Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Parenting Book List

I'm a big reader.  Or at least, I was before I had twins!  But I still enjoyed reading up on things during the pregnancy, and catching a paragraph here and there when the babies arrived.  Once they started sleeping more, then I was able to indulge more often.  Here are the books I've read so far, and why I liked them.  Each title should link to Amazon if you care to read more reviews or info about any particular book.

Parents of Twins/Multiples:

Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!  by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada.  We had a lot of issues when it came to nursing, sadly.  But this book could be a great resource!

Ready or Not...Here We Come! by Elizabeth Lyons.  Another mother of twins gave me this book when I was pregnant, and you can expect many laughs AND great insight.

Twinspiration by Cheryl Lage.  Amazingly practical and funny advice for a twin pregnancy and logistics during the first year of life.

When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads by Dr. Barbara Luke and Tamara Ebelein.  This helped me figure out my nutritional needs as a mother carrying multiples, as well as going in depth to many medical issues that can arise and how to stay healthy!


What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel.  You know, the ubiquitous pregnancy book.  Great for just reading in sections by month.

What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel.  This book really helped me designate how much of everything I should eat each day (protein, magnesium, iron, calcium, what?!) and how to balance and plan my meals.  I wasn't eating that healthfully before I was pregnant, so I wanted to be extra careful once I was.  Over half the book is recipes, and the Chicken Enchiladas were a favorite!  But I do have to say that when it came to being pregnant with twins, following the advice in Dr. Luke's book (see above) would be even more helpful and specific.


The Baby Sleep Solution by Suzy Giordano.  A close friend loaned me this book, and it helped me shape my daytime AND nighttime routines to nudge the babies towards sleeping through the night.  It made very high claims, which weren't realistic for us, but it helped me shape the goals we eventually worked towards.  To follow the author's guidelines while nursing exclusively might not work too well for everyone, but like I said, her advice on routines was helpful.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.  I tried reading this book while sleep deprived on the Kindle version, and became thoroughly confused.  But once I realized I could just jump to the sections that pertained to me, I felt it had some sane advice.

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber, M.D.  This book helped us help our twins sleep through the night at 6 months.  I realize the author's last name my cause knee-jerk reactions for some, but for our family it's been a good reference.  It is not about "leave the baby to cry forever," quite the opposite.  He gives several different tools based on what your specific family situation and preference may be.

Baby/Toddler Care and Health:

Complete Book of Baby and Child Care by Paul Reisser.  This is a publication of Focus on the Family, a Christian organization.  So the parenting advice it gives is faith-based, but it also has large sections on straight-forward care-taking and medical information for newborns to teenagers.  

Jo Frost's Confident Toddler Care.  I'm a big fan of Jo Frost, otherwise known as "Supernanny," on TV, so I couldn't help myself and bought her book.  It really could fall under every category in this list, because she gives no-nonsense/common sense advice on everything from napping and playing to potty training and eating.

My Child Is Sick! by Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.  My mom gave me this book and it's been a great book to just quickly look up a symptom and find out what it might be and what to do.

Keeping Your Child Engaged:

Things To Do with Toddlers and Twos by Karen Miller.  I think this was written as a resource for daycare facilitators.  However, it has a lot of ideas for activities to do with more than one child, and advice on structuring routines, establishing behavior expectations, etc.

The Toddler's Busy Book by Trish Kuffner.  This is basically a book chock full of activities to do at home with your 18 month to 3-year-olds.

Discipline and Parenting Styles:

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.  I'm married to a Chinese-American guy, so I felt I really should read this, and I was equal parts looking for honest advice and morbidly curious.  I gasped and cringed with the best of them while reading, but I have to say that it was entertaining and educational at the same time.  My conclusion is that, while I do want my children to understand hard work and and self-discipline, and the success that can come from those virtues, I'd like to try and achieve it with a more moderate approach.

Bringing Up Bebe, by Pamela Druckerman.  This book was written by an American who gave birth and raised one singleton and one set of twins in Paris.  I adored it!  But then, I'm a francophile (and an anglophile, while we're at it).  It was fascinating to read about the French approach to various parenting aspects that we Americans obsess over.  The author (and Le Billon, author of a book you'll see below) seems to imply that a lot of things our parents would have done with us, or our grandparents, that at one time were common sense, have been flipped around and now many parents feel lost and don't know what to do.  Some French ways aren't superior (nursing is obviously a health benefit when possible, but not emphasized in France for some reason) but many of their tactics are just logical.

Bringing Up Boys, by Dr. James Dobson.  This is a Christian book on parenting, and the author is fond of lots of statistics and anecdotes.  It helped me gain some perspective (as a female who grew up an only child with no brothers) on what little boys might need.

The Duggars: 20 and Counting! by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar.  Yes, I watch the show.  Say what you will about the Duggars, but I felt they did have good advice on raising children who are polite and kind, as well as advice on logistics for managing multiple children.

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm by Mei-Ling Hopgood.  I'm still reading this, and while the cultural tidbits from around the world are interesting, the author's own personal thoughts don't seem to be quite as engaging as I'd hoped.

The James Dobson Parenting Collection.  I bought this particular volume because it held 3 different books in one handy place:  The New Dare to Discipline, The New Strong-Willed Child, and Parenting isn't for Cowards.  I'm only half-way through, but it's helped my husband and I to make some choices when it came to discipline, and it also was encouraging to me.  In The New Dare to Discipline, the most encouraging chapter was "A Moment for Mom."  It was a reminder that I need regular time to myself and that creating those times shouldn't be guilt-inducing.  When mom is healthy and whole, the whole family benefits.

A Love That Multiples by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar.  This is really just an extension of the kind of things they wrote about in the book I read before, see above.


French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon.  I'm currently reading this book, about a Canadian mother's experience in France.  It's a fun read, and eye-opening.  I've used tips from this and from the book by Druckerman (see above) to make sure my sons like and eat veggies, are willing to try new things, and have a varied menu (when possible).

Cooking With Kids by Linda Collister.  This is a cookbook with recipes that can be made with and for children.  My mom gave it to me before I even became a mother (hmmm, was she hinting?) and I made some of the recipes for my husband and I.  The roasted Italian chicken is a favorite.  I look forward to using this book even more when the boys are older!

Please share your favorites with me in the comments below!  I'm always on the look out for a good book.

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