I have a new favorite book to recommend to the parents of infants and toddlers: Dr. Greg & Lisa Popcak’s Then Comes Baby: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Three Years of Parenthood.
This is the most balanced book I have read about parenting little children: Dr. Greg and Lisa recognize the importance of laying a strong foundation for the parent-child relationship in these early years when a child’s sense of safety and well-being is forming. Without this strong foundation, children struggle emotionally as they face new developmental challenges. Yet, the Popcaks also consider the needs of the parents in presenting their advice, in particular the importance of nurturing our marriage, so that theirs is truly a family-centered vision of parenting.
What I also love: The Popcaks coach both parents, not just mom. Dad is seen as absolutely essential to the flourishing of the whole family.
The book is divided into sections: Birth to Six Months, Six to Twelve Months, Twelve to Twenty-Four Months, and Twenty-Four to Thirty-Six Months. We learn to understand the developmental goals alongside the potential challenges at each stage, and how to address these challenges while protecting the parent-child bond. The blossoming spirituality of young children is addressed, in addition to discipline issues and work-family balance questions.
Check it out and buy a copy for new parents!