Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Question of the Week - Parenting Books

The Pookie has been super clingy lately--especially for me. Even when he was just fed, he wants to nurse again... but only for a few minutes before falling back asleep or just snuggling. It is sweet, but CONSTANT! And that's when he's not fussing. Because there are many times when he just keeps fussing. He'll be on and off the breast, bounced, slinged, walked, snuggled, whatever and still fussing. But I also noticed that he seems a lot more aware and different in some way I was having trouble putting my finger on.

This combination of fussy and more aware reminded me of a fantastic book I learned about from Ask Moxie and read when the Pumpkin was going through various stages. It's called The Wonder Weeks, and it talks about the fussy periods that babies go through right prior or around the time of major developmental leaps. And the first one? At 5 weeks, which is how old the Pookie is. I am so relieved to have remembered to check that book and figure out what's going on. It makes me realize that this is a normal phase, just a phase, will end soon, and I'm not alone.

The Wonder Weeks is one of those parenting/child development books that I think everyone should have and read. It really helped me get through the fussy periods with the Pumpkin, and I'm sure it will help me with the Pookie as well.

This week's question of the week is...

What parenting/child development book(s) do you think are good reads?

I'm also currently reading Raising Your Spirited Child. This book is FANTASTIC! For those who have a child like my Pumpkin, you really should read this book. From the first page on, I was SO glad I had bought the book and was reading it. My girl is definitely a spirited child, and I'm lucky to have her! As the author pointed out early in the book, spirited children have all these qualities that we admire in adults but find frustrating in children. I'm already changing how I view traits that were frustrating me, and it helps me appreciate my amazing girl even more. Seriously, if you have a spirited child, get this book!

The other books that have made a huge difference to me are:
- Between Parent and Child by Dr. Haim G. Ginott, which focuses on communication techniques and how we interact with our children.
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, which is another book that focuses on communication and it is developed from the communication techniques in Between Parent and Child. It really walks you through how to use the communication techniques and is a great read!
- Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen, which talks about how important play is for children's developments, including how to use play as a parenting technique.
- Happiest Baby on the Block (I watched the DVD but didn't read the book) and Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp, which has great information about baby and toddler development and has some helpful techniques for calming babies and parenting toddlers.
- The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears, which really lays out all the information you could think of about vaccines. I feel so much better about medicating my child knowing how the vaccines are made, what the diseases do, and what the risks are of both the diseases and vaccines.
- The Baby Book by Dr.William Sears, which has so much great information that you can refer to help understand what is going on with your baby. But as with all the books, take with a grain of salt.

I'm sure I have more that I've read and would recommend, but that's all I can think of now. Oh, I know there are a few breastfeeding books that were great, but I can't think of them off the top of my head and I'm holding the baby so I can't go check.

How about you all? What books or even DVDs or websites helped see you through? What would you recommend? Why did you like it so much? Share with us!


Anonymous said...

The Happiest Toddler on the Block is something I refer back to a LOT.

Another one I really liked but is on loan right now is Scream-free Parenting.

Right now I'm reading 1-2-3 Magic! (about discipline) and I have a feeling it will become invaluable.

The Playful Parenting book you mention sounds like something I'd enjoy reading and incorporating.

I'm Not Skippy said...

We used one reference guide. . . google.

MommyEm said...

The only book that I have had time to actually get through...kinda...is the Baby Book by Dr. Sears and family. I have picked up and tried to read the Karp book, the Faber book, and some others, but I just don't have dedicated reading time. Does BabyCenter.com count? This blog reminds me that I need to start reading again, so thanks for the recommendations!

Becoming Mommy said...

Our only Parenting book is "The Baby Book" by the Sears.

Jan said...

I'm really surprised at all the praise for Sears. I cannot stand his patronizing tone. He's the author of the delightful anecdote -- presented, of course, as PROOF -- about the [implied: horrible] mother who attempted to sleep train her baby using CIO and went in in the morning to find him dead of SIDS. Hate. To be fair, I haven't read his whole book, just the bits he's republished on his website.

I liked Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, mostly for its Eat-Activity-Sleep-You cycle, which I think works really well. and I have hung onto Healthy Sleep Habits, in spite of what I think is really poor writing, because I like all the sleep data in it (very few books have that detail with kids older than a year or so).

The ones I actually recommend most to people, though, are actually books FOR the kid -- My Big Boy/Girl Potty and I'm a Big Sister/Brother. Just the right mix of straight talk and kiddie language.

caramama said...

cirquedubebe - I was just saw the Scream-free Parenting book and was thinking about getting it.

Jan - I love the I'm a Big Sister book and was just about to buy the My Big Girl Potty book! As for The Baby Book by Sears, I really use it as a reference guide and ignore any of his over-the-top patronizing (I heard about his blaming SIDS on someone doing CIO, and that's just nuts! But I never read that myself). But that book did get me through a lot of my daughter's early fussy periods. Again, I read with a grain of salt.

Cloud said...

My bookshelf has a lot of overlap with yours!

In preparation for the upcoming arrival of baby #2. I recently read Siblings without Rivalry, and really liked that.

For sleep, I liked Ann Douglas' Mother of all Sleep Books, the exact title of which I can't remember right now. It was more about presenting the data and the options than about giving you some sort of plan you had to follow. Of course, according to this book, we did everything "right" in terms of encouraging good sleep habits- and we still got a "challenging" sleeper. So maybe we should have done something differently. Who knows.

For breastfeeding, I LOVE The Nursing Mother's Companion, by Kathleen Huggins.

My husband really liked The Baby Owner's Manual. It is a great one to give expectant/new dads, because they'll actually read it. Hubby hasn't really been into reading any of the other books, although he does try from time to time.

FYI: I've seen some pretty harsh criticism from some public health types of the Sears Vaccine Book, mostly around it overstating the risks of vaccines and understating the risks of going off the standard schedule. There have been some recent hib infections in babies that were old enough to be vaccinated, but whose parents had delayed that vaccination. Anyway, I haven't read his book so I don't know what he actually recommends and I don't remember the details of the hib infections. I only mention it because you may want to ask your doctor for updated risk info on that particular illness when you're deciding what vaccine schedule to use for Pookie.

meggiemoo said...

"Sleepless in America" - a great book on sleep.

"The Continuum Concept" - talks about Attachment Parenting from an anthropological perspective.

"Parent Effectiveness Training"

"Good Night, Sleep Tight" - the Sleep Lady's book (we've had a lot of sleep issues)

"The Highly Sensitive Child" - basically gave me the blueprint on my sensitive, spirited son

The Beginnings of a Ski Buddy

After lunch, my daughter and I went back up the "magic carpets" to the top of the bunny slopes. She wanted to keep skiing! With me...