There are certain books I find myself lending out over and over, or recommending to new parents as a "must-read." Here they are all together:
This is one of my favorite books about co-sleeping. It's a wonderful combination of scientific argument, personal stories and cultural anecdotes. It covers more attachment parenting topics than just sleep and is an enjoyable, interesting read.
This one is a recent addition to my list, but I just really loved how accessible the information was and how easy to incorporate. Whether or not you want to go all gung ho with Montessori it just has some really wonderful ideas about practical things you can do to create a more peaceful, enjoyable environment for your little people.
This is a good one to just get a little perspective. I often find myself feeling a bit panicky about all the scary things that could happen to my kids. And while I'm no an extremist about just letting my kids loose, I think it's good practice to give as much freedom as you feel comfortable with and trust your gut when you feel you need to keep them closer. While you may not agree with everything in the book, like most parenting books, you can take what applies and leave what doesn't.
Most of what Richard Louve talks about will not be new or surprising to you, but rather will resonate with an inherent knowledge that you already have. But sometimes those instinctual things need to be stirred up and remembered and that's what I love his book for. It's a call to arms to not forget the critical role the natural world plays in human development and happiness. It's an inspiring book.
There are a few good parenting books, and this is one of them. I think the key with these sorts of books is to read a few and extract what will work for your family and ignore what won't. But it's good to have a game plan, to at least have thought about how you'll respond the first time your child lets loose full lung capacity in the grocery store.
This is my all time favorite parenting magazine, none other even comes close. It's my go-to shower and new baby gift. It's just such a fantastic resource and point of validation. Their articles are generally very well researched and never sensational or taking cheap digs at opposing viewpoints. I really respect the creators and contributors of the magazine and am so grateful it exists!
This one is a bummer to include, but important, I think. The book gives parents some very practical ways to protect their children from sexual abuse and includes ways to talk to your kids about it without freaking them out. I like the approach because it's empowering rather than scary. And while it's something that we as parents never want to think about, it's better to think about it now so we can help prevent it.
I always recommend this book when anyone asks for advice about birth. It covers so much area and in a nearly unbiased way (she admits her bias in the introduction). It's the best book, in my opinion, to arm yourself with scientific facts about birth and the differences between all the different choices out there. It's also a great source of comeback material for people that think homebirth is less safe or that you're a nut for not wanting an epidural.
Breastfeeding has always come really easily to me, for which I've been so grateful. But a lot of women struggle with it from getting a newborn to latch on correctly to mastitis and milk supply issues. Reading this before baby arrives is a great idea so you can be armed with ideas ahead of time (because time for reading will be a thing of the past once your little one arrives!).
There are tons of great books about natural health; this one is just a good, basic resource to have handy on your shelf. It gives broad, though not deep coverage of all sorts of complaints and remedies and is a good palce to start when your kid has some weird rash or some other mysterious ailment.
What are your must have books?