top 6 BEST early parenting books

I’m no longer in a season of having tiny infants in our home, but I wanted to pass along this list of my FAVORITE books that have helped shape the mother I am (or at least the one I strive to be). These books are all different and meet different needs, but if you’re heading into a season of starting a family, are expecting a baby now, are in the throws of motherhood (like me) or know someone who is in these early stages these books are great, great resources. I hope they are a blessing to you as they have been to me!

Admittedly it took me a bit to really figure out what kind of mother I desired to be. At first I simply took notes from those who started families before me and with how long it had taken us to become pregnant, over time I had built in my mind the image of the perfect mom I was sure to be…”oh I’ll NEVER do that” or “I’ll for SURE do that!”…”Oh I cannot believe she did THAT!”….and then once I actually became a mom, I quickly realized that motherhood takes far more than a pipe dream and a snap judgment. Motherhood has a way of breaking you, of making you realize that sometimes you have absolutely nothing left. Motherhood is glorious in all of its lovely ways…but it can also crush you at the same time.

These are some of my all time favorite absolutely necessary books for moms and motherhood. These books gave me perspective, hope, and the knowledge that I wasn’t alone. Obviously there are so many books in different categories of life that I can’t wait to recommend as well, but for now, this is just for the mamas!

I’ve put them in the order in which I feel they are needed due to stage of life. If you’ve read (or heard) of any of these please comment below and let me know what you think!

1. Baby Whisperer

This book was written by a woman who served as a nanny for over 1,000 babies. She was diagnosed with cancer and before she died wrote this book. It has radically changed my life. I don’t mean to sound dramatic in the least, but it honestly has. Aside from the Bible I cannot think of any other book that has so shaped me as a mother and woman. If I’m brutally honest it was actually just the prelude that did it!!! Weird right?!

Before having children I had this idea in my head that I was in control, that I could study enough or learn enough or try hard enough to create the family I wanted to have. I looked at other moms and how they were going about doing things and thought I’d be just like some of them and absolutely nothing like a few others.

This book taught me to look at my own home, what I had been give, and to view my children as humans…as in real life people with real life preferences and real life personalities. I wasn’t playing with babydolls anymore and I couldn’t mimic what I saw in others. I had to find my own way and this book gave me that encouragement. The lightbulbs came on early on with this one, and I cannot possibly recommend it enough to new mamas who are just starting a family.

**Note: The chapters on nursing is outdated. Since the author has died they cannot reprint, but there are groups online that comment on her advice concerning breastfeeding. Other than that I’d highly recommend it!


2. Baby Sign Language

Whoa, like whoa, holy moly! This book blew my mind. Well, not as much the book but the fact that my 8 month old started communicating with me!

I was given this book as a baby shower gift. As in the kind of gift I didn’t register for but was thankful-on-my-face for when I opened it. Signing for babies…whatever! They’re not that smart…C’mon….

Famous. Last. Words.

I haphazardly started teaching Kate when she was about 5 months old thinking it was all a joke just to get moms to look silly. It sort of became somewhat of a routine for me just for the fun of it but I had never expected much at all. Until one day…

The light bulbs in her wee little (in my mind still just an infant) brain just came on! One day she started signing back. And then by that night it was two signs…and before you know it I literally had to go out and buy a full on ASL pocket dictionary to carry in my diaper bag because she knew more than I did! She would point and ask the name of things…animals, temperatures, objects, feelings…It was beyond fascinating!!!!

Seriously, teach your baby sign language. I promise you will NOT ever ever regret it.

3. Give Them Grace

Honestly I feel like this book should be read and re-read about, oh…every year as a refresher.

I have purposely put this book next because I deeply feel that it should be read while you still have a tiny baby in your arms. The days are soon coming when you are no longer concerned about nipple confusion or getting enough sleep, but you are now trying to figure out what to do with the little devil that was once so cute and cuddly.

This book gives a great foundation on motherhood and parenting in a way that doesn’t just help us to survive our kids but gives us eyes to see beyond the immediate. We are raising individuals who will one day be adults and that end goal must be on our minds when we are still wiping poo off our shirts.

Bad habits are tough to break. If you begin with this style of parenting in mind you’ll save yourself a lot of re-do and un-do later on. Our kids need to see Jesus, not just learn to abide by the rules. And this starts sooooooo young!


4. Toilet Training In Less Than A Day

I found this book at a used bookstore on our way to dinner for a date night one evening. It was torn and the edges had been ripped off. It looked well used and considering the title it caught my eye.

Seriously?! Train your kid to use the potty in less than a day?!

Ya whatever. I set it down and started to walk away. I glanced back and happened to notice the price, $.50. Ahhh…what the heck…why not?! Here you go…here’s my two quarters…

Reading this book was one of the best things I’ve ever read. It taught me how to teach my kids one of life’s most important disciplines in a way that they would truly understand. They don’t even know how to pour a cup of water on their own yet, but I can teach them how to control their innards in less than a day?! Um…yes please.

If you want the cliff’s notes instead of buying the book then read my posts about potty training in a day. I’ve done this five times over and I could probably now write my own book…maybe one day….

5. Don’t Make Me Count to Three

There are a few great books concerning the theory of gospel centered parenting…but very, very few on the “okay, shoot me straight, tell me EXACTLY HOW do I do that” kind of books.

This book is just that.

Getting your feet under you with the books I’ve listed earlier is necessary, but this one will give you the wings to fly.

6. Loving The Little Years

This book is one that will totally help with perspective. It is written by a mom who is in the trenches just like the rest of us, who understands how hard it is and who literally wrote this book with a child on her lap and a few at her feet. How in the world, right???

She’ll remind you all over again that although the days sometimes feel like eternity, the years fly by fast. Cherish these days and intentionally find ways to enjoy it. Her message runs through my veins as well and I couldn’t encourage you enough to read this to help with increasing joy.


I’m always up for a good read! Although free time is a hot commodity these days I would LOVE suggestions as to what books you’d recommend! Leave a comment below and share the love!

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