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Book Gifts for Babies

Book Gifts for Babies, Baby Showers and Birthdays

Book Gifts for Babies, Baby Showers and Birthdays

For baby showers, holidays and birthdays, we love giving book gifts for babies and toddlers. By stocking a child's nursery with the best books for babies and toddlers, you empower parents to form the healthy habit of reading to their little one every day. A baby book gift pays incredible dividends over the course of a child's life.

Studies show that raising babies and young children in a home that is book-rich is the most reliable predictor of later academic success surpassing income, parents' education, family composition, and all other factors. Why? Reading exposes a child to millions of words and is integral to how babies learn language. This exposure triggers brain development, teaches language and gives children a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Reading to babies is so important the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy in 2014 urging pediatricians and policy makers to ensure that books find their way into the homes of all families. Furthermore, the policy asked all pediatricians to encourage the parents they see at early well-visits to read to their babies every day from birth.

Yet, with all of the institutional awareness around the importance of reading aloud to babies, books are typically not on the minds of parents-to-be and they rarely make it onto the baby registry.

That is precisely why books make the perfect baby gift. By gifting that first little home library, you can create a book-rich environment awash in language, rhythm and illustration. These are the books the new parents will reach for in those early newborn months to soothe, to explore and to pass the time with their sweet baby who is growing ever more alert, listening and absorbing all the while. They're also the books that a growing infant will reach for, "reading" the pictures, turning the pages and learning that books can be as engaging as any toy.

Science aside, there are plenty of other reasons why book gifts for babies and toddlers are the perfect choice for your next baby shower or for a first birthday gift:

Book Gifts are Foolproof

Gifting books means you don't have to worry about whether they're having a boy or a girl, whether they like pastels or neutrals, modern or traditional. Books are also a great toddler gift idea! The best books for babies and toddlers are timeless and no parent has ever complained about having too many great children's books in their home. Loud plastic battery-operated toys are a different story.

Book Gifts are Tasteful

Whether you are celebrating a close family member or a colleague you want to impress, books are always a good choice. Your recipient and fellow shower guests will quickly find themselves reminiscing about their own favorite childhood stories. Nostalgia for the win!

Book Gifts are the Gifts that Keep on Giving

The books you give will likely be read day after day for years to come. That means they'll remember you and your gift long after the shower ends. The best baby shower gifts are the ones that are still in use beyond the newborn stage. After all, that first year is a busy and important one.

It's clear that gifting books is a win but how can you give a baby book gift that is as substantial and impressive as it is practical and thoughtful?

How To Create the Ultimate Baby Shower Book Gift

How do you gift books at a baby shower in a way that will make a statement? The best baby book gifts pair book-themed plush and accessories with high quality board book versions of the titles that should be in every child's library. It's also important to give the parents-to-be the ability to choose the books they want for their little one, empowering them to grow their library month after month throughout that first year.

That's why an IncrediBundles.com Book Subscription Gift is perfect for both the gift-giver and the recipient! It's the innovative, giftable book subscription that allows the recipient to select the exact books they would like to receive each month. Purchasers can choose to give a 3-Month, 6-Month, 9-Month or Year of Books Subscription Gift. Recipients choose from the best, award-winning children's books and redeem 3-5 books per month.

Best of all, it's the perfect baby shower gift because every IncrediBundles.com Book Subscription includes your choice of adorable announcement packages. Each features a classic children's book along with its matching character plush. It will elicit all the excited responses you hope for when you present your gift. For baby showers we love any of the Eric Carle gifts, Peter Rabbit Gifts or Guess How Much I Love You Gifts. For a toddler birthday gift, we love Pete the Cat, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Llama Llama.

That's just the beginning, though. Once the new parent starts to redeem, IncrediBundles.com offers lots of resources for helping them choose the perfect books for their baby's every age and stage. Children grow and develop rapidly in their first 3 years and the right books at the right time can offer countless hours of enjoyment.

Throwing a Book-Themed Baby Shower

Looking for a baby shower theme? A book-themed baby shower is fun for everyone. It's innately gender neutral so it's a great choice whether or not the parents-to-be know if they are having a boy or girl.

The book theme lends itself to plenty of fun baby shower games that do not revolve around the size of the expectant mother. You'll love the way guests across generations connect over the images and references to the childhood books we all know and love.

The characters and artwork from some of the most popular children's writers and illustrators past and present are immediately recognizable. Here are some of our favorite ideas for featuring iconic authors throughout the event in fun ways.

Image Courtesy of The Hostess with the Mostess (hwtm.com)

Book Themed Baby Shower Food Ideas

Put up a fun sign near your vegetable crudit and salads proclaiming "Vegetables Courtesy of Mr. McGregor's Garden" and feature a sturdy board book version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit nearby. Arrange your fruit platter in a fun Very Hungry Caterpillar design and display the classic story by Eric Carle. Of course, there's no better place for the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie than on your dessert table next to a yummy cookie platter and a pitcher of milk! We love this set-up from The Hostess with the Mostess. From a pitcher of pink lemonade next to a copy of Pinkalicious to green deviled eggs next to a copy of Green Eggs and Ham, the possibilities are endless.

Book Themed Baby Shower Dcor

The settings for so many of our favorite books can be reflected in your baby shower decorations. Allium stems in a tall vase will look like they've been plucked straight from a Dr. Seuss book. A wedge of wood with a layer of ornamental moss and a pretty pot of flowers will pair nicely with a Winnie the Pooh book. Add a small pot of honey and set up near the beverage station for the win! Hang a laundry line across one wall and clothespin onesies to it, each bearing the image of a favorite children's book character or with a quote from a favorite children's book.

Book Themed Baby Shower Invitations

Our favorites? We love invitations that look like the front or back cover of a wonderful children's book or those that reference the wonderful new chapter in the lives of the new parents. (We can't help it! We love a good pun!). Feature a favorite character of the parents-to-be or phrase your invitation in a nursery rhyme style.

Book Themed Baby Shower Games

We love baby shower games that don't make the mom-to-be the center of too much physical scrutiny. Book themed baby shower games and activities get everyone happily in on the action, whether they have children or not.

  • Name that Quote
    You can print out cards where guests match the quote to the book and see who gets the most correct. You can also run this game Jeopardy style with bells to ring and a white board to keep track of the score.
  • Finish the Nursery Rhyme
    "The clock struck one.." Add some obscure nursery rhymes in here! Again, this can be a written game or played actively with guests piping up with their answers
  • Baby Books Emoji Pictionary
    Can you guess which children's book goes with which series of emojis? 5 monkey emojis + 1 bed emoji = 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. What is a green traffic light + a dog + another green traffic light??
    Image Courtesy of Sugar and Soul

Book Themed Baby Shower Desserts

Dessert is where you can really go all out with your book theme. We love cookies or cupcakes, each bearing the image of a favorite children book. We've also seen beautiful tiered cakes adorned with recognizable figures and images from your favorite children's authors. Of course, you can't go wrong with a cake that looks like a book itself!

Book Themed Baby Shower Party Favors

Label a small jar of gummy worms "Bookworms" and pair with a pretty bookmark. Extra points if the bookmark features a quote from a wonderful book! Want to kick it up a notch? Put out a table of wonderful books perfect for your adult guests and let them choose a book on their way out. Tuck a bookmark inside so that it's peeking out. We also love a table lined with writing journals paired with a pen so that your guests can take one home inspired to make their own contribution to the literary world!

Baby showers are the perfect time to set the new parents up for success in those first months and years. We believe the best baby gifts are the ones that enrich the day to day life of the new little family. Filling their home with the best books for a baby's first year is the unique baby gift that is as practical as it is fun!

The Best Books for Babies

Want to learn more about the best books to read to babies? Here's our guide to the kinds of books every baby should have access to in the first year and beyond:

What Are the Best Books to Give to Babies?

Babies change rapidly in the first year. Here's our breakdown of the kinds of books that will appeal to a baby at each stage of their development. These are the books every baby should have accessible to them:

Birth 3 months

Babies love the sound of their parents' voices. In fact, babies are born recognizing the voices of their parents. Choose books with rhythmic language like nursery rhymes, classic stories and poems. Read books with an upbeat rhythm during your baby's wakeful times and turn to books with a soothing rhythm for reading before sleep.

3 Months 6 Months

Babies this age begin to have longer periods of alert wakefulness and are becoming increasingly interested in all of the visual stimuli around them. They are also becoming more physically capable as they learn to reach and grasp. This is a great time to introduce books with bold, high-contrast images. Babies this age will also enjoy touch and feel and lift-the-flap books. You can guide your baby's hand along the different textures of the book, describing what they are feeling as you go. Lift-the-Flap books are a great form of peekaboo play. The more dramatic the flourish as you reveal what was hiding under the flap the better!

6 Months 9 Months

Babies this age will love getting in on all the action. Keep replenishing your stock of books with lots of vivid colors and textures. Board books and cloth books are must as babies this age will enjoy grabbing the book from your hands, turning the pages and nibbling on corners. It may frustrate you, but these actions only enhance his experience by giving him ownership over the book as well. You can read from another book while he plays with his newly acquired treasure or you can continue to point out pictures and words in the book he is holding. Feel free to go "off book" as you read, making connections between the images you see and his own little world.

9 Months- 12 Months

Babies this age can participate even more in the reading experience. Your baby probably won't have a large expressive language yet, meaning she won't yet be speaking many words. However, she is growing her store of words that she understands, her receptive language. This is a great time to engage your baby while you read. Ask her to point to an object where is the cow? - or pose a question that requires an answer what do you think is under the flap? Pause after your question or request to give her the opportunity to respond. Before you know it, her babbled response will become one that uses a word.

When it comes to children's story books, the best are those that resonate with parents as well as kids and whose tales are timeless. Be mindful that the format of the book is appropriate for the age of the recipient. For babies and toddlers, sturdy board book versions are the best choice. The more freedom mom and dad can give their little one around books the better. Plus, the indestructibility of most board books means they'll be passed down to younger siblings and enjoy the longest life possible. After all, once the shower is over, it's the practical baby gift thoughtfully presented that will be used again and again. When the celebration has ended, it's the unique first birthday gift, the one that is smart and fun, that will make a lasting impression.

IncrediBundles.com is the home of the bestselling Diapers, Wipes and Book Subscription Gifts. These are the gifts that keep families stocked up on the essentials they need in a child's first three years.