13 Best Parenting Books That New Parents Must Read

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Having your first child is a huge learning experience. So, why not get some tips and insights from experts and fellow parents?

Whether you’re looking for scientific information, reliable advice, a good laugh, or just some help to get you through your new and busy lifestyle, we’ve got you covered.

Here are thirteen of the best parenting books for new parents.

1. The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Harvey Karp, M.D.

Parents have been turning to Dr. Karp’s book for over a decade, and for good reason. Every baby cries, and for new parents, it can be incredibly frustrating not knowing how to help your little one.

In this book, Karp draws on scientific research and age-old wisdom and offers amazing insights on how to soothe crying babies and keep them happy. You’ll learn about the “fourth trimester”, the truth about colic, and so much more.

2. Bringing Up Bébé, by Pamela Druckerman

This bestseller is written by an American journalist who becomes a mother in Paris. While raising her little one, she also notices how French children are better behaved than the American children she’s used to seeing. She sees that French parents aren’t at the service of their children and that somehow, without the constant coddling, their children are happier, inquisitive and creative.

With a journalist’s curiosity, Druckerman sets out to find out the secret of French parenting. Bringing Up Bébé is full of amazing, cultural insights that Americans can easily implement within their families, too.

3. The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate Your Baby's Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward, by Frans X. Plooij

From week to week, a baby develops at an incredibly fast rate. All these changes affect the baby’s perspective of the world overnight. It’s a lot for your baby to handle, and it’s easy for them to feel overwhelmed. Fussy behavior and a change in appetite and sleep patterns are all signs of these natural, regression periods. This is why most healthy babies tend to experience sleeping, eating and crying issues during the same stages of development.

Once you know that your baby isn’t arbitrarily fussy, but experiencing big developmental leaps, you’ll know how to handle everything with more aplomb and calm.

4. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby, by Tracy Hogg

Since your baby can’t tell you what he needs, it’s often a guessing game for parents to understand what their baby wants. This can be stressful and frustrating at times.

In this bestselling book, Tracy Hogg helps parents decipher their baby’s different cries so that they can give their baby exactly what he needs. Does he need sleep? Is he hungry? Does he just need a little love? Or, is it something serious?

You’ll learn how to answer these questions and many more with the help of Tracy’s two decades of experience.

5. The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children, by Carol Tuttle

Energy healer and expert, Carol Tuttle, teaches a life-changing lesson in this book for parents. Who’s the best guide for you, as a parent? Your child. That’s because your child’s behavior gives you all the information you need about how you should parent them.

Each child is unique and has their own specific energy type. And Carol Tuttle shoes you how to recognize your child’s energy type. How they cry, laugh and throw a tantrum are the perfect cues and clues you need to parent them respectfully and lovingly.

6. The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby From Birth to Age Two, Dr. Sears

This is a great guidebook about all things baby. You’ll learn that there’s no one way to raise your child and that it’s up to you to create the best routines and habits that suit you and your little one. You’ll learn essential information about how your baby sleeps, eats and what will comfort them as they grow.

It’s a mix of scientific data and anecdotal stories that can help new parents feel more confident and capable as they learn to take care of their big responsibility – their little baby!

7. Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear, by Pam Leo

Over twenty years of experience has allowed Pam Leo to teach an essential truth in her wonderful book, Connection Parenting. Simply put, your child needs to have an emotional bond with you. Without it, your child won’t feel connected and emotionally supported. This strong bond helps you influence them in positive and supportive ways.

That may sound wishy-washy, but that’s precisely why this book is so important to new parents today.

Many people didn’t experience connection parenting, and this is why emotional bonding can be so difficult for us today. Pam Leo teaches how you can transform your parenting and the relationship you have with your child.

8. The Conscious Parent, by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

This book challenges the age-old mentality that you have power and control over your child. Or, that you are only an authority figure. Instead, Dr. Tsabary teaches that your child can actually teach you, and help you grow spiritually. Instead of dominance, you learn that there can be mutual respect and friendship.

Spiritual teachers like His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Eckhart Tolle have praised this important book, and if you are interested in these concepts, The Conscious Parent can be a wonderful book for new parents.

9. Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents, by Debbie Koenig

Spirituality is important, but new parents have to be practical, too! That’s why Debbie Koenig’s cookbook is a lifesaver. With a new baby, you’re pressed for time, and low on both energy and kitchen creativity. And Koenig knows that, so she makes it easy for you to nourish yourself well with over 150 recipes.

Her down-to-earth approach and sassy tips help you take care of yourself even if you’re exhausted, haven’t showered in days, and have spent all day feeding your baby. You’ll find meals you can eat one-handed, and meals with ingredients that can be used to make quick and easy baby food.

10. No-Drama Discipline, by Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel J. Siegel

Disciplining your child is necessary, but also a bit scary for some parents. How do you know if you’re doing it right? Are you overreacting to bad behavior? This book teaches you about your little one’s neurological development and how this impacts their emotional outbursts.

With this empowering knowledge, you can bring a lot of calm and compassion to stressful situations, and create strategies that both solve the problem and cultivate an atmosphere of peace and love. Cartoon illustrations help lift the mood on an otherwise austere topic.

11. Your Baby’s First Word Will be DADA, by Jimmy Fallon

Entertainer and host of NBC’s, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon steps into the world of baby literature with a funny book that’s become a favorite among parents and kids alike. Parents will appreciate the quirky humor, and children will fall in love with the simple and adorable narrative.

12. The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year, by Dawn Dais

This will be a perfect read when young women come face-to-face with the everyday struggles of motherhood. It will make you laugh, and keep you sane as you read all the things that no one tells you, but things that you can totally relate to as a new mom!

It’s more than just comic relief for your stressful day though. Dawn Dais gives you a glimmer of hope and much-needed insights to help you see the forest from the trees, and rediscover the joy in parenting.

13. Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan

It’s important to read informative, edifying literature as you learn to become the best parent possible. But even with all of this knowledge, there will be days or even weeks that leave you feeling like a failure, and a basket case.

Every parent will experience this, and it’s times like these that call for books like Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan. It’s a hilarious account of parenting that you can totally relate to. In the end, you’ll feel less alone and crazy, and you’ll have many good laughs while you’re at it.

Did any of these books stand out to you? Try one or a couple, and feel supported in your parenting journey.

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