Smiling like Sunshine: Top 10 Books for a Natural Mum

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Top 10 Books for a Natural Mum

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


In no particular order

1.The Baby Book by Dr.William Sears and Martha Sears

This is a great reference book which covers the first two years, everything you need to know about life with an infant. Most important of all, it gives you the message to listen to your own mothering instincts. If you are going to buy one book about baby care, this is it.

2.The Drinks are on me by Veronika Robinson, covers everything you need to know about breastfeeding.
Veronika is the editor of The Mother Magazine which is published in England.
In this book she shares her own experiences as a mother who breastfed her children for 10 years (including 5 years of tandem feeding).
As she says in the foreword, in an ideal world our mothers would  tell us everything they knew about breastfeeding. Sadly we don't live in this ideal world so she tells everything your mother never told you about breastfeeding.
She mentions the common issues about breastfeeding, the latch positions, the problems you may encounter (engorgement, mastitis etc ) however what I like most is that there is a huge section about breastfeeding toddlers, tandem feeding, child-led weaning and how it feels to breastfeed older children (her daughters self-weaned at 7 and 8).
Veronika says  her utopia is that children are breastfed at least two and a half years and if parent-led weaning must happen, she wishes it to be gentle rather than abrupt.

3.How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor by M.D Robert S. Mendelsohn
Some doctors are keen to prescribe medicines and some parents believe it's almost impossible raising a child without antibiotics.  Dr.Mendelsohn introduces you to a more natural approach. He is also very attachment parenting friendly, supports breastfeeding and cosleeping.
At the end of every chapter, there is a quick reference guide which briefly summarizes when you have to call the doctor, what you have to do, which conditions require a treatment and which do not.
The book is published in 1987 and some parts may be a bit outdated (not revised after Dr.Mendelsohn's death) but it is a basic book that addresses to anyone who has a child.

 4. Adventures in Gentle Discipline by Hilary Flower.
This book is  a collection of tips, stories and insights from parents. The philosophy presented in the book is  respect for children and their needs and development. I have gained insight and a few tricks from reading the book.  The best thing about the advice given is that it isn't a one size fits all.

5.Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower.
 Surely not for everyone, but if you decide to breastfeed during pregnancy and beyond, this book has great tips. This book gives you the confidence to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy, has advice on eating for three, on how to breastfeed with a growing bump and tandem feeding.

6. My child won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez.
We mothers always worry about our children when they eat less than we think they should. Pediatrician Carlos Gonzalez addresses the situations when eating problems start  and what to do to avoid them.
The message of the book is simple:
Trust your child and do not force him to eat. As parents, our duty is to provide healthy foods and snacks (always keep in mind that their calorific needs are different from adults)and our children will decide when and how much they'd like to eat. Because they know how much food they need.

7.The Food of Love by Kate Evans.

Kate Evans is an activist cartoonist.
In this book, she writes about all aspects of breastfeeding (there are funky cartoons about how to latch a baby, mamasutra (advanced breastfeeding positions) and parenting with personal experience, up to date scientific information and humor.
She covers all the issues that you face from the moment you have your baby. Cosleeping, babywearing, why you should not leave your baby to cry it out etc. All of these, make it a perfect book in my humble opinion. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud!
You can find a few sample pages here.

8. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth  by Ina  May Gaskin. Ina May is a world renowned name in midwifery. Reading this book, will persuade you to believe in your strength as a woman.
She shares her exceptional birthing wisdom in this intuitive guide to childbirth. By sharing a wealth of knowledge generated by three decades of experience she explains why the natural birthing process, when left to its own devices, can proceed so beautifully on its own.

9.Raising our children,Raising ourselves by Naomi Aldort. This book provides the tools for being always kind and loving in our day-to-day interactions with our children, and illustrates the guidance with  real-life examples. It helps to cope with difficult situations that we come across with our little ones.

10.Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen.

This is the book that I read these days and I find it so useful. This book teaches me to be more playful even when I am stressed. This book teaches me to keep cool and be playful even when I am telling her to get ready for the sixth time because we are late. This book teaches me to giggle when she is testing my limits and gives us the chance to reconnect.

Of course, it is perfectly possible to be a natural mum without reading any of these books. I personally like reading and these are the books I recommend when asked.
All in all, these books, have two common values: Being respectful to the child and trusting your mothering instincts.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon March 8 with all the carnival links.)


  1. Wow, great list! We had a couple of books in common, but not many. I guess that goes to show that there are lots of wonderful books out there for natural parents. I'll be adding some of these (the ones I haven't read) to my list--thank you!

  2. Thanks for sharing this list! There are several there that I have been meaning to read and just haven't gotten to them (esepcailly the Cohen and Aldort books)...but so many recommend them I am really going to have to get them soon {like today!}.

  3. Well, I love the books on this list I've read, so now I've got some new ones to check out from the library!

    The Drinks Are on Me sounds fabulous, and right up my alley as I breastfeed a preschooler through pregnancy.

    I already applaud the message of My Child Won't Eat — barring medical issues, they will when they're hungry!

    Just reading your thoughts about Ina May's book brought back the warmth I had from reading it when pregnant with Mikko. I loved all the birth stories, too — so much variety but such universal wisdom and strength.

    I've been drawing on Playful Parenting these days, too. Playing makes everything easier, even when it feels like it's harder at first!

  4. Intriguing book list! I have heard of a few as I peruse the natural parenting blogosphere. Hopefully some are at the library; they look like good reads.

  5. Hey! We totally relate on the mother's intuition front. I have read NONE of these books! Can you believe it?! Which kind of totally makes the case for intuition. However, I feel more educated knowing they are out there and can be more prepared by reading them when issues arise. Great toolkit!

  6. Great list Isil! I've got the Dr. Sears and Ina May Gaskin books and also recommend them all the time. I've heard of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves and I've been meaning to check it out. Thanks so much for this list, I'll be sure to check out the others too.

  7. I am ashamed to admit that I have never read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - it is definitely on my list for the next time we get pregnant though. Thank you for the recommendations!

  8. I had been trying to remember the title "How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor". Thanks for putting it on your list, so I can find it!

  9. Great list and explanations of the books. I have about half of them and will look into some of the others! Of course you are right that you don't need to read any of these to be a natural mother, but I certainly think that they help!

  10. Great list! I hadn't come across number 7. And I just checked-my library now has my hold placed on it. Thank you for the recommendation.


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