might also enjoy positive discipline books for parents and teachers.
What are the best parenting books for New Parents?
Below is a list of the best parenting books that can help new parents and caregivers navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of family life and parenthood as children grow through their toddler and preschool years and into their childhood and teenage years.
To make it even easier, I’ve put the list of parenting books below in order starting with books about parenting for new parents with newborn babies and infants. And it continues with parenting books to help you through the toddler, preschool, kindergarten, childhood, and into the tween and teen years.
Best Baby Books for New Parents
In other words, the first parenting books on the list below, are the first parenting books you are likely to need. Because they are the best baby books for new parents. While the parenting books listed towards the end of the list of books about parenting can be purchased as your children grow into toddlers and preschoolers.
Do yourself a favor by arming yourself with some of the very best parenting books on the list below. You might also enjoy this list of growth mindset books for kids that teach important life lessons.
I started reading books to teach my child important life lessons when she was just a baby, and I’m sure glad I did because they helped make my parenting journey a whole lot easier! For more positive parenting tips check out 15 Ways to Raise a Helper.
The Best Parenting Books for New and Seasoned Parents
I wish I had known about the fantastic books about parenting and disciplining kids on the list below long ago. The thought of looking for a book about parenting without knowing what I know now inspired me to share this list of excellent parenting books with you.
I highly recommend each of these books for raising young children. They each provide age-appropriate strategies for dealing with the day-to-day struggles of family life and parenting and are equally indispensable to me. Adulting can be challenging, but these parenting books make it much easier!
I recommend searching for these books about parenting at your local library or used bookstore first. If you can’t find them, I have provided links to the affiliate advertising program on Amazon for your convenience. If you click to purchase, Rhythms of Play will 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 choose 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 presents a practical approach to parenting that reflects how we live today. Focusing on the essential needs of babies–eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort–it addresses many of the questions that are of most significant concern to parents–especially new parents.
The authors acknowledge that there is no one way to parent a baby and 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 a parent, you want to include 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 develop your parenting philosophy and style.
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 childcare professionals to perceive babies as unique and capable human beings. Once we can view our children in this light, even the most common daily parenting experiences become stimulating opportunities to learn, discover, and connect with our children. This gentle parenting book is 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 that 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 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 when 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. The author supports her claims in this parenting book 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
Here’s a parenting book that explains how a baby and a young child’s brain work. Learn what the latest science says about how to raise bright 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 describes specific techniques to help parents assist their children in developing 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 terrific 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 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 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 demanding 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 (Babies, Toddlers, Preschoolers, Kindergarteners, Elementary-Aged Kids)
I hope this list of books about raising children from infants to teens helps you find parenting books that make you the parent you always dreamed of becoming. I love these books so much that I have even read some of them twice! Yes–they are all that good.
You may also like this list of positive discipline books for parents and teachers. They can be really helpful in the early toddler years, and the teenage years. If you have an infant, you will need them sooner than you think!
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