Or, why books are the best gifts for new babies
Let’s talk about giving books as a new baby gift.
If, like me, you love to read, books are probably your go-to gift for small humans. And, really, what could be more wonderful than giving a beautiful book to a new baby to start him or her on their reading journey?
When my twin sons were born (after a long and difficult labor), my aunt came to visit me, bringing with her a gift from one of her work colleagues – a Little Golden Book. I actually didn’t know the work colleague – we’d never met – but this lovely lady wanted to be the one to give my boys their first book gift. How lovely is that?
Book gifts are special and they’re my go-to gift for most occasions but there’s something really special about giving a book as a gift to a newborn baby. It’s as if – and I guess this is always my hope – you’re playing a role in getting them started on their life-long reading journey.
What to write in a book as a gift for a baby
If you’re wondering what to write in a book you’re giving as a gift for a baby, you may like to check out some of the ideas here.
You can, of course, write your special message on a gift card but why not write it directly into the book? This makes the book a treasured keepsake and ensures the message can be read again and again by the parents and later by the child herself.
The messages you see below were written by my son’s partner in some books she recently gave as a new baby gift to her little niece. Aren’t they lovely? These books are board books and Alyece chose to write the messages on the last page of each book but you could also write your message on the inside of the front cover or anywhere else that seems good to you.
Here are some ideas about what to write:
You are the hero of your own story but here’s some pretty good inspiration.
Given with love and the hope that these simple words will open the world of literature to you.
Open a book and you can be anything you want to be.
This book holds a special place in my heart … just like you do!
Yours is a story so brave and so true and life is awaiting the hero in you.
Wishing you many nights of bedtime stories and sweet dreams.
May your life be filled with beautiful stories.
I hope you enjoy this book before bed and all the years of adventure ahead.
How do you choose the best book for a new baby gift?
There are loads of beautiful books out there but the five books I’m about to tell you about are all wonderful choices. All are available in various formats, including board books, which I always think are a great idea for small people. (The links on this page will take you to the board book version of each book, should you wish to buy one). Being able to handle – and even chew! – their own books is an important part of babies getting to know and fall in love with books and board books can withstand a fair bit of handling and chewing.
So give one, or two or all five if you’d like to gift the little one with their first library. Whichever books you choose, you can be assured your gift will help to create precious childhood memories for the family and their new baby.
1. Guess How Much I Love You
When it comes to gifts for new babies, you really can’t go past this one. Guess How Much I Love You are the words Little Nutbrown Hare says to his father as he’s getting ready for bed and they lead to a lovely discussion between father and son about how much they love one another.
First published in 1994, this is a gentle little story which celebrates the love between parent and child. It’s perfect for reading to babies from the day that they’re born and, read at bedtime, becomes part of a comforting and treasured bedtime routine. In both gift baskets a cute Little Nutbrown Hare soft toy is included.
I read Guess How Much I Love You to my three children and it’s now my favourite book to give as a new baby gift. It’s available in hardcover, paperback and board book formats and I really recommend the board book version. The one I buy is a larger-format one with a gorgeous, thick cover. This is the board book version which is included in two of the book gift baskets I sell – the Baby’s First Library Gift Basket and the Bedtime Gift Basket. In both gift baskets a cute Little Nutbrown Hare soft toy is included.
If you’re looking for a new baby gift which will be loved and appreciated for years to come, you really can’t go wrong with a board book copy of Guess How Much I Love You and a Little Nutbrown Hare toy.
2. Welcome, child!
Welcome, child! is a 2021 release from Australian indigenous author and illustrator, Sally Morgan. I love Sally’s bright, colourful illustrations and have been waiting for this book for a while.
Welcome, child! is a simple, beautiful celebration of the love we feel for a new child and it’s the perfect gift for a newborn baby. The text is really lovely and it’s beautifully complemented by the bright, joyful illustrations of happy birds, dancing stars and hearts that shine.
Birds sing songs of delight to greet you.
All our hearts shine with love for you. Welcome, child!
If you’re looking for a small but special gift for a new baby, this wonderful little board book might just be it.
3. Kissed by the Moon
Kissed by the Moon is another beautiful book by Aussie picture book author Alison Lester.
With the feel of a poem or, perhaps, a lullaby, it’s a gentle, moving story that celebrates a baby’s wonder at our beautiful world. Alison Lester’s illustrations showing a baby discovering the world are just gorgeous and I can almost guarantee tears as the new parents read this book to their little one.
May you, my baby, sleep softly at night, and when dawn lights the world, may you wake up to birdsong.
4. On the Day You Were Born
On the Day You Were Born was written by Margaret Wild, one of Australia’s most highly respected picture book creators whose books are loved by children all over the world. I’m a huge fan of Margaret Wild’s work and of the art of Ron Brooks whose illustrations anchor this book so beautifully.
The thing I love best about this book is that it connects the new child to the natural world in which he or she has come to live – to the animals and plants and to the smells, sights and sounds the baby and father encounter as they venture out together. This book was not around when my own children were small and it’s a relatively recent discovery for me but I really love how reading it aloud seems to anchor the child with a sense of belonging to the natural world around us.
My daddy said,
On the day you were born, I wrapped you up warm
and took you for a walk to see the world.
My daddy said,
On the day you were born,
the rain stopped and the sun shone,
and we splashed through puddles
one, two, three!
5. On the Night You Were Born
On the Night You Were Born is a celebration of the uniqueness of every child. Like the other books I recommend here, it’s simply a lovely book for parents to read with their child as a way of sharing with them how special and how loved they are.
On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered.
“Life will never be the same.”
The message is ‘you are loved and will always be loved’ and this is a message children need to hear over and over again as they grow. Hearing it at bedtime helps reassure them and calm their nervous system, ready for sleep which makes On the Night You Were Born the perfect bedtime read-aloud and another wonderful book to give as a new baby gift.
Over to you
Have I missed one of your favourite books?
I’d love to hear what you think so drop me a line in the comments.
I’m Felicity - a parent to three young humans and a primary school teacher who loves books.
I’m passionate about helping parents discover the joy of reading to their little ones and I love helping you discover quality picture books to share with the babies and small humans in your lives.