Elevate those tootsies, mamas and papas, grab a book, and dare we say – relax! You both deserve some moments of calm! Plus, these books below are very productive reading! Check out the Little Steps guide to some of the best books on pregnancy, caring for a newborn, and life with older kids. We also included some of our favorite books for mom and dad too.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy. Crude, rude, and funny! Sometimes you just need a good laugh about all those pregnancy woes. This book will do the trick.
The Pregnancy Instruction Manual: Essential Information, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice for Parents-to-Be by Sarah Jordan with David Ufberg, M.D. Your car and your coffee maker have instruction manuals, so why not get one for your pregnancy too? This cute and helpful guide mixes graphics with great tips and information for an easy reference guide throughout your nine months.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. A thought-provoking and educational book by the well-renowned midwife on natural childbirth. While the focus is on natural childbirth, Ms. Gaskin shares insights that can help with many types of deliveries.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. If you can look beyond the unnecessarily conservative advice on pregnancy, this book is a good resource and outlines what is happening to you and your little bean of a bambino from week to week.
When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads by Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein. This book covers the entire experience of preparing for and having multiples! It’s practical and straightforward, with lots of sound nutritional advice and stories from real parents.
How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out: Your no-nonsense guide to pregnancy and birth by Clemmie Hooper. Everything you wanted to know but was too embarrassed to ask – a guide to pregnancy and birth straight from the midwife’s mouth.
The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine. Practical, comforting, honest, and funny—exactly what you’d expect if you were getting advice from your best friend! Which is exactly what this book delivers: sensible advice written like it’s coming from your girlfriends.
Bringing Home Baby
On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Gary Ezzo, M.A., and Robert Bucknam, M.D. This book is the go-to manual for figuring out how to sync your baby’s feeding times and sleep cycles to help the whole family get through the night. It also has other helpful information on all sorts of feeding and sleep topics for mom and baby.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, and Teresa Pitman for La Leche League International. For new moms trying to figure out what’s best for breastfeeding, this comprehensive book gives you the full low down. No matter if you’re planning to be a stay-at-home mom or working mom, or if you’ve only got the one baby or have multiples to feed, this book has you covered.
What’s Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life by Lise Eliot, Ph.D. We know you’ve got baby on the brain, but what’s going on inside your baby’s own brain? This book delves into some of the science behind brain development and helps give a clue as to what parts of your baby’s brain are down to genetics, and what parts you can help influence through nurture.
The Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford. This book provides very specific insights into your baby’s sleep, eating and play schedule from the moment of birth. It is most famous for encouraging a stricter schedule of eating and sleeping in your baby.
I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey. A great compilation of parent-child games, songs and other traditions you can establish from infancy to express your unconditional love for your child.
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. Why does your baby cry? This book explains that there are many different reasons for baby’s cries. It guides on consolidating feeds, on getting your little one to sleep longer stretches at night, and putting your baby into a routine.
Parent Hacks by Asha Dornfest. On every page find unconventional solutions for those everyday challenges arranged by category from Pregnancy Postpartum through Sleep, Food & Mealtime, Travel & Outings, and more. Plus dozens of useful lists.
Just For Dads
The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year by Armin Brott. Humorous and engaging, this book comes complete with cartoons! It focuses on questions dads have surrounding pregnancy, childbirth, finances, and work with a newborn at home.
Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden. Do you have the know-how to change your baby in the stands during the Rugby 7s? Can you baby-proof a hotel room in four minutes flat? Packed with diagrams, practical tips, and a great sense of humor, this book helps prepare dads for all the twists and turns of parenthood.
Commando Dad: How to be an Elite Dad or Carer. From Birth to Three Years by Neil Sinclair. Written by ex-Commando and dad of three, Neil Sinclair, this manual will teach you, in no-nonsense terms, how to: survive the first 24 hours, prepare and plan to Prevent Poor Parental Performance, maintain morale in the ranks, feed, clothe, transport and entertain your troops and much, much more.
The Whole-Brained Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. While this book was written by a neuropsychiatrist and focuses on brain development, it’s presented in easy-to-understand terms and language. It ends up being a practical guide to helping your kids be happy, healthy, and calmer.
The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey. Helicopter parents and tiger moms take heed, this book might go against your every instinct! The Gift of Failure talks about how important it is to a child’s development to experience failure, and how by protecting kids from failing or berating them for it can do more harm than good.
No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury. It’s a toddler’s job to test and push the boundaries of your patience and love. This book gives helpful and practical tools and tips on how to deal with this tricky age and covers everything from tantrums to hitting and more.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Sometimes it can seem like you and your kids are speaking two different languages. This book is here to help bridge that gap, with effective communication tips to help you handle family conflicts and deal with negative emotions—both yours and your child’s. Available on Kindle and Book Depository.
Autism with HEART: A Guide for Parents with Newly Diagnosed Kids by Katherine Kanaaneh. Parenting a child with autism can be daunting when that diagnosis first comes through. This helpful guide gives new resources to parents to help them cope and learn to adjust their parenting styles and their lives to make a happy family.
Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD by Penny Williams. Unlike most parenting books for kids with ADHD, this one doesn’t hold anything back. It covers all the frustrations, setbacks, and moment-to-moment changes that can happen for parents of kids with ADHD, and shows how to cope and handle the stress and chaos to come out the other side with a happy, healthy, and whole family.
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. An outstanding look at how character-building and not just cognitive learning determines children’s success in life.
Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber. It’s never too early to help your kids forge a lifelong bond. A must for parents of multiple kids.
Parental guidance recommended: How to raise emotionally healthy children by Dr. Louise Porter. The book will help parents to prevent behavioral problems in children, support children who are distressed, be assertive when our own needs are not being met, and solve problems collaboratively. It also offers ways to solve persistent behavioral problems and reminds us to be compassionate towards ourselves.
How To Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kids For Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Beware this book is not for tiger moms! A provocative manifesto that exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood.
Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Duckerman. An American’s view on French parenting from living in France. According to this book, most French women go back to work within the first year of their children’s lives. It also offers an interesting perspective on feeding children and discipline.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. While the book’s general focus is on women and their careers, the Facebook COO also offers many insights on pregnancy and motherhood in the workplace.
Career Advice for Ambitious Women by Mrs Moneypenny. Written by the beloved Financial Times columnist, this is more than a book about work and motherhood and having it all (or not?). It’s great for working women, those taking a break from the office, and those re-entering the workforce. Pass it on to your friends, colleagues, interns, and daughters!
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life by Arianna Huffington. In this deeply personal book, Arianna Huffington talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and two daughters. Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplaces, and our lives.
The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home by Arlie Hochschild and Anne Machung. For working moms struggling to find time for themselves, this book highlights some of the inequalities that happen in working households where moms are still often saddled with most of the duties at home. An enlightening book to help you find a balance between your work shift and your second shift at home.
I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam. This book shares insights from successful women who manage their time at home, at work, and still have their personal and social lives in an effort to break the myth that “having it all” means making huge sacrifices.