My Top 5 Books for New Parents

July 20, 2018

By: Rachael Bilello, DO (MD Kid Care, Jericho, NY)


New parents often ask me questions about … well, being a new parent.

“Is it too soon to sleep train?”

“How can I prepare my 2-year old for the new baby?”

“Is my breastfed infant getting enough?”

“How am I ever going to potty train this kid?!”


As a mom of three, I’ve gone through all of these situations myself, oftentimes more than once. Beyond sharing my own experiences, I love to recommend great books to help guide my patients.


Below are some of my favorite recommendations:

  1. Children’s health in general: Caring For Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to age 5.

This reference book from the American Academy of Pediatrics gives succinct and accurate info in an easy to lookup format.  It’s a great book to put on a baby registry or give as a new baby gift.


  1. Sleep: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD.

Sleep is so important for everyone in the household! Dr. Weissbluth, pediatrician and sleep expert, has great tips for exhausted parents. As babies grow and change, so do their sleep habits, making this book useful for years to come.  Dr. Weissbluth offers plenty of different sleep problem scenarios and how to address them in a firm but loving way.  (Just my style!)


  1. Toilet-training: 3 Day Potty Training by Lora Jensen.

I love this method!  When followed exactly, I find it works really well.  Lora gives practical, step-by-step instructions.  She also offers many potty pitfalls and how to avoid or correct them.


  1. Bringing a new baby home: The New Baby At Your House by Joanna Cole.

This book was given to me by another pediatrician mom when I was pregnant with my second.  Amidst a sea of cartoon books about becoming a big brother/sister, this book has real-life pictures.  It gives the soon-to-be big kid a sneak peek into what the baby might sound and look like (umbilical stump and all).  It delicately covers all topics including crying, breastfeeding and the range of feelings the big brother or sister may experience. This book is great for reading to your kid(s) while awaiting the arrival of your newest family member.  Side note: the pictures are from the early 80s; your kids may not notice, but you’ll get a good laugh.


  1. Breastfeeding: American Academy of Pediatrics New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Joan Younger Meek, MD, and Winnie Yu.

Let’s face it…almost everyone’s got an opinion on breastfeeding.  And many love sharing them, whether you ask or not!  This book has reliable info to help get you started and keep you going.


So there you have it. Not exactly the beach reads from our lives before children, but what parent has time to read on the beach anyway?