My Favorite Parenting Books

Chris and I started reading parenting books about a year before we decided to start trying. It was the perfect time for us to start making decision as to what kind of parents we wanted to become and what rules and boundaries we would like to put into place for our children. I decided to keep a notebook with all of these dreams and wishes in it. It was fun to see how that list grew and just how many things Chris and I ironed out. Granted, we aren't yet parents. All of these things could go out the window once our baby is born but I like that we have a list of things to fall back on when things don't go as planned. 

Here are some of the books that we felt really helpful in shaping us as parents to be!

Nurture Shock. I actually read this book my senior year of college. As a Family Science major, parenting styles and research has always been really interesting to me. This book was the catalyst to all the others on this list. It introduced me to research based parenting. Up until that point I thought parenting was just a bunch of opinions and trial and error. I heard it said multiple times that the first kid is a guinea pig and parents get better with subsequent children. While this may be the case with even the best read parents, I didn't know that I could base my decisions as a parent on research! I loved learning about development and what was actually appropriate discipline at each age as opposed to one form of discipline for every age of child. Nurture shock was such a great, informative read.

Brain Rules for Babies. Another book based on research. I found this book to be so enjoyable to read. The author does such a great job weaving in stories and scenarios to make you understand the concepts introduced. This book walks through child development in pregnancy as well so it really gives a holistic look at childhood through age five. It talks so clearly about what babies need most for healthy brain development. Truly this book is a one stop shop. 

Einstein Never Used Flash Cards. This one is all about the importance of play! It takes so much of the pressure off of parents to produce the smartest kid in the class and it gives the research as to why playtime is the most beneficial thing you could do for your child. It gives tips and tricks on how to turn conversation into moments of learning and how to encourage social skills without being an interfering parents. Well written and practical, this book is easily one of my favorites. 

The Whole Brained Child. The shortest book on this list, it's great one if you don't have a ton of time or reading isn't the most enjoyable hobby for you. This book gives readers 12 strategies to nurture their child's development. Complete with illustrations, the author explains concepts of brain development so flawlessly. This is a great book if you're finding yourself in a rough spot with our children as well. It walks through common issues and gives practical alternatives to try. Chris is currently reading through this one and it has inspired great conversations about what we'd like to try as far as discipline style. 

You are Your Child's First Teacher. Poorly titled and covered (in my opinion) this is the most recent book I finished that I would recommend. It might be that this fits so well into my philosophy of parenthood, but I thought this book was a knockout. I would maybe check this one out at the library before you commit to the purchase because I know it's probably not everyone's cup of tea. The author focuses heavily on natural parenting. She references LifeWays North America and Waldorf ways of education throughout. If either of those things are of interest to you, check this book out!    


What books have you found to be helpful? I'd love to add to my library! Let me know in the comments below!