While the blog posts we find on Pinterest are a great resource for helpful tips and basic information, most of them really only provide introductory material. This is great, don’t get me wrong, but when shouldered with the great responsibility of parenthood and child-rearing, you need more than introductory material. You need a medium that delves into the details and nitty-gritty of the subject you’re trying to learn about. You need a book.
As much as I want to educate and support mothers through my own blog, I know very well that I can’t teach you everything you need to know in any given post. For that reason, I’ve compiled a roundup of the best books for new parents that I highly, highly recommend you use as the foundation of your brand new parenting library.
If you took the internet away and were only left with these books, I’m confident you would be just fine.
Just so you know, I incorporate affiliate links, from which I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, to help showcase products I personally own and love, as well as to illustrate certain points or product features.
The Best Books to Prepare for a Baby
“The Baby Book” – The Best Book to Prepare for a New Baby
The Baby Book authored by several members of the Sears family is my absolute top book recommendation for any parents. Not only will it serve as a go to reference for years and years, it’s very readable. A lot of reference books are dry and written like encyclopedias, but The Baby Book is conversational. If you only owned and read one baby book ever, it should be this one.
Pst…If you’re pregnant or TTC, this book also has a solid pregnancy and birthing section.
Another volume in the Sears Family Library, The Vaccine Book explains practically everything you could want to know about vaccines. It is written by one of the grown Sears children, Dr. Robert Sears, and he walks through each vaccine, how it’s made, the ingredients used, and his recommendations for the brands you might want to request (did you know you could do that?).
Many find the book controversial, despite the fact that Dr. Sears is pro-vaccine, because he raises concerns regarding the traditional vaccine schedule, as well as potential health risks associated with the ingredients and manufacturing processes. He presents an alternative schedule, which still incorporates all of the vaccines, if that’s what you choose to do, but spaces them out in a way he believes is safer for the underdeveloped system of newborns and small children.
I personally believe that no matter what you choose to do, be it vaccinate your children to the fullest extent possible or not vaccinate at all, you should be fully informed in your decision. Pediatric offices very rarely provide (what I would consider) sufficient information on vaccinations, and as a parent, you should know what you are injecting or not injecting into your children’s bodies. This book is a great resource to own.
While you might or might not take issue with the title itself, Baby Knows Best will broaden your perspective on how your new baby sees the world. It’s really easy to forget that babies are born fully conscious human beings with desires and preferences and feelings.
When it comes to caring for babies, the common tendency is to do things to Baby, not to do things with baby. Baby Knows Best encourages you to slow down and turn mundane tasks like feeding and diapering into opportunities to interact with your baby.
This is a good book, but I didn’t feel like I needed to own it. I enjoyed borrowing it from the library, and it definitely would earn a second read.
If you’ve ever seen The Big Bang Theory on television, you know Mayim Bialik is hilarious. What you might not realize is that she also has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. She combines both her humor and her extensive education in her book Beyond the Sling. This book is all about bonding with your child through attachment parenting in a way that makes sense. She defies contemporary parenting wisdom with her brutally honest advice on what works.
I borrowed this from the library, but I wouldn’t mind owning it. You can also find it on in both electronic print and audiobook on Scribd. (If you don’t have Scribd, you can try it free for two months with my special link).
Babies aren’t just little wiggly lumps we need to diaper and feed around the clock. They’re tiny people that need mental and emotional engagement as well from the very day they’re born. Unfortunately, many of us go about this engagement in the wrong way. We overwhelm babies with battery-operated, musical, flashing doohickies that actually overstimulate them. Brain Rules for Baby will teach you the best ways to connect with your baby intellectually and help their brains to develop.
You think you’re going to remember every sweet (and not-so-sweet) moment shared with your little bundle of joy, but the sad reality is that you won’t. A fun way to archive each phase of your baby’s life is with a scrapbook. I especially like the ones specifically designed for babies (through early childhood), as opposed to just buying a blank scrapbook.
My grandmother sent us this one, and I think it is so precious. It has sections for things I might never think to document.
Final Thoughts on Parenting Books
I’ve specifically selected these books because, while they’re extremely educational and informative, they’re really geared toward equipping you with the tools you need to trust your instincts. Read them, digest them, adopt what feels right to you and set the rest to the side, and parent the way YOU feel is best for your child and your family.
These books won’t tell you there’s any one right way to raise children. They don’t swear by daily schedules or rigid baby training tactics. They simply serve as a resource to expand your knowledge when needed and support the decisions your are already making.
P.S. – The Sears Parenting Library collection is not limited to the two books I listed here. I would have recommended every single one, but in the name of variety, I didn’t. I would love to own all of their books because the information and encouragement I’ve gleaned from them are so invaluable. If you can’t buy all of them, see if you can get any from your library. The two above are the ones I’d specifically want to own (and I do).
Are you planning to read any of the books I mentioned? Do you have any favorites I didn’t list? Let me know in the comments below!