If there’s one question I often get on Instagram, it’s this: “May I ask what books you read to guide you with your parenting?”
I am not ashamed to admit that I am the type of mom who relies on lots and lots of books to help me guide my son. If I’ll be honest here, I admit I don’t believe in “mother’s instinct” 100%. If that were true, we’d all be doing the same thing and treating our children the same way. Because that’s how it would happen in the wild. Creatures of nature survive because of their instincts.
In birds for example, did you know that if males and females had different colors, it would usually be the males that are colorful and the females in drab colors? Why? Well, one of the biggest reasons is because as mothers, they need to protect their hatchlings and juveniles, and one way to do so is to stay camouflaged. This is the same way for all the mothers of the same species of birds. In humans, our free will allows us to make different endings.
So yes, I don’t completely believe in a mother’s instinct. And upon realizing how much my son would be is a product of what we do and expose him to, I am all the more not ashamed to say that I do turn in to experts for help and advice.
I did a list of WHAT I READ WHEN I WAS PREGNANT, and unfortunately, I don’t have much time in my hands now to explain each and every book thoroughly. So, just check them out and hope you find something that interests you. I put them in categories to make it easier for everybody. Please take note though that categories may overlap, though, and the books are in no particular order. 🙂 And also, I don’t mean to overwhelm you. YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY ALL THESE! These are just what I decided to keep for our library, but it doesn’t have to be this exact list. I just hope to direct you on what kinds of books to look for. Some of them are very similar, anyway. 🙂
[2019 EDIT: Some of the links mentioned here are now under my affiliate account. This means that when you purchase the product/s using the links from my blog, I will earn credits or commission from my partner store at no extra cost to you. This is so helpful in keeping this blog alive, so if you found out about these products through me, hope you could help by purchasing from my affiliate link/s. Also, I made notes on which e-books are a steal, and which e-books may be downloaded for FREE! Thank you!]
IF YOU ARE STILL PREGNANT OR HAVE AN INFANT/ YOUNG TODDLER:
- Montessori From The Start by Paula Polk Lillard [e-book HERE]
- Brain Rules For Baby by John Medina [e-book HERE]
- Your Self-Confident Baby by Magda Gerber [e-book HERE]
- Elevating Self-Care: A Guide To Respectful Parenting by Janet Lansbury
- Montessori Baby Guide by Stacy Sanders [her e-book only costs USD 3.99]
- Understanding The Human Being by Dr. Montanaro
- Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About The Parent We’ve Overlooked by Paul Raeburn [e-book HERE]
- The Wonder Weeks by Frans Plooij and Hetty Van De Rijt [e-book HERE | milestones guide HERE]
- A Montessori Mother by Dorothy Fisher [e-book HERE]
- The Whole Brain Child by Dr. Dan Siegel [e-book HERE]
- The Montessori At Home Guide [0-2 years old] by A M Sterling [e-book for only USD 2.99 HERE]
- Baby’s First Year Milestones: Promote and Celebrate Your Baby’s Development with Monthly Games and Activities by Aubrey Hargis [e-book HERE]
- Child’s Play by Maja Pitamic
IF YOU HAVE A TODDLER:
- The Joyful Child by Susan Stephenson [e-book HERE]
- The Newbie’s Guide To Positive Parenting by Rebecca Eanes [e-book HERE for only USD 0.99!]
- Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide by Rebecca Eanes [e-book HERE]
- Positive Parenting in Action by Laura Ling and Rebecca Eanes [e-book for only USD 3.99 HERE]
- Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne [e-book HERE]
- The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davis [e-book HERE]
- How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Julie King and Joanna Faber [e-book HERE]
- The Yes Brain by Dr. Dan Siegel [e-book here for only USD 1.99 HERE!]
- Child Of The World by Susan Stephenson [e-book HERE]
- Toddler Discipline For Every Age and Stage: Effective Strategies to Tame Tantrums, Overcome Challenges, and Help Your Child Grow by Aubrey Hargis [e-book HERE]
- Awakening Your Toddler’s Love of Learning by Jan Katzen-Luchenta
IF YOU ARE PREPARING FOR PRE-SCHOOL YEARS:
- Montessori: The Science Behind The Genius by Angeline Lillard [e-book HERE]
- Maria Montessori Speaks To Parents
- Montessori Read and Write by Lynne Lawrence
- The Montessori At Home Guide [2-6 years old] by A M Sterling [e-book for only USD 2.99 HERE]
- Teach Me To Do It Myself: 101 Montessori-Inspired Activities for Children Ages 2-6 by Maja Pitamic
- Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under Fives by David Gettman
- The Montessori Method [FREE e-book HERE]
- Teaching Montessori At Home: The Preschool Years by Elizabeth Hainstock
- i-Homeschool by Nove An-Tan [for Philippine residents only]
IF YOU HAVE OLDER CHILDREN:
- How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish [e-book HERE]
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR CHILDREN AND NATURE CONNECTION:
- Play The Forest School Way by Peter Houghton and Jane Worroll [e-book HERE]
- There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets To Raising Happy, Resilient, and Confident Kids by Linda Åkeson McGurk [e-book HERE]
- Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv [e-book HERE]
- Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes For Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom [e-book HERE]
- I Love Dirt! 52 Activities To Help You and Your Kids Rediscover Nature by Jennifer Ward [e-book HERE]
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SUPER EASY, FUN READS:
- Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman [e-book HERE]
- How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm by Mei Ling Hopgood [e-book HERE]
- The Happiest Kids in the World by Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison [e-book HERE for only USD 1.99!]
IF YOU HAVE TIME FOR PHILOSOPHICAL BOOKS:
Most of the books I mentioned are more on the practical side (and little explanations here and there), but if you have time to really go deeper and have a better understanding of the WHYs (of the Montessori principles especially), I highly suggest reading Maria Montessori’s books herself.
- The Absorbent Mind
- The Discovery of the Child
- The Secret of Childhood
- Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook [FREE e-book HERE]
- The 1946 London Lectures
- Montessori: The Science Behind The Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard[e-book HERE]
These are the most popular, but she has more books. You can also go to Project Gutenberg and The Internet Archive for some free e-books. Just type Montessori and see which one/s you can make time for. For summaries, I also bought THIS and THIS. For more Montessori goodness, check THIS out.
PSA: Maria Montessori’s THE ABSORBENT MIND KINDLE VERSION IS ONLY USD 1.20 ON AMAZON! However, as my friend pointed out, there seems to be bad reviews. I have not personally read this version, but for only 1.20, it may be worth checking out.
I also purchased some Montessori-specific books made by parents who practice Montessori. Maybe I’ll include them next time.
So that’s it for now, haha. I don’t really have a lot of hard copies anymore. Although it would be best that Pablo sees me reading an actual book, the truth is, since he was born, the only time I can really read long enough is when he’s asleep — but he’s latched on me, so I end up turning off my wifi, and opening my Kindle or iBooks to read my list. So yes, most of my books are now e-books. Easier purchase, too. I just go to Amazon and choose Kindle, or download from the sites I’ve mentioned, download as epub, and I have my copy! In the middle of the night. Haha!
PS: You know what? Do check those second-hand bookstores in malls (or other kinds of establishments), too. Sometimes, there are copies of Montessori / parenting books at bargain prices! If you want a new copy, you can always request Fully Booked to find a copy for you, and they’ll get back to you with a price and estimated time of arrival.