As a mom and a bookworm, I’ve read more than my share of baby and parenting books over the years. Here are ten of my favorite (and sometimes surprising) books for moms:
This is my favorite all-around reference book. It covers birth and breastfeeding, infant nutrition and postpartum exercise, baby gear and developmental milestones.
I’ve referred to the chapter listing common childhood ailments and what to do about them a ton.
This book provides blessed encouragement for the mother who is exhausted at the end of the day, but feels like she’s not getting anything done. Stadlen explores the value of a mother’s time with her baby, and speaks to the worth of mothering itself.
What Mothers Do doesn’t give parenting advice; instead, it explores the topic from the mother’s perspective and provides many encouraging anecdotes from real mums.
I found this book hugely encouraging on the whole, but be warned: there was one chapter that made me want to throw the book across the room.
This is also not a how-to book about how to parent your kids; instead it tells you how parenting your children changes you.
Parenting itself is an in-depth course in spiritual formation, and the opportunities for learning and growth are never-ending, if we embrace them.
Statistics show that marital satisfaction takes a nosedive after the first child is born, and doesn’t recover until the kids leave for college. But there’s hope! Gottman is the famed researcher who’s able to predict with 91% accuracy if a couple will divorce after observing them for a mere 5 minutes.
In this book, Gottman fleshes out what successful relationships have in common, and shows you how to view your own relationship through a marriage counselor’s eyes. Investing in your marriage is easier than you might think: Gottman’s found that the difference between a failing marriage and a happy one is often just five magic hours a week.
Gretchen Rubin’s record of her year spent trying to boost her own happiness is funny, practical, and encouraging. Rubin’s thoughtful approach to tending her own happiness will inspire you to do the same and own your role in your own happiness.
Nobody’s happy if Mom’s not happy, so do what you can to make sure you’re a happy mama!
My expectations of what family life would be like bore no resemblance to reality, and I was a tired and overwhelmed new mom. Yates’s honesty about the joys and frustrations of raising kids made me feel like I wasn’t the only one who didn’t feel up to the task! Yates encourages mothers of young children to see their lives in seasons, and to embrace the season they’re in.
So many moms are intimidated by the idea of making their own baby food, but let me tell you–it’s easy.
It’s also cheap and often healthier for your baby, and Yaron’s book does a great job of laying out the basic techniques. You can do this.
I lean toward gentle, attachment-style parenting, and I’ve never been in the cry-it-out camp. But last winter my 12-month old went from waking up 2-3 times a night to waking up every 30 minutes around the clock, and something had to be done.
I got a copy of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and we started sleep training (which is just a nicer way of saying I put him in his crib and let him cry. A lot.)
We had two rough days, but after that baby and I were both sleeping again. And I emerged from my sleep-deprived fog with a lot more empathy for moms who make different parenting choices than I do. In fact, I called that one of the smartest things I did in 2011.
Many children deal with sensory issues, whether or not they have SPD. Kranowitz explains the many ways sensory issues manifest themselves, what parents can do, and how to help the child cope.
We do have a child with SPD, and this book has been a lifesaver. I only wish we’d found it sooner. Kranowitz has also written an excellent companion book called The Out-of Sync Child Has Fun, which contains numerous fun activities for kids with sensory issues.
10. In Style Magazine.
If you want a loftier read, grab The Economist or The Atlantic.
But by all means, make sure you read something that has nothing to do with raising babies.
At least sometimes.
What’s your favorite book for moms?
Anne is a certified bookworm and homeschooling mom to 4 crazy kids. She loves Jane Austen, strong coffee, the social graces and social media. You can find her on her blog Modern Mrs Darcy or on twitter, which she adores.