7 parenting books every mum should read

Rap it with us mamas: “I’ve got 99 parenting books, but I only read…none”.

We might not have anything on Jay-Z when it comes to song lyrics. But, here’s what we know:

You’re a mom or about to become a mom (hooray). You want to read a parenting book or two because, well, “Prior preparation prevents piss poor performance”, as they say in the corporate world. But you are put off for a number of reasons – there are so many f*cking parenting books out there, you don’t know what’s good to read, you don’t have time or you can’t be a*sed. We get it. 

We’ve got you sorted, mama. We’ve asked the Mumli community and consulted the bestseller lists to bring you this list of seven parenting books every mom should read:

What To Expect When You’re Expecting – Heidi Murkoff

You’ve found out you’re pregnant. Once you’re done wiping the pee off your hands from that home pregnancy test and you’ve recovered from the excitement of it all, go buy this book. It’s an indispensable guide to each week of pregnancy – what you’ll feel, what baby is doing, and helpful tips for dad (or whomever your co-parent might be). 

Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide To Better, More Relaxed Parenting, From Birth to Preschool – Emily Oster

An economist by trade, Oster takes her profession’s love of data and uses it to tackle parenting’s biggest challenge: decision-making. Sounds f*cking dry, right? Well, it’s not. Armed with extensive research and a sharp tone, Oster debunks common advice around everything from breastfeeding to sleep training, potty training and even whether to return to work and encourages parents to learn how to make decisions for themselves. 

The Discontented Little Baby Book – Dr Pamela Douglas

Working out why the f*ck your baby is crying is perhaps one of the most time-consuming, confusing, and frustrating parts of early parenthood. You could run around trying every quick fix (diaper change, feed, pacifier), or you could order this book in which Aussie doctor Pamela Douglas explains that it’s usually never just one reason why your baby is screaming (e.g. that your patch and go response to their crying ain’t gonna work). Rather, Douglas offers practical strategies for working out your little one’s wants and needs all while adjusting to parenthood. 

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk – Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

You’ve spent years perfecting how to communicate with your girlfriends – when they’re five tequilas deep, going through a bad breakup, or PMSing something crazy. Trying to communicate with a kid is like this…but ten times harder. Which is where this classic steps in: it offers time-tested methods for things like resolving family conflict, engaging with children, and coping with negative feelings. Reviews call it a “parenting bible”, with critics saying it made them “better parents”. Sign us up.  

5 Love Languages Of Children: The Secret To Loving Children Effectively – Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell

Ok, so you can argue that however you love your child is effective. But what we like about this book is that it will supercharge your love-giving powers. Sounds like a load of cr*p, we know, but the book works like this: you read up on the different love languages with your kid’s personality in mind. Once you’ve determined what you think your little one’s language is, it then points you in the direction of what actions or affirmations will most resonate with your kid and how you can help them to manage emotions, communicate, learn, and more. Pretty cool, no? 

How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids – Janine Dunn

No matter how saintly you are, we can bet that you’ve stared at your husband or co-parent with white-hot rage at some point (in the last hour) since giving birth. Enter Dunn who, “on the brink of marital Armageddon”, consults a slew of counselors, parents, and even an FBI hostage negotiator to understand how kids change your relationships and what to do to avoid a fiery implosion. It’s part memoir, part self-help book, making it an easy read, too. 

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers The Wisdom Of French Parenting – Pamela Druckerman

If your vibe is I’m a chicer-than-chic, charcuterie-loving, pass-me-the-Bordeaux kind of mom, add this book to cart. Upon having her baby in France, American journalist Druckerman couldn’t help but wonder why the enfants (kids) seemed so perfectly behaved. So she did her research and delivers to us this guide to how the mamans (moms) are doing it – including how their kids are quietly playing by themselves while they sip coffees. The dream, we say. 

Moms, tell us: if you’ve read these books, what did you love about them? And if not, what are your essential parenting books? 

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