My Favorite Parenting Reads

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I never wanted to be that mom that lived by a parenting book, "the book says to do this, the book says to do that..." I really believe that majority of parenting decisions should come from instinct, and of course advice from doctors, and I'm sure there are amazing parents out there that have never touched a parenting book. But I'm too crazy for that. Sometimes going with the flow is less of my thing than I'd like. When I first found out I was pregnant, I read "What to Expect When You're Expecting" cover to cover. I downloaded apps and read magazines. I wanted to know every single bit of information possible. But since actually becoming a parent, I've learned that trusting my own instinct is the way to go. There have been multiple times I've questioned my own decisions because a book or friend suggested something different, but there are so many different types of parents out there, there is no one right way to raise a child. In fact, there is an overwhelming amount of different ways. So I know choose to get as much information as possible, then decide what's best for my daughter and family.

That being said, there are a few books I'm reading/have read that I really value and consider when it comes to parenting. Everything always comes down to what Joe and I think is the best decision, and if it comes down to it, asking our pediatrician, but for everyday questions I have, these books have really come in handy for me. 

What to Expect the Second Year. This is one of three What to Expect books I own. I read the pregnancy one, the first year one, and just picked up this one to start. The main reason I really love these books is because it's more just straight information, rather than trying to get you to parent a certain way. I kind of see it as more of a textbook. It's basically just facts from actual doctors that you can take then decide what to do with. They revise it every few years, so the information is always up to date. These books have been around forever and are trusted by tons of people, so I feel really good reading them.

Bringing Up Bebe. This book is written by an American raising her daughter in France. She notices that French children behave very differently than they do here; they eat adult meals, play by themselves quietly, and don't throw temper tantrums. She decided to start taking notes on the differences in parenting styles and talks about her discoveries. I picked this book up more out of curiosity than really a parenting guide, but it makes a lot of great points. Kids can be curious, imaginative and have fun while being well-behaved. I also think some of the things she notes French parents doing are a little out-there for my personal style, it did give me some ideas of different ways to approach certain situations. 

The Honest Life. I'm a huge, huge fan of The Honest Company. We use their diapers, wipes, shampoo, lotion, sunscreen even their house cleaners! Basically, if Honest makes it, we use it. Not only are the products completely safe and clean, they actually work! I saw that Jessica Alba had written a book a couple years ago and decided to pick it up since I love her company so much. This book is all about living a natural and chemical free lifestyle. It's not necessarily a parenting book since it covers way more than kids and babies, but it's all about a way of life that could definitely affect kids for the better. It covers eating, clothing, beauty, home life, and of course children. Like the last book, some of it seems a bit out there and even a little unrealistic, but it gives a great idea of how to steer toward the direction of an "honest" life. I learned a lot from this book about different chemicals and how to look for certain things on labels. A great read even for people without kids.

Although I'm all about following your own parenting style that works for you and your family, I also think it's a great idea to educate yourself as much as possible. You can make the best decisions when you know a lot about all the options. Do you have any parenting (or life) books or guides you love and recommend?

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