CHILD Editors' Favorite Parenthood Books

New parents often turn to the experts for advice about how to handle the challenges of parenthood. These books proved most helpful to Child staffers.

From Birth to Age 2

  • The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby From Birth to Age Two by William Sears, M.D., and Martha Sears, R.N."This was one of my absolute favorites after the birth of my son. The book is filled with very practical advice on everything related to babies, which I appreciated as a first-time parent, but what was even more important to me was the Searses' warm and wise tone. They believe in respecting the child above all else, and I wanted to be the kind of mother who would feel that way too." -- Andrea Barbalich, executive editor"The Baby Book was my bible. It has detailed information about breastfeeding, common newborn health concerns, developmental milestones, and nutrition all in one place. (It's almost 700 pages long!) One tip that saved my life: It's okay to feed a baby mashed banana -- rather than the often-recommended rice cereal -- as a first food. I tried the cereal on five or six occasions and my daughter wouldn't go for it. She ate the bananas on the first try and a week or two later accepted the cereal as well." -- Karen Cicero, food Nutrition Director
  • Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep by William Sears, M.D. and Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber, M.D."Within a week after my first son was born, I made an emergency visit to the bookstore and bought every single sleep book on the shelf: at least seven or eight. Will had colic, and I was sleep-deprived and already desperate. Two of those books were lifesavers: Sears's and Ferber's. Now I know that most people swear by one or the other, but I found both indispensable. I was comforted during Will's early infancy by Sears's assurance that you can't spoil your baby with loving closeness. (I took that as approval for my weird compulsion to sleep on the floor next to Will's cradle while he napped.) On the other hand, when Will still wasn't sleeping through the night at nine months, I was rescued by Ferber's advice that enough was enough. My husband sent me away to a boutique hotel down the block from our apartment, and singlehandedly Ferberized our son while I enjoyed the single most refreshing night of sleep in my life. Things change. You grab whatever lifeline seems to make sense at the time." -- Becky Batcha, senior editor"Dr. Ferber's book on getting kids to sleep through the night was a big help for me. I needed some help being strong in that area." -- Laurie Goldrich-Wolf, food editor

    The Preschool Years

    • The Preschool Years by Ellen Galinsky and Judy David "When my children were preschoolers, I turned to this book on a daily basis for answers and encouragement. It covers everyday discipline issues and developmental milestones of 2- to 5-year-olds in a no-nonsense, reassuring way. The book is filled with quotes from parents and practical advice the authors gathered from a variety of developmental experts. It's just a terrific resource!" -- Kathy Henderson, lifestyle director
    • Touchpoints: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. "T. Berry Brazelton's approach to children is very kind and respectful, and I found myself reading and rereading certain chapters as my son grew and developed." -- Andrea Barbalich, executive editor
    • "What to Expect" book series By Heidi E. Murkoff, Sandee E. Hathaway, and Arlene Eisenberg"The What to Expect series was very helpful for my wife and me. It's specific and offered the nuts-and-bolts of how to address each issue according to age." -- Dan Josephs, creative director"I felt overwhelmed at the thought of being a parent from the moment I found out I was pregnant, so like many soon-to-be moms I absorbed everything I could from What to Expect When You're Expecting. It only seemed natural that I'd continue the series with What to Expect the First Year. It had all the answers to my new-mommy questions (What are these scales on my baby's head? Is my baby developing normally? When should I call the doctor if he has a fever?). Now that I just had my second child, I'm appreciating the series all over again!" -- Shari Davis Noland, senior producer, child.com
      • Your Baby & Child by Penelope Leach, Ph.D."This book was my bible! Penelope combined a perfect blend of psychological insight and practical guidance, and Your Baby & Child addressed all my new-parent concerns. I remember reading her advice that it's wise to pick up a crying infant because the baby will learn to trust that her needs are going to be met and gradually learn to stay calm as a result. Her advice made absolute sense to me." -- Miriam Arond, editor in chief"I like Dr. Leach's lightheartedness. Her book sent the message that kids (and parents!) will survive whatever issue/stage/phase they experience. Also, she reassured us that there is more than one way to address a problem and that parents know more than they think." -- Dan Josephs, creative director

        All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

        Copyright © 2005.