Childcare is the core responsibility of being a nanny, but that includes so much more than just what happens while nannies are on the clock. Professional nannies need to be constantly growing and evolving in their roles, and a huge part of that is staying up-to-date on the latest in parenting trends, child development research, and safety information. Staying in-the-know not only helps you in childcare situations, but it also makes you more knowledgeable during interviews and helps you stay competitive within the industry.

The easiest way to boost your child development knowledge is by reading and researching independently At Westside Nannies we have a go-to selection of books by leading doctors, psychiatrists, and parenting experts that are geared at helping caregivers understand everything from the complexities of toddlers’ brains to setting up the perfect evening routine. Here are the 10 brilliant parenting books we believe every nanny should have on her shelf.

  1. The Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

Children’s brains work in totally unique ways, and sometimes the best way to connect with them is to get inside their heads. This book offers a unique look at how children’s brains mature at every stage, plus expert-approved strategies for helping children through everything from tantrums to sibling rivalry to common fears. The best part is that this book can help you anticipate changes in children’s behavior as they develop so you’re better prepared for every new stage and can be a huge help to your nanny family.

  1. No Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel

Having focused, effective, and healthy discipline strategies is so important as a caregiver, but developing those strategies doesn’t always come naturally. It takes practice and a clear understanding of what children need from us at any given moment. This book builds on the brain science shared in The Whole Brain Child and offers realistic strategies to calmly and lovingly help children cope with their big emotions and redirect problem behaviors.

  1. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.

Nannies of babies will gain so much from this read by baby expert Harvey Karp. Karp is a favorite among celebrity and non-celebrity parents for his nurturing approach to dealing with sleeping, feeding, and other developmental issues. This book will help you develop a secure attachment with the babies in your care and expertly navigate every new stage from the newborn days to baby’s first birthday.

  1. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber

One major challenge of caring for young children is figuring out how to communicate with them in a way that engages them and encourages them to want to follow the rules. That’s why this book is all about communication-how you communicate with them and how to help them better communicate with you. It includes practice exercises for you to try and will help your nanny children feel seen and heard, no matter the situation.

  1. Parenting With Love And Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

This book is a go-to for many different kinds of caregivers, teachers, and childcare providers. It champions the idea of positive parenting, in which parents or caregivers try to nurture confidence and self-discipline in children by treating them with kindness and respect. The book encourages giving children choices and helping them take responsibility for their actions in a loving way. The strategies are useful for children of many ages.

  1. 1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting by Thomas Phelan

This is a guide for any caregiver who wants a little extra help setting up and enforcing routines with children of all ages. Whether it’s tackling homework, bedtime, or the dreaded morning rush, Dr. Phelan offers advice for dealing with discipline problems in a positive and nurturing way and taking the stress out of the hardest parts of the day. Plus, he covers how to properly handle timeouts and other consequences to strengthen your bond with children and help them grow.

  1. Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting by Janet Lansbury

Janet Lansbury’s approach to dealing with babies and young children centers around the idea that all babies are unique, capable human beings with natural abilities to learn without being taught. From there, she shows caregivers how to help babies and toddlers develop new skills, self-regulate their emotions (as age-appropriate), and smoothly get through the many transitions and developmental stages that accompany these ages.

  1. No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury

Toddlerhood is one of the most challenging stages for any caregiver, and this book gets to the bottom of how to communicate with a toddler even when they’ve lost their cool. It offers brilliant model conversations to show you exactly how to talk to children and how to solve tantrums, boundary-pushing, and other problem behaviors in a way that is respectful and developmentally appropriate.

  1. Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber

Siblings fight. It’s what they do. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn ways to treat each other with respect and start cooperating. Caregivers will majorly benefit from this book’s tips on when to intervene in fights, how to make sure children are being treated fairly, and how to help kids redirect their emotions so they aren’t on the verge of an epic battle at all times. It’s a must for any nanny watching more than one child.

  1. Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Mary Hartzell & Daniel J. Siegel

As a nanny, you play a huge role in children’s development. This book helps you understand just how big that role is by exploring the science of how interpersonal relationships benefit children’s brains. The book will encourage you to self-examine your own past experiences and make conscious decisions about the type of caregiver you want to be and how best to connect with and nurture the children in your care.