Amazing Catholic Parenting Books to Buy


A man and a woman sitting on a bed

Catholics raise their children based on the Bible teachings and their Catholic teachings. Here are some of the best Catholic parenting books based on different categories.

Pregnancy:

A little girl sitting in a chair

Husband-Coached Childbirth by Dr. Robert Bradley

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg

The Bradley Method is, for me, a really intuitive way to prepare for natural childbirth.  The first book is the theory, the second is the how-to.  A warning . . . the how-to book is chock-full of grainy 70s black and white photos of women in labor in various stages of undress.  I brought it on an airplane to read and got some strange looks from the guy in the seat next to me.

Newborns:

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Weissinger

The Baby Book by Dr. William Sears

Both of these are pretty serious attachment parenting books.  I really needed to read books like these to get myself into the mindset of devoting myself to motherhood.  They are not for everyone, but they worked for me, and I still practice attachment parenting with my babies.

Babies:

A woman holding a child

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth

When I get tired of attachment parenting, I turn to this book.  But seriously, I read other sleep books and had zero success with them.  This book is basically a 500 page pep talk to parents on how to manage to let your baby learn to sleep.  Some people do not like this technique, but it has been a huge blessing to our family.  It’s the one book I still re-read with every baby.  If I only had one parenting book, it would be this one.

Discipline:

Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime by Dr. Ray Guarendi (He also has a newer book called Raising Good Kids)

Compass by James Stenson (or any of his other excellent books and booklets)

How To Really Love Your Child by Dr. Ross Campbell (and How To Really Love Your Angry Child for not necessarily angry, but more challenging kids)

Raising good, happy kids is counter-cultural these days.  So, I’m careful where I get my advice.  Dr. Ray is especially great at building your confidence in your own “gut” as a parent.

Jim & Kendra Tierney give a talk about the ONE rule of parenting that has made their home life pleasant with many kids: Always Mean What You Say.

Faith:

Guiding Your Catholic Preschooler by Kathy Pierce

The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland

The first is a really lovely, practical guide on how to introduce the Catholic faith to children.  The second is more aspirational.  It was first published in 1957 and seemed not all that relevant to me when I first read it eight years ago.  (She has suggestions that include bread dough and chicken manure.)  But I have grown into it (I actually made bread dough for pizza tonight and for the past two years I have had access to chicken manure!) So buy any of these books if you want some Catholic parenting guidance.

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