New parent’s resources. Books, websites that can help

by Alenka


1a4The most useful book in a world: “What Babies Say Before They Can Talk : The Nine Signals Infants Use to Express Their Feelings” by Paul Holinger, Kalia Doner, when your baby grows up a little “Playful Parenting” by Lawrence J. Cohen. You man also find these recommendations helpful: Toddler issues book recommendations, For older kids, siblings, etc: Positive Discipline Resources. General information about the first years of baby’s life: I constantly refer to What to expect of 1st years. I disagree with some of its points on punishment and letting the baby cry it out, so Dr. Sears “attachment parenting” approach seems more reasonable to me: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two.

I’ve also read Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care: 8th Edition and Gentle Baby Care : No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry–Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby by Elizabeth Pantley, which are also OK, but at some point they become more or less redundant. I like vegetarian suggestions in Dr. Spock’s book and the kindness and gentleness of Pantley’s “Gentle Baby Care”, but what to expect is organized the best. What to expect is structured by month and it has question-answer approach, with minimal distractions from the topic. ***Even for my second baby I keep that book handy all the time. Whichever book you chose, What to expect is a very useful book to keep at home in any case: it has an excellent medical section at the end that I keep referring to even for my older kid. I just wish this book was more “positive parenting” oriented: I am very much against the methods of leaving baby to cry it out. I believe this approach is right down harmful to the baby. So, I was just ignoring this type of advice. Actually, taking any book with a grain of salt is a great idea – the advice on baby care changes every year, if not every month, so I strongly believe that every mom should primarily rely on her gut feeling and do what feels right, as opposed to following anybody’s advice/system to the dot. I personally prefer Attachment Parenting and Positive Discipline approaches – methods based on love and understanding of the child, his emotions, feelings and needs. You can find more links for that above.

You can read more on “cry it out approach” here: Crying it out may damage baby’s brain. As your baby grows, I think the following books would be very helpful for teaching him/her the gift of the inner discipline (and you maintaining your sanity, raising your little one without yelling, spanking, etc.) How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish. Read our book review and summary. Kids are Worth It! by Barbara Coloroso.

Additional Literature:

Colics – The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer by Dr. Karp
Sleep issues: – The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley
Food – Super Baby Food
Health (if you read Russian – walking with the baby, temperature in your home, bathing the baby, sicknesses, zakalka)

Potty Training (infant and up)
ChildAndMe has a whole section dedicated to it: Elimination Communication and traditional methods of potty training. It contains lots of links to books, websites, resources, and products.


  • How Smart is Your Baby:
    - this one prepares you for what you have to do with your little one since day one on daily basis. Check out our How Smart is Your Baby – Book Review for more information. How much you’d decide to follow it – is your own choice, but I found this book very useful. I am even planning to buy their initial set of cards/crawling track/other materials. I’ve seen those materials in my friend’s house – I think it is going to be easier to get them rather then spend time making it.
  • How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb: From Birth To Age Six
    - this one covers more exercises for the child since day one and further on. We love that book and found it incredibly useful with our older one.
  • How to Teach Your Baby To Swim & make physically superb. This section has a number of books, including books on how to teach your child (or even newborn) to swim.
  • How to Teach Your Baby To Read. Read summary and find materials for this book here: Glenn Doman’s method of teaching a baby to read: in brief
  • How to Teach Your Baby Math. Find more about this in How to Teach Your Child Math: Glenn Doman’s Dot Method. This system is controversial with the least rate of success (as far as I could see). Once your reading program is well established, you’ can introduce math cards. Yet there are plenty of parents who achieved great results with this program, plus there are enough materials to print out and to avoid buying expensive kits, AND it is the only math that I know that you can start with a little baby, so I am planning to try it with my second one. Besides, the window of opportunity for math is not as big as for reading: beyond certain age, baby’s natural ability to understand quantities is lost.
  • How to Give your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge. Find summary and materials for this book here:
    How to teach your child Encyclopedic Knowledge
    : this one is the most fun, kids usually enjoy it the most, so I don’t see why not to try it! Is it worth to buy another book? It has a lot of repetitive information – the same as in the others. So if you are already convinced that you baby CAN learn, and SHOULD be exposed to as much information as possible, and you have a chance to get it in the library to read the chapters that are specific for Encyclopedic knowledge – you don’t really need to buy it. You can use the summary above. I think there is just one or two chapters that are unique and the only thing I use it for – definitions on how to create intelligence bits and program multitudes. I bend every rule anyway – adjust it to my baby’s needs – so see for yourself.
  • Montessori’s books
    - enough Doman! There are plenty of other child development specialists that you can benefit from! I am a great fan of Maria Montessori, but I don’t have a specific book in mind – I’ve jut used internet materials. ChildAndMe has some links. Their toys, philosophy, educational materials – are absolutely terrific.

Resources in Russian:

Sign Language Resources: Sign Language Resources
I’ve used the following book: Sign With Your Baby: How to Communicate With Infants Before They Can Speak by Joseph Garcia. I can’t guarantee that this book is the best, but it worked fine for us in the beginning, and once we ran out of signs mentioned in the book, we were just using online resources for getting new signs. I was really surprised how much “non-speaking” baby can tell with signs language! Many of the signs in this book are standard in American official sign language, as opposed to baby versions. Having the communication going with a non-verbal child – is absolutely amazing!!!

Internet Resources:

Email groups:

These groups are truly helpful
There are many groups with information on every possible topic, but these ones are remarkably helpful.
This site has a list of chemicals present in common foods: which ones are good, which ones should be avoided.
Everything you ever wanted to know about children’s poop… and didn’t.
TV results in Autism:,8599,1548682,00.html


- I really used to enjoy the magazine Wonder Time.  Now that it’s no longer coming out, we have just the same collection of magazines that are more concerned with “how did Angelina Joli dress her kid tonight” or “What do you do about annoying mother in law” then how to use Positive methods of helping your kids grow up as independent, confident and self-reliant adults.  Out of more traditional magazines, I enjoyed Baby Talk (I think their website allows to sign up for free).
I’ve tried many other magazines – Child, Parent, Parenting, Fit Pregnancy… they are all pretty much the same.

Good luck!