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Six Must-Read Parenting Books

Five Must-Read Parenting Books

When I had my daughter last October, it was the first time I’d been around a baby in nearly two decades.

While I did a lot of research on pregnancy and childbirth my nine months of pregnancy, for some reason I was so caught up in the adventure of “having” a baby that I didn’t think about what it would be like to raise a baby. Just as I turned to pregnancy books before my little one was born, I turned to parenting books in the first few weeks after her birth.

Here is a short list of the titles I would recommend, buy for close friends and keep on my bookshelf for years to come.

  1. What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff – Just like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, this conversational tome is comprehensive and well-organized. While the authors recommend and rely on pediatrician’s advice more often than my personal philosophies would prefer, the book literally covers every topic a new parent could need. I turn to the book each month to see how my daughter is doing regarding milestones, and frequently throughout the month for parenting tips and tricks. I plan to build the entire library of “What to Expect” titles in the coming years.
  2. No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley– This practical book outlines a gentle, effective way to start your newborn on the path of sleeping through the night. Didn’t start early? The book also offers techniques to help infants over four months old to begin falling asleep on their own and sleeping through the night. Pantley is not against co-sleeping, but does offer tips for parents who want to break that cycle of having the baby in bed with them. The book also addresses the psychological factors behind night-time feedings, asking mothers to decide if they are ready, emotionally, for their baby to sleep through the night or if they’re still craving that late-night, quiet contact.
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  4. How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of your Doctor by Robert Mendelsohn – For those looking for an alternative medicine/natural health approach to child-rearing, this book provides practical advice and solutions. Mendelsohn asserts that there’s rarely a reason to involve your pediatrician and gives you the knowledge to diagnose and treat many common ailments. I’ll be referring to this book in many instances before I call my baby’s doctor.
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  6. Anything by Dr. Sears – The “Dr. Spock” of our generation, Dr. Sear’s volumes are comprehensive, informative and authoritative. He advocates attachment parenting, but also teaches balance in the family and a common sense approach to parenting. As the father of eight children, including noted author and pediatrician Dr. Robert Sears, his advice can be trusted.
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  8. The Nursery Collections – or any other comprehensive volume of children’s nursery rhymes and short stories. I know the first time I was faced with singing a classic like “The Wheels on the Bus” to my daughter, I completely blanked on the words. While my sister assured me the baby doesn’t care if I’m singing the right lyrics or even in tune, it bothered me! A collection of rhymes and songs will save your sanity and give you a constant arsenal of baby entertainment.
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  10. Dr. Seuss Books – For a limited time you can receive TWO FREE Dr Seuss books and a FREE TOTE BAG from Babies Online. You can find more baby freebies right here at Babies Online including free baby & parenting magazine offers and more!

Readers, what are your favorite parenting titles?


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