Best parenting books | London Evening StandardH ow are you parenting this month? Maybe you are following the Finns, encouraging your children to learn through joyful, unstructured play and boundless independence. Perhaps you prefer the German model. Teutonic child rearing certainly sounds more fun than ours. In Achtung Baby, another recent parenting primer, American and sometime Berlin resident Sara Zaske describes how, in a daring blend of Japanese gameshow and Lord of the Flies, German parents equip their children with fire, knives and instruction in how to use them, then stand back and cultivate calm detachment.
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You've made it past the pregnancy stage and have successfully created a new human. Now what? If the idea of raising a kid without some guidance seems daunting, these parenting books will get you through the finish line. The same way What to Expect When You're Expecting took a month-by-month look at your changing body, What to Expect the First Year takes a similar approach to your growing baby. You can get a leg up on what behaviors are coming down the pike, what developmental milestones the baby should be hitting, what symptoms are red flags you should bring up to a doctor. And, if you really like the approach, there's also What to Expect the Second Year.
From newborn nuisances to teenage angst, these are the volumes every parent needs on their bookshelves at one stage or another. Some people are lucky enough to nail it all with intuition, confidence and grit. However, most of us need a little bit of expert advice. This can be from friends, family, the Internet and of course via books and the experts who write them. However, too much advice can be a bad thing and you can get into a complete pickle navigating all the conflicting opinions. It was a constant source of comfort. Babies change rapidly in the first six months of their life.
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Is your bedside table stacked with books or muslins and wet wipes!? We've kept it so simple that we only chose five top books, the first of which is, in itself, the only book you might ever need.
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You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent. You can come away feeling that if only you were doing x, y and z a bit better, your baby would be sleeping through the night, feeding on schedule, and all the rest. Dr Ellie provides a welcome antidote. She rubbishes the idea that babies are uniform and parents need to learn a complicated set of rules to manage them, encouraging new mums to trust their own instincts while simplifying common worry areas including sleeping, feeding, crying and sickness. Take a breath, make a brew and prepare to feel calmer and more confident.