Best Parenting Books: Top Picks for Modern Parents in 2023

Parenting is a journey filled with love, joy, and learning curves. With so many opinions and advice coming from different directions, parenting books can provide valuable insight and guidance for new and experienced parents alike. From sleep training to navigating the teenage years, these books tackle various topics and approaches that cater to various parenting styles.

Countless parenting books are on the market, and finding the right one to suit your needs can seem overwhelming. Whether you prefer the wisdom of seasoned experts or empathetic anecdotes from fellow parents, choosing a book that aligns with your values and offers practical, actionable advice is essential.

When selecting a parenting book, critical factors are the author’s credentials, overall tone, and the specific topics covered. Parenting philosophies differ, so finding a book that resonates with your beliefs and values is crucial. Additionally, ease of reading, relatability, and the use of evidence-based practices should also be considered.

I understand the importance of finding a parenting book that supports and educates. To help you make the best choice, I have researched and assessed the top parenting books available, evaluating their content, impact, and reader reviews. The following recommendations are designed to guide and inspire every stage of your parenting journey.

Best Parenting Books

I have compiled a list of the best parenting books to guide you through the joys and challenges of raising children.

1. Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids

Raising Good Humans book cover

I highly recommend Raising Good Humans for its refreshing and realistic approach to mindful parenting.


  • Offers practical mindfulness techniques
  • Focuses on real-life tools and experiences
  • Transformative parenting strategies


  • Requires reading and self-reflection
  • Small text font
  • Emphasizes meditation as necessary

Our experience with Raising Good Humans has been nothing short of enlightening. With its focus on practical mindfulness skills and real-life tools, I found ourselves more equipped to break the cycle of reactive parenting and raise kind, confident kids. The author’s fresh perspective on parenting, backed by her own experiences, makes this a standout title among many other parenting books.

Though the book requires some self-reflection and journaling, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I cannot emphasize its positive impact on our parenting journey enough. The transformative strategies shared in the book have proven effective, as I’ve noticed significant changes in our children’s behavior and interactions.

One word of caution, the book’s font size is small, which could be difficult for some readers. Additionally, the author strongly emphasizes meditation as a prerequisite for successfully implementing the strategies discussed. While this may not resonate with everyone, I believe the overall message and tools in Raising Good Humans make it a must-read for those looking to improve their parenting approach.

2. Break Free from Reactive Parenting

Break Free from Reactive Parenting book cover

I recommend “Break Free from Reactive Parenting” for parents who want to create a calmer, happier home using gentle-parenting tips and self-regulation strategies.


  • Helps create a calmer, happier home environment
  • Offers gentle but effective parenting tips
  • Incorporates self-regulation strategies for parents and children


  • It may require commitment and patience to see results
  • Not suitable for those who prefer traditional parenting styles
  • Some activities might not be universally appealing

After using the “Break Free from Reactive Parenting” strategies, I noticed our home environment becoming more peaceful and harmonious. The book’s tips helped us understand the importance of setting aside our own reactions and focusing more on the needs of our children.

From our experience, this book provides an excellent resource for parents struggling with overwhelming emotions and reactive parenting habits. The self-regulation strategies I learned have positively affected our interactions with our children, leading to less stress and a calmer household.

However, it’s essential to note that this book’s approach to parenting is geared toward those who prefer a gentle, emotionally-tuned style. It may not be as effective for those who lean towards more traditional parenting methods. Overall, “Break Free from Reactive Parenting” is a valuable resource for parents seeking a calmer, happier home.

3. Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting

I highly recommend Cribsheet by Emily Oster to anyone looking for a well-researched, informative guide on parenting from birth to preschool.


  • Data-driven approach
  • Relaxed parenting style
  • Wide range of topics covered


  • Some information may be less accessible
  • Kindle version is missing graphs and lists.
  • Occasional biases

As parents, our experience with “Cribsheet” has been extremely positive. This book stands out with its data-driven approach to parenting, offering parents the necessary tools to make informed decisions for their little ones. Oster tackles many relevant topics, leaving us feeling more prepared and relaxed when parenting our children.

One downside I found is that some readers may struggle to understand certain aspects of the data analysis, specifically those who are more tired from new-parent life. However, the information provided makes this book a must-read for any parent or parent-to-be.

A noteworthy issue for those considering the Kindle version of this book is that it lacks graphs and lists, making some information less accessible. Despite these limitations and occasional biases, Cribsheet remains a valuable and informative guide that helps empower parents to make the best choices for their families.

4. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Simplicity Parenting book cover

If you’re looking for an insightful book that advocates for a simpler approach to parenting, Simplicity Parenting is definitely for you.


  • Encourages a less-is-more approach to parenting
  • Provides valuable insights to create a positive family environment
  • Helps in reducing stress and anxiety in children


  • Some readers may find the writing style difficult to follow
  • It might not align with everyone’s parenting philosophy
  • It could be more detailed in some sections.

I found this book an excellent read offering a refreshing perspective on parenting. The author emphasizes the importance of simplicity in raising children, allowing them to enjoy their early years without becoming overwhelmed. Following the techniques described, I noticed our children becoming calmer and happier.

One of the main takeaways from this book is the power of prioritizing our family’s values, which helped us create a more fulfilling and nurturing home environment. Although I faced challenges implementing these changes, the overall impact has been incredibly positive for our family.

In conclusion, “Simplicity Parenting” provides a valuable resource for parents seeking a more balanced approach to raising their children. However, it’s essential to have an open mind while reading this book and adapt its principles to your own parenting style. If you can apply its core concepts, it can significantly enhance your family’s well-being.

5. Moms on Call | Next Steps Baby Care 6-15 Months | Parenting Book 2 of 3

Moms on Call Parenting Book 2 of 3: Next Steps Baby Care 6-15 Months

Moms On Call is an essential tool for new parents seeking expert advice and practical guidance for navigating the first stages of parenthood.


  • Easy-to-follow schedules tailored to your baby’s age
  • Practical tips and techniques for first-time parents
  • Addresses sleep issues and establish healthy routines


  • Some content overlaps with the first book in the series
  • It may not suit every parenting style.
  • Deemed too prescriptive by some readers

I recently discovered the Moms on Call series and couldn’t wait to share our experience with their second book, Next Steps Baby Care 6-15 Months. I loved the organization and clear advice tailored to our little one’s development stage.

The schedules included in this book made planning our days a breeze. It significantly reduced our stress as first-time parents, especially regarding sleep training. After following the book’s recommendations, I found that our baby’s sleep improved dramatically, and I gained much-needed rest.

However, I did notice some repetition in the material between this book and the first one in the series. While this might not be an issue for everyone, it stood out. Additionally, if you prefer a more flexible or intuitive parenting style, you could find the prescribed schedules in this book too rigid. Overall, I highly recommend this book to parents who appreciate structure and need guidance navigating the first steps of parenthood.

6. Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be

Good Inside book cover

I strongly recommend Good Inside for any parent seeking practical advice and emotional support in their parenting journey.


  • A relatable and insightful approach to parenting
  • Focuses on emotional needs and mental health
  • Provides practical strategies for everyday situations


  • Some readers may find parts of the advice difficult to balance
  • Geared more toward parents with younger children
  • The first portion of the book contains less practical guidance.

Having read through “Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be,” I can’t emphasize enough how valuable this book is for developing a compassionate and effective parenting strategy. The author, Dr. Becky, has a wonderful way of connecting with her readers and making her advice tangible and relatable.

The book takes a unique approach to addressing the emotional needs of both parents and children, which can significantly impact long-term mental health. I particularly appreciated the practical strategies for navigating daily struggles with kids, such as implementing the “fill-up” game from chapter 11 that reduced meltdowns and better days for our family.

One of the downsides I noticed is that some readers may find it challenging to strike the right balance between creating a connected family unit and individual members based on some of the advice in the book. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that “Good Inside” is primarily aimed at parents with younger children, so those with older children may not find it as applicable to their specific needs. Despite these minor drawbacks, this book remains a game-changer in parenting literature and is an excellent resource for any parent searching for guidance and support.

7. The Whole-Brain Child

The Whole-Brain Child Book Cover

I strongly recommend The Whole-Brain Child for its revolutionary and practical insights on nurturing a child’s developing mind.


  • Easy to understand with clear explanations
  • Helpful strategies for parents and caregivers
  • Applicable to children of various ages


  • Some readers might find it repetitive
  • Not always going deep into the science
  • Could use more case examples

I recently read The Whole-Brain Child, and it’s a game-changer. The book is filled with 12 revolutionary strategies that are easy to understand while providing valuable knowledge on nurturing a child’s developing mind. I appreciated the accessible language as it helps parents and caregivers of all backgrounds grasp the concepts.

The practical advice provided in this book is particularly useful for parents dealing with tantrums, meltdowns, or other difficult situations. I found the strategies versatile, as they can be applied to children of various ages, ranging from toddlers to teenagers.

One thing I noticed, though, is that some readers might find the book a bit repetitive. While the authors delve into neurobiology, they don’t always dig deep into the scientific aspects. Additionally, it would have benefited from more case examples. Overall, The Whole-Brain Child is a valuable resource for every parent and caregiver who wishes to understand better and nurture their child’s developing mind.

8. How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Calmer, Happier Parent

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids

I highly recommend How To Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids to any parent seeking practical advice for maintaining composure with their children while fostering a calmer and happier environment.


  • The engaging and easy-to-read writing style
  • Practical, real-world advice
  • Humorous and empathetic tone


  • Some parts can be repetitive
  • Not every reader may appreciate the humor
  • Important topics may lack detail

As a parent, I understand how challenging it can be to keep cool with our kids, and “How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids” offers invaluable guidance. I especially appreciate the author’s empathetic and humorous approach to discussing these common parenting struggles.

Throughout the book, I found numerous strategies and insights that enabled us to handle parenting challenges better. The various suggestions are practical and have helped us take a step back and reevaluate our interactions with our children.

One point to consider is that some readers may find certain sections repetitive or feel that certain important topics are not thoroughly covered. However, I believe that the overall advice and relatability of the book outweigh these flaws, making it a great addition to any parenting library.

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

No-Drama Discipline book cover

I recommend the No-Drama Discipline book to transform your parenting approach and nurture your child’s emotional growth through science-backed strategies.


  • Well-researched and clearly written
  • Impactful examples of effective communication
  • Positive and empowering perspective


  • Some repetition throughout the book
  • Not as effective for pre-teens and teenagers
  • It could be condensed into fewer pages

While reading No-Drama Discipline, I appreciated the solid advice on communicating healthily with children based on a deep understanding of their developing brains. The book encourages parents to focus on connection, empathy, and understanding rather than resorting to punishments or harsh discipline.

The actionable examples and case studies included were truly helpful. However, I noticed that some ideas were repeated multiple times, which might make the book seem longer than necessary. Despite that, I gained valuable insights and reminders for better parenting with each read.

In our experience, this book is most beneficial for parents of younger children, as the techniques may not be as effective with teenagers. Overall, No-Drama Discipline is a valuable resource for parents and caregivers seeking to enhance their parenting techniques and create a more harmonious family environment.

10. Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans

Hunt, Gather, Parent book cover

Hunt, Gather, Parent is great for its insightful and practical approach to raising happy, helpful children based on ancient wisdom.


  • Provides innovative parenting strategies
  • Drawing from ancient cultures’ wisdom
  • Focused on raising cooperative children


  • Lack of traditional parenting methods
  • It may require a significant mindset shift.
  • Not for those seeking rule-based parenting

Our experience with “Hunt, Gather, Parent” has been nothing short of transformative. The book delves into the depths of ancient cultures to offer a fresh perspective on raising happy, helpful little humans. As I read the pages, I took notes and implemented the ideas in our day-to-day parenting.

The book offers a unique perspective by focusing on cooperation and teamwork. It encourages parents to involve their children in household chores, making them feel like part of a family “team.” This approach has been remarkably effective in our experience, leading to happier and more helpful children.

It’s worth noting that the book may not resonate with everyone, particularly those who prefer a more traditional, rule-based approach to parenting. However, if you’re open to exploring alternative methods and learning from time-tested wisdom, “Hunt, Gather, Parent” is an enlightening and valuable resource in your parenting journey.

11. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk book cover

I highly recommend How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk for its practical and effective communication strategies for parents.


  • Easy-to-understand examples and concepts
  • Encourages open communication with children
  • Useful for parents and clinicians alike


  • Implementation may require patience and time
  • Some readers may find the final chapter less impactful
  • Potential short-term defiance in children

Reading this book taught us a great deal about communicating effectively with our children. The practical examples throughout the book helped us apply the concepts to real-life scenarios, making it easier for us to understand and implement the suggestions.

As I started using the techniques from this book, I gradually noticed our children opening up more and sharing their thoughts and feelings with us. This led to a better connection with our kids and helped us navigate challenging situations as a family.

We want to emphasize that incorporating these techniques might take some time and effort, so be prepared to be patient with yourself and your children. Overall, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” has positively impacted our parenting journey and strengthened our family relationships.

12. 1-2-3 Magic: Gentle 3-Step Child & Toddler Discipline

1-2-3 Magic Book Cover

1-2-3 Magic is for parents seeking a gentle and effective discipline approach for their children and toddlers.


  • Easy to understand 3-step process
  • Helpful for children of various ages
  • Positive parenting approach


  • May not work for every child
  • Requires parental consistency
  • Some techniques may need adaptation

I found the 3-step process outlined in the book to be incredibly clear and easy to follow. After trying it with our own children, I noticed significant improvements in behavior and a more harmonious household atmosphere.

Our experience with “1-2-3 Magic” has shown that it is effective with older and younger children. This versatility makes it a valuable addition to any parent’s toolbox.

While the gentle and positive approach to discipline resonated with us, it is important to note that this method may not necessarily work for every child, and adaptations may be required based on individual needs. However, I believe that the overall approach provided by this book is a valuable investment in nurturing happy and well-disciplined children.

13. The Effective Anger Management Guide For Parents

The Effective Anger Management Guide for Parents

The Effective Anger Management Guide For Parents is essential for parents looking to transform their frustrations into positive parenting strategies.


  • Practical ideas and steps
  • Empathy-driven approach
  • Useful for parents of all ages


  • May not suit those without anger issues
  • Focuses mostly on the parents
  • Not part of a larger parenting series

When I began reading The Effective Anger Management Guide for Parents, I found it particularly helpful in addressing our emotions as parents. Instead of solely focusing on the children, the book shed light on our triggers and how to manage them to create a positive home environment.

Throughout the book, empathy was emphasized as the key to managing our anger towards our kids. This approach and practical ideas and steps made us feel supported and understood rather than judged or shamed.

The only caveat I found was for parents who may not experience anger issues, this book might not be as relevant. However, for those who struggle with their emotions, I highly recommend it as a valuable resource for promoting healthy and positive parenting.

14. Best Blended Family Practices: Blended Family Support System

Best Blended Family Practices Cover Image

I highly recommend Best Blended Family Practices for those seeking guidance in navigating blended family dynamics.


  • Comprehensive coverage of blended family challenges
  • Helpful for both stepdads and stepmoms
  • Addresses anxiety issues in step-parenting


  • Shorter in length (73 pages)
  • Not suitable for readers looking for a quick fix

This book offers a sensible approach to dealing with blended families’ various challenges, helping step-parents understand their roles and navigate the often-complex relationships in a new family structure.

It acknowledges some step-parents’ unique struggles and offers helpful strategies for managing anxiety in these situations. However, despite its valuable content, the book may not be suitable for readers who prefer an all-inclusive solution or expect immediate results.

The 73-page length, although brief, contains insightful information, making it an easy read for those who may prefer a shorter parenting book.

In summary, “Best Blended Family Practices” is a worthwhile investment for step-parents seeking knowledge and support to navigate their blended family journey better.

15. My Magical Choices (The Magic of Me Series)

My Magical Choices book cover

I highly recommend My Magical Choices for parents who want to teach their young children about the power and impact of their choices.


  • Encourages positive decision-making
  • Engaging illustrations and rhyme
  • Accessible for ages 3-6 years


  • Some durability concerns
  • Targeted primarily at a younger audience
  • Limited situations explored

Our experience with My Magical Choices has been delightful; the book beautifully illustrates the importance of positive decision-making in a way that is both engaging and educational for children. Reading it aloud immediately captivated our attention, and the charming rhyme scheme made it enjoyable for our little ones.

I noticed that the book’s colorful illustrations are essential to its appeal. The vivid artwork effectively complements the message, and our children couldn’t wait to turn each page to discover new visuals. However, despite its many strengths, I did encounter some durability concerns that may impact the book’s longevity.

While My Magical Choices is primarily suitable for preschoolers aged 3-6 years, older children may still appreciate its message, although they might seek out books with a wider scope. That said, the book illustrates the power and importance of choice, so I feel confident recommending it to any parent eager to instill these values in their child.

Buying Guide

When selecting the best parenting books for your needs, there are a few key features and considerations to remember. I will discuss some essential aspects to make your decision-making process easier.

Author Credentials

Choose books written by authors with expertise and experience in parenting. Look for authors who are psychologists, therapists, pediatricians, or experienced parents. This ensures that the information provided is based on knowledge and real-life experience.

Target Age Group

Parenting books usually cater to specific age groups, such as newborns, toddlers, or teenagers. Ensure that the book you select applies to your child’s age group. This way, you will find the advice and strategies more relevant and helpful.

Parenting Style

There are various parenting styles, such as authoritative, authoritativeness, and permissive. Choose a book that aligns with your values and preferred parenting approach. This ensures that the techniques and advice will be compatible with your parenting style and goals.

Practical Application

Look for books that provide actionable tips and strategies that you can easily implement in your day-to-day life. These books should be engaging and offer solutions to common parenting challenges.

Reviews and Recommendations

Read reviews from other parents to get their insights on the helpfulness and readability of a book. Personal recommendations from friends or family members who share your parenting style and values can also help you find the right book.


In conclusion, these 15 exceptional parenting books offer valuable guidance, insights, and practical advice for parents navigating the challenging, yet rewarding journey of raising children.

Each book covers essential topics, from understanding developmental milestones and fostering emotional intelligence to effectively managing discipline and creating strong family bonds.

By incorporating the knowledge and techniques from these resources, parents can build a solid foundation for their children’s future success and happiness. Equip yourself with these books to enhance your parenting skills, embrace the joys and challenges of parenthood, and create a nurturing environment for your family to thrive.

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