I have always loved reading. Even into my teenage years, I would curl up with a book and breeze through it in a day or two. Danielle Steele was one of my favorites. Probably because that’s what my mom was reading.
When I became a mom, one of my favorite things to do was read with my girls. I loved having books as a part of our bedtime routine and the same is true with Olivia.
I started reading to her at 6 months old and she loves books now. She’ll snuggle up in my lap and I’ll flip through the pages and either read the words, point at the pictures, or explain what’s going on. She doesn’t always have the patience to sit through the story so then I just let her flip through the pages on her own.
As we get closer to her first birthday, I’ve made reading a part of our bedtime routine just like I did with my older two. I pick out a stack of her favorites and then we say goodnight to each book and turn out the light. She loves it!
Instead of toys, I’ve asked family and friends to get her books for her birthday so that I can add to her library. Books are a great gift for a first birthday. Or any birthday for that matter! Here are some of the best books I’ve found for baby’s first birthday.
Before I dive in, I wanted to talk a little about what kinds of books are best for one year olds. Since babies are pretty hard on their toys, board books with sturdy cardboard pages are the best choice.
As they approach their first birthday, babies start to grasp some of the words we read to them. Reading starts to become more interactive which is always fun. The most meaningful words are usually the names and things from their everyday life — words like “doggy,” “mommy,” “daddy,” “milk,” or “bottle.” Point to the pictures and act out what you read. Wait and see if the baby will babble back to you.
Ok on to the list of best books for baby’s first birthday!
Birthday Wishes – Minnie Birdsong. We have this one and I’ve already been reading it to Olivia so that we can talk about her birthday and sing Happy Birthday too. She loves hearing her name when I sing Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday from the Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle. I love the bright, colorful artwork in this book.
One: A Birthday Book – Melanie Erin Morgan. I love that this book celebrates the special milestone of turning one and the illustrations are so fun.
Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake? – Karen Katz. I had so many Karen Katz books when my girls were little and I can’t wait for Olivia to read this. This is a great lift-the-flap book with lots of festive things to find.
You Are a Star – Ariella Aboloffio. This one isn’t a board book either. Lol! I know, I know, but I had to choose a few that parents would enjoy just as much as kids. I love the message to celebrate all the things you can do and the importance of finding your own voice.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be – Emily Winfield Martin. This isn’t a board book, but I had to include it because the message is so sweet. It’s about all of the things parents think of when they look at their children – brave, bold, creative, clever, etc.
Now You Are One – Minnie Birdsong. Use this book instead of a card! You can write a personalized message under the cover flap (you can also do the same with ‘Birthday Wishes’). The illustrations are adorable too.
Birthday Monsters – Sandra Boynton. This book is so fun and I love the rhymes! “You hear your door come crashing down—those birthday monsters are in town!”