The Top 10 Books I Love Reading to my Preemie Baby
I have always loved to read, my parents used to read to me every day when I was a small child, so reading to my own child came as a natural habit for me. Reading to your baby from early on has many benefits, such as increasing their vocabulary, teaching them about the world, making them better readers, and serving as a fun source of quality time. I also discovered from my experiences reading to my preemie that it has helped me to establish a routine, provide an additional source of comfort for him, and develop a unique bond between mommy and baby. However, choosing the perfect book can be a time-consuming process. Which is why I’m sharing the top 10 books I love reading to my preemie baby.
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This is a list of my all-time favorite reading books for my baby, they are perfect for babies from newborn to 2-year-olds (and, in many cases, for older children as well). They vary in genre and length, which makes each of these books special for a specific time of our daily routine.
The Little Prince
The first book I ever read to my son was The Little Prince (affiliate link).
My newborn was inside his incubator, I couldn’t hold or touch him, he wasn’t tolerating any milk and was fed only through a catheter, his lungs had just collapsed from an infection and he was intubated. I couldn’t do much for him except sitting beside his incubator for as long as I could and talking to him, telling him that he would be okay, and complimenting him for being so strong. But I couldn’t talk long before becoming emotional, and then I knew I was transmitting my angst and fears on to him, and that’s not what I wanted.
So I did the only thing that made sense to me so that my son could hear my voice and feel my support. I read. The Little Prince was perfect, I swear that he breathed better whenever I started reading. For me, this book is many books into one book. The story of a pilot who gets stranded in the desert and meets a strange little man who loves his flower and trained a fox leaves the right amount of story to the reader’s imagination and evokes deep feelings of love, and of the adventure that is growing up.
I have read it many, many times to my boy now, and he simply loves it.
Harry Potter Books 1-7
We went through all seven Harry Potter books (affiliate link) in the NICU, and we have been through all seven of them several times by now. Harry Potter just never gets old, I purchased these amazing illustrated books (affiliate link) recently and dedicated them to my son so that whenever we read he can get colorful images to speed up his imagination. Out of all his books, these are the ones he brings to me the most for a good read.
I really prefer long reads for bedtime (and for NICU stays) and short reads during story time. And Harry Potter has been the perfect bedtime book. It is entertaining to me, and to my son. It’s incredible how a book can be appealing to both adults and children, but whenever I read any of the books from the saga, I find new, wonderful meaning things. Harry Potter is the story of a young wizard on his journey to defeat the evil wizard, Voldemort. Simple at its core, but complex in execution!
In fact, my son has been dressed as Harry two years straight for Halloween! I’m making a Harry through the years scrapbook for him!
Oh, The Places You’ll Go
Dr. Seuss’ motivational rhymes lull my son into a near-trance happiness state! “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” (affiliate link) is perfect for playtime, it’s short, sweet, crazy and motivational. In fact (a little secret between us) sometimes I still read it to motivate myself whenever life has me on the ropes.
Oliver likes this book so much that I can read it over and over again without losing his focus (and that is quite an achievement since he has a short attention span). He points at his favorite characters and tries to read it himself whenever I pause to breathe and continue reading. The effect is quite hilarious!
There is also an app version (affiliate link) which I use during screen time.
Love you Forever
A classic, it is a moving tale of the journey of being a mom.
Although I must admit I read this book more for my sake than for Oliver’s, he likes it anyways. We read it specifically for nap times, while I hug him and try to sing “Love you forever,” it is ideal for bonding time. I wouldn’t recommend reading it without handkerchiefs or during a particularly sensitive period of time since it can be quite moving. But who doesn’t need to get emotional from time to time, especially as a new mom!
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
A magical collection of short stories that form part of the Harry Potter lore. I normally read “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” to Ollie during meal time whenever he doesn’t want to eat. He ends up eating while listening intently. The book has no pictures, but I use this to our advantage by reading to him at times when he needs to be occupied with something else.
It’s a fun book that puts you into the Harry Potter universe, without quite being Harry Potter. This may sound silly but I’ve actually felt like a witch mom reading common wizard fairy tales to him.
The Day the Crayons Quit
Poor Duncan just wanted to color, but his colors had all written him letters because they were either feeling overworked (like red, who had painted so many firetrucks he was exhausted!) or underappreciated (like black, who had only outlined things for others colors to paint). Well, except for green, green was happy, but he did write a letter to Duncan anyways. Isn’t this such a creative idea of a book that also teaches about colors? (Affiliate link)
I absolutely adore this book. I find it hilarious! In fact, I have two copies, because Ollie loves it so much he likes to paint it, too! I have found it great to start teaching him about colors in a fun, creative way! And he can’t have enough of it!
Another thing I love about this book is the way it captures the emotion that each color transmits, graphic designers use this in marketing (and video games!), but I love seeing it so literal in a children’s book! I mean, you can feel the passion of the red when it complains, or the calm tone of the purple.
“There is a monster that lives on the East side of a mountain. On the West side of the mountain lives another monster.” These words resonated throughout my own childhood. This particular book is my mom’s favorite, and she used to read it to me and my sister all the time. No wonder I like it so much!
Two monsters have never seen each other but speak through a hole. One day the blue monster states that day is ending, the red monster gets angry and corrects him, the night is beginning. This small disagreement leads to a heated argument between the two of them, and they end up destroying the mountain and meeting each other for the first time… realizing that they aren’t so different after all.
An all-time favorite that teaches us that no matter what lies on the other side of the mountain, we are the same after all.
David McKee wrote another one of my favorite books, this gem is about a colorful elephant, Elmer, who lives with gray elephants and keeps them happy playing games and making jokes. But Elmer himself isn’t happy because he is different from the rest, and he tries to paint himself gray, but he can’t resist his fun personality and joyfully scares the other elephants, revealing himself.
In the end, Elmer was colorful inside and outside, and I find that irresistibly beautiful. It’s a tale about acceptance and understanding of oneself, and my baby always has a laugh while mommy reads it to him and points at all the fun colors!
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
Yup, you read that right! It’s a charming twist on the classic tale! Three innocent, hard-working wolves are harassed by a big, bad pig, who resorts to any means available to destroy the homes of the three little wolves, interrupting their cricket game!
This book is a fun addition to any child’s library, and we love reading it during playtime!
Guess How Much I Love You
A sweet story in which Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, father, and son, try to measure how much they love each other. How do you measure incommensurable love?
Whenever I read Ollie this book I end up mimicking how much I love him by gesturing with my hands, and hugging him and kissing him. It’s the book I go to for bonding time! My husband also loves to read this one to him, he emphasizes that the book is about a father and son, like them!
Peek a boo baby faces board book
The baby faces board books have been a fresh breath of fun for us. Since Ollie wasn’t allowed to be around other babies for the first 15 months of his life, while his lungs became strong. We had few choices to show the other babies like him: TV or books. While I don’t underestimate the educational power that the occasional TV show may have when used right, I do prefer any form of literature since it has the physical enhancement of developing motor skills and the emotional enhancement of creating engaging, bonding, fun.
There are five main books in the baby faces set: Peek-a-book! Eat, sleep, Splat! and Smile! They depict in 16 pages different facial expressions that babies make during their daily lives. We also use it to explain to Oliver what each emotion means. Although my favorite is the Peek-a-Boo, I’d recommend the whole set.
That’s a Wrap!
There you have it! The favorite books I read for my son during bedtime, playtime, bonding time and even during meals! I hope you enjoy them too with your babies.
Do you have a favorite book in mind? What do you read for your baby? I’d love to hear your all-time favorites and read them to my son!