The holidays are all about the magical moments spent with family. It's the perfect time to share some #BookMagic with your little one this holiday season!
(Artwork by Marianne Richmond)
A guide to picking out the perfect personalized book for a baby shower, a newborn baby's arrival, and more!
Shower season is upon us—April showers and baby showers, that is. Every mother and father is going to need that stroller, cradle, and all the other essentials they registered for…but, what about baby's first book? Baby's first library? This is something that must be stocked before his or her arrival—or at least started with the first few on the shelf!
If new parents start collecting early, by the time their child turns three or four, their library will already be blooming with children's classics, special hardcover keepsakes, and books their children will want to one day pass down to their own kids.
Plus, a newborn baby longs to hear their parent or parents' voice, and reading is the perfect way to enhance the bond between parent and child.
Light Bulb: If you're already planning on giving the new parents a particular baby bib, crib, or special bottle gift set, that's great! Why not compliment your (incredibly useful) gift with a personalized baby book that will outlive even the most practical gift you can think of and warm the heart of the new parents?! The parents will be thrilled to share such a special gift with their baby as he or she grows and grows. This is just as much a gift for the parents as it is for the baby.
Personalized Baby Gifts to Shower the New Family with Big Blessings:
• Get the parents shouting from the rooftops: "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" Shake your rattle for the new baby girl or new baby boy the world is being blessed with! In Marianne Richmond's personalized books It's a Boy! and It's a Girl!, you'll help the parents celebrate the pink or the blue and delight in the girly-ness or the boy-ness of it all. You'll personally wish the new parents all the beautiful things about introducing a little baby boy or girl into their hearts and out to the world. You can personalize these books to include the parent or parents' names to appear throughout the book along with the baby's name and his or her photo.
• A special place to record every remarkable baby moment! (Don't worry…there's lots of space in this one!) My First Year: A Baby Journal by iconic children's photographer Anne Geddes is the most adorable journal to document all of baby's most precious moments. The perfect place to record all of baby's first special milestones, My First Year provides plenty of space and pages to add photos and little notes about family and friends. It's pretty cute.
Light Bulb: If you don't know the baby's gender or name yet, try including the name of the parent or parents in the personalization field instead.
• The sweetest baby debut ever: bask in the wonder and celebration of her arrival. The personalized version of Nancy Tillman's On the Night You Were Born is extraordinary. Help new parents celebrate their little miracle with a gift that illustrates just how magical and wondrous the arrival of their baby really is.
The most treasured baby gifts come from the heart—parents will surely shower you with their gratitude over the course of their baby's first year and beyond when they receive a personalized book made special with your love and care.
Sleep. It comes in all different sounds and patterns. It's a beautiful, restful cycle. Yet, our kids will go to all kinds of crazy measures to postpone bedtime while we parents would do anything just to get a little more of it (dreaming of naptime, anyone?).
Though we view sleep as a peaceful and necessary way to recharge, our kids don't always see it this way. When kids aren't getting to bed when they're supposed to or they aren't sleeping through the night because of made-up monsters roaming around the bedroom or the inability to quiet down, getting your child to sleep can become a very frustrating process.
Tuck them in Tight!
To help tackle some of the nighttime jitters or just to experience a more soothing sleep preparation for both you and your children, we've put together some suggestions and ideas for bedtime. Below you will find a few tips for you and your little ones to try during the cozy winter nights:
• Create and stick to a bedtime routine. For example, brushing teeth at a specific time, listening to soothing music before bed, reading a favorite bedtime story, singing a lullaby, taking a warm bubble bath, saying goodnight to others in the house, etc. This routine can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, but be sure that your child has enough time to wind down before bed and doesn't feel rushed. Establish a consistent bedtime and wake up time.
• Discuss bedtime rules with your children and make sure you put them into effect.
• Make sure your little one has gotten enough exercise during the day so he's all tuckered out when bedtime rolls around.
• Be there to tuck her in with a cuddly friend (a stuffed animal, a blanket, or a favorite doll).
• Make your child feel safe and secure. Try giving him or her props that will provide protection against any nighttime fears, like a flashlight and a tough-looking toy to stand guard at the door or the closet.
• Remind your child why sleep is important and why we need it. Sometimes kids can feel like they're missing out on some fun activities when you put them to bed. Explain to them that they aren't missing anything, and that tomorrow will be an even brighter, more beautiful day! But, without sleep, they won't be able to get the most out of it.
• Provide a cozy environment for sleep that your child feels comfortable in. A cool, dark room (with a night light if necessary) usually suffices, but be sure to ask your child if he or she's comfortable. Hint: No matter your child's age, try to keep computers, television, and other digital gadgets out of the room.
• Always, always, always include a bedtime story. In our opinion, you should read together every night, but if that doesn't fit into your schedule, try to commit to a few times a week (at least!).
Our favorite part of the bedtime routine…snuggling up with stories!
Curl up in bed with your little one and read together. Reading any storybook before bed is a great practice; however, if your child has an especially hard time calming down before bed, we recommend choosing a sleep-themed books to inspire some ZZZ's. Add a small, warm glass of milk or tea to the equation, and your child will be floating away to dreamland in no time.
Put your child to bed with one of our warm, cozy bedtime stories:
The Night Night Book
The Night Night Book is an adorable bedtime story that helps kids bid farewell to the day, settle in for the night, and rest up for a new tomorrow.
How Does Sleep Come?
Sleep comes softly. Like a cloud that drifts through a bright summer sky and sweeps a cool shadow across the land. How Does Sleep Come? is a true, sleepy-time tale.
On the Night You Were Born
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." Soothing, poetic text and richly illustrated pictures make this beloved classic perfect to read before bed.
The first laugh, the first word, the first step—a baby's life is bursting with extraordinary first moments.
If you're an expecting mother, or know someone who's expecting, there are so many magnificent milestones you can look forward to witnessing and celebrating. Reading, singing, and talking to your baby are a few important inspirations to help mold a bright child. That's why we encourage you to get excited about your baby's first book now!
How will you ever choose your baby's first book?
A baby's first book will remain a treasured family keepsake for generations to come, so whether you're gifting this book for an expecting parent or purchasing for your own little one, choose with care.
We recommend a book that speaks to your child directly, that illustrates how much they are loved, that shows them they are one of a kind and that they are perfect just the way they are. A book that tells them: You are the one and only ever you (from Nancy Tillman's On the Night You Were Born).
If this message speaks to you, check out the personalized version of On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. This timeless classic is a loving ode to the uniqueness of each child—and the newest addition to Put Me In The Story's collection.
Even more important than choosing the perfect baby book to be your child's first is the bond between parent and child. How will you help nurture that bond?
5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby
• Read often. Help influence your child's love and appreciation for reading by starting early. Even if your baby seems restless or uninterested when you read to him or her, keep at it. Books, language, and communication are essential in a baby's upbringing, and should be incorporated into your routines every day. The growth of a healthy imagination, a lifelong love of reading, and an introduction to sound, language, and communication are just a few of the many benefits.
• Fill your library with picture books. Seek out picture books with contrasting images in black and white or primary colors (like red and blue). If your baby shows interest in the book or pictures—this could be anything from a murmur to a stare—let him explore the pages! Even if it means things get a little messy.
• Keep your baby away from electronics. Try to minimize your baby's time around television, tablets, computers, etc. as much as possible. The best form of connection is through the loving faces of his or her family and friends. This means you may have to limit your email and television time while your baby is up and about!
• Sing to your baby or play music. Incorporate nursery rhymes into your day. If you don't think you have the best singing voice, this is a great way to practice without any embarrassing repercussions. If you start early, your child will grow up to love and feel comforted by your singing voice. You can always try nursery rhyme recordings or albums if that suits your style better.
• Start the bedtime story tradition early. By early, we mean even if your child is still inside your belly. If you have a newborn baby, sharing a bedtime story is a special way to connect before your precious little one closes his or her eyes. Just by hearing the sound and softness of your voice and feeling the warmth of your body, your baby is starting to recognize your presence through language and movement.
Bonding with your baby is going to come naturally, but it's always enlightening to learn a few simple ways to help cultivate and deepen that bond even more.
*These tips were inspired by Reading with Babies, Toddlers & Twos. Pick up the book to learn more ways to bond with your little one through books.