Parenting Books Worth Your Precious Time

January 31, 2022 | Reagan

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Being a new parent and a librarian meant that I spent the majority of my pandemic maternity leave reading and listening to parenting books. I did a deep dive into all types of philosophies because I was genuinely curious and because my kid's superpower was sleeping so I had some time on my hands (I never admit that to new, overtired parents). This post has snippets of my favourite reads so ignore that endless pile of little person laundry and enjoy some healthy parenting click-bait. 

Reading and Sleeping
Reading while Mohsin sleeps, photo by author

For those who are new to the realm of parenting books, it can be overwhelming. There is a lot of advice on everything from how babies sleep to what they eat to how you should play with them as they age. I consulted books with a wide range of philosophies including:

  • Attachment parenting
  • Free-range parenting
  • Baby-led weaning
  • "One more bite"
  • Ferber method
  • Cry-it-out
  • Authoritative discipline
  • Permissive discipline
  • Potty training


Recommended reads on infancy


Go To Sleep

Go To Sleep (I Miss You): Cartoons from the Fog of New Parenthood by Lucy Knisley

Hilariously relatable and comforting as heck. Stop judging yourself for the weird things you do as a new parent and instead find comfort in these cute cartoons. Lucy Knisley is a treasure with many other notable books including one about pregnancy called "Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos" and a great picture book that you can read to your little one called "You Are New."

The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks by Hetty Vanderijt

The only resource you need for understanding early childhood brain development. I recommend keeping this book on your bedside table (there is also an app!) and consulting it anytime your kiddo starts getting unusually fussy or doing some adorable, new thing. I read this book while pregnant and again, postpartum, choosing to read ahead once my kid was on the outside so I knew what to expect next. I must have used the phrase "He's in a leap" about 6 million times during my kid's first year of life.

The Baby Owner's Manual

The Baby Owner's Manual by Louis Borgenicht

This book seems like a joke until you discover it's full of useful information and amusing illustrations. By treating your new baby like a piece of technology, Borgenicht takes you through everything from "home installation" to programming "sleep mode" and just "general maintenance." Personally I think this book would make a great gift alternative to the What To Expect franchise that people are always buying new parents. For folks who enjoyed the baby manual, buckle in for the toddler edition, The Toddler Owner's Manual


Trying on different parenting strategies 

Babies Don't Make Small Talk

Babies Don't Make Small Talk (So Why Should I?) by Julie Vick

Since my husband is an introvert, I sought out this book to help me understand parenting through his eyes. Covering topics from pregnancy to preschool, I want to shout out the chapters on the lack of alone time (babies need you even when you sleep), forced socialization aka playdates, and how to manage public tantrums in toddlerville. 

There's no such thing as bad weather

There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk

I think the title pretty much says it all but other takeaways include refusing the fear culture, leave your kid sleeping in their stroller outside even in winter, and don't over schedule your family (allow time for free play). This book actually inspired my other blog post about forest bathing.

Permission to Parent

Permission to Parent by Robin Berman

Similar to caring for my dog, this book reaffirmed the need for consistency, rules/limits and follow through with kiddos as well. The gems of this book are that rules make kids feel safe and don't be emotionally bullied by your kids and their adorable faces. You got this (virtual fist bump)!


The one about poop

Oh Crap! Potty Training

Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki

This book was recommended to me by a girlfriend and mom of two and it stole my heart when it asked, did you put the stroller in your living room for your child to "get used to it" or did you put your kid in the stroller and go for a walk? Treat the potty chair the same way. Matter-of-fact and broken down into a six step process, Glowacki was the key to us doing it once, and doing it right. Glowacki also has another great book "Oh Crap! I Have a Toddler" for parents looking for this particular brand of advice. 


Your turn

Have you read any of the recommended books? Have I missed one of your favourite books or advice? Like Facebook Marketplace, please comment below and take part in the beautiful, parent sharing economy!