• The cover of the book Cribsheet

    Cribsheet

    I’m going to be transparent here: I live for data. And data combined with critical baby decisions? For this journalist and postpartum doula, it’s a match made in heaven. So, bias established, let’s talk about why this a must for anyone about to welcome a new baby into their lives: This isn’t about what Oster thinks. Rather, Oster is a pro at picking up on data’s scent and tracking it down to make the most sound, analytical decision. Added bonus: The Bottom Line, a short, bulleted list of takeaways at the end of each chapter. Excellent for thumbing through when in the throes of postpartum exhaustion!

     
  • The cover of the book It's Never Too Late to Sleep Train

    It's Never Too Late to Sleep Train

    “Sleep debt is cumulative. That means the cost to your mood and attention increases the longer your sleep is disrupted.” Cue the need for Canapari’s book. In my postpartum research, I don’t think I’ve come across a sleep training book quite so succinct or delightfully conversational. While this book is targeted to sleep-troubled toddlers and their zombie-esque parents, new and expecting parents will also benefit. I encourage everyone, actually, to read the chapter “The Biology of Bedtime,” which covers sleep-wake cycles, sleep norms, and basic recommendations with surprising—and welcome—clarity.

     
  • The cover of the book Range

    Range

    Try, try, try. Train, train, train. If your child has an inkling of talent, it is up to you to laser in on it and make it their crowning achievement. It’s the way to be a success, right? Not necessarily, David Epstein reports. He provides a fascinating counterweight to everything “Tiger Mom” stood for. Read this, and it’s hard to argue: dabblers and late bloomers may have had it right all along.

     
  • The cover of the book Finding Magic in the Mess

    Finding Magic in the Mess

    Are you and your children overbooked? Take a beat and read this book (and then Epstein’s). Data is pouring in about today’s over-scheduled, college-bound kids who can outperform academically but struggle to self-regulate. As a response, free play and downtime are coming back in vogue again. It’s something Fonso, as a holistic chiropractor and father, wholeheartedly supports. “Children tend to experience and remember the emotion of life, more so than the content,” he writes. His book encourages us to be where our feet are—preferably chasing little ones around for fun versus shooing them out the door to their next responsibility.

     
  • The cover of the book Baby Food Maker Cookbook

    Baby Food Maker Cookbook

    If you’ve got a baby food maker and a penchant for going the DIY baby-food route, Philia Kelnhofer has a bulletproof recipe for you. Her range is extensive, with 125 recipes spanning from the simplest fruit and veggie purees (6 months and above) to transitional chunky purees (the Berry, Avocado, and Coconut Milk Puree is a must) to aromatic solids for the 1-year mark and beyond. Many recipes handily transform into adult food with a little extra salt, like Ginger-Tomato Chicken and Sweet Potatoes, Tuscan White Bean Soup, and a quick-fix Alfredo Sauce with Cauliflower that’s spot-on.

     
  • The cover of the book How To Raise A Boy

    How To Raise A Boy

    If you’re struggling with how to raise a boy, take heart. You are not alone. Millennials, more than any other generation, are shying away from traditional hyper-masculine tropes in favor of, well… TBD. It’s complicated. And that’s where this book comes in. Boys are up against some very real things: stiflingly-gendered toys and clothes, gaming addiction, increasing rates of narcissism, and a new surge in symbolic masculinity. What do we do? While Reichert doesn’t have any hard-and-fast answers, there is one thing his data has led him to believe: “Adults must strengthen our commitment to helping boys find love and closeness.”

     
  • The cover of the book This Is Your Brain on Birth Control

    This Is Your Brain on Birth Control

    There are too many holy sh*t moments in this book to count. Regardless of your contraception decisions and family-planning status, you’ll want to snap up this mind-boggling book. Hill’s explanation of the endometrial lining, fertilized egg implantation, and monthly hormonal feedback loop is worth the ticket to admission alone. “…The pill influences pretty much everything that matters when it comes to love and sex.” Digging into Hill’s research on existing research, there is so much more at stake than just the biology of getting or not getting pregnant.

     
  • The cover of the book Do One Fun Thing Every Day

    Do One Fun Thing Every Day

    According to the back flap, this little journal is meant for ages 6 to 9. Pffft, I say. I’ve embraced it as my summer playlist. I like to fill it out—answering “My Top 5 Foods,” purposefully scribbling on doodle pages, and writing must-haves for summer parties—as my toddler colors next to me. Then, as she gradually and inevitably shifts onto my lap, we fill it out and scribble in it together. I enthusiastically recommend you do the same.

     
  • The cover of the book Raising a Screen-Smart Kid

    Raising a Screen-Smart Kid

    We know—and are learning more every day—the myriad ways digital life is changing our brains and bodies. Teens in particular. So if you have a kiddo and are worried, Miner gets it. She’s there, too. As a mother, blogger, and Gen Xer, she has been shaped by all things digital and struggles with how much to let her children consume. As a result, she’s bundled a beautiful mix of personal experience, data, and detailed reporting to explore the issues and offer potential solutions. It’s direct and to the point, while (thankfully) never seeming alarmist or reactive.

     
  • The cover of the book Bless This Mess

    Bless This Mess

    Conflict, body image, sex, fear, empathy, shame—they all get a turn in Baskette and O’Donnell’s graceful and honest book on living and parenting. Whether or not you consider yourself spiritual, the authors provide a calming approach to the big topics in life without any “thou shalts.” Reading it is like taking a dip in a hot tub of kindness and intentional living. Optional: trying their signature move of creating a family tree diagram (called a genogram) to track intergenerational tough stuff, like divorce and addiction, in order to see patterns.

     
  • The cover of the book The Wonderful Things You Will Be Growth Chart

    The Wonderful Things You Will Be Growth Chart

    And now for something lovely just because. I have all of Martin’s books and have read them to my daughter since she could hold herself up in a Bumbo chair. Martin’s illustrations are vivid and rich, awash in intimate charm. Now, we can tack them up to track Baby’s growth starting at 1-year-old. It’s a decidedly more chic alternative to craggy pencil marks on a doorframe.