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Now I don’t know about you… but I’m definitely a book lover at heart. If I want to learn something new or broaden my outlook on a particular topic I always look for a book as my main source of information. There’s something about the tactile element of turning pages, folding corners and scribbling notes in books that is completely irreplaceable for me.

When I found out I was pregnant I instantly felt the desire to read books that could inspire and inform my parenting journey. I’ve sort of always known that I’d want to follow ‘natural’, gentle parenting methods, and child-led philosophies such as Montessori. But my knowledge was very limited, so it was time to dive in!

There are three books that have been my favourites so far. Each of these books has taught me a huge deal of new things, whilst also confirming my instincts and personal way of thinking about parenting. There have been plenty of those warm moments when you read a sentence that just makes SO much sense to you!

Quick note- I know that parenting books are not for everyone, and often people can feel pressured by them, or take the information provided by them as gospel. Every child is different so there is never going to be a book that applies one hundred per cent to your child, but these books can be a great source of inspiration and guidance if you wish them to be. I love reading about parenting styles and child development but if it’s not for you then that’s ok!

Baby Calm – A Guide for calmer babies and happier parents

Sarah Ockwell-Smith

I stumbled across a second-hand copy of this book in my local swap shop and my parenting reading adventure began. The title doesn’t lie, this is a very comprehensive and practical guide to how to remain calm through parenting, and the benefits that this brings for parents and children alike. This book offers a really refreshing and honest approach to parenting in a way that focuses on respecting the child and throwing societal expectations out of the window.

I very quickly became a big fan of Sarah Ockwell Smith. Her writing resonated with me so much and I knew I’d want to read her other books too.

The Montessori Baby – A parent’s guide to nurturing your baby with love, respect and understanding

Simone Davies & Junnifa Uzodike

Next, I treated myself to a new copy of this book because from the blurb and reviews I felt it was likely to become an essential guide for us for several years to come. That’s exactly what this book is. Before reading this book I had a very basic knowledge of the Montessori approach, but from the little, I knew I was desperate to learn more.

I read it cover to cover whilst pregnant and simply couldn’t put it down. But it’s very much written as a book that can be dipped into as and when relevant. Although we are only four months into parenting I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have returned to this book for information or guidance. I’ll definitely be purchasing ‘The Montesorri Toddler’ when we come to the next stage.

The Gentle Sleep Book

Sarah Ockwell-Smith

Most recently, I purchased Sarah Ockwell Smiths ‘The Gentle Sleep Book’. I’ll admit that this was a sleep-deprived 5.30 am purchase! But it’s not a purchase I regret, this book is super interesting and packed full of practical and achievable tips on managing your whole family’s sleep so that it works for your family’s unique setup. This book really changed my perspective on what we should expect from babies and their sleeping patterns and now I feel like the pressure and stress around sleep has been lifted for our family.

Now that Otis is here, my opportunities for reading have almost disappeared so I’ve switched to podcasts for the time being(There’s another blog post coming about those!). But, as soon as time allows I know that I’ll be diving back into a good old fashioned book. I’d love some recommendations for books about natural parenting, Montessori, outdoor play etc so do let me know if you have any favourites.

I hope I have sparked some reading inspiration for you if you are a parent or parent to be, or even just if you are interested in these topics. Happy reading!

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