Here’s the thing about parenting: It’s work. Even the chillest babies lose their cool, and the most organized new parents have moments of total chaos. Enter the parenting book. Sure there’s the internet and its infinite pages of information, but sometimes you just need to sit down and take in some good advice from a good book. From memoirs to straight-up advice, here are six books to help you answer (and laugh about) the parenting questions you’re wrestling with right now.


1. Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott ($16): This isn’t really a parenting book, but it is a book about parenting. Reading this book is like cruising through the diary of a witty new-mom friend who’s crazy observant and smart, yet not annoyingly aware of these qualities. It’s a memoir that weaves through Lamott’s first year of raising her son as a single mother.


2. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman ($18): Francophile alert! Druckerman is an American raising a child in France, and she snags parenting inspo from French mothers. The author observes that French babies sleep through the night at eight weeks, toddlers stay chill in restaurants, and children play happily and independently while parents socialize. Even better, this book is written from the perspective of a skeptic, so it reads like a good friend passing on her best-kept secrets.


3. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D. ($16): Do you know what the five S’s are and how they can calm your feisty newborn? If you read this book, you will. There’s a reason why this book receives five-star ratings from thousands of readers… and counting. The advice is good and easy to follow, and it might just save your sanity.


4. Great With Child: Letters to a Young Mother by Beth Ann Fennelly ($16): This is a book that’s for the pregnant mama who is looking for a more candid take on pregnancy and childbirth. It’s the anti how-to book that talks to the reader like a human being. It’s also a great shower gift to get your newly pregnant friend who is weary of the books that tell you what to expect, well, when you’re expecting.


5. Calm Mama, Happy Baby: The Simple, Intuitive Way to Tame Tears, Improve Sleep, and Help Your Family Thrive by Derek O’Neill and Jennifer Waldburger ($16): Have you ever heard the saying, “Chill mama, chill baby?” That’s what this book is about. The authors give step-by-step instructions on how to be fearless and stay cool through some of the biggest stresses of becoming a parent.


6. Baby 411 by Dr. Ari Brown and Denise Fields ($17): If you want an instruction manual on how to raise a baby, this is as close as you’ll ever get. It’s primed with golden nuggets of wisdom and covers everything from the gimmicky fads to ignore to how to introduce solid foods. It’s a little peace of mind for the anxiety-prone parent. If anything, it will keep you from searching the internet at 2am for an answer to the parenting thing that you’re pretty sure you’re not doing right.

What parenting books do you love? Share your faves with us @BritandCo!

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(Featured photo via Getty)