Best parenting books 2018: Everything new parents need to know, from £8

Not sure which end of your baby is which? These great books will provide new parents with information, reassurance and even a few laughs

A baby is the most important new arrival you’ll ever welcome into your home – but unlike your dishwasher or vacuum cleaner, it doesn’t come with a manual. And most of us no longer live with our own parents, who in times gone by could be relied upon for (mostly) solid advice.

Fortunately for the survival of the human race, new parents aren’t left to fend completely for themselves: there’s a huge library of parenting books out there that can help. The wisdom of a paediatrician, a professional nanny or just an experienced mother can be an invaluable guide through the myriad questions and concerns that new parents often have. Here’s our pick of the best baby books on the market.

How to choose the best parenting book for you

What are the types of parenting book?

There are a few different types of parenting book. Some are written with a specific problem or area of development in mind, such as helping your baby to sleep. Then there are more general books that promote broader approaches to child-rearing. Finally, there are reference guides that collect together informative facts and helpful tips. You might find it useful to invest in a few complementary titles – for example, a simple guidebook for advice on feeding, changing and bathing your baby, plus a book covering a parenting philosophy you may like to try.

Are there different formats?

These days, it’s also worth thinking about which format you want your parenting book in. Traditional printed books are convenient to flick through, and can be conveniently kept in useful places. However, many popular baby books are also available for e-readers, phones and tablets, which can be very convenient for the irregular lifestyle of a new parent – you can have a quick read on your phone while your baby naps on your arm.

It’s worth looking into websites and apps too. A lot of modern parenting books have an associated website, which supplements the printed content with extra information such as handy video guides and discussion forums. Articles on book-related websites are usually shorter and less in-depth than those found in the books themselves, but can be great for basic information. For the truly 21st-century parent, some books even provide daily tips and updates via a skill for the Amazon Echo – check when buying your book for Alexa instructions.

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