One of my favorite alignment bloggers, Barbara Loomis, recently published a list of the books that have most impacted her thinking on issues of wellness.  You can find it here.  She’s got some great ones listed, and I look forward to exploring them.

I so enjoyed reading Barbara’s list that I thought I would do some of my own.  I’ll start with the list of books that have influenced me most as a mom.

Childbirth, Breastfeeding & Parenting

[amazon_link id=”0316198269″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Baby Book[/amazon_link]

Sometimes derided as “extreme,” I found attachment parenting principles to align well with my core values and desires around the kind of mother I hoped to be.  I found a lot of support and guidance in this book, and it was also a great resource for me in the early days of motherhood.

[amazon_link id=”B001738CYA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Breastfeeding Book[/amazon_link]

To be truthful, most of the help I got with breastfeeding came online from, from friends in real life, or from an online support group in which I was a participant.  But the Sears’ book on breastfeeding definitely helped me prepare mentally and logistically in advance of my first child’s arrival.

[amazon_link id=”0984774637″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Medications and Mother’s Milk [/amazon_link]

Dr. Thomas Hale is quite simply THE resource when it comes to whether or not you should take a medication and continue to breastfeed.  This book reflects the research he has done.  If you call your care provider to ask them their thoughts on whether a medication is compatible with nursing, ask them if they are using this resource and not simply relying on the package insert which will almost always tell you not to nurse.  Hale debunks the myths with science.  My friend who is a postpartum nurse (and had access to a copy) was my go-to resource for the first year or so and then I eventually bought my own book.

[amazon_link id=”0345442865″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Playful Parenting[/amazon_link]

The premise of this book is that in order to connect with your kids, you need to play with them.  The author suggests that many behavioral issues can be addressed through play.  I aspire to do more of this practically everyday.  Again, the book aligns with my values and makes sense according to what I know of child development.

[amazon_link id=”0452290090″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Taking Back Childhood : A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative Compassionate Kids[/amazon_link]

Nancy Carlsson-Paige is a specialist in early childhood development.  She is also Matt Damon’s mom.  So, not only is this an absolutely fabulous book with concrete strategies to raise kids in the face of some of the current cultural challenges (media violence being a notable one), but it also offers glimpses into Damon’s childhood.  I’m not normally a star gawker, and the reason that these glimpses are fun is that you see the ways that she encouraged and nurtured his creativity from a young age.  Let’s put it this way: if I were to ever meet Matt Damon, the one question I would have for him would be, “What was it like being raised by Nancy Carlsson-Paige?”

[amazon_link id=”0912500972″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Adventures in Tandem Nursing[/amazon_link]

My first child was seven months old when I got pregnant with my second child and I was scared out of my mind that the pregnancy would mean the end of my nursing relationship with my son.  It didn’t, but this book prepared me for all of the possibilities, challenges and questions that tandem nursing can create.

[amazon_link id=”0978050908″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Discipline Without Distress[/amazon_link]

This is a gentle parenting guide, again with concrete strategies, that is organized according to age-range.  She offers explanations for kids’ behaviors based on their developmental stage and strategies for coping with them in that context.  It was a great initial read and a book I keep close by as a resource as my kids grow.

[amazon_link id=”9079208043″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Wonder Weeks[/amazon_link]

Now it’s an app, but then it was just a book.  In 2007, when I bought this at the suggestion of mom-blogger Ask Moxie, it was out-of-print and copies were skyrocketing into the hundreds of dollars.  The idea is that every great developmental leap your child makes is preceded by a period of fussiness and transition.  I have the app now, and pretty much every single time I think baby A is out of control, I check the app and sure enough, she is leaping.  This is a great book for first-time parents who need reassuring during that first year.

[amazon_link id=”0553378252″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]What’s Going On In There?[/amazon_link]

The subtitle is “How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life.”  The author, Lise Eliot, was a research neuroscientist who had a baby and wondered what was going on in her baby’s head.  If you are interested in aligning your parenting with early childhood development, this is simply a must-read book for you.

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Parents, what resources have most influenced you along your parenting journey?

Find this and other great blog posts about natural parenting on Nourishing Joy’s Thank Goodness It’s Monday #14.

One Response to “Books I’ve Enjoyed Along My Parenting Journey”

  1. on 02 Apr 2013 at 8:16 amSusan

    My two favs were Dare to Discipline and the Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson. Couldn’t have raised my Type A son without them……and he has grown into a man that I am most proud of!

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