10 Best Parenting Audiobooks about Newborns
10 Top Rated and Up-to-Date Parenting Audiobooks, Handpicked By a Librarian
There are a LOT of parenting books on the market, and just as much conflicting advice. Who has time to read them all? No one–especially parents with a newborn at home.
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So, instead of reading every single parenting book on newborns in existence and giving my opinion on each of them, I’ve compiled a list of the most highly-rated books (based on readers’ ratings and reviews via Goodreads.com) that are up-to-date and relevant. As a librarian, it’s literally my job to find current, relevant, and unbiased sources of information.
Seeing as how there are a variety of parenting styles, I am taking an unbiased approach to compiling this list. I have done my best to avoid books geared toward one specific style of parenting, but rather to find books that take a more broad approach and will hopefully appeal to a wide audience.
While each of these is available in print, I’ve specifically chosen books available as digital audiobooks on Audible, because let’s face it–new parents don’t have time to sit down and read a physical book. Audiobooks are a much more efficient way for new parents to absorb information, because they’re hands-free and they allow you to THRIVE at multitasking.
If you’re new to audiobooks, get your free trial here. You can also look into what’s available for free at your local library.
Without further ado, here is a list of the 10 most highly-rated and up-to-date audiobooks on parenting newborns.
Best General Guidebook Parenting Audiobooks
1. Newborn 101: Secrets from Expert Nurses on Preparing and Caring for Your Baby at Home by Carol Kramer Arsenault RN IBCLC (2017)
This is a great general guidebook for new parents. It covers the basics from labor and delivery to the first three months at home with baby. Many readers appreciate the Q & A style format and straightforward answers. The sections on labor and delivery were especially helpful to readers. A couple remarked that the author comes across as a bit condescending, but the overwhelming majority of readers praised her for her calm, straight-to-the-point tone.
2. What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff (2019)
Ah, the “Baby Bible” as many call it. Your mom probably read it, and now it’s your turn to find the wisdom of its recent editions. There are mixed reviews for this series, but it is, and always has been, wildly popular. Many readers suggest using this book as a reference rather than reading/listening from cover-to-cover and I wholeheartedly agree (having read it myself). It is PACKED with information, and it’s just too much to read straight through. But, this is also what makes this an amazing resource full of tons of useful information. Plus, it’s regularly updated to reflect current research and medical practice. It often references recommendations by Academic Pediatric Association (APA).
* Side note: you can also find a ton of useful information in the first book in the series, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. While it’s mostly about pregnancy and development in utero, the end of the book touches on newborn care.
Best Neuroscience-Based Parenting Audiobooks
3. Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina (2014)
Let me preface this by stating that this book was last updated in 2014. Because it is based on neuroscience, a field constantly evolving with research advancements, it is time for an update. I also want to note that many women mentioned that the author is very one-sided when it comes to breastfeeding, and he doesn’t take into account the situations that put nursing beyond a mother’s control (which I’ve experienced myself). However, I’m including this book because there are a wealth of positive reviews that state how helpful this book is, and how much they appreciated learning about the science behind baby’s development.
Best Parenting Audiobooks on Finding Your Own Way
4. Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool by Emily Oster (2019)
For having just been published in 2019, this book has become somewhat of a viral sensation. It currently has almost 20,000 ratings with an average of 4.3/5 stars on Goodreads. The point of this book is to take an objective look at different parenting techniques, the data backing them, and to help the reader make an informed decision based on their own family’s needs. A lot of readers mention that their main takeaway is that this book made them feel better about their own parenting decisions, and that they’re not screwing their kids up as much as they thought.
Best Parenting Audiobooks on Sleep
5. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp (2015)
The audio version of this book was released in 2019, but it was last edited in 2015. So, it’s probably due for an update. However, there are some timeless pieces of wisdom that can be gained here, especially in terms of the 5 “S’s” of calming a baby (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking). If you have an especially fussy or colicky baby (I feel you–been there, done that) this book is definitely for you. A lot of readers complain that the book is a bit too lengthy, so you might skip ahead to relevant parts of the book to your situation rather than listening to the entire book.
6. On Becoming Babywise by Robert Bucknam MD (2017)
The main objective in this book is to get baby to sleep through the night . What most readers find especially helpful: 1) the objective approach to bottle or breast, and 2) finding a balanced sleep/feed schedule somewhere between rigid and relaxed. Note: many readers complain about the abundance of typos. If you’re listening to this one, that won’t even matter!
7. Precious Little Sleep: The Complete Baby Sleep Guide for Modern Parents by Alexis Dubief (2020)
This book offers practical advice and trouble-shooting when it comes to sleep snags, from the newborn phase through toddlerhood. Readers praise this book for being funny, easy to read, and well-researched. It is written by a sleep expert blogger, who also runs a Facebook group where members can reach out and ask for advice. One reader mentioned that the author herself is active on the Facebook page. The only real complaint some readers have is that the book could be better organized. Still, the overwhelming majority of readers gave it high reviews (4.23/5 on Goodreads) and raved about how helpful it was.
Best Funny Parenting Audiobooks
8. The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year by Dawn Dais (2021)
Let’s face it–in those early days, when you’re sleep deprived, full of hormones, and your emotions are everywhere–we could all use a few laughs. Feeling like parenting is a bit more than you bargained for? Feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and like you’ve been falsely led to believe this would be MUCH easier? If so, look to this book for some hilariously relatable insights to let you know that you are definitely not alone. HOWEVER–there’s a chapter on vaccines that contains false information. So, skip the chapter on vaccines, and just look to this book strictly for some comic relief–-not actual parenting advice.
9. Parenting Hell by Rob Beckett & Josh Widdicombe (2022)
Written and narrated by hosts of a hit podcast by the same name, this one makes for a fantastic audiobook experience. Both authors’ parents and wives make appearances, and many readers found those segments to be hilarious and endearing. This audiobook is still pretty new, so while it doesn’t have a ton of reviews yet, the reviews it does have simply RAVE about how hilarious it is. Many call it the best laugh-out-loud parenting book. I literally could not find a single negative remark on Goodreads or Amazon reviews.
Best Parenting Audiobooks For Dad
10. The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year by Armin Brott (2018)
Most parenting books are aimed at mothers, but this one’s for Dad. It offers a fantastic month-by-month guide of the developmental changes baby experiences in that first year, and also how a father himself changes. Brott offers insights into how his partner is changing, how he can be helpful as a partner and father, and the ways a father impacts his child’s life. Brott backs his advice with research-based facts, while also sprinkling bits of humor along with his pieces of wisdom. One of the biggest complaints in the reviews is that it’s very US-centric. So, if you live outside of the US, some of the information may not be as relevant.
While there are tons of conflicting parenting books out there, it is possible to sift through the all the noise and find something that suits you and your family.
In compiling this list, I looked at both the good and the bad reviews for every single book in order to get a full picture of the strengths and weakness for each. Each one has been written or updated within the last eight years, with the majority being much more recent.
Note that there are other books out there that are also very helpful, and simply didn’t make this list because they are currently not available in audio format. One such book is Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, written by the AAP and last updated in 2019.
If you’ve listened to any of these and loved them, or know of an excellent parenting book on newborns not found on this list, leave a comment below.