Wednesday reading–parenting books redux

I’m a reader, so we have acquired a lot of parenting books (and gotten rid of a lot of them again). Want to know which ones are good and bad?

GOOD:
“The Baby Book,” by William and Martha Sears. (Ironically, we don’t own this. I have read the whole thing in bits and pieces.) If you get this book, in my opinion, you don’t need their book, “The Attachment Parenting Book.” It covers the same material.

“The No-Cry Sleep Solution” and “The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers,” by Elizabeth Pantley. This gives you a lot of different tips and suggestions to try for getting better sleep from your baby. I am about to start using the ideas in the first one for Wesley; the second one helped us get Mary back to sleeping well after her weird sleep regression at 18 months or so. It doesn’t advocate anything that clashes with my parenting philosophy–no crying it out alone in the crib–unlike some books. It’s common to recommend letting the kid cry while you pop out of the room for longer and longer stretches of time, but I’m not cool with that.

“The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” (the La Leche League book). This is a pretty good basic guide. Not sufficient if you have a major nursing problem, but then, what is?

NOT GREAT BUT STILL USEFUL:
All of the “What to Expect” books. I don’t like their philosophy about almost anything but I still refer to them often for things like first aid or illness. I also refer to the “milestone charts” in the front of the chapters (although they do sometimes include weird things like “ability to pay attention to a small object such as a raisin”–???). You don’t need the pregnancy one–there are much better pregnancy books out there, although that is a different blog post. But the “first year” and “toddler years” ones have useful information if you’re not relying on them exclusively. Just don’t buy into their parenting philosophy and you can get a lot out of them.

“The Discipline Book,” by William and Martha Sears. This is a great philosophy about discipline, but it doesn’t give a lot of specific techniques to try. I agree with them…but I don’t feel like I’m better equipped to discipline Mary after reading it.

BAD:
“Babywise,” by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. This book is evil, evil, evil. It is actively dangerous to some babies (the kind who need to eat more than every three hours, for example, in order to thrive). This book advocates a style of parenting that falls JUST barely short of abuse. I’m sure the toddler one is equally bad but I have not read it.

JURY’S STILL OUT:
“Raising Your Spirited Child,” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka; “Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children,” by Thomas Gordon; and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block,” by Harvey Karp. These are in the mail to us, so I’ll let you know!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pasifik on October 2, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Thanks for your reviews of parenting books!

    Keep posting,

    There are plenty of toddler books choices. You can check my blog.

    Keep posting,

    TOODLER BOOKS

    Reply

  2. Posted by TulipGirl on October 2, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Other ones I like are “Heartfelt Discipline” and “Relationship Parenting.”

    Reply

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