7 parenting books to add to your summer reading list

Summer is a great time for reading, as evidenced by all the summer reading programs for kids. But what about adults? Now’s the chance to dive into some books as well. Not only will you be modeling reading for your kids, but these recent parenting books will also give you some information and ideas to make the most of family life at home.

“It’s Never Too Late to Sleep Train: The Low-Stress Way to High-Quality Sleep for Babies, Kids, and Parents” by Craig Canapari, MD

Getting babies to sleep through the night is a common challenge, but if there’s anyone who has the professional know-how on the subject, it’s Dr. Craig Canapari, who is a pediatric sleep physician and director of the Yale Pediatric Sleep Center. Canapari addresses the biology of sleep, nighttime habits, finding the best bedtime and “how to create the ultimate sleep dojo” with a focus on keeping things simple and stress-free for parents of kids between six months and six years old.

“The Gift of a Happy Mother: Letting Go of Perfection and Embracing Everyday Joy” by Rebecca Eanes

While we know you shouldn’t just a book by its cover, the lovely, breezy cover of this book is an indication of what’s inside here. In trying to help moms be happier in their day-to-day lives, it briefly covers some weighty topics, such as overcoming guilt, dealing with toxic people and loneliness. She offers practical tips, strategies, journal prompts and exercises to build happiness habits.

“The Dad Lab: 50 Awesome Science Projects for Parents and Kids” by Sergei Urban

A STEM-loving stay-at-home dad has compiled fun and educational science experiments that will make for a memorable summer at home. Learn about air pressure by standing inside a giant bubble, produce your own electricity and defy gravity with a ping pong ball. The projects included are good for kids ages 3 and older, but adults will likely find them just as fun as their children do.

“Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy” by Jamie C. Martin

Introverts of the world unite! And in this book, Jamie Martin makes sure you’re in good company, gathering insight and inspiration from Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder and L.M. Montgomery. She also shares her own stories and those of other introvert moms as she offers encouragement, tips and permission to be yourself and do what works best for you while embracing your personality and preferences.

“How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results” by Esther Wojcicki

Esther Wojcicki, mom of three daughters who are doing very well for themselves and who is known as the godmother of Silicon Valley, says there’s a “trick” to good parenting. Turns out that “trick” stands for Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness. That combination of traits will take kids far, making this a must-read.

“The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby, Revised 4th Edition” by Laura Wattenberg

Naming a baby is a decision that will impact your new little one for the rest of their lives. No pressure, right? Wattenberg “tries to help you find the small set of names that speak to your heart” and shares practical tips for doing so. Hint: Focus on the positive. Move names you like up on the list rather than moving those you like less down. It also features names that are popular in each state. In Illinois, that’s names such as Henry, Theodore, Gianna and Natalia.

“The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being” by Simone Davies

This book offers an introduction to the Montessori educational philosophy and then helps parents put it into practice in their daily lives. That means setting up the home with spaces where children can practice practical life skills, encouraging curiosity by fostering hands-on learning and accepting our kids for who they are.

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