My go-to gift for baby showers is books! I love to select special books I think the baby will enjoy from birth or as they grow. It truly is the best gift we can give. For a well-rounded gift of books, select a title or two from each category below.
Books to Give at a Baby Shower
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Books That Are a Love Note From Family To Baby
These books are those feel-good books that are often more for the adult than the child.
Wonderful You by Lisa Graff celebrates all the things families do while the wait for their little one to arrive from folding new clothes to painting and prepping. Beautiful diverse illustrations wrap around the warmth of the text.
Dear Baby, A Love Letter to Little Onesby Paris Rosenthal is filled with all the wishes and dreams we have for our little ones.
Baby’s Firsts by Nancy Raines Day is a playful and beautiful multicultural book that highlights all the firsts a baby has during their first year from the first pee to the first words.
You Are My Happy by Patricia Hegarty is the sweet rhyming tale of exploring the world with baby and most importantly doing it together.
Babymoon by Hayley Barrett is a beautiful look at those beginning days with a newborn. Oh, what a special time that is.
Bright Brown Baby by the amazing Pinkney’s is a great gift for a baby shower. In between the stories, you get beautiful quotes from greats such as Langston Hughes and John Lewis. This treasury is like a big hug surrounded by wonderful uplifting words.
Baby, Sleepy Baby by the dynamic duo Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank is a sleepy gentle read that wraps a big hug around the reader and baby.
One Day by Joanna Ho will be read over and over again to sweet baby. It’s about the hopes and dreams we have for our little ones as they grow.
Early Learning and Discovery Books for Babies
Every collection needs a book of nursery rhymes. The illustrations in Honey for You Honey for Me by Michael Rosen is a big gift book that is full of whimsical pictures and some lesser-known rhymes.
Another one that my children loved was Hickory, Dickory, Dock and other favorite nursery rhymes illustrated by Sanja Rescek. This padded board book saw a lot of wear and tear in my house.
And then we have all those books that help babies learn the name of things in the world, letters, colors and more. Here are a few favorites.
My First Colors, Let’s Learn Them All by Davis and Sirett was the first book that truly showed me how quickly my son was recognizing new words. I’d say this was the book he learned how to recognize colors with too. The tabbed pages make turning the pages for little ones even easier.
Young childen love to see real life photographs of people especially babies. Introduce them early to the many people who fill our beautiful world.
The Global Babies series is a beautiful look at babies around the world. There are lots of titles to choose from. Try Global Baby Playtime. And, for even more photograph books, check out my big list.—>Multicultural Books for Babies
Book Features Every Parent Needs to Know About
New parents will appreciate learning about these unique features that some books have that make reading with little ones extra amazing.
This series of books is a must for babies. Lightweight, washable, tear-proof…yes, yes, and yes. Plus, they have lots of different topics. They are perfect for tucking into the diaper bag. Try This Little Piggy by Vanja Kragulj, Rhyme with Me! by Carolina Buzio or Let’s Go Outside! by Ekaterina Trukhan.
Mirrors offer the ultimate experience because little ones get to see themselves in the books they are enjoying.
Oh, little ones love, love, love to look at themself in a mirror and there are books that incorporate mirrors (usually on the last page) into the story. My youngest son adored Peek-a Who? by Nina Laden.
And, I really like Smile, Baby!: Beginning Baby by Chronicle books because there is a mirror on every page spread encouraging little ones to point to nose, mouth, etc.
Touch and feel books are loved by little ones too.
Lift-the-flap books offer natural interaction too. Look for extra sturdy flaps to avoid them being ripped right out of the books.
Karen Katz is a name to remember for lift-the-flap books. We loved Toes, Ears, & Nose by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Karen Katz is a lift-the-flap book. Throughout the story different body parts are named. We then touch the same part on his body. You can even get a box set of her books.—>Karen Katz Board Book Set
Black & White and/or Books That Unfold
A newborn’s vision is pretty fuzzy. Select a book with high contrast pictures, especially for the first few months. Black & White by Tana Hoban fits the bill with big bold black and white images. The neat thing about this book is that it unfolds like an accordion so that you can stand it up next to a baby during tummy time for him/her to gaze during awake time.
Books You Can Sing
I adore books that you can sing-along with to engage babies and toddlers. Jane Cabrera has a series of Story Time books based on familiar tunes. Try Over in the Meadow or many of her other books.
It’s no ordinary boat in Go, Go, Pirate Boat by Katrina Charman. It’s a pirate’s boat!
Go, go, pirate boat,
Across the salty sea,
Raise the anchor, hoist the sail,
It’s a pirate’s life for me.
Also check out Charman’s other song books- Car, Car, Truck, Jeep and The Whales on the Bus.
For even more song books, check out our big list.—>Song Books To Sing
Books That Will Become Favorites
These are the books that will be read 9,734 times because they will be so well loved.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker is full of construction vehicles and lots of rhythm and rhyme.
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle is the story of a very kind truck who helps a grumpy truck after it gets stuck in the mud. Little ones will love to join in with a “beep beep”‘.
Karma Wilson has several books that appeal to little ones. Bear Snores On is the story of Bear who sleeps while other animals enter his den to get warm. When he wakes, he is disappointed that the animals are enjoying themselves and he has nothing to add to the party. You can even get a Bear box set.—>Bear Box Set
Books for Siblings
We often like to give siblings books during a baby shower too.
How Big is Baby by Kirsten Hall is a story that families can read with future siblings. The lift-the-flaps help to explain how big the baby is at each monthly stage by comparing the size of the growing baby to different fruits and vegetables.
Shhh! The Baby’s Asleep by JaNay Brown-Wood is the story of trying to stay very quiet while the baby sleeps and what a challenge that is sometimes. The whole family will enjoy reading this one while the baby sleeps.
Classics or Books You Remember Sharing With Little Ones
It’s always special to give a book you remember from your childhood or one you remember sharing with your children such as Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown or Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. However, be mindful that some loved books of our past have been found to contain racist references and should not be continued to be shared with future generations.
And finally, make sure to print out a colored copy of our 100 Books Every Child Should Hear Before Kindergarten. It’s a wonderful list of books that families can use to build a child’s library, ask for holiday gifts, get from the library, and most importantly read aloud to their child.
Enjoy shopping for those feature readers and thank you for encouraging families to read with their babies.