Parenting Books That Have Stood the Test of Time

Whether you're trying to navigate your first pregnancy, dealing with the terrible twos or arguing with an adolescent, these classic parenting books are the tried and true guides to turn to.

I've looked to more books than I can count for advice on topics such as pregnancy, sleep solutions, and discipline issues. Our family, like many, has growing pains at each stage, along with developmentally appropriate problems. Sure, I ask friends and relatives for advice--but they can be too emotionally involved. Don't tell them, but I prefer the balanced, fair, and sane ideas I get from trusted experts who write about their work. Harvey Karp, M.D., author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, told me he has helped thousands of families in his office over the last 30 years. "I have been privileged to help people succeed and thrive," he says. Below, I've listed 10 books that are dog-eared and well worn, all written by parenting specialists. These titles have topped the best-seller lists for many years, proving that they are the parenting books that stand the test of time.

Happiest Baby on the Block

by Harvey Karp, M.D.

Dr. Karp, a pediatrician, gives sensible and sweet solutions for new parents to help them handle the screaming fits of their new babies and shares his baby whispering secrets and research. His number one piece of advice to his readers is: "Get help! Throughout history, young couples were never expected to care for a baby all by themselves. Also, enjoy this time--even the challenging moments. Your baby's early months will go by in a blink."

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

You probably already know this: Yelling at and pleading with your children doesn't work. This book offers respectful advice for ways to speak to children. If you want less stress in your family interactions and more love and goodwill, this is for you. It will help you improve relationships--with your kids, yes, but with everyone else you meet, too.

The SleepEasy Solution

by Jennifer Waldburger, L.C.S.W., and Jill Spivack, L.C.S.W.

When celebrities with new babies need to get some sleep, they call on these popular Hollywood psychotherapists. Their technique gets babies snoozing in as little as three nights. They aim to address the emotional needs of the parent and the child, including tips and tools for handling the crying of both mom and baby.

Brain Rules for Baby

by John Medina

Medina, a molecular biologist and a dad, gives advice on how to raise smart and happy children from infancy through age 5. He explains, for instance, why TV watching for kids ages 2 and under is harmful. He also believes the best predictor of performance is not IQ but impulse control. This book, filled with fascinating facts and science, is addictive--be prepared to ignore the kids because it's hard to put down.

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12

by Thomas W. Phelan. Ph.D.

In three easy-to-follow steps, Phelan can get your kids to cooperate and bring down your stress level. This indispensible book will help you during mealtimes, meltdowns, homework arguments, and other tricky kid situations. Overall, his tips encourage better behavior from moms and kids. He aims to abolish the "Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit" cycle--and his method works. I still use it on my school age children.

Positive Discipline

by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D.

This book has been enlightening frustrated parents for more than 25 years. Nelsen, a well-known psychologist, educator, and mother of seven, believes in mutual respect, not punishment. Her techniques are effective, firm, and kind. She teaches parents of toddlers through teenagers to cooperate, communicate, and love each other. Read this book, try out the advice, and watch your household become calmer.

The Baby Book

by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., Robert Sears, M.D., and James Sears, M.D.

Dr. Sears and his family have become trusted authorities on topics including vaccinations, medical interventions, and behavioral issues. This baby bible offers sound advice on eating, sleeping, health, and comfort. All of the Sears' books are filled with information on caring for your child's physical and emotional needs.

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems

by Richard Ferber, M.D.

This is the famous book about "Ferber-izing" your baby, also known as the Cry It Out method. His groundbreaking advice was published 20 years ago, and is still a gold standard for getting your baby to sleep through the night and nap in the day. Dr. Ferber gives step-by-step instructions for getting through this difficult process. Don't listen to all the hype--his methods are kind, and they work.

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

by Elizabeth Pantley

Parents who prefer not to let their babies cry it out have bought more than million copies of this book. "The No-Cry Sleep Solution is set up like a workbook, and it allows parents to review many possible routes and put together a customized sleep plan for their unique baby," Pantley says. "Raise your children how you choose and in ways that are right for you." Her individualized approach is popular for good reason.

What to Expect When You're Expecting

by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

You probably know this book: Ninety percent of pregnant women read it, buying up more than 14 million copies in the last 25 years. Every new edition is revised to give you the most up-to-date advice on everything you need to know, from your love life to your cervix, about each stage of your pregnancy.

Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.

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