My top 10 parenting books

This is a bit later for Mothers day as I live in the UK where mothers day is in March but    Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the broke and the bookish and for this week it is a mothers day related freebie so I have decided to write about my top 10 books about parenting and go non-fiction for a change.   Oh and Gina Ford is nowhere to be found by the way.  A wise friend of mine told me that the parenting  books that we choose and like are ones that reinforce our own prejudices and ideas about parenting.  These are mine (I did read more but didn’t like most).  Also my only daughter is 8 so we I haven’t read much about teenagers as we are not there yet and would love to hear any recommendations.

1 Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children (and the other two) by Sarah Napthali

These are fabulous books on how to cope with the trials of motherhood mindfully including the importance looking after yourself.   I found the young children book invaluable in teaching me that motherhood is hard and its OK to feel a bit broken at times in fact its normal.   They are also a pretty good introduction to Buddhist teachings if you are interested, and all very much applied to the 20’s century and the stresses of parenthood. 

2 Toddler Taming by Dr Christoper Green

This is one of the worlds bestsellers on how to manage the terrible two’s and with my daughter they where truly terrible and we couldn’t go anywhere without a tantrum until I discovered this book.  It wasn’t an instant cure but it did provide many techniques for dealing with the monster that my child had become.   Phew I am glad we are well out of that. The Bulk of the methods recommend the technique of ignoring the bad behavior and praising the good.  (It works on pets and husbands too)

3 The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley

I couldn’t do controlled crying with my daughter, I am just too much of a soft touch and from reading other #8 in this list (What every parent needs to know) knew that I was making the right choice.  This book provided an alternative which took much more effort on my part but it did work,  eventually.  I did try the nap solution book and found it to be much less so, but my daughter grew out of naps very quickly.  (Ohh and btw do not confuse this with a book of the same name by Susan Walker I have no experience with this book but the amazon ratings are dire)

4 Your Baby Week by Week by Simone Cave and Dr Caroline Fertleman

This was a book I read and reread whilst I had a little baby, as with most new mums I didn’t have the faintest idea what I was doing.  This helped allay some of my fears and helped me figure out what was normal for a very young baby.  It deals with the details of babies for the first 6 months.  It does seem to have some negative reviews on goodreads but personally can’t remember the passage they are referring to.

5 Getting the Little Blighters to Eat by Claire Potter

I have a fussy eater, she is becoming less so but  is still picky.  This is a book I bought a couple of years ago.  It hasn’t been a total cure from fussy eating but it has helped me learn what I was doing to maybe create the problem in the beginning and ways of chilling out around the subject of food.  It contains 30 “rules” which are more guidelines, for example “Rule no.2 Forget everything your mother (or grandmother )told you!” and “Rule no 15. don’t hide the vegetables” (sorry Annabel Karmel).   Overall it provides common sense advice about getting kids relaxed about food and to make mealtimes the enjoyable think that they are supposed to be.

6 How Not to Be the Perfect Mother by Libby Purves

I remember reading this during the times that my daughter was in the middle of the ohh so terrible twos and I was feeling like a bit of a failure.  This book was just what I needed, it made me see that pretty much all mothers are hanging on by threads sometimes and that’s ok.   Definitely recommended if you are at home with a preschool child and think that you are failing in some way.

7  The Mumsnet Rules

The Mumsnet Rules are a mishmash of advice taken from the mumsnet site over the years, it contains advice and anecdotes from real people putting up the same old nightmares that effect every parent.  From potty training to nits and dealing with stroppy kids.  Because it is a collection of “wisdom” from the forums on the mumsnet site it is very practical and down to earth.  The solutions that are offered are generally won by necessity and are not an expert preaching their ideal way of doing things with an ideal child.   I read it when my daughter was about 3 so the sections regarding babies I skimmed over but the advice given about potty training was invaluable.

8 What Every Parent Needs to Know

I did find the tone of this book to be a bit on the patronizing side but it was a useful guide to the science behind parenting and essentially what not to do.  It is mainly regarding pre-school children and it definitely seems to have a bias towards the attachment parenting style.



9 The Yummy Mummy’s Survival Guide by Liz Fraser

This is part comedy and part a manual for surviving  parenthood. On saying that there are interesting gems that are worth reading, I got my copy in a charity shop, and it you see it for 50p its worth it.




10 Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett

Weaning is one of these things that you don’t realise is such a big deal until you have kids and then it is.  Getting them used to eating solid food from a 100% liquid diet can be tricky.

This was not the cure all for fussy eaters as advertised as you can probably tell from No 5 on this list but it did bypass any need to puree everything. This method also had the added benefit of improving my daughters hand eye coordination and also provide the time for me to sit down and eat a meal in relative peace whilst she  gummed finger food.  The basic premise of Baby-led weaning is to put food in front of the baby that they can manage themselves and let then get on with it.  It is an alternative to aeroplaning mush on spoons into unsuspecting babies mouths only to have them spit it out,   It is very messy but a simple Ikea highchair and an good bib and the kids are off.
So that is my list I know many of the book bloggers who are going to see this from the broke and the bookish are YA readers and therefore this is a bit premature for them but hey, it might come in handy sometime.


4 thoughts on “My top 10 parenting books

Add yours

  1. I’m loving all the different takes on this theme. Yours is great! I wish I had thought of this one with all the parenting books I’ve read over the years! Although I have to admit I usually didn’t finish them.


  2. Sounds like some great books to recommend to new moms. I went through the period a few months ago that my son wouldn’t nap around 3-4 months old and it was torture. Controled crying or anything else I tried just didn’t work it felt. But he came out of it and naps reasonable okay now in his own bed. It was a terrible time though.


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