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Two Must Read Parenting Books for Infant & Toddler Years

21 Apr


Us parents need help! We need all the help we can get! If you are anything like me, I am always looking for advice and help on how to do the parent thing better!

I have to tell you, out of all the many blogs, books, websites, magazines, advice, theories, and ideas I have read so far … there are two books that impact the way I parent more than other resource. These two books have given me such foundational and practical wisdom on two large areas of parenting infants and toddlers that people usually have the most trouble with …. 1. infant sleep patterns 2. toddler behavior issues.

If you are new to the parenting scene or if you are a veteran looking for some good reads … these two are must reads!

1. “On becoming: BABY WISE: giving your infant the gift of nighttime sleep” 

by Gary Ezzo & Robert Buckman

As a new mom, one of the most daunting tasks if figuring out how to feed your child and how to set-up their bedtime routines. This book gave SUCH practical advice. This book basically gives you the play-by-play of how set-up your child’s feeding and sleeping routine. It gives you data and scientific reasoning that gives you confidence to know when it is ok to let your baby “cry it out”, take away the binky, and stop rocking to sleep, etc.

Here are some quotes from Baby Wise:

“The typical infant has both the natural ability and the capacity to sleep through the night sometime within the first nine weeks of life”

“Think of crying as a signal, not a statement against your parenting”

“Many babies cannot fall asleep without crying and will go to sleep more quickly if left to cry for a while. The crying shouldn’t last long if the child is truly tired”



by James C. Dobson

I remember getting my hands on this book around the time that my daughter was 18 months old and starting to clearly exercise her own will. I remember knowing that I needed to discipline, but not knowing when was the right time and how I was supposed to do it. This book, like Baby Wise, gave me so much wisdom and confidence to know how to discipline my child well. I can not recommend this book enough!

Here are some quotes from Dare to Discipline:

“Children thrive best in an atmosphere of genuine love, undergirded by reasonable, consistent discipline”

“His early view of parental authority becomes the cornerstone of his future outlook on school authority, law enforcement officers, employers, and others with whom he will live and work”

“One should never underestimate a child’s awareness that he is breaking the rules”

“When you are defiantly challenged , win decisively. When the child asks, “Who is in charge?” tell him. When he mutters, “who loves me?” take him in your arms and surround him with affection. Treat him with respect and dignity, and expect the same from him. Then begin to enjoy the sweet benefits of competent parenthood”

“In those situations when the child fully understands what is being asked to do or not do but refuses to yield to adult leadership, and appropriate spanking is the shortest and most effective route to an attitude adjustment”


Hope these resources are a blessing to you! Do you have a favorite parenting or motherhood book? Please comment below and let me know your favorite parenting book!


5 Ways to Celebrate Jesus at Christmas with your Kids

29 Nov

Christ in Christmas

With all the holiday cheer, holiday baking, holiday shopping, holiday decorations, and holiday music, it is easy for us and our children to loose the real heart behind why we celebrate Christmas. I love all the typical Holiday stuff – Santa & the reindeer, Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas”, the sparkle of the Christmas tree, and presents under the tree. But with in the midst of all the holiday magic, I strongly believe that our kids have got to know the purpose of why we are celebrating! If we are not intentional about sharing the “why behind the what” of Christmas, our kids can get swept away with Christmas lists and miss that Jesus is at the center of it all.

Here are 5 really practical ways to celebrate Jesus this year at Christmas….

1. Bake a Birthday Cake for Jesus!

Every kid loves a good birthday party! Little kids might not get the whole Jesus in the manager thing, but they understand that a birthday is reason to celebrate! What we have done in the past is sing “Happy Birthday to Jesus” at one of the meals of the day – we bake (or buy) a little cake, put a candle in it, and let the kids sing and blow out the candles. This is just one small but very fun way to keep bringing the focus back to Jesus.

2. Read the Christmas Story as a family!

Start a tradition of reading the story of Christmas as a family at some point on Christmas day. For my family we do it first thing Christmas morning before presents are opened. Before the wrapping paper gets shredded and ribbons start flying, we cuddle up as a family and read the story of Christmas from the Bible …. or from a Children’s Bible for us. Remind your children of the greatest gift of all – Jesus. Spend a moment to direct the attention back to Jesus and the “Reason for the season”.

3. Give Back

A mother’s nightmare is having the spirit of Christmas development greediness and self-focused children. We need to remind our kids that “God so loved the world that he GAVE his only Son”. A good remedy to overt the self-focus of our kids this year is to have them join us and be a part of giving back. Here are some great organizations that do great outreaches during the Christmas season: Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots,  Angel Tree, or local or church-based outreaches.

4. Make Your Nativity Set a Focal Point

It might seem like a really simple thing, but keeping one or two nativity sets as a focal point of our Christmas decor is a constant reminder to our children that Christmas is about Jesus. There is nothing wrong with the Santas, the snowmen, gingerbread houses, and Christmas trees, but if that decor is all our children see and baby Jesus in the manager is on display in low traffic areas…. our kids will subconsciously assume that Christmas is not about Jesus.

5. Talk with Your Kids about the “Reason for the Season”  

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, make sure to have age-appropriate heart-felt conversations about why we celebrate Christmas. Explain your heart and your gratitude for Jesus and ask you children to share what Christmas and Jesus being born means to them.

What about you? Are there any Christmas traditions that your family does to keep Christ in Christmas? Share your ideas by commenting below!

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