Best Parenting Style? Some Good Books Out There, But Mother’s Instinct is Best

Last night I watched an episode of “The Doctors” from earlier this week, and the topic was “How to Prepare for Health Challenges.” There was a segment on parenting styles in which the doctors discussed parenting books and the abundance of childrearing styles to choose from. There is so much info out there that it can be difficult to know what advice and which books are best.

Dr. Sears (pediatrician and author) mentioned that he did not agree with the Babywise method of putting very young infants on a sleep and feeding schedule (which favors sleep over feeding). I agree with Dr. Sears on this. As a student of child development/psychology, and more importantly as a mother, this practice was not right for me. I’m more for the attachment style of parenting.

But, there are lots of other books out there that offer different philosophies. Which ones are most accurate, helpful?

How does a new parent choose? The doctors and guest expert Dr. Michelle Borba advised that when shopping for parenting books , look for the following: the author’s background/expertise (should be in medicine and child development); make sure the research is current (no more than 5 years old); and choose a book whose philosophy matches your own ideas. My favorite part was when Dr. Lisa Masterson said that when it comes to parenting styles, “Mother’s intuition is always number one.”

So true! When all is said and done, it’s your baby. Sure, the advice is helpful and, in many areas, needed. I found it very convenient to have several books on hand to refer to as needed (especially in the earliest part of my daughter’s infanthood). They were a great supplement to my doctor’s advice and a quick reference for many topics like feeding, sleeping, bathing, and developmental milestones. The books I found most useful were “The Baby Book,” co-written by Dr. Sears of “The Doctors,” and “Baby 411: 3rd Edition” by Denise Fields and Ari Brown.

What have been your favorite baby/parenting books?

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