Baby’s First Books

When my good friend had her first baby two years ago I knew exactly what gift I wanted to give her. Since we met we’ve shared a love of “a good book”. I take her book recommendations seriously and have enjoyed some great reads as a result (“Gillespie and I” being one that immediately springs to mind) and as soon as either of us starts reading a good book we email the other to recommend it. A good book needs to be shared.

So, I wanted to initiate her little girl to the world of fabulous baby books as her welcoming gift. Now she has another baby girl I’ll have to get my thinking cap on to expand the collection.

Baby Muireann received some of these books from us to start her off, and we’ve given them to lots of other babies over the years. I love to add a book to a baby gift. I’m surprised how many people tell me that it’s their baby’s first book, and love that it is:) Books aren’t just for baby gifts, they’re great to give a baby for Christmas, instead of an Easter Egg, or to tell them how much you love them.

Here’s a quick list of  some books that are much loved in our house, and that have been regulars at bedtime for five years now. I really hope my little miss L likes them as much as her brothers have. When buying for babies you’re best to buy board books rather than paper so that they don’t get torn.

Baby’s First books

That’s not my…

That's not my teddy (Image: Sinead Fox)
That’s not my teddy
(Image: Sinead Fox)

This series are great first books. We own about eight I think, bear, puppy, robot, pirate, snowman, car to name a few. The boys loved them and they make a great baby gift or Christmas present. The stories aren’t up to much but babies love the touch and feel aspects and later finding the little white mouse on each page.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

(Image: Amazon)

Food and Biology in the one book, all bases covered. The illustrations in this book are colourful, there’s counting, lists, and a hole to poke your finger through. A great crowd pleaser.

Goodnight Moon

20131017-202700.jpg
Goodnight Moon
(Image: Sinead Fox)

I’d never heard of this book until I spotted it in a bookshop and bought it for Ciarán, but it’s been around since 1947.
It starts off listing the contents of “the Great Green Room” and then proceeds to bid them all goodnight. It has a lovely rhythm and concludes sleepily. A perfect bedtime story. Although Ciarán does point out every time that (in our copy at least) the “red balloon” is in fact orange.

Taggie books

So snuggly
(Image: Amazon)

Babies like to chew and snuggle and these taggie books are perfect for both.  And you can read them too.

We’re going on a Bear Hunt

(Image: Book Depository)

This is the type of book small children love- lots of repetition and great noises to make “swishy swashy”. The family embark on a bear hunt, encountering problems like a river in the way that they have to overcome. Then, they find the bear and flee. The ending is quite humorous and bedtime themed too. I won’t spoil it for you.

Guess how much I love you

Guess How Much I Love You
Guess How Much I Love You

This sweet, end of. The big nutbrown hare and the little nutbrown hare have a chat (competition?) about how much they live each other. The big one wins. Let that be a lesson to children everywhere. Winning aside, there’s some lovely narrative in the story which has planted the phrase I love you “to the moon and back” into the modern vernacular.

Calm Down Boris

Our well thumbed copy of "Calm Down Boris"
Our well thumbed copy of “Calm Down Boris”
(Image: Sinead Fox)

Probably better for the middle of the day as opposed to as a wind down bedtime story, the Boris books star Boris, an orange fuzzy haired monster puppet whose catchphrase is “kissy kissy” and reading this book leads to lots of tickles.

Great fun with Boris
Great fun with Boris
(Image: Sinead Fox)

Buggy books
Any buggy book- one that attaches to the books with a plastic cord, can’t be lost and means there’s something to entertain baby. My favourite.

Spot
(Aka Bran as Gaeilge)

One of the many Spot books
(Image: Book Depository)

They may not be literature, but the Spot board books have flaps to lift, a sure winner in baby’s eyes. There are many in the series, with the same characters throughout the series, like Helen the Hippo.  “Spot says Goodnight” and “Where’s Spot?” are our favourites and they’re still chosen as bedtime stories by the boys.

Bookclub picks

Our Bookclub got together a list of our kids’ favourite books here including some baby books.

What books would you recommend for babies?

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13 thoughts on “Baby’s First Books

  1. I love reading to India! She’s just about to turn six months old so we’re sticking to board books for the moment so we don’t get too panicky when she chews them. Her favourites right now are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? which are both by Eric Carle. Great illustrations and lots of repetition. She also loves Yawn by Sally Symes. We pick them up for cheap in thrift stores or TJ Maxx. I wish they were cheaper to buy new but c’est la vie

    1. I’ve been slightly remiss with Laoise yet, but she does sit on my knee when I read the boys’ bedtime stories and coos along. Cathal loves “Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see?” too- I keep an eye on bookdepository and can usually pick them up for about €4 each. I’ll check out your recommendations too, thanks 🙂

  2. Great recommendations Sinead, thanks. Recently Emily and I have discovered the Huggless Douglas range of books with simple story lines, colourful animation and actions sounds through out that I can act out. So cute to hear her try to pronounce ‘Huggless Douglas’ too!

  3. Great recommendations… We love all of those too! Our only problem is our youngest went through a flap-tearing phase… Now he is actually interested in the stories, he gets annoyed when the picture under the flap is revealed thanks to a missing flap!!

  4. Aww lovely post, brings back lovely memories. My two (11 & nearly 13) loved Goodnight Moon, Guess How Much I Love You and The Hungry Caterpillar when they were tots!

  5. Great list, Sinéad. My nieces and nephew love the “That’s not my…” serious too. Have you heard of the “Adam” books by Irish writer Benji Bennett about his son, Adam? They get very good reviews and are really beautifully illustrated.

    1. Hi June, we have one of them I think, the illustrations are lovely but the thought processes in the one we have are a little too complex for the boys yet so we get dozens of questions as they try to get it!

  6. Love love reading in our house too.
    We have 4 of those books and they are all loved. I agree with June above Benji Bennetts books are fab! He just has a new one out now and I cant wait to get it, more excited than the kids for it 🙂

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