21 Best Parenting Book Every New Parent Must-have in 2020

21 Best Parenting Book Every New Parent Must-have in 2020

21 Best Parenting Book Every New Parent Must-have in 2020

Parenting books new parents must have their hands on to ensure smooth parenting and to raise well-rounded kids

Good parenting is not easy. It is a task that requires the utmost consistency and long term commitment. There’s a fine balance between giving children a sense of control as well as a sense of independence. Good parenting is about achieving that balance and much more.

According to major social science researchers, an authoritative parenting style is the most effective for the development of your child. Authoritative parents are those who maintain a balance between firmness and nourishment

Parents in this ever-changing modern society need to constantly adapt to keep refreshing their styles for the right growth of their children. In this comprehensive guide, we review 21 of the leading parenting books and pick the best one for you. We also answer the major questions about parenting and parenting books. Firstly, let us take a look at our basis of review of these parenting books.

Basis of review

Age of the kids

Growth is a constant and everlasting process. The same parenting strategy cannot be put into practice for different age groups. Also, different kids reach dissimilar levels of maturity at the same age. As they rightly say, age is just a number. Reviewing each book, we’ve kept these points in mind.

Incorporation of a beginner's approach

You were a child and you may remember things that your parents weren’t able to do for you, that you want to do for your child. But there’s a strong possibility that you may not remember what all your parents really did for you. We’ve carefully judged whether the parenting guide helps in understanding concepts from scratch.

Overall child and parent development

The parent-child bond is literally one of the strongest, like as strong as a Carbon Monoxide. Okay, sorry for the bad chemistry joke. But good parenting also must allow your children to know how much you love and care for them, without being over-imposing. In return, the children must be able to express love towards their parents.

Product USP

Any self-help book, motivational guide or DIY book is a product that’s meant to reap profits for the publisher. With so many guides in the market, each book must have something unique to differentiate itself from the competition. The unique selling point of each book has been duly considered while reviewing.

Table Of Contents:

Parenting Books Reviewed

No parenting books list in recent times can be complete without this book. Published by Bantam and written by UCLA psychiatry professor Daniel J. Siegel and parenting education director at the Mindsight Institute Tina Payne Bryson, this book is a NYT bestseller.

Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.

It offers powerful tools for helping children develop the emotional intelligence they will need to be successful in the world. Parents will learn ways to feel more connected to their children and more satisfied in their role as a parent.

  • Brain science turned simple solutions
  • Realistic illustrations
  • Brings about a new satisfaction to parenting

It is a clear fact that modern parenting has lost the communicative touch that was ever present between parents and children a few decades ago. This is mainly due to tired brains of parents who don’t really have the time to think and give the best replies to their kids.

You may unknowingly impact your child in the wrong ways. To save you from all the trouble, communication experts Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish bring to you ‘How to talk to kids…’.

The approaches Faber and Mazlish lay out are so logical you wonder why you read them with such a burst of discovery. Frankly speaking, this is one of the rare books that can apply to any relation and not just the parent-child relation.

  • Enables you to answer your children in the right way
  • Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
  • Also available as an audiobook and e-book

When a book has 86% 5 star reviews out of over a thousand reviews, it must be doing something right. The title is literally what the book is about. The 5 Love Languages of children are Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Gifts.

Here’s an excerpt. Discipline comes from a Greek word that means “to train.” Discipline involves the long and vigilant task of guiding a child from infancy to adulthood. The goal is that the child would reach a level of maturity that will allow him one day to function as a responsible adult in society.

It’s an information packed book with easy concepts to implement into your daily life in hopes that your children will feel more loved. We do think that this is a book that you might continually need to come back to and re-read for a refresher every once and a while.

  • Easy division of concepts
  • Continually reminds every child is different
  • Not about parents but children (many books miss this point)

Now this book is a difficult one to review. There can be extremely divisive opinions among readers after reading this book about its effectiveness and approaches. But anyway one thing that this book is not is child oriented.

This book is for parents. It is a complete toolkit. It provides effective solutions to deal with hard willed kids or any child with a temporary or long term bad temperament.

The book aims to establish healthy control through easy-to-implement steps without anger, threats, nagging, or power struggles. Also, the book is quite religious, talks a lie about God and has several Bible verses: totally depends on the reader to like the approach or not.

  • Can teach your kids problem solving
  • Most principles are easy to apply
  • Prevent kids from being overly emotional

Children’s tantrums can be downright irritating. Ever found yourself cornered by your crying or sulking? Did you just realize that your once little wobbly baby has now found ways to blackmail you? If yes, then get ready for some magic.

The there basic tips that the author provides to tackle children’s tantrums are stop talking, check out and be consistent. The book clearly states that this approach to tackle tantrums is universal.

Using his signature 1-2-3 counting method, Dr. Phelan helps parents to curb obnoxious behaviors like tantrums and meltdowns, whining and pouting, talking back, sibling rivalry and more in toddlers, preschoolers and middle schoolers.

  • Something that actually works and not imaginary gibberish.
  • Controls parental anger too.
  • Can be implemented quickly in most cases

Clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Markham, the founder of AhaParenting.com, brings to you Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, a book aimed at parents of younger kids. The book is based on the latest research on brain development and extensive clinical experience with parents.

The author says fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish.

The book teaches how the parents need to regulate themselves before trying to regulate their children’s behaviour. It highlights the importance of coaching and connecting instead of controlling.

  • Provides calming relief for parents
  • Tried and tested ideas
  • Slightly long but quite easy to understand

The title is surely intriguing: The Explosive Child. What makes a child explosive? A child who responds to routine problems with extreme frustration—crying, screaming, swearing, kicking, hitting, biting, spitting, destroying property, and worse.

There are some kids who are actually much more violent or frustrated than other kids. Some parents make the mistake of leaving things to age, thinking that the child will eventually mature. A poor foundation can never allow good growth.

Throughout this compassionate, insightful, and practical book, Dr. Greene provides a new conceptual framework for understanding their difficulties, based on research in the neurosciences. He explains why traditional parenting and treatment often don’t work with these children, and he describes what to do instead.

  • Highly practical
  • Minimizes parents' struggles
  • Promotes collaborative and proactive problem solving

The Parenting Toolbox is filled with easy-to-use strategies, backed by science, to overcome challenges and strengthen parent-child interaction – one worksheet, activity and exercise at a time.

The author, Dr. Phifer, promotes CBT. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on changing negative thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. Brief, targeted exercises can teach ways to recognize and replace unhealthy thoughts, improving emotions and behaviors.

The book is composed of sorry paragraphs making it easy to read. This book’s approaches have also kept siblings in mind. If you have more than one kids and want some ideas to keep them from fighting and enjoy their time, then you’d book is for you.

  • Easy to read
  • Applicable for siblings
  • Easy to share ideas

Are you expecting a baby? Do you want to prepare yourself for raising your kid in the right way? The toddler years can be the most challenging for any parent. Keeping that in mind Harvey Karp has come up with ‘The Happiest Toddler on the Block…’.

Combining his trademark tools of Toddler-ese and the Fast-Food Rule with a highly effective new green light/yellow light/red light method for molding toddler behavior, Dr. Karp provides fast solutions for today’s busy and stressed parents.

Dr. Karp’s parenting techniques will save you valuable time when you need to instantly calm an out-of-control child. The result: fewer tantrums, less yelling, and more happy, loving time for you and your child.

  • Age specific guidance
  • Proven and effective methods
  • Time saving and streamlined approach

The authors, Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell, tell us how our childhood experiences affect the way of our parenting. The proofs and evidences in this book are based on leading researches in neurobiology.

Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories.

This book guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children. The aim is to raise compassionate and resilient children.

  • Fresh approach
  • Parents can easily connect
  • The methods are well explained

The author, John Medina, is a developmental molecular biologist. His previous book Brain Rules targets an adult audience explaining how our brains work. He explains the redesigning of workplaces and schools.

Now, in Brain Rules for Baby, he shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionize parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control.

This book bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice. Through fascinating and funny stories, the author unravels how a child’s brain develops and what you can do to optimize it.

  • Explains brain development
  • Interesting story examples
  • Easily explains impulse control

For over 25 years, On Becoming Babywise has been the de facto newborn parenting manual for naturally synchronizing your baby’s feeding time, waketime and nighttime sleep cycles, so the whole family can sleep through the night.

Early chapters start with explorations of everyday aspects of infant management such as the three basic elements of daytime activities for newborns: feeding time, waketime, and naptime.

Practical discussions then focus on broad and niche topics including feeding philosophies, baby sleep problems, baby scheduling challenges, nap routines, sleep training multiples, baby sleeping props, Colic and Reflux and many other dimensions which impact breast feeding schedules, bottle feeding tips and baby sleep training.

  • Very well explained concepts
  • Wholesome approach
  • Practical infant management

The amazing simplicity of Listen is startling. Out of the ever growing mountain of parenting books, this is one of the simplest to read. The book is effective on all fronts.

What I loved about this book is that it gives you tools to manage your own emotions, which is the most important thing in parenting. It also explained child’s needs from a developmental perspective, and it’s a life-changer.

This remarkable book describes the tools of Parenting by Connection with clarity, and then applies them with thoughtfulness and compassion to the real struggles of parents.

  • Simplicity of writing and concepts
  • Teaches parenting without punishment
  • Developmental perspective

With the book having a preface by His Holiness Dalai Lama, being a #1 bestseller and attractive enough to excite Oprah Winfrey, you can be assured to about the quality of the content written by Dr. Shefali Tsabary.

The author brings about a whole new approach. Instead of giving quick fixes and clever control techniques, the book is aimed at a conscious approach to parenting.

Children serve as mirrors of their parents’ forgotten self. Those willing to look in the mirror have an opportunity to establish a relationship with their own inner state of wholeness. This is a surprisingly effective long term approach.

  • A fresh parenting philosophy
  • Long term approach
  • Creates an automatic bonding between parents and children

A special entry into this list, a book specifically aimed at potty training. Author Jamie Glowacki, a potty training expert, brings to you Oh! Crap Potty Training.

Your child cannot stay forever in diapers. Potty training is an inevitable part of a child’s development. Through this book any child can be potty trained usually within three days.

We recommend you buying this book only if you’ve already unsuccessfully tried potty training your child. The author explains potty training logically and informatively and speaks to parents in a refreshingly non-judgmental way, while empowering them to take on the sometimes daunting task of potty training.

  • Easy to comprehend
  • Effective
  • Time saving

Another concept specific entry in this list, this comprehensive book by Marc Weissbluth targets the sleeping habits of babies and older kids. The author is a leading pediatrician from Chicago.

In Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, he explains with authority and reassurance his step-by-step regime for instituting beneficial habits within the framework of your child’s natural sleep cycles.

The book contains research on the best course of action for sleep problems: prevention and treatment, common mistakes parents make trying to get their children to sleep, different sleep needs for different temperaments and so on.

  • A complete guide
  • Simple to read, simple to implement
  • Highlights the importance of sleep but just for babies but everyone

The Vaccine-Friendly Plan is a treasure trove of scientific facts mixed with common sense. Paul Thomas, M.D. and Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., encourage parents to follow their instincts, to do their own research as it pertains to their family’s health, and to rethink what is true healthcare.

This thought-provoking book will encourage parents to think through decisions—such as food choices and the timing of vaccines—that affect the well-being of their children. In a world where children’s immune systems are increasingly challenged, this is a timely addition to the literature.

Don’t let the title lead you to wrongly believe that this book is just about vaccines and vaccination in children. The book is a complete guide to keep your child healthy. The authors are well experienced to cover all the necessary aspects and resolve all doubts.

  • Complete information
  • Thought provoking with simple language
  • Well researched

Everyone’s perception is more beautiful if they know they’re understood. This also applies, perhaps even more so, to babies, but understanding a baby is not that easy because their perception is so different from ours.

This book explains the right way of parenting in depth. It distinctly highlights how children of different age groups must be treated. The book explains different ages through 10 magical leaps.

This book will open parents’ eyes to aspects of their children’s growth, development, changing behavior, and emotional responsiveness that they might otherwise not notice or find puzzling and distressing.

  • An attractive way of growth description
  • Motivates parents
  • Acts as a constant support

What if you could skip the tiny jars and pouches of bland baby food in favor of a more natural, flavor-filled, and family-friendly transition to solid foods? Baby-led feeding (also known as baby-led weaning) is just that.

Author and food editor at Parents magazine Jenna Helwig gives an easy-to-follow introduction to this popular new method. The book is basically a cook book for babies with over a 100 recipes.

Jenna Helwig has written a comprehensive guide to baby-led feeding that is smart, approachable, and fun. From first bites to family dinner, this book equips parents to confidently feed their children as well as nurture a wholesome approach to eating.

  • Attractive looking and well written
  • Smart and approachable
  • Easy to follow instructions

Dads exist. Many parenting books, even some listed here, instead of focusing on parents end up focusing just on the mother. So here’s one made just for dads-to-be.

Brott’s reassuring month-by-month overview of your partner’s pregnancy gives you the tools you need to support your partner, prepare for the baby’s arrival, and take care of yourself during this exciting time.

Illustrated throughout with stress-relieving New Yorker–style cartoons, The Expectant Father is a friendly and readable companion for dads-to-be seeking confidence, guidance, and joy. (Moms will love it, too!).

  • Focuses on pre delivery
  • Great support for first time mothers
  • A calming relief for introvert dads-to-be

Mama Natural is the author’s nickname. She has a popular YouTube channel with more than 80 million views. The author’s website Mama Natural is perhaps the world’s #1 natural pregnancy website.

The author has created an inspiring, fun, and informative guide that demystifies natural pregnancy and walks mom through the process one week at a time.

Full of weekly advice and tips for a healthy pregnancy, Howland details vital nutrition to take, natural remedies for common and troublesome symptoms, as well as the appropriate (and inappropriate) use of interventions.

  • Step by step guide
  • Easy to understand
  • Removes doubts from the minds of mothers-to-be

Well, when it comes to child experts, the one name that no list can miss is Daniel J. Siegel. The best book that he has written? Undoubtedly, The Whole-Brain Child.

Through this book, Siegel and Bryson reveal that an integrated brain with parts that cooperate in a coordinated and balanced manner creates a better understanding of self, stronger relationships, and success in school, among other benefits. With illustrations, charts, and even a handy ‘Refrigerator Sheet,’ the authors have made every effort to make brain science parent-friendly.

The book can be purchased by parents who have a child or are expecting one without any second thoughts. The language is standard but nothing too difficult. The approach to parenting is easy to implement and highly effective.
All in all, if any parenting book has gone close to perfection, it is this book.

Frankly speaking, most modern parenting books are in parts spin-offs of The Whole-Brain Child. The book is excellently written and based on scientific facts. The best parenting available in the market, a clear winner, though not by a huge margin, buying this book is a no-brainer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Q) What are the books parents-to-be can consider to understand the pregnancy better?

A) The books that specifically target pregnancy instead of parenting are very useful too. The Expectant Father and Mama Natural… are two such entries in this list.

Q) What books can help me understand the nutrition needs of new born kids and mothers?

A) Books that mention the nutritional requirements for development of babies and nurturing the weakened body of the mother are also important. Few entries in this list that address this are: Baby-led Feeding, Mama Natural…, and so on.

Q) What are the post partum supplies one might need after delivery?

A) It doesn’t matter how you gave birth to your child, or how painful or easy it was, your body needs to recover. It has been stretched and strained to the max. You need at least 6 weeks of rest. The supplies that a mother may require are painkiller tablets and sprays, nursing bras, nursing/maxi pads, recovery belt, etc.

Q) What gifts can be given to new parents?

A) It’s a new member in the family. Whether you are a family friend, relative or neighbour, a gift for new parents is always a good idea. It can be anything from a soft, comfy robe to a box of chocolates to premium coffee. For the baby you can gift safe soft toys, baby teether, cutest shoes ever and so on.

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