PARENTS

What To Expect: 5 Classic Parenting Books (And 5 Modern Ones)

01/18/2016 12:00 EST
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Baby boy getting messy eating spaghetti

Let's face it, if you're having a baby there are plenty of tried and true parenting books out there that have withstood the test of time. Nothing is going to knock them off the bestseller list. Books like "What to Expect When Your Expecting" have endured because of their solid, timeless advice.

But the tried and true approach doesn't always work for every parent of every child, so while we bow at the feet of the classics, this list hopes to introduce you to some modern equivalents for parenting in the 21st century.

  • Classic: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk (1980)
    Amazon
    “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen” has been teaching parents how to avoid arguments with their kids and choose alternatives to punishment since 1980. Authors and parenting gurus Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish use practical exercises, logical rules and real-life situations to illustrate the importance of love, patience and your child's self-esteem when communicating with them.
  • Modern: The Soul of Discipline: The Simplicity Parenting Approach to Warm, Firm, and Calm Guidance From Toddlers to Teens (2015)
    Amazon
    “The Soul of Discipline” builds on this loving framework with more real-life examples and practical tools, but it also goes much deeper by explaining when, why and how to tighten the reins and then loosen them throughout your child's development.
  • Classic: The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide For Dads-to-Be (1995)
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    In decades past, books dedicated to the father’s side of parenting were either non-existent or upsettingly non-progressive. One of the most lauded guides on the topic ever written is ”The Expectant Father,” to the point where it has been updated through three subsequent editions and enjoys brisk sales to this day.
  • Modern: C'mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark (2010)
    Amazon
    But time has been kind to fathers looking for advice and guidance, and it’s hard to find a more charming or honest example than “C'mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark.” This parenting memoir from Canadian Ryan Knighton offers some actual inspiration, poignancy and non-ironic laughs around what its like to raise an infant as a blind man. The valuable and always important takeaway — don't sweat the small stuff.
  • Classic: Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems (1986)
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    These two books are two sides of an argument trying to answer one common parenting question, “How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?” On one side is Dr. Richard Ferber who “Ferberized” millions of babies with his method of letting them cry it out for a sustained period of time before receiving any affection from worried parents bursting at the seams.
  • Modern: The No-Cry Sleep Solution (2002)
    Amazon
    The flip-side sees Elizabeth Pantley offer another way for those parents who just can't watch their babies cry out. With feedback from hundreds of test families, she offers step-by-step instructions for sleeping that jives with many different family styles. This comes along with charts for tracking progress and an enhanced backgrounder on what your baby is doing while they sleep.
  • Classic: The Baby Book (1983)
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    William and Martha Sears use their experiences as parents and parenting juggernauts, known for their book on attachment parenting, to build this best-selling encyclopedic bible on a baby's development from birth to age two. It emphasizes the importance of the father's involvement just as much as the relationship between mother and baby while covering every developmental stage.
  • The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate Your Baby's Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 (2013)
    Amazon
    Then there's “The Wonder Weeks,” a book that covers about the same period of time, but tells you how turn each developmental stage to your baby's advantage and tells you the real reasons behind crying, sleeping and eating problems. It's like “The Baby Book” enhanced for the world we live in today.
  • Classic: How to Get Your Kid to Eat...But Not Too Much (1984)
    Amazon
    If you're a parent of a picky eater, you know how much of a chore it is to get them to eat at all, much less eat right. "How to Get Your Kid to Eat...But Not Too Much" was the original manual for many parents when it came to getting their kids to eat. Author Ellyn Satter cracked the code with what she calls her "Golden Rule" of parenting: "Parents are responsible for what is presented to eat and the manner in which it is presented. Children are responsible for how much or even whether they eat." Through this, she answers questions like how do you deal with a kid who likes to snack, suddenly declares themselves a vegetarian or doesn't eat what you make, but will eat the same dish at a friend's house?
  • Modern: It's Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating (2014)
    Amazon
    Using the same focus on behaviour and habits, rather than solely nutrition, “It's Not About The Broccoli” builds on what Satter emphasized back in the day, but puts it in simpler terms.