my favorite early-childhood parenting books

my favorite early-childhood parenting books

The parenting genre: Oh what a contradictory, utterly confusing field to research for any new parent. Every side has good points, and all good points oppose the others. Attachment Parenting, RIE, sleep training, on-demand feeding, scheduled feedings, baby-led, child-centered, free-range parenting, permissive parenting, authoritative parenting…I mean come. on. Who has time for all of that. 

When I was pregnant with R I already new from my previous love-affair with Rudoloh Steiner that the beauty and simplicity in Waldorf education would significantly influence my parenting style, but beyond that I wasn’t sure. It’s sad that we feel like we have to rely on other people’s expertise, but at first at least, we kinda do. 

It’s not like there’s a manual, or recipe book, or bible, that holds the definitive answers, and it’s not like we’re not taking on the most monumental, high-stakes task in the entire world. And most of us don’t have amazing parental role models to emulate. So in the end we’re left with books written by people we’ve never met who we hope know a thing or two about this business of raising children. 

The only thing left to do then is sift through the madness to where the gold is, or in other words, cut the crap and only read what’s good. Nice concept, harder to apply. I have a long trail of half-read books behind me, that’s for sure, but I’ve come away with an awesome core group of books that have deeply resonated with me and have influenced my parenting philosophy.cI know a book is good when it feels like a wise friend, and that’s how I feel about each one of them. I hope you do too. 

Simplicity Parenting

If you only had one parenting book, this should be the one. It’s written by a psychotherapist who is heavily steeped in Waldorf philosophy, and so is a Waldorf-inspired parenting book but fused with a heavy dose of Minimalism, and becomes so much more than both of these things alone. A classic. 

The Geography of Childhood

I found this book in my local library way back when I was in my Waldorf love-affair stage, long before I had a kiddo of my own. I loved it so much that I bought it off of Amazon before I had even finished my library copy. It’s like a much more simplified and beautiful Last Child in the Woods without all the statistics and numbers. 

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children

This book is like having a blueprint for the early childhood years done the Waldorf way. Sharifa gives sweet and inspiring tips that you can implement immediately to give your family life rhythm and simplicity. 

Montessori From the Start

This is a great reference for setting up a Montessori bedroom and home, and what developmentally-appropriate activities to set up for your child. I love how the Montessori philosophy looks at the child as an independent being that needs support, space, and respect from the parents. 

Buddhism for Mothers 

This book is a gold mine. I can’t imagine my life if I hadn’t come across this one in on a dusty shelf in thrift store years ago. I’m partial to all things Buddhist, but even if you’re not you still should read this book. The slow, deep, wisdom it has is timeless and crosses boundaries of faith and ideology. This book has a permanent place on my bedside table. 

You Are Your Child’s First Teacher

 This book is Waldorf all the way, and Rahima is so incredibly knowledgeable about children and how to parent them. I love her wisdom about the development and growth of children, and much the same as the Montessori book above, this is a great reference with the obvious and lovely Waldorf spin. 

Do you have any parenting favorites of your own? Let me know below :)

And if you liked this post, be sure to check out…

The Five Books Every New Mother Should Read

The Only Outdoor-Activity Books your Family will ever Need

Simplicity Parenting is an Inside Job