If you are a new parent or struggling to deal with your children, we have created a list of the best parenting books that can come in handy. Parenting is a skill acquired through practice. Although these parenting books don’t provide a checklist for you to follow, they can assist you in gaining a better perspective on your role as a parent and help strengthen the parent-child relationship.
Our list includes well-researched books that provide expert commentary to help you at every step of parenting, whether you’re pregnant for the first time, coping with baby difficulties, or dealing with your child’s tantrums. So, go through the options listed below to find one that suits your requirements.
Sarah R. Moore, founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting and an author, says, “With so much conflicting parenting information available, it helps to have a short list of trusted resources that are backed by research. I’ve read almost all the books on this list and stand behind every one that I’ve read.”
25 Best Parenting Books
1. Best For Baby Needs: The Attachment Parenting Book: A commonsense guide to understanding and nurturing your baby
William Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN
The book on parenting has strategies to tell you how best to bring up your children and develop a strong connection with them. Sears’ book advocates early attachment between children and parents while guiding parental responsiveness to a baby’s needs and requirements. They answer many questions for new parents, such as ‘How will your baby sleep better? What’s the father’s role in raising a kid? How does early attachment lead to a child’s eventual independence?’
2. Best For Everyday Challenges: The Whole-Brain Child: 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind
Daniel J. Siegel, MD, and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD
The book on child development takes a scientific approach to parenting. The authors share easy steps to foster healthy brain development in babies. Even though the book discusses the child’s brain, it can be read and understood by any parent. It is much like a guidebook to having happier and calmer children while tackling the everyday challenges of parenting.
3. Best For Discipline: Peaceful Discipline: Story Teaching, Brain Science & Better Behavior
Sarah R. Moore, MFS
Using best practices from gentle parenting, improv comedy, and trauma recovery, this peaceful parenting book brings joy back to families. These parenting tips and tricks for positive discipline can help whether you’re raising toddlers, parenting preschoolers, or supporting school-age children with love and respect. Effective for a hypersensitive child and a strong-willed child, this respectful parenting book offers guidance on conscious parenting and how to solve challenges and prevent them in the first place.
4. Best For Beahviour: No-Drama Discipline: The whole-brain way to calm the chaos and nurture your child’s developing mind
Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD
If you learned anything from the scientific parenting approach in the book ‘Whole-Brain Child,’ this follow-up book should make it to your reading list. This parenting journey guide on discipline takes into account toddlers and kids who are a little older and helps parents train them to become responsible in nature. This respectful parenting book for toddlers helps you deal with all sorts of tantrums.
5. Best For Fussy Baby: Cherish The First Six Weeks: A plan that creates calm, confident parents and a happy, secure baby
Parents are usually clueless in the first six weeks of their baby’s life. Read this parenting book during pregnancy to make the experience of being a new parent more pleasant. It offers a step-by-step plan or routine and has practical strategies to calm down a fussy baby and make it less stressful for the parents.
6. Best In Raising The Kids: Parenting With Love And Logic: Teaching children responsibility
Foster Cline, MD, and Jim Fay
The parenting support book helps you in raising the kids to be responsible and capable of dealing with the world one day. It focuses on the child’s temperament, tantrums, and development. This parenting book will provide you with expert commentary on how to do the groundwork required to come up with techniques to teach your kid to be responsible and shape their character, without resorting to nagging and bribing.
7. Best For Techniques: The Conscious Parent: Transforming ourselves, empowering our children
Shefali Tsabary, PhD
The book bases its ideas on the fact that children mirror and imitate their parents when growing up. It teaches you the concepts of conscious parenting and helps you raise kids with emotional intelligence. The book also suggests parenting techniques that cause less struggle and helps in developing an emotionally balanced child who understands family dynamics.
8. Best For Communication: How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A survival guide to life with children ages 2-7
Joanna Faber and Julie King
Communicating with toddlers is a Herculean task. You’ve already learned by now that yelling or pleading with your child takes you nowhere, and the cries and tantrums don’t go. This toddler parenting book on communication offers sample discussions, stories, and cartoons. It also has tips to let you transform your parenting style and speak the language of your kid.
9. Best Behavioral Therapy: The Self-Driven Child
William Stixrud and Ned Johnson
The Self-Driven Child is a parenting book for teenagers and offers a combination of cutting-edge brain science, the latest discoveries in behavioral therapy, and case studies drawn from thousands of kids and teens to teach you how to set your child on the real road to success. As parents, we can only drive our kids so far. At some point, they will have to take the wheel and map out their own path. But there is a lot you can do before then to help them tackle the road ahead with resilience and imagination.
10. Best For Self Control: Thrivers
We think we have to push our kids to do more, achieve more, be more. But we’re modeling the wrong traits—like rule-following and caution—and research shows it’s not working. This kind of “Striver” mindset isn’t just making kids unhappier, says Dr. Michele Borba…it’s actually the opposite of what it takes to thrive in the uncertain world ahead.
Thrivers are different: they flourish in a fast-paced, digital-driven, often uncertain world driven by confidence, empathy, self-control, integrity, curiosity, perseverance, and optimism. Find practical, actionable ways to develop these traits in children from preschool through high school.
11.Best For Sleep Routine: The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle ways to help your baby sleep through the night
Selling more than a million copies, Pantley’s book has become a regular workbook for new parents to explore all the myriad possible ways to put your baby to sleep. She also throws light on individualized approaches to parenting to help you. With the help of this parenting book for new parents, you can create a customized sleep routine for your infant after observing the unique traits.
12.Best For Baby Well Being: The Baby Book: Everything you need to know about your child from birth to age two
William Sears & Martha Sears
Dr. Sears’ best-selling parenting advice book covers all things about the baby’s well being, both emotional and physical. It offers effective and practical advice on eating, sleeping, comfort, and health of the baby. The book is rich with information, making it great for first-time parents.
13.Best For Raising Kids: Brain Rules for Baby: How to raise a smart and happy child from zero to five
Medina is a molecular biologist. He is also a father who gives trusted and actionable advice on raising smart kids from birth up to the age of five. In this book, he explains why he believes watching TV is harmful to kids aged 2 and younger. The book is full of astounding scientific facts and is an addictive read.
14.Best For Major Decisions: The Bottom Line for Baby: From Sleep Training to Screens, Thumb Sucking to Tummy TIme–What the Science Says
Tina Payne Bryson, PhD
Bryson is known for other best-selling books she’s co-authored with Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, including No-Drama Discipline and The Whole-Brain Child (also among our favorites). She’s a mother and a researcher who arms us with what science says about major decisions we make about our little humans. It’s surprisingly funny (in fact, hilarious at times), and she does an incredible job of translating research to something we can understand in everyday language.
15. Best For Mom’s Health:The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming our passion, purpose, and sanity
Every mother has her priorities, like her husband, baby, and career. But does she herself figure in that list? She can’t ignore herself while taking care of others. This modern parenting book will help you focus on yourself by nurturing and practicing ten healthy habits that will keep you happy and healthy while being a mom.
16.Best For Real-Life Situations: The New Father: A dad’s guide to the first year
Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash
Life is likely to get topsy-turvy once you bring your baby home. This trusted parenting guide for fathers will lend you a hand in dealing with the responsibilities that come your way. Written in a funny tone, this book addresses real-life situations and offers accurate and valid information about what the fathers, mothers, and babies go through, month by month.
17.Best For kids Thrive: The Co-Parents’ Handbook: Raising well-adjusted, resilient, and resourceful kids in a two-home family from little ones to young adults
Karen Bonnell and Kristin Little
If you are co-parenting a baby, this parenting book on building resilience should make it to your list. A split in marriage is in itself a significant challenge to overcome, and then comes the new struggle of being a parent. It guides both parents and kids through the process of transition. This parenting self-help book answers all the tough questions that children might ask you regarding the status of the family.
18. Best For Parenting Styles: Shit No One Tells You: A guide to surviving your baby’s first year
Sometimes do you feel like you’re raising a pocket-sized storm? Well, you are not the only one, and that’s why this book makes its position on the top among funny parenting books. This book is going to remind you of all the ‘parenting styles’ going wrong, funnily and sarcastically. The book’s take on parenting will keep your sanity intact when your child is going bonkers.
19. Best For Tricky Situations: Naptime Is The New Happy Hour: And other ways toddlers turn your life upside down
If you want to get some respite from the overwhelming emotions that parenting brings along, turn these pages written by a comedian-turned-mother. Her wit is biting, and you will keep coming back to this book for toddler parents. Also, her outstanding tips can help you navigate tricky situations.
20. Best For Child Welfare: The Addiction Inoculation
The Addiction Inoculation is a comprehensive parenting resource that parents and educators can use to prevent substance abuse in children. Based on research in child welfare, psychology, substance abuse, and developmental neuroscience, this essential guide provides evidence-based strategies and practical tools adults need to understand, support, and educate resilient, addiction-resistant children.
21. Best For Mutual Respect: Positive Discipline: The classic guide to helping children develop self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation, and problem-solving skills
Dr. Jane Nelsen
Dr. Jane Nelsen is a clinical psychologist and a mother of seven children. In this positive parenting book, she details her techniques that speak about ‘mutual respect’ between the mother and the children instead of punishment and power. She gives very effective and firm methods to communicate with your child, and how to love and cooperate with each other. You will see how much calmer your home will become with positive parenting.
22. Best For Physical Growth: Your Two-Year-Old: Terrible or tender
Louise Bates Ames
This book will take you through the minds of the two-year-olds. Is this lot terrible or tender? Dr. Ames offers you psychological insights into children who are this young. You will gain an understanding of what a two-year-old girl or boy thinks or feels like and how they observe the world around them. Dr. Ames also gives detailed information on the physical growth of children and their psychological maturity. The book features real-life stories of parents and their babies.
23. Best For Propser In Life: Simplicity Parenting: Using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier, and more secure kids
Kim John Payne
The super speed of this giant world has crammed the lives of children. Simplicity Parenting is about bringing that space back for the kids to focus and prosper in life. Payne gained inspiration for the book from 20 years of her work as a family counselor. She teaches parents how to enjoy and not worry. She suggests age-appropriate strategies and approaches to child raising, which involve streamlining the home environment by removing the excess and advocating strict screen timing rules. She explains how routines and schedules make things easier for children and the importance of a break in the routine once in a while.
24. Best For Work-Life-Family Balance: The Second Shift
Arlie Russell Hochschild and Anne Machung
The book talks about mothers who are also career women and the dynamics of duties and responsibilities inside such a family. Published 15 years ago, the book observes how women do most of the housework and child-care despite going out to work. It is an inspiring read for every woman going through a work-life transition after becoming a mom. The book also provides positive and unique insights into the parenting of working mothers.
25. Best For Siblings: Siblings Without Rivalry: How to help your children live together so you can live too
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
The author duo this time takes up the issue of sibling rivalry and the relationship between siblings. This book offers helpful techniques to reduce competition between siblings, encourage mutual trust and cooperation, and cope with their conflict. From the experience of raising their own children, they make suggestions on helping kids to channel negative emotions into creative expressions.
Parenting is a unique responsibility that defines the way of life for parents and their children. As a parent, you know what suits your family and your child the best. So turn to the relevant pages of these books whenever you are in confusion.
How To Choose The Right Parenting Book?
A good parenting skills book can help you through some tough situations. Here are the factors you should consider before picking one out.
- Author’s qualifications: Anyone offering serious advice on matters such as parenting should ideally possess expertise in the subject to support and add credibility to their ideas and suggestions. However, this depends on the kind of advice you are seeking.
For instance, it’s understandable not to expect an advanced degree from an author writing solely about their personal experience as a parent. On the other hand, if you are looking for an “instruction manual” that helps you shape children’s behavior or make actionable changes, the credentials take on a lot more importance.
- Backed by research: A parenting book grounded in scientific research will provide you with a better foundation and give you the confidence to apply its strategies. Claims backed by citations, references, or lists of sources invoke trust and lend credibility to the author.
- Subject matter: Does the book engage your attention? Is it easy to understand and follow? Is the content palatable for both parents or other caregivers? These are some questions to ask yourself when deciding which parenting book to buy. The more interesting you find the contents, the likelier you are to finish reading it.
- Reviews: Check the testimonials left by other parents to determine if a book is suitable for you.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Wedetso Chirhah is a writer and reviewer who has compiled this list of the best parenting books to help you learn new parenting strategies and skills. He has chosen these books by parenting experts based on rigorous assessment of their content and reader reviews. He has provided you with the author’s name and a short description of each book to help you choose the right one. Moreover, he has also selected books for parents that can help improve your skills to deal with specific issues, such as a child’s sleeping problems and tantrums.
While parenting can be challenging, the best parenting books for raising strong and confident kids can come in handy. Written by experts, these books for parents help you keep yourself well informed and can give insights into the common challenges and strategies that work for parenting. They also cover various aspects of parenting, including physical growth, teaching children responsibilities, and how to deal with tantrums. We hope our list of these books can equip you with all you need for effective parenting and raising confident kids in the long run.
Infographic: Making Parenting Streamlined And Less Stressful
Parenting is a transformative journey of unconditional love, guiding, and nurturing your little one with patience and understanding. Therefore, practicing practical parenting techniques is essential to enjoy your role while effectively shaping responsible citizens. Check the infographic below for tips to make parenting easier.
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