Books and videos listed below are linked to their respective amazon.com pages so you can locate them easily. If you will be making a purchase please consider searching for them via Goodshop.com and list Open Arms Perinatal Services as your charity of choice. Open Arms provides doulas to low income women would would otherwise not be able to afford one. And don’t all women deserve a doula?
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Becoming the Parent You Want to Be – by Laura Davis and Janice Keyser. This is a GREAT book, easily my favorite early childhood parenting book. Not meant to be read cover to cover but rather as a reference guide to behavioral and emotional development of children up to age five. Starts with exercises to help you clarify what you want to impart to your children, building a vision of your family. Each topic afterwards describes behaviors, what is likely going on for the child developmentally and poses questions to help you consider your response as a parent. I really like this book as it emphasizes that there is more than one way to parent and accepts in a non-judgmental way the many choices parents make.
Mind in the Making – by Ellen Galinsky. Fantastic book! Opened my eyes about how I parent in a number of ways. This book references the latest in brain research, attachment theory and infant/child development to create an easy to read understanding of intellect in the largest sense. Galinsky outlines seven essential skills that help us to succeed in the world and she gives lots of age appropriate examples of things which can help develop those skills. Who knew that Red light/Green light trains your brain to regulate itself?
The Baby Human – Available through Netflix and the public library this is a multipart series which focuses on different areas of infant and toddler development (language, emotion, self-concept) and how we know what babies know.
The Scientist in the Crib – by Alison Gopnik and others. A fun and short read (you’ve just had a baby – you’re not reading anything involved right now!). It is also about research and what very small babies know, how they develop and how amazingly early babies know various things. I have not read the companion book, The Philosophical Baby but imagine it would be of similar quality.
The Wonder Weeks – by Hetty Vanderijt & Frans Plooij. This book outlines cognitive developmental milestones for the first two years of baby’s life. They call the period surrounding these leaps ‘wonder weeks’ and discuss the disruptions in baby’s behavior that may accompany it. This book can be a real comfort when your otherwise great sleeper/eater/happy baby is suddenly, mysteriously different for, well, a few weeks. A childbirth class student once said, “My kid is having a wonder month.”
Raising Cain – by Dan Kindlon. All about the emotional life of boys. And bonus, it doesn’t blame mom!
PJ Library – not a single book but YEARS of free books for Jewish babies! The PJ Library sends free Jewish-themed books and CDs from 6 months to 8 years of age. Did I mention it is free?
Sweet Sleep – Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, and Teresa Pitman. The authors of this book make an excellent case for why bed sharing and breastfeeding should be the norm and have the evidence to back it up! They outline the Safe Sleep Seven – how to know if you and your baby are good candidates for bed sharing and how to make your bed safe. The most important thing about this book is the recommendation that, even if you do not plan to have baby in bed with you, that you set up your sleep area safely in case you accidentally fall asleep. Planned sleep is safer than accidental. I can tell you from my years of doula-ing that most parents do bring their baby in bed even if only for a night or two. This book helps you do that safely.