7 Best-Selling Baby-Raising Books, Distilled into 50 Words or Less
Holy parenting advice! You haven’t even had your kid yet and you’ve already spent $157 on Amazon buying child-rearing books. Don’t fret. We’re making it easy by distilling the top seven to their most salient points.
Bringing Up BéBé by Pamela Druckerman
For: International fashionistas and the trendy Brooklyn set
The Takeaway: We’re all over-coddling and need to get our kids to bend to our lifestyle, rather than the other way around. Big no-no’s: Baby food, co-sleeping and leaving the house without makeup. The bit about holding men to different standards may raise your feminist red flag.
Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue by Christia Spears Brown
For: Former gender studies majors
The Takeaway: Consciously or not, we set our kids up to ascribe to gender norms, simply by the way we interact with them. (We count less with baby girls and don’t chat as much with baby boys.) The goal: Stop labeling interactions with gender (say “kids” instead of boys or girls) and watch your body language (no awkward looks when your son reaches for a doll).
The Baby Book by William Sears, Martha Sears, Robert Sears and James Sears
For: Hippies, attachment parents, people who like walking around shirtless
The Takeaway: There is no “right” or “wrong” way to parent. That said, you'll probably want to get on board with co-sleeping, cloth diapers, baby carrying and a whole lotta breastfeeding. Otherwise, trust your gut without worrying about the “shoulds.”
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
For: Anyone who values sleep above all else, former military drill sergeants
The Takeaway: Yes, it may suck at first, but the best way to raise an excellent sleeper is to go all-in on the cry it out method and everything it entails. Establish a firm bedtime routine by six weeks, never rock an infant to sleep and learn to tolerate the sound of your baby’s 4 a.m. wails.
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
For: Parents who like guidelines but don't have the stomach for CIO.
The Takeaway: Babies are deprived of a “fourth trimester,” which is why mom and dad need to recreate one in the first 100 days. How to do it? Rely on the five S’s (swaddling, side/stomach sleeping, loud shhh-ing, gentle swaying and sucking), while teaching infants to sleep by doing a modified, less screamy version of the cry-it-out method.
The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans X. Plooij
For: Parents who live and die by their Google calendars
The Takeaway: Your kid should be shaking a rattle at 11 weeks. Laughing by 13 weeks. And recognizing his face in a mirror by 18 weeks. He’s not? Don’t panic…it probably means a growth spurt or sleep regression. You’ll figure it out.
What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff with Sharon Mazel
For: Any human having a baby
The Takeaway: Anything your kid does is normal. Seriously, it probably has its own section in the table of contents.