Best Parenting Books to Add to Your Reading List

In these books, experts share their tips and tricks to help make parenting a breeze.

There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, and many families deal with issues that can make parenting feel downright impossible at times.

Resources like books written by experts in their field can be useful to stressed out parents. Here are some top picks for tackling topics like sleep, emotions, potty training and more.

The Whole-Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Photo credit: Amazon

Why do kids throw tantrums, cry uncontrollably or lash out for seemingly no reason? Co-authored by a neuropsychiatrist and a parenting expert, “The Whole Brain Child” explores the reasons behind our children’s big emotions and offers advice for handling those tough moments.

Precious Little Sleep by Alexis Dubief

Photo credit: Amazon

If you’re tired of sleepless nights with your child, this book could be a game changer. Sleep expert Alexis Dubief tackles the hot topic with humor and evidence-based strategies. Subjects covered include newborn sleep, healthy napping, weaning from overnight feeds and toddler and preschool sleep struggles. Bonus — the book has both a podcast of the same name and a popular Facebook group, where the author and parents share tips and advice with each other.

Raising Good Humans by Hannah Clarke-Fields

Photo credit: Amazon

Raising your children to be kind and loving is important, but not easy. This book offers parents suggestions for calming their own stress responses so they can model respectful communication, conflict resolution and listening skills to kids.

The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander

Photo credit: Amazon

The Danish are known for being some of the happiest people in the world, and raise happy, confident children as a result. So what do the people of Denmark know that we don’t? Learn the six principles for better parenting, including play, empathy, reframing and togetherness.

The Complete Guide to Potty Training by Michelle D. Swaney

Photo credit: Amazon

Struggling to potty train your strong-willed child? Or maybe you’re not sure how to even begin the process. This guide has got you covered. Author Michelle D. Swaney encourages parents to embrace their individual “potty personality” to help determine which method works best for their family. Common potty training issues, such as fear of the toilet, unhelpful siblings and backsliding are all covered in a realistic way, as well as methods for training children with special needs.

Baby Sign Language Made Easy by Lane Rebelo

Photo credit: Amazon

Teaching your child sign language as an infant helps them develop communication skills before they can form actual words. This book includes 101 sign lessons for frequently-used words and phrases, along with tips for teaching them. Songs and activities for reinforcing signs are also included.

The Co-Parenting Handbook by Karen Bonnell and Kristin Little

Photo credit: Amazon

Even the most amicable divorces can still be difficult for both parents and children to process. One of the toughest aspects of a marriage ending is learning how to co-parent with your ex-spouse. “The Co-Parenting Handbook,” written by two divorce and co-parenting coaches, aims to provide a roadblock for families grappling with boundaries and guidelines in the wake of divorce. The book also gives advice on how to address children’s emotions post-separation.

The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents by Lisa Damour

Photo credit: Amazon

From the author of “Untangled” and “Under Pressure” — two great guides for parents looking for advice for helping their tween and teen daughters navigate life — comes “The Emotional Lives of Teenager.” This New York Times bestseller guides parents through the emotionally turbulent stages of adolescent development (in case they’ve forgotten what it was like to live through it themselves). Learn how to help your teen through common mental health challenges, and how to get additional support if your child is facing more intense challenges. 

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Calmer, Happier Parent by Carla Naumburg

Photo credit: Amazon

Let’s face it: Parenting is one of, if not the, hardest jobs out there, and it doesn’t even come with a handbook! Until now, that is. “How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids” acknowledges that no parent is perfect, but there’s no reason to feel shame for being frustrated with your children. The handbook offers evidence-based practices that can help parents become more compassionate and leave the parental meltdowns in the past. 

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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.


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