Best Books on Child Development and Parenting

child development text books

There are several thousand books written for parents.  Because good parenting advice is so important yet parent’s time to get the information they need can be limited.  That’s why I have taken the time to list and provide brief reviews of the books I believe will be worth the read. 

Ages and Stages: A Parent’s Guide to Normal Childhood Development  By Charles E. Schaefer, Theresa Foy DiGeronimo  

A person sitting on a couch

Written in an engaging, practical style, Ages and Stages offers you the benefits of the most current research on child development, featuring helpful tips and techniques to foster your child’s maturation.   

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five  By John Medina

a girl

Written by a respected scientist who is also a parent, this books shares practical advise on how to help your child feel safe, develop age appropriate skills and self-confidence to name a few.  Despite being a “developmental molecular biologist” by trade, Medina is a refreshingly savvy writer, opting to avoid much of the jargon that would make the book impenetrable for the untrained layman like me. The book is divided into five clear, topical sections: – Pregnancy (how to help your baby develop while in utero) – Relationship (how to avoid the relationship pitfalls many couples experience postpartum) – Smart Baby (how to optimize your child’s brain development and intelligence) – Happy Baby (how to raise a happy, well-balanced child) – Moral Baby (how to help your child develop and nurture their moral compass) 

You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six  By Nahima Baldwin Dancy  

In this easy to read and understand book, the authors explains the different stages of learning that children go through from birth to age six, giving you the wisdom and understanding to enrich your child’s natural development in the right way at the right time.  

Your Child’s Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning From Birth to Adolescence  By Jane Healy 

This recently updated classic provides a window into the fascinating process of brain development and learning. It looks at the roots of emotion, intelligence, and creativity, translating the most current scientific research into practical suggestions for parents and teachers.     

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children  By Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman 

A best selling book based on sound child development research this book is “one of the most influential books about children ever published, Nurture Shock offers a revolutionary new perspective on children that upends a library’s worth of conventional wisdom. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, the authors demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring–because key twists in the science have been overlooked. Nothing like a parenting manual, NurtureShock gets to the core of how we grow, learn and live” (publisher review).   

What’s Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life  By Lise Eliot  

This wonderful book is written by a child development researcher from a mother’s perspective and and shows parents the innumerable ways in which they can actually help their children grow better brains.    

These are some of the best books on child development and parenting.

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