Inside: Good Toddler Parenting Books can be hard to find. Here are the 4 best books so you can parent your toddler without losing your mind! This post contains affiliate links.
The toddler years are the crazy years. There’s really no way around it.
Sure you’re getting a little bit more sleep than during their newborn and baby year so parenting seems easier at first, but toddlers are pretty nuts.
Who else would get mad at you for giving them exactly what they asked for a minute earlier?
Who else cries because there’s crust on their sandwich one day, then cries because you cut off the crust the next day?
Who else refuses with all of their heart and soul to put on their favorite light up shoes that they begged you to buy them?
Toddlers, that’s who.
Toddlers simply don’t have the words or the emotional capability to express themselves any other way.
They lose it in the middle of the grocery store, during your mommy and me class, and at any other random point during the day.
And it can be frustrating, embarrassing, and super exhausting for us.
So how do we survive it?
How do we get through the toddler years without pulling our hair out?
How do we thrive during these years rather than count down the minutes until naptime and bedtime each day?
We’ve all heard the go-to comment parents make where we wish there was a parenting handbook that told us exactly what to do and how to do it.
So what if I told you there was?
What if I told you I found four toddler parenting books that so drastically altered the way I see, interact, and deal with my toddler, that I enjoyed their “terrible twos” and “tyrannical threes?”
What if I told you that my kids almost completely stopped having tantrums after I read and implemented the tricks from these books?
And what if I told you that when they did have a tantrum, I could get the tantrums to end in under a minute without following them down the rabbit hole into crazy town?
#1 Toddler Parenting Book – To Raise Happy Kids
When I was pregnant, I read Harvey Karp’s book, The Happiest Baby on the Block and that alone was life altering for my husband and me from the day we brought our daughter home from the hospital.
So when I found out he had a toddler edition, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, I had to own it. I needed to know what he knew about toddlers and tantrums and making them less frequent. And when I bought the book, I devoured it.
Happiest Toddler on the Block gave me step by step actionable ways to deal with my toddler’s tantrums in a way that made sense to my toddler.
The book gave me a way to deal with my toddler’s big emotions, and connect with her by empathizing with her.
It’s a step by step guide to calm her down quickly, help her through her “crazy” moment, and help her move past it without giving in to what she wanted in the first place.
And you know what? I still follow his tips to this day when my six-year-old or my tween has a tantrum-type episode.
But so you are fair warned, you’ll feel downright silly following his advice. You will feel foolish that you’re talking to your toddler the way the book suggests. Especially when you’re in public.
But it works.
And honestly, if it works, I don’t care how ridiculous I feel or sound.
Because it beats my kid doing the dead weight thing so I can’t lift her off the cookie aisle floor of the grocery store.
#2 Toddler Parenting Book – To Communicate Better with Them
Do you ever feel like you’re butting your head against the wall when you’re talking to your kids?
Especially when you’re talking to a toddler?
Yeah, me too.
So I turned to the genius book, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk.
This must-own book isn’t technically a toddler book because it applies to all kids.
But if you start using these techniques when your kids are toddlers, you’re going to set yourself up to get your kids to listen to you.
This book taught me a way to respect my child and connect with them in a way that gets them to do what I need them to do without a fight.
The “old school” parenting techniques of threats, sarcasm, demands, and control do not work well on kids.
Our kids will resist us and dig their heels into every little thing we need them to do. They will balk at our every ask, no matter how small.
This book has tons of techniques and tips and try-it now sections to make your life easier and calmer and more peaceful.
But one huge takeaway from this book I use daily is to give my kids choices that I can live with.
I need them to get in the car. But instead of demanding they get in the car, I ask them, Do you want to walk to the car or skip to the car? Do you want to strap in by yourself or do you want me to do it? Do you want to listen to music or have no music?
As they’re deciding and choosing how they want to do it, they’re getting in the car without a fight.
It takes a bit more time on my part to think of choices I’m willing to give them and more patience as I wait for them to choose, but I get them to do what I need them to do without a fight or a tantrum.
And getting my kids’ cooperation is worth the extra time and patience required.
#3 Toddler Parenting Book – To Stop The Sibling Squabbles
The toddler years are crazy enough as it is.
But for many families, these years are made more complicated with the addition of a new sibling.
Siblings Without Rivalry changed the way I talk to my kids about their siblings and around their siblings.
As parents we don’t often realize that adding another child to the family doesn’t double the work, it almost triples it.
Because now we have to parent our first kid, parent our second kid, AND parent their relationship with each other.
And when you add a third kid into the mix, you’re parenting each of them individually, parenting each child’s relationship with their other siblings, and parenting them as a threesome when they’re all together.
It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
But this book taught me to purposefully diffuse sibling conflict and avoid resentment and jealousy which has improved my children’s relationships with each other immensely.
And it’s made my life as a parent of three immeasurably easier and calmer because there’s fewer fights, fewer tiffs, and less bickering among my kids.
Siblings Without Rivalry opened my eyes to pitfalls I didn’t even know I was falling into as a mom…comparing them to each other, forcing them to share their prized possessions and fostering an environment where they felt the need to compete for my affection.
Siblings Without Rivalry guides me daily with how I support and encourage my children’s relationships with each other.
It has helped me help my kids be on a team rather than accidentally pitting one child against another.
And I have followed this book’s advice since I was pregnant with my second kiddo and parenting a very strong-willed toddler. Which set my kids up for a better sibling relationship from day one.
Find more awesome parenting books here –> 6 Parenting Books That Will Change the Way You See Your Kid
#4 Toddler Parenting Book – To Gain Cooperation
Every toddler seems to have a thing. Or several things, really.
They won’t touch green things. Or they refuse to sleep in their bed. Or they’re scared of their toothbrush.
Whatever their drama is, parents need a way to move past it. We want to push our kids out of their comfort zone a little bit to try something new and scary.
Like eating red foods.
Or touching sand.
Or being within a 20-foot radius of a farm animal without freaking out.
How to Con Your Kid sounds tongue and cheek, but it’s an idea book organized by what toddlers won’t do.
So now you know you need to give your kids control and choices so they have buy-in to do what you need them to do.
But if you’re having trouble coming up with creative and fun ways to get them to want to do what you need them to do, this book has your back.
Have a toddler that won’t take a bath? This book gives you a list of fun ways to get them to step outside of their comfort zone. Try adding bubbles, or put their favorite toy in the bath with, or let them wear their bathing suit into the tub.
Have a toddler that won’t brush their teeth without a fight? Try singing a special tooth brushing song while you brush. (This one prevented us from racking up insurmountable dentist bills.)
Have a toddler who refuses to eat vegetables? Call vegetables funny names. Broccoli became “dinosaur trees” in our house and all of a sudden my toddler couldn’t get enough of them. Or let them dip their veggies into maple syrup or ketchup or blue dyed ranch.
The book is chock full of ideas for every toddler’s reluctant behavior. And it’s genius.
Because here’s the thing.
This parenting gig is hard enough. We all need parenting to be a little bit easier so we can enjoy it a little bit more.
And these parenting handbooks will help make that happen for you.
Now you just need to figure out if you should cut off your toddler’s crust or leave it on.
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