Best Newborn Parenting Books To Read Now

baby sleeping with animal plush toy

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission based off of any purchases made through the links.*

As a new (or even experienced) parent, someone is always throwing newborn parenting books at you.

“Oh, you’ve got to read this book.”

“I would have been lost if I hadn’t read that book.”

“Did you read that book on sleep training?!”

It was a little overwhelming for me. I found myself going to the library, newborn in tow, leaving with a stack of random books. That stack of newborn parenting books often sat on my table waiting for me to skim through them. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. Eventually, I would return the books without finding the ones that gave me the info I was looking for.

There are an incredible number of books out there that highlight the ups and downs of parenting a newborn. Being a parent to a newborn is insanely stressful, and unfortunately, the babies don’t come with manuals. So, it makes sense that we reach for the best books that we can find.

I can’t claim to have read all the newborn parenting books out there, but I’ve read enough to put together a list of some of the best books that I have found.

I actually finished and enjoyed these books. Some of them you might have already heard about while others are hidden gems. I can’t wait to share with you~

The book that you will read over and over again*

Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year


If you really are looking for a baby manual, this is the closest thing you will find. At the beginning of each pregnancy, my doctor gave me a copy of the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. Each time it was an updated edition and a better read. Both books are updated quite often and are always including new, relevant information for newborn parents. They are formatted so that they can be read easily and you can search for the exact topic you are looking for.

Consider this a replacement for late night Google searches. The information on the internet can be overwhelming, stressful, and likely inaccurate.  This book was written by doctors who are parents. I found it being a one-stop shop for most of my basic questions.

The book based on science that is easy to read*

Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina


I didn’t come across this book until our second child, and I wish we had found it sooner. It begins by giving some insightful information on a marriage during a newborn and understanding some of your own feelings. From there it elaborates on a newborn’s emotional development into early childhood development. It provides information based on scientific facts from Dr. John Medina on how a child’s brain works, without being confusing.

While he might not be able to provide the exact answers you are looking for, he does provide easy to understand information that sets you up for making the best decisions for your family. It’s extremely easy to read, despite being a science-based book. It’s quick read, which is great when you don’t really have time to read anyways. I highly recommend sharing this with your husband/partner as well. My husband is the one who found this book and shared it with me.

The book to read when your baby won’t calm down*

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Kemp, MD


This was one of those books that was recommended by every other new parent. When we were new parents, we generally had no clue about anything. It was so intimidating and scary. When it came time for our first son to finally be able to sleep train (which I didn’t even realize was a thing until I had kids), it was a challenge. We lived in a tiny one-bedroom condo, with neighbors all around, and were terrified of him crying it out for several reasons. (Who actually wants to hear their baby screaming?!) When teaching our newborn how to sleep on his own, this was one of the first books we read.

If you don’t have time to read the whole thing (which is totally ok!) I highly recommend skipping to the 5 S’s. That information was like gold for us. If anything, it forces you to stop, take your own deep breath, and focus on some really simple tactics that will likely help the little ones out.

The best newborn parenting book for fathers *

Be Prepared by Gary Greenberg


A lot of time focused on the baby and the mom in the beginning stages of parenting a newborn. The most general task, should you choose to breastfeed, relies solely on the mom until you get the green light to start pumping. Because of that, it’s easy for the other duties to fall on to the mom as well. What did my husband end up doing? He started to find the answers to all the questions I had.

My husband was more than willing to participate in any sort of research regarding “how on earth to raise a kid”. I remember my mom found him this book, and we have bought it for every new dad since then. Be Prepared is funny, an easy read, and has useful information. It’s practical and is often described as “it’s like getting advice from a buddy over a beer”. It also a photos, which is an added perk for tired eyes.

The book you will want to buy for your mom friends*

To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma by Molly Millwood


This is a book that you probably haven’t heard of yet, which is exactly why I am writing about it. This book is like sitting in a room with your other mom friends with a big glass of wine and just letting it all out. Molly Millwood sheds light on how being a parent to a newborn is really hard and isolating, and it’s OK to feel that way.

She opens the door to discuss that it’s normal to not feel like yourself the first few months or even years. It’s normal that you might be grieving the life that you had before kids, but still love your new life. It’s a book that was a big sigh of relief for me. I learned that it was ok to have these “not always happy” thoughts and still love my kids with everything that I had. 

Finding the right newborn parenting book is challenging. Hopefully this list sheds a little light on a few that I enjoyed and benefited from. There is always a new book with new information coming out. It’s exhausting to keep up with it all. The important thing to remember is that only you can parent your newborn correctly. It might take a few ups and downs, and a little advice from some books, but eventually you will get into your own rhythm and find what works for you.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission based off of any purchases made through the links.*

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