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A Blog from Your Kaiser Permanente Pediatricians in Northern California

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Parenting Resources: Our Top Recommendations

Being a parent is a wonderful journey — but it isn’t always an easy one, is it? We all struggle, from those early days with a newborn when you can’t even find time to take a shower, to the days of trying to teach a stubborn teen to drive safely. We wonder what we’re doing wrong, how everyone else makes it look so easy, and whether our kids will turn out okay!

I recently worked with a team of pediatricians and health educators to create a list of resources for you. To help you navigate the parenting path, answer your questions, and give you support, we recommend these trusted resources in print and online.

My top 5:

1.  Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child by Robert J. Mackenzie is the book I credit for giving me the skills to raise 3 children who I enjoy spending time with.
2.  How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish helped make me into a parent my kids enjoy spending time with and can actually talk to.
3.  Siblings without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish helped me raise 3 kids that truly like each other and don’t fight.
4.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a website with answers to all of your FAQs about diseases and vaccines.
5.  American Academy of Pediatrics is a trusted source and has a terrific page for parents about all aspects of children’s health.

Here’s a roundup of our top recommended websites for parents:

Here are other books I also recommend that are great additions to your parenting bookshelf:

Babies

  • Your Baby’s First Year (4th ed.), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5 (5th ed.), AAP
  • Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Baby’s First Year, by Ari Brown and Denise Fields
  • Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities by Magda Gerber
  • What to Expect the First Year (2nd ed.), by Sandee Hathaway, Arlene Eisenberg, and Heidi Murkoff
  • Touchpoints: Birth to 3. The Essential Reference for the Early Years, by T. Brazelton, MD

Toddlers/Preschoolers

  • Guide to Toilet Training (2nd ed.), AAP
  • Toddler 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Toddler, by Denise Fields and Ari Brown
  • The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups, by Erika Christakis
  • The Magic Years: Understanding and Handling the Problems of Early Childhood, by Selma H. Fraiberg
  • The Happiest Toddler on the Block, by Harvey Karp
  • Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide for Putting Positive Parenting Principles into Action in Early Childhood, by Laura Ling and Rebecca Eanes

Healthy Eating   

  • Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know, AAP
  • Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup (2nd ed.), byLaura Jana, MD, FAAP, and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP
  • The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers: Practical Answers to Your Questions on Nutrition, Starting Solids, Allergies, Picky Eating, by Anthony Porto, MD, and Dina DiMaggio MD
  • Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater, by Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH, Melanie Potock, MA
  • Healthy Kids, Healthy Diet. A Parent’s Guide to Optimizing Nutrition for Your Family’s Health and Well-Being, by Sue KuivanenBooks by Ellyn Satter
    Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense 
    Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: How to Eat, How to Raise Good Eaters, How to Cook
    How to Get Your Kid to Eat, but Not Too Much
  • The Picky Eater Project: 6 Weeks to Happier, Healthier Family Mealtimes, by Natalie Digate Muth, MD, and Sally Sampson

Sleep Habits

  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (3rd ed.), by Marc Weissbluth, MD
  • Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, by Richard Ferber
  • Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep, by Jody Mindel
  • Sleeping Like a Baby: A Sensitive and Sensible Approach to Solving Your Child’s Sleep Problems, by Avi Sadeh

Temperament

  •  Understanding Your Child’s Temperament, by William B. Carey MD
  • Temperament Tools: Working with Your Child’s Inborn Traits, by Helen Neville et. al
  • Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  • The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them, by Elaine N. Aron

Discipline/Behavior

  • Your Defiant Child, (2nd ed.), by Russell A. Barkley and Christine M. Benton
  •  1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting, by Thomas Phelan

Divorce/Blended Family  

  • Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Two Homes for Your Child, by Isolina Ricci
  • The Co-Parents’ Handbook, by K. Bonnell and K. Little

Crisis/Loss

  • Parenting through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief, and Change, by Barbara Coloroso
  • Trauma through a Child’s Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Healing, by Peter Levine & Maggie Kline
  • Talking with Children about Loss, by Maria Trozzi

Sibling Rivalry

  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life, by Laura Markham
  • Siblings: You’re Stuck with Each Other, So Stick Together (Laugh & Learn), by James J. Crist and Elizabeth Verdick
  • Understanding Sibling Rivalry: The Brazelton Way, by T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua D. Sparrow

Disclaimer: If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.