If there’s a book on parenting or motherhood, chances are I’ve read it (or at least skimmed it). From really dense books on early childhood development and brain function to books on why drinking during a playdate is totally acceptable. Here’s a list of my favorite reads for new mamas, toddler mamas and been-around-the-block mamas!
- Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler
When no one else on the planet was saying what every mom was thinking, Jill Smokler did. She was one of the pioneers of the new mama movement, giving us license to not be perfect… and we all owe her a debt of gratitude.
- It’s OK Not to Share by Heather Shumaker
I love this book because it forces us to rethink HOW we parent. It’s not just about forcing kids to share; it’s about teaching them why they should WANT to share. This book turns life lessons on its head when thought about it a new way (for example: if we tell our kids not to talk to strangers, how will they meet new friends?)
- I Heart My Little A-Holes by Karen Alpert
I’m obsessed with Karen Alpert, because she was the first mom out there to paint a REAL picture of motherhood…and that it was OKAY to have crappy moments. When I needed a real mother-in-arms during my early days with my daughter, Karen’s book offered me a life raft.
- Mom Truths by Cat + Nat
Motherhood is hilarious, even when it’s not technically supposed to be. Cat + Nat offer readers loads of support through all those insane laugh-so-you-don’t-cry moments, and offer up their own journey as the sacrificial lamb.
- The Whole-Brain Child by Dan Siegel
If you’ve ever had an 18-month-old Godzilla running around your house, throwing tantrums and melting down, then read this book. When you begin to understand WHY your child is having these moments, you can better help him or her through it. His approach and reasoning SAVED MY ASS with my daughter.
- The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Johnson
My postpartum experience with my daughter was incredibly challenging. My postpartum experience with my son was actually enjoyable. Kimberly Johnson takes the baby out of the equation and focuses on a woman’s journey into motherhood. It’s groundbreaking.
- The Nanny Connie Way by Connie Simpson
I NEEDED this book. I read it before Roman and loved getting the wisdom of an old school mama coach. So many books offer ideas or subtle suggestion, but Nanny Connie straight up tells you what to do, what to use and what to ignore. It’s practical, clear advice and I would recommend it to all new mamas.
- The Three-Martini Playdate by Christie Mellor
If there is a book out there that will support my decision to put my child to bed during the 5 p.m. hour, then I am absolutely a fan. So many books take themselves really seriously, but this book is one of the few books to tell mamas to relax.
- Cherish the First Six Weeks by Helen Moon
I take some issue with the title, BUT the book itself is actually a great, quick read. It doesn’t necessarily problem solve or relate to new mamas, but it DOES give you an idea of what your daily life should look like with your baby. As a first time mom, I was totally in the dark, so this gave me really solid insight without being overwhelming.
- Cribsheet by Emily Oster
This book is for any mom who is fed up with a hundred different voices telling you a hundred different ways of parenting. She uses actuals data and science to quiet our deepest fears and insecurities as parents (feed and sleeping and potty-training).
- No Bad Kids by Janet Lansbury
Where Whole Brain Child explains why your child is acting and doing the things, Janet Lansbury can help you fine tune your skills so you are better at navigating those murky toddler waters. She gives you example-based advice for getting through the toughest mama moments.
- Baby Bargains by Denise Field
The internet is overwhelming and there are endless options for everything baby. This book does an incredible break down of all the most popular baby products out there, and offers grades and suggestions on what to buy within three price categories.
- The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Alexander
Danish people are well known to be the happiest people, so I wanted to find out what Danish parents do to raise such adjusted humans. The takeaway is: they focus on goodness, empathy and family…and do not set ultimatums. (basically talk to your kids like people, help them understand the WHY behind what they’re being asked
- You Are a F*cking Awesome Mom by Leslie Bruce
(Because I have no shame…) This is a book for every woman who is making or has made the transition into motherhood. It discusses the insane identity crisis so many of us experience, and how to marry who we were, with who were are becoming in motherhood. Its aim is to offer clarity, support and humor to women navigating this new world.