11 Best Parenting Books for Any Age and Stage | Baby Journey blog

The Best Parenting Books You Need On Your Shelf (2022 Review)

Parenting By the Book

When it comes to parenting books, the sheer quantity of options could easily form its own entire library.

There are books for every age, stage, and issue that comes along with raising kids.

So many books for parents is a wonderful thing, but it can understandably be a little overwhelming! To help you find the best parenting books for your family, we’ve created this simple list.

Broken down into common categories that most moms and dads will be searching for information on, we’ve tried to include something for everyone!

Are you ready to find some good parenting books? Let’s dive in!

Best Parent Books At a Glance

Best Overall
Raising Good Humans
Best New Parent Book
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
Best Scientific Approach Book
The Whole-Brain Child
Best for Baby Sleep
The Happiest Baby on the Block
Best Faith-based
The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection
Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide | Baby Journey
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection
Release Date
2019
2018
2012
2015
2011
Length
184 pages
512 pages
192 pages
352 pages
640 pages (three books)
Age and Stage
Any
Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant
Any, but a focus on younger children
Infant – young toddler
Any
Issue(s) Addressed
Reactive parenting, teaching positive traits
New parents, expectant parents
Child emotional and cognitive development
Baby sleep and soothing
Discipline, managing strong-willed children, fulfillment in parenthood
Best Overall
Raising Good Humans
Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids
Release Date
2019
Length
184 pages
Age and Stage
Any
Issue(s) Addressed
Reactive parenting, teaching positive traits
Best New Parent Book
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide | Baby Journey
Release Date
2018
Length
512 pages
Age and Stage
Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant
Issue(s) Addressed
New parents, expectant parents
Best Scientific Approach Book
The Whole-Brain Child
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
Release Date
2012
Length
192 pages
Age and Stage
Any, but a focus on younger children
Issue(s) Addressed
Child emotional and cognitive development
Best for Baby Sleep
The Happiest Baby on the Block
The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
Release Date
2015
Length
352 pages
Age and Stage
Infant – young toddler
Issue(s) Addressed
Baby sleep and soothing
Best Faith-based
The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection
The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection
Release Date
2011
Length
640 pages (three books)
Age and Stage
Any
Issue(s) Addressed
Discipline, managing strong-willed children, fulfillment in parenthood

11 of the Best Parenting Books You Should Be Reading

The Montessori Toddler – Best for Montessori Toddlers

The Montessori Toddler: A Parent's Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being

Toddlerhood is really the first stage of parenthood that may have you pulling your hair out, looking for the best toddler discipline books. From terrible twos to food refusal, it can be a trying time.

Many parents want to know not only how to handle toddler issues, but what they can do at this age to boost their little ones’ learning. Enter child development books, like The Montessori Toddler.

This book is the perfect blend of navigating toddlerhood from both an educational and emotional intelligence development standpoint.

It uses the teachings of Maria Montessori to inform parents how they can set limits, connect with their child, foster learning and imagination, as well as home setup for simple routines.

It’s one of our favorite parenting books with practical advice for applying the Montessori method in your home, and also one of the best parenting books for toddlers.

SALE
The Montessori Toddler: A Parent's Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being
8,093 Reviews
The Montessori Toddler: A Parent's Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being
  • Book: the montessori toddler: a parent's guide to raising a curious and responsible human being
  • Binding: paperback
  • Language: english

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk – Best for Communication Struggles

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (The How To Talk Series)

Do you struggle with how to communicate with your child and how to stop yelling? Do you feel like you’re talking to a wall?

If so, you likely would benefit from How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. This parenting guidebook on how to open the lines of communication includes time-tested methods as well as modern insights into challenging talks.

Parenting is a two-way street, especially the older your children get.

You want to foster the parent-child bond early on to create lasting relationships. This practical and fresh book can help you do that.

At first, you may feel a little silly doing the practice exercise, but don’t give up, they’ll come in handy when you find yourself struggling to converse with your kiddo. For any parent facing communication struggles, this book is a must.

SALE
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (The How To Talk Series)
8,540 Reviews
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (The How To Talk Series)
  • Paperback
  • Faber, Adele (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Happiest Baby on the Block – Best for Baby Sleep

The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer

The Happiest Baby on the Block is definitely a fan favorite, cited as top parenting books on infant soothing and sleep in those first few months.

It explains a variety of baby topics, from breastfeeding and the elusive dream feed to SIDS and safe sleep. This is why we recommended it as the best book for baby sleep.

Many parents of older babies still use the author’s, Dr. Harvey Karp, methods for calming fussy infants and getting them to sleep longer and better. Known as the 5’s, his practical way and sensible advice gives most parents a concrete set of steps to use when they’re at their wits’ end during the late hours of the night.

While the “how and when” of sleep tend to be individual to each family and infant, many parents will still find that they can put a large percentage of these teachings into practice, even if they don’t follow the book’s advice perfectly.

The Whole-Brain Child – Best Scientific Approach

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

Sometimes you don’t need a how-to parents book, but just a book that informs you about your little one’s growth and development, helping you understand the “why” behind what they do. The Whole-Brain Child is that type of book.

One of the more scientific books on parenting, written by neuropsychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson, explains with science your little one’s developing brain.

This parental book offers moms and dads wonderful insight in an easy-to-understand way about maturation. Then, this insight is turned into a step-by-step guide using their strategies so you can diffuse confrontations and reduce struggles.

It gets our vote as one of the best books on parenting from a scientific standpoint.

SALE
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
13,084 Reviews
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
  • Bantam, A nice option for a Book Lover
  • Condition : Good
  • Ideal for Gifting

The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection – Best Faith-Based

The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection

Oftentimes, a family’s religious viewpoints and the way they raise their child go hand in hand. So, when it comes to religious parenting books, The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection is a leader in faith-based raising children books.

The collection focuses on three of his bestsellers, covering everything from positive discipline to navigating a strong-willed child’s feelings. It’s useful as it combines info commonly found in books on raising toddlers as well as dealing with adolescents and teens.

The Biblical advice used in this book is applicable to various types of children at all ages and stages. We also love that almost every parental book review of this collection states how straightforward and practical Dr. Dobson’s wisdom is.

Whether you’re in desperate need of parenting tips or think things are going alright but they could be better, this collection is full of strategies to help you raise your kids with confidence, love, and a healthy dose of religious conventional wisdom.

SALE
The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection
557 Reviews
The Dr. James Dobson Parenting Collection
  • Tyndale House Publishers
  • Dobson, James C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Siblings Without Rivalry – Best for Siblings

Siblings Without Rivalry | Best Parenting Book | Baby Journey

It’s a no-brainer that Siblings Without Rivalry is our pick for the best parenting book regarding sibling relationships.

It doesn’t matter if you’re preparing for the future when a brother or sister comes along, or you’re currently in the thick of it, this book is loaded with tips to encourage cooperation, decrease competition and conflict, and teach siblings how to enjoy their bond.

As parents, we can forget what it’s like to always have a sibling around. This book not only gives the siblings tools to live more harmoniously but parents too as facilitators of their relationship.

Its unique format, filled with firsthand experience from parent-based group sessions, shows parents both techniques and observations to help you help your kiddos.

How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too | Best Parenting Book | Baby Journey

Siblings Without Rivalry

  • The #1 “New York Times”-bestselling guide to reducing hostility and generating goodwill between siblings. 
  • Groundbreaking book gives parents the practical tools they need to cope with conflict, encourage cooperation, reduce competition, and make it possible for children to experience the joys of their special relationship.
  • Already best-selling authors with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish turned their minds to the battle of the siblings. 
  • Author is Elaine Mazlish.

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide – Best for New Parents

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide | Best Parenting Book | Baby Journey

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide, is just that, a complete guide!

It has everything from figuring out your baby poop color to teaching new moms when babies start teething and beyond. As well as before, too, containing helpful info on pregnancy and childbirth.

New parenting books are a popular baby shower item, and we’re sure any expecting mom or dad would love this text! Its medical-based research, thoughtful layout, and thorough descriptions help to put parents at ease while equipping them with knowledge.

This is why it’s our winner of the best books for new parents category.

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn | Best Parenting Book | Baby Journey

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide

  • Parents love this book because it puts them in control; experts love it because it’s based on the latest medical research and recommendations from leading health organizations. 
  • This book first describes normal, healthy processes, their typical variations, and the usual care practices for monitoring them.
  • The presentation is crystal-clear, the tone is reassuring, and the voice is empowering.
  • Author is Penny Simkin.

No-Drama Discipline – Best for Discipline Issues

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

Discipline issues are a common theme among families at some point or another. If you’re looking for the top parenting book on mindful discipline, then No-Drama Discipline is a wonderful choice.

It helps parents to understand their child’s neurological development so they can improve their parent-child relationships and end power struggles.

Then, it uses this foundation of brain development to teach strategies to parents on how to navigate discipline, calm their child, and set limits. We appreciate that it also includes common mistakes and pitfalls to watch out for and a handful of sweet, candid personal stories.

SALE
No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
5,892 Reviews

The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years – Best for the Elementary Years

The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years (The ParentData Series)

It’s important not to overlook the early elementary school years. After all, toddlerhood is behind you but you’re not quite to the teen stage so it’s easy to miss important issues.

The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years hopes to remedy that with its data-driven approach for focusing parents on kids’ well-being in school, health, and extracurriculars during elementary school.

The author, a professor at Brown, believes it’s important to focus on all issues big and small during this developmental stage to set good habits and expectations.

Having a great family process and coping skills down pat can help the trying years ahead go more smoothly. It’s one of the gentle parenting books you never knew you needed!

SALE
The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years (The ParentData Series)
309 Reviews

Raising Good Humans – Best Overall Parenting Book

Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids

You could be looking for toddler behavior books or maybe the best parenting books for new parents, either way, chances are you’ll stumble across Raising Good Humans.

This truly thoughtful book dives deep into how to cultivate kids that are kind and confident with their own emotions. Unsurprisingly, it all starts with you! We love how rich this text is with tips on calming yourself down, ceasing reactive parenting, and responding thoughtfully to your kids.

It has plenty of strategies on how to model these behaviors for your child and work around day-to-day struggles.

As the author states, when children experience a parent showing kindness and patience, they will learn how to do the same. It’s a lovely book with practical strategies on how to raise a better tiny human in this chaotic and sometimes unkind world.

Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids
2,522 Reviews
Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids
  • Clarke-Fields, Hunter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 184 Pages - 12/01/2019 (Publication Date) - New Harbinger Publications (Publisher)

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults – Best for Parents of Teens and Preteens

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults | Best Parenting Book | Baby Journey

We’ve talked a lot about toddler books and pregnancy parenting books for moms. Here is one just for parents of older children: The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults.

Science-based, but written in a manner that makes the facts accessible, we’re into this amazing parenting book. Teens are hard, there’s no doubt, but this guide can make it easier to understand where your kid is coming from.

It offers new research on teens developing brains, enlightening parents about big issues kids can face, such as social children’s behavior and addiction. It is also bursting with hands-on strategies for applying what you have learned, in the end, letting you help your teen help themselves.

The Teenage Brain | Best Parenting Book | Baby Journey

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

  • Renowned neurologist Dr. Frances E. Jensen offers a revolutionary look at the brains of teenagers, dispelling myths and offering practical advice for teens, parents and teachers.
  • Dr. Frances E. Jensen is chair of the department of neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Dr. Jensen gathers what we’ve discovered about adolescent brain function, wiring, and capacity and explains the science in the contexts of everyday learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision-making.
  • In this groundbreaking yet accessible book, these findings also yield practical suggestions that will help adults and teenagers negotiate the mysterious world of adolescent development.

How To Choose a Parenting Book

  • Authors. Some authors are well known, others are new to the scene. There is nothing wrong with picking a book solely based on the author, but we encourage you to form your own opinions too! Try out a few popular authors, but don’t forget to skim their bio to make sure they are credible (or at least can back up what they’re writing). Then, don’t forget to give new authors a chance – you may be pleasantly surprised with their candid parenting tips!
Books on table | Best Parenting Books | Baby Journey
Don’t just choose any book or articles before vetting the author.
  • Lifestyle. Sometimes, you want a book that aligns with your lifestyle and parenting situation, such as coparenting a newborn. This is often the case with religious-based parenting books. Reading up on the author and their beliefs can help you decide if a book suits your morals and lifestyle if it isn’t easy to tell from the book’s description.
  • Age and Stage. Many parents set out to find a book when an issue arises. Usually, the concern is tied to their child’s age and stage. [1] It’s important to look at what specific issues and/or ages the book is addressing so that the information and strategies are applicable to your kid.
Family holding hands | Best Parenting Books | Baby Journey blog
Make sure the book strategies correspond with your kid’s age and childhood stage.

Reading Your Way to a Better Relationship

We hope that whether you’re on the hunt for a raising a son book, a raising a daughter book, a book on handling babies or teens, or anything in between – that this list was helpful!

We would love to know your favorite books in the comments below.

Looking for more regular content from us? Follow our Pinterest account @babyjourney0183 for more ideas, tips, and inspiration.

Best Parenting Books | Baby Journey

Last update on 2022-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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