Friday, March 13, 2020

My Top 5 Parenting Books (So Far)

Happy Friday everyone! I've had several friends have babies recently and a couple of them asked me if there were any parenting books I'd recommend. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you know how much I love to read. I read roughly 40 books a year, and I try to include a variety of different parenting books. They may be about varying parenting styles, how people raise their children differently in other cultures, something that focuses on one specific area (i.e., sleep training), or something completely different and unique.

I figured it would be a good idea to throw together a post about the parenting books I've read that I have found to be most helpful. Please leave me a comment below if you have any other parenting books you would add to this list!! You know I'm always up to add a good new book to my reading list 😀

1. Babywise- This is hands down my favorite book to give to a new mom. We followed this book pretty closely, although not quite to a tee, and I really feel like this was instrumental in getting both babies to sleep through the night by 8 weeks. It answered so many questions about "why is my baby doing this now instead of that?" I kept it on my nightstand for probably the first full year of Lily Grace's life and referred back to it regularly.
Most Helpful Part: the section on how to get your baby on a schedule, and roughly what your baby's schedule should look like depending on their age (in weeks).
2. Barefoot and Balanced-- Oh my goodness I LOVED this book for the emphasis it put on getting outdoors and letting your children get dirty. I am 100% a type A parent who cringes at the thought of my kids coming back into the house covered in mud, yet this was such a good reminder of how important unstructured playtime in nature is for their development. 
Most Helpful Part- I loved the section that broke down several common issues seen in kids today (anxiety, depression, occupational therapy needs, even autism, and several more) and how spending time in nature can alleviate some of the symptoms of these various issues.
3. Bringing Up Bebe-- I read this book years ago, before I even had kids, because I love to read books about other cultures. It really stuck with me though and I read it again after Lily Grace was born. There were a lot of great takeaways from this book, but I especially loved the focus on getting children to eat a healthy, well balanced diet. I also loved the section on "bêtises", which means "a small act of naughtiness" and is something all children do. By understanding that this is a "minor offense" it can help parents to react to it with moderation. 
Most Helpful Part- For us, this was the section on getting your kids to eat vegetables. Lily Grace is a very good eater and will try most things at least once. We know if she doesn't like something, not to push it, but to try it again in a few weeks. 
4. Simplicity Parenting-- As both a mom and a teacher in 21st century America, this book was very eye opening because so much of it rang true. So many of us are over-scheduling our kids and stressing them out. This book was about the importance of not over-doing it with our kids. Our children are already in school all day, they don't also need various extracurriculars after school every day (sometimes multiple in one day). Unfortunately then our weekends can be packed and over scheduled too. Children need unstructured time to play, and this was a great book for showing how to maintain a good balance. 
Most Helpful Part-- Understanding that by pushing kids too far to "get ahead", we really aren't getting them anywhere in the long run. They are significantly more likely to burn out when pushed too hard. 
5. There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather-- This is the one I am reading this month and absolutely love! It's like a combination of several of the books above: a little taste of another culture (Sweden), a huge focus on spending time in nature, and mention of not over-scheduling our kids and letting them have unstructured play time (preferably in nature).
Most Helpful Part-- The whole theme of this book is "There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothes". Meaning, it doesn't matter if it is sunny, rainy, windy, hot, cold, whatever outside. Dress your kids appropriately for it and get them outside! I'll be the first to admit that sometimes we don't go outside because I don't want to go outside, but I need to suck it up and go out. Even just 15 minutes a day is better than nothing.

Are there any parenting books that you have loved?? Please leave me a comment below with a title! I would love to add it to my list!

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!!


  1. I love these recs! I definitely want to read Balanced and Barefoot.....and Simplicity Parenting.

  2. The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle, so good to understand who your child is and how to better parent them individually without suppressing or molding them.