I LOVE to read! I read mostly fiction, with a smattering of nonfiction (mostly memoirs, autobiographies, and of course parenting books). I would not consider myself widely read in parenting books, but I have read a fair few. I wanted to not only give you some ideas for parenting books if you are interested, but I also wanted to get YOUR ideas!!
One thought before I give the reviews. I have NEVER met with a parenting book that I agreed with 100%. It is impossible to find a book that aligns with your parenting philosophy perfectly. So, be wary as a reader - don't take everything you read at face value. Read it, think about it, talk about it with someone, and then make a choice. Take what you like, and for heaven sake - take it with a grain of salt. I am always frustrated when reading parenting books to find contradictions between authors, and guess what - BOTH AUTHORS SAY THAT THEY ARE RIGHT! An author writes to sell and give their opinions like fact, so don't be thrown off if the author tells you that this is the only way to do it - it isn't!! Most of all, don't feel bad if you do something that an author tells you is taboo (especially if it works for you).
I've given reviews in three parenting book categories (though there are doubtless MORE); sleep/routine books, discipline books, and general information books.
Sleep/Routine Books: The Baby Whisperer Series by Tracy Hogg. Tracy has written 3 books to my knowledge (perhaps more... someone help me out, 3 is all I could find), all of them in tandem with Melida Blau. I have read The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, but not the other two (the original Baby Whisperer and Baby Whisperer for Toddlers). Sleep/routine books are handy for parents who have babies with sleep problems, or for parents (like me) who can't survive without some type of routine for their baby. If you aren't into routines/schedules then this book isn't for you. The Baby Whisperer is the marriage between the philosophy that your child should "cry it out" and "attachment parenting." She encourages you to teach your baby to sleep in his/her crib and fall asleep alone from day one, but she doesn't advocate crying it out. I have to be honest - this didn't work for my son, but I do believe that I will try it with my next baby from the get go (I started at 4 months with my son). I love that it teaches a baby to sleep well through the night, without the pain of listening to them sob for hours. Tracy is also witty and it makes her books VERY fun to read.
General Information Books: The What to Expect Series by Heidi Murkoff (and others - too many to list). These books give general information about parenting. I have read all of What to Expect the First Year and about half of What to Except the Toddler Years. What I love about these books is that they are so hands off. They give a lot of ideas, great general information, and most of all make you feel good. They don't pressure, but just give advice. You also don't have to read these straight through - you can just look up pressing issues. I've also read What to Expect When You're Expecting and LOVED that one too. That book has been criticized as being too strict on a pregnant woman's diet, but I didn't follow that..... :)
Disciple Books: Love and Logic by Cline and Fay. Discipline is a TRICKY thing! We all have our different philosophies and ideas. For ME Love and Logic strikes a familiar chord. It encourages you to be loving and yet firm with your children. I have read Teaching with Love and Logic and also parts of Parenting with Love and Logic. My favorite one however is, Love and Logic Magic for the Early Childhood Years. This is perfect for me now because it is about 0-6 years. Some of the discipline methods might not be to your liking, because it can be viewed as rather strict. However, I think the strict side is tempered by the HUGE emphasis on LOVE.
Again, I didn't agree with everything in these books, but they are three of my favorites. I can't wait to hear what your favorites are! I want to hear from you (as do other readers). So tell us....
What is your favorite parenting book(s)?
Why do you like that book(s)?
What does it teach?
What did you find especially helpful?
I have also listed my favorite religious parenting book as a comment. So if you are interested you can look at that as well.