I bet if nurses in Labor and Delivery had a dollar for everytime they heard, "Don't these kids come with instruction manuals?" they would be very, very rich. It's that joke that I think most couples share when they're discharged from the hospital after welcoming a baby....it's not so much "Now what?" as it is, "Do we know everything we need to know to take baby home?"
The answer, of course, is no. Parenting is an ongoing process of learning. While your child is learning about the world, you're learning about the best way to bring your child up in the world. Also, I've heard from many parents that their parenting style varies from child to child, based on what works best with their individual personalities.
Most women learn during pregnancy that advice is often easy to come by. Perhaps too easy, actually. Before I digress an unsolicited advice for pregnant women, I better get to the point...I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I have a few select people whom I turn to for advice on parenting, usually family or close friends who I think know a thing or two about a thing or two.
I also turn to books for parenting advice and information. Here are some of the ones I have around:
Healthy Sleep, Happy Child by Weissbluth
What To Expect From Your Toddler (from the What To Expect When You're Expecting folks)
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 from the American Academy of Pediatrics
I'm thinking about buying the book Bringing Up Be`Be` by Pamela Druckerman after the segment about the book last week on the Today Show.
No book has all the answers. Some have no answers for some of my questions...and that's fine. By now, I have a pretty good idea of how to handle "Lauren the Toddler" (although I'm pretty sure writing that last line down will prove to be a mistake). My favorite source for parenting information is now my own gut and maternal instinct.
I'm curious. Do you have any books that you would recommend as good parenting books?