Funny thing about parenting: You find out pretty quickly that you'll never have all the answers, no matter how many books you read. Still, that doesn't mean there aren't a few tomes out there worth your (already strapped) time. Below, four books InStyle staffers recommend every new parent or parent-to-be read to help them on this weird and wonderful journey of parenthood.
Note: This feature contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something, InStyle earns a commission. All recommendations, however, are independent opinions of InStyle staff.
1. 100 Promises to My Baby
"Truly inspiring! I read it when I was pregnant with my daughter Stella. It is a reminder of how beautiful, innocent, and precious children are and what a blessing being a parent truly is. Mallika Chopra has written a wonderful book for parents trying to raise loving, kind, and secure human beings." —Melissa Rubini, Fashion Director and mom of one
100 Promises to My Baby by Mallika Chopra, new and used starting at $2; barnesandnoble.com.
2. How to Raise an Adult
"Julie Lythcott-Haims came to speak at my children’s school and just blew me away. She talks about 'breaking free of the overparenting trap' and recommends children do chores and advises parents to back off and let kids make mistakes and (gasp!) fail all on their own. In an era when it feels like we are being told to micro-manange every aspect of our kids lives, this is a refreshing break. She also has a great podcast about the college admissions process called 'Getting In' that I recommend as well." —Selene Milano, Senior Beauty Editor and mom of two
How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Sucess by Julie Lythcott-Haims, $13; barnesandnoble.com.
3. Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child
"Though it’s a little tough to get through in points, it’s critical in terms of trying to understand your new baby’s sleep habits. I used Marc Weissbluth's book with both of my kids and—while I can’t be sure if it was the book or simply my kids' internal developmental clock—they both slept through the night by three months." —Amy Synnott, Executive Editor and mom of two
Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep by Marc Weissbluth, $11; barnesandnoble.com.
4. All Joy and No Fun
"I discovered Jennifer Senior's book (born from this fascinating article) early in my new life as a mom. The first few months of parenthood weren't easy for me—I didn't know what I was doing and it seemed like everyone else had it on lock. (Two years later, it can still feel that way.) But this book showed me that no one knows what they're doing. The great thing about Senior's writing is that it doesn't present solutions exactly, but instead shows you that parenting is often filled with as many failures as it is successes." —Jennifer Merritt, Digital Deputy Editor and mom of one
All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior, $12; barnesandnoble.com.