Monday, June 6, 2016

Baby Books, a list for 0-1 year olds

I notice anytime I'm about to have a baby, or after just having one, I get the urge to write a bunch of posts about life with a baby. While these may help some other young mothers the posts are mostly for me. I realize that even in just the few short years that have passed since Reid was an infant, I easily forget what it's like to have a baby and what habits and routines I glean while surviving (and sometimes thriving) in the newborn stage.

When my children start having babies of their own there are certain books I would like to arm them with. One, because I have grown to love these books and I think they are best for baby. Two, because these books have such a sweet spot in my heart after reading them for hours and hours to my own babies. Here's a quick (and super short) list of the best books for babies.

1. Board Books

Until my kids are more than two-years-old, I try to keep them away from our hardcovers and paperbacks. We have a shelf full of board books and that's always where I get books for the nursery or where I try to direct Coraline's attention when she wants to sit and read books like her siblings. Board books are easier for babies to handle and harder for them to destroy. Win, win.

2. Repetition and Rhyme

The books I have found myself turning to again and again with each baby fall into one of two categories, repetition of phrases/concepts and classic nursery rhyme patterns. As kids get older I love lift the flap books, touch and feel books, or classics like Hungry Little Caterpillar, but before about eleven-months-old these type of books have no effect on my children. They can't interact with them and they don't understand all the language. Repetition and rhyme are best for the newest of babies.

3. The Books We Love Most


I have never grown tired of Bill Martin and Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear series. I imagine I'll purchase a set for each of my kids when they have their own baby showers. If I start to tire of Brown Bear, I switch it out for Polar Bear or Panda Bear. I've read each of these over and over to all three children.

If for any reason you do tire of the Bear series there are many other great repetition books out there. Perhaps the most popular is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. I have really enjoyed Are You Sleeping Little One by Hans Chrisitan Schmidt, Cynthia Vance, and Andrea Nemet.

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For classic nursery rhymes we have really liked these Tiger Tales books. I have the ones pictured above, illustrated by Sanja Rescek and Hannah Wood. There are several others in the Tiger Tales line, and many that are just one nursery rhyme done in great detail. The books we have are mini-anthologies that simply contain the first verse of the most popular rhymes, one to a page.

I love, love, love Girl of Mine by Jabari Sim and LeUyen Pham. It's a beautifully illustrated adaption of Rock a Bye-Baby. I think I read it three or four times a day to Nell when she was a baby and I never tired of it. I was drawn to it for the diversity, in the book it is the father snuggling and singing to his daughter. It's surprisingly hard it is to find books that show nurturing fathers (instead of mothers) or children who are not white. But even without those added bonuses, this is a great book on it's own merit. There is a Boy of Mine companion, an adaption of Twinkle Twinkle that references Van Gogh's Starry Night. I haven't read it, but I'm sure it is excellent if you need the boy version instead of the girl one.

A couple years ago I wrote a post with our 10 favorite toys for this age range. With #3 I did finally splurge on Sophie the Giraffe teether (which quickly became our favorite teether) and a really nice baby gym (worth every penny once you have more than one child). 

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