Best Parenting Books – Top 10 Revealed

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
October 17, 2019
Father and Daugther Reading Book

With so many parenting books available today, the challenge often lies in finding the best book for your needs. You want the book you buy to last or at least help you through the most challenging parts of raising your kids, but you also need to make sure the book will contain actionable insights you can follow that really work. To help you find the best options you can use for years to come, check out the following top 10 books. Each is a bestseller because parents adore them, and you’ll see why. 

Comparison Table

Parenting Book FAQs

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Everyone is looking for something different in the best parenting books. The type of parenting book for your need could include:

  • A single guide for new parents
  • For Dads
  • For parents who want to boost their baby’s smarts
  • For newborns and/or toddlers
  • For parents of kids

Parenting books aim to challenge and inform parents. When you turn to them for advice, you will learn how to facilitate positive connections while learning to understand your children’s behavior. They’re insightful and great to have on the bookshelf whenever you need them, as they explain your child’s behavior from their own point of view. These books will help you learn to discipline your children in positive ways as well, rather than using shame or harsh consequences. 

As a parent, these great books will help you:

  • Become calmer and more patient
  • Allow your kids to make their own choices
  • Connect with multiple children, even if they’re different age groups
  • Help kids learn to talk about their emotions
  • Understand personal triggers to keep stress and frustration away from the kids
  • Learn to stay calm during a tantrum or crisis mode
  • Feel better about your job as a parent

Some kids may be more difficult to parent and require out of the box thinking to find new parenting tools that will meet their needs and personality. Everyone is different, so the best books will teach you how to manage your children’s uniqueness while learning how to manage your own. 

The best book for your parenting needs is often determined by the following:

  1. Your book needs may change depending on how old your children are or what issues you’re facing, and a great book will contain enough information that you can use for a long period of time. 
  2. Some books are made to help parents with children who may be more challenging, such as high-energy, sensitive, or high-spirited children.
  3. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to parenting books, so you may need to keep a handful of options on your bookcase. 
  4. If you’re going through a common phase all kids face, such as potting training, a helpful guide could make the process easier. 
  5. Although many parenting books focus on the child, some will focus on staying happy parents for the sake of the children. You’ll notice books out there that focus on marriage and loving your partner or getting through modern parenthood.

How We Reviewed

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Top 10 Best Parenting Books

The top 10 best parenting books on our list include something for everyone, whether you have a baby, toddler, or full-blown child. These are the books that will help you along the way through every challenge from potty training to discipline. 

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

​If you ever thought about cracking open your child’s head to figure out exactly what’s going on in there, this is the book you need. The co-authors are well known, and they’ve authored multiple books together on the developing brain of a child to help parents understand. 

A New York Times bestseller, this book takes new age science on how a young person’s brain matures and wraps it up into a practical read. No matter what age your children are, the Whole-Brain Child explores the various stages of the developing brain and offers some real strategies you can use. This book is out top pick because it offers clear explanations and actionable strategies to deal with everyday struggles, and it even comes with illustrations to help your child understand the concept as well. 

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

Rather than focus on your child’s cognitive development, this bestselling book focuses on skills that are more important for success in life such as grit, character, and curiosity. Intelligence isn’t always the perfect measure of success, and this book shows you the science behind why the character is more important in transforming young peoples’ lives. Whether your kids are growing up in poverty or are wealthy, How Children Succeed can help form traits in kids to avoid drug abuse, stress, or family issues.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

Another New York Times bestseller, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk shows parents how to effectively communicate with their children. It’s an internationally acclaimed read with fresh insights, traditional methods, and helpful suggestions to build an everlasting relationship. Readers have even said this book is especially helpful when attempting to resolve family conflicts. However, parents love this classic parenting book because it’s down-to-earth and rewarding. 

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer

A classic must-have for parents, this book is a second edition of The Happiest Baby on the Block. It comes with more insightful material on how to calm crying babies in minutes and help them stay asleep longer, breastfeeding, and even swaddling. Written by Dr. Harvey Karp, the techniques you’ll find in this book will help you make sure your baby is healthy and happy. If you have a fussy child, give this book a try. It may just transform your entire life. 

Toddler Discipline for Every Age and Stage: Effective Strategies to Tame Tantrums, Overcome Challenges, and Help Your Child Grow

If you have a toddler, you need this book. It not only offers practical discipline strategies to combat the terrible twos, but it also helps parents manage every stage and challenge in the toddler phase to guide your children into their becoming the best people they can. At this age, kids are ever-changing. This book is entirely devoted to helping you overcome the toddler stage, with its many challenges and meltdowns. 

Straightforward and easy to read, parents will learn Paget-style concepts and understand common behavioral issues for each stage of their kid’s life. One of the best parts about this book is that the chapters are organized based on age, so you can easily flip to the correct age group for your kids. It’s packed full of tips and actionable advice from other parents, so you have more than one perspective as well. 

Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right

Potty training can be difficult, and although this book is a guide meant to help parents and kids through the process easier, you may only find you need this book when your kids are around preschool age. However, it’s still a great read to from a potty-training expert. It comes with a 6-step plan that will help you potty train faster than ever. The process is proven to work, and thousands of kids have used these methods to move from diapers to the big potty in as little as 20 months. 

Even if you’re worried your child may not be ready for potty training, this book will also address how to know when it’s the right time to potty train. The theories are backed up with real-world actionable advice, without using candy or toys to bribe your kids to use the potty. 

Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic

An older read that’s been newly revised, this book was originally published in 2006. However, expect this copy to contain updated research to back up their claims, effective strategies that readers have used for over 10 years, and real-life stories from families to tackle even the toughest of situations. Focus on the positive and learn how to achieve success with this four-step process. 

If you have a high-spirited child that’s a bit more difficult to manage, you need this book on your shelf. Not all children are average, and this read will show you how to use your and your child’s temperament in beneficial ways. It covers temper tantrums, sibling rivalry, and so much more. 

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

​From the same authors as The Whole-Brain Child and The Yes Brain, this book is another New York Times bestseller from the pioneering writers, doctors, and experts in the field Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. Discipline is an important part of being a parent, and in this book, you’ll learn how to deal with the not-so-fun parts of parenting with compassion. Rather than shouting, for example, the authors will show you how to reach your child using logic and explanations they’ll listen to.

It’s packed full of strategies for constructive and age-appropriate discipline, important facts on how a kid’s brain develops to help parents understand what their child is feeling and setting clear and attainable limits. You’ll learn to make it through a temper tantrum in strides and achieve a happier household. There are even some principles from The Whole-Brain Child and real-life stories. 

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success

A New York Times bestseller from author Julie Lythcott-Haims, How to Raise an Adult is a must-read for parents around the world. Rather than practice helicopter parenting, this book focuses on an alternate philosophy for raising children. You can use it for young kids, preteens, and teenagers to help foster self-sufficient young adults. Using research, the author highlights ways parents accidentally harm their kids with helping too much and explains how you can instead create adults who know self-resilience. 

Whether you have a baby or teenager, this book is helpful throughout your entire parenting experience. Allow your kids to learn and form complete confidence, resisting the urge to over-parent. The parenting advice in this book is for everyone. Some readers, however, have criticized the book for being written for wealthy families. Although, the issues described in the book can touch the lives of all classes. 

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

A complete guide to raising happy kids who are also responsible and capable, this book will also teach parents to become more peaceful. Author Dr. Laura Markham uses the latest research in children’s brain development along with her extensive experience working in clinical settings to create a simple and effective approach to parenting. She believes that in order to foster a long-lasting emotional connection with your kid, you need to avoid using bribes, nagging, punishment, or even pleading. Instead, you’ll learn how to check your emotions and communicate in a healthy and effective way. 

It comes with examples, actionable solutions, and step-by-step instructions. Before you know it, your days of power struggles and temper tantrums will be long over. This positive read is enlightening, and you can use it throughout your children’s lives. However, readers say the advice in this book works better if your children are under the age of 6. If you need a book for teenagers, you may find a more helpful guide elsewhere. 

The Verdict

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Our top pick for the best book parents needs to buy is The Whole-Brain Child. Not only is this read a New York Times bestseller, but the authors have also written at least two other titles (one of which is on this list as well) that have topped the charts. It contains innovative suggestions and compelling data on the way a baby’s brain develops, and it’s a helpful read to keep on your bookshelf throughout your child’s life. Most parents find no flaws in this book, and it’s still in hardcover. What more could a parent need?

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