My Favorite Parenting Books
Bridget Swinney, MS, RD, LD
As a writer and author, and a friend to many authors, you could say I’m “into” books! While I read mostly on my Kindle these days, there are still plenty of books that grace my shelves—most of them parenting books and cookbooks! With some books, you’ve just got to be able to hold it in your hands and turn the pages. Today I share my favorites:
Strong as a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood: The Only Guide to Taking Care of You! by Kate Rope. This book didn’t exist when I was pregnant—if it had, my first new months as a new mom would have been a lot calmer. Most moms-to-be—myself included– read a load of books and attend classes from birthing to breastfeeding, but none really address the elephant in the room—how to care for your family while keeping your sanity! This one does.
The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be by Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash. Let’s not leave the dads-to-be out! He’ll enjoy this book that gives the 411 on expecting from a guy’s perspective—including the emotional, financial, and physical effects of parenthood. Now in it’s 4th edition, this book can help dads-to-be feel more confident and be more supportive.
(4th Edition) by Bridget Swinney. Yes, this one’s by me. If you want to know what you should eat (and why) for a healthier pregnancy and baby, this is your book. I wrote the first edition (more than 20 years ago) after having my first child. I realized the eating advice out there for pregnancy was not very practical, so I wrote my own!
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 from the American Academy of Pediatrics edited by by Steven Shelov MD and Tanya Remer Altmann MD. I think this is the one book on child development every parent should have on the bookshelf.
Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents’ Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers by Tanya Remer Altmann MD. It’s often said that babies should come with an instruction book—this is the closest thing to it with the common questions of new parents.
The Nursing Mother’s Companion, 7th Edition by Kathleen Huggins RN. This is true: breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn’t come naturally to many new moms. (That includes me!)This classic has been in print for more than 30 years and gives moms all the tools she needs to be successful at breastfeeding, even after going back to work.
Feeding: Babies to School Age
Fearless Feeding: How To Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School by Jill Castle RD and Maryann Jacobson RD. There’s a lot of good and not-so-good advice out there about feeding kids. Luckily, this steers you in the right direction! This book can help you: get through food jags unscathed, not become a short-order cook and raise healthy eaters that are a joy to have at the table. This second edition was just published and is used by dietitians and pediatricians alike.
Real Baby Food: Easy, All Natural Foods for Your Baby and Toddler by Jenna Helwig. There are lots of books about feeding babies out there. However, few match my own approach to starting solids. Many foods are appropriate first foods for babies, including beef! This book offers a step-by-step approach from first foods to foods for toddlers and some important nutrition information too.
- Nutrition Fun with Brocc and Roll: A Hands-On Activity Guide Filled with Delicious Learning! by Connie Liakos MS, RD, combines a discovery approach to learning with a healthy dose of humor. The fun activities in this book helps help kids learn about nutrition and be motivated to make healthy choices independently. Use this book for fun summer learning or with scout troops, summer camps and after school programs.With 42 copy-ready activities, puzzles and recipes, children ages 6-11 learn to:
- assess food and activity habits
- set goals for good health
- decode advertising and food labels
- develop basic cooking and gardening skills.