Children’s books are popular presents for newborns, but if you’re the gift-giver, the options can seem endless. 

We asked members of the HuffPost Parents community to share the kids’ books they come back to again and again when they need a gift for a baby shower. Some may be more for the parents (hello, Go the F**k to Sleep), while others are classics that kids have cherished for generations.

Here are 45 children’s books (of the more than 500 suggestions we received) to consider giving at baby showers:

Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach because it’s so true and funny when you’re sleep-deprived.” ― Rebecca Kenneally Hatch

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. It’s a really sweet book that I think helps kids understand that even when they make us crazy, we can’t not love them. I don’t know anyone (who’s a parent) who can read that book without tearing up.” ― Kelly Allen

On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. I just love reading it, the words feel like they are coming out of my heart.” ― Lisa Silverman Gorman


“Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day because it’s hard to find quality children’s books with brown characters, and I like to normalize books with girls and minorities as main characters for children as early as possible.” ― Monique Lafourche Delaney

“Love The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton. I have been reading it to my son since he was born, and now at the age of 2 he ‘reads’ it with me. Sometimes when he’s tired he will quote the last page in the book: ‘The moon is high. The sea is deep. They rock and rock and rock to sleep.’” ― Michelle Ducharme

A is for Activist and Counting on Community, both by Innosanto Nagara. I think it’s very important to begin to instill a sense of awareness and an appreciation for justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and other important issues at a young age.” ― Laura Meixell Kuhlmann

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. Such a sweet story about kindness and teamwork. We can recite it by heart in our house. Given it out many times as gifts to friends and teachers.” ― Nicole McConnell

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It’s hard to let your children go to preschool or kindergarten. This book has a Mama Raccoon who kisses her child’s palm before she leaves him at school. If he misses her he can place his palm with the kiss on his cheek, and he will know his mother loves him. Baby Raccoon also kisses his mother’s palm before he heads off to school. Real love endures even when we’re away from our loved ones. Sweet story. Beautiful artwork.” ― Donna Worthington Shiro

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. It’s a sweet story of the baby bunny and its dad, proclaiming who loves who more. The illustrations are charming and the story is a nice, short read for bedtime.” ― Kyndra Elston

“I give the book I wrote titled Esteban de Luna, Baby Rescuer! I wrote it after I had my son to encourage little boys to see the skills of caring and nurturing as ‘superhero’ skills. Plus, it features baby-wearing and it’s bilingual!” ― Larissa Mercado-Lopez

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt. For the same reasons many have said about their suggestions, no matter how gross they get, how scary or awful they behave, we will find a way to love them ― no matter what.” ― Jessica Case

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I grew up with it, read it to both my girls, and now my oldest daughter reads it to her baby sister. That book is like a tradition.” ― Morgan Allen

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae is one of our faves to give. Everyone has their own beat and you just do you, don’t worry about what anyone else’s talents or gifts are, you have your own!” ― Amanda Hanstad

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the idea of the book, to find a way to make the world more beautiful, is really a lovely thought, I think.” ― Alexis Dionne Campbell

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers. It’s a simple board book talking about how no matter where babies are born, they have families who love them, rock them, feed them, play with them. The artwork is beautiful and I love how diverse the families are in the book.” ― Meaghan Breaux

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox. Talks about how we’re all the same despite our different backgrounds and how this little child is especially precious because they’re ‘mine all mine.’ A sweet little rhyme.” ― Keren Strathearn


You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusimano Love, illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa. This book shows the impact that parents and children have on each other. It shows the relational balance between parent and child. It is so simple and relatable.” ― Shannon Turner-Ivsek

Each Peach Pear Plum from Allan and Janet Ahlberg. Lovely to read. Beautiful rhymes and illustration. Both kids loved it. Always give it as a present.” ― Ana Camelo

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. Beautiful illustrations and great message of providing support while allowing kids to have independence and adventure.” ― Suzen Ruis

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom from Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. I love giving this book because it’s lyrical and fun to read a lot. As babies get older, it’s fun for them to start reading as they recognize the letters and sounds.” ― Natasha Lewis

Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak. The main character is a girl who saves her baby sister. I appreciate a children’s book with a strong female character! I also love this book because it teaches children to have a good imagination with their ordinary world around them.” ― Rachel LaCour

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty. It’s for older kids but the rhymes are wonderful, the theme is poignant and timely, and the drawings are colorful and warm. I love giving this book to future parents of girls.” ― Caity Yaussi

Someday by Alison McGhee. I still can’t even read it without choking up. It is about the life cycle, about your first memories with your baby, watching them grow, the conflicting feelings you have in life. It says so much with so few words. The line is something like, ‘Sometimes I watch you sleep, and I dream too…’ (seriously crying just writing this and my kid is 4-and-a-half).” ― Amber Manke

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin ― multicultural, with the sweetest faces and soft artwork, wondering what the little one might be like as he/she grows. And it subtly breaks gender biases, too.” ― Diane Dietz

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? from Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. All of my babies have loved this book. We all have it memorized and when we are in the car and the youngest one gets fussy we all start reciting the book, with the same pace and inflection I did when they were all babies. I always give it as a gift for a baby shower or first birthday.” ― Wendy Fortner

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, especially for little girls. Early lessons in empowerment.” ― Rebecca Erin

Why Does Mommy Have Tattoos? by Marilyn Rondon is colorful and quick, but it was a cute read about tattoos. Most of them I have myself so my son loved pointing out mine that matched the part in the story. Absolutely love it.” ― Lauren Elizabeth Metzel


Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue. The art is gorgeous and it tells the story of a little girl going to bed so gently. In response to her assertion that she isn’t tired, her parents just say, ’We understand. Please brush your teeth. You can stay up as late as you like.′ It’s just lovely and presents an example of engaging with your child that isn’t adversarial. I think it’s a nice model and so pretty.” ― Allison Sook

Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury. We focus so much on our kids’ ‘firsts’ but sometimes miss the last time that they’ll ever do some of these things. My grandmother gave it to me for my first child and I give it at every baby shower I go to. I can’t read it without crying but it is a beautiful book.” ― Heather Todd

Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman. We are a military family and right before my husband’s third deployment he recorded that book for our children. This meant so much to our children being able to hear his voice. So now I give this book to my friends/family having babies because usually I’m the one that doesn’t live close by. I want them to know I’ll love them no matter where I am.” ― Kassie Rice

Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton. Brilliant children’s book. It’s about a sheep who can’t fall asleep like the rest of the flock.” ― Marie Aldous 

Llama Llama Red Pajama from Anna Dewdney is my son’s favorite book. The baby llama wants his momma (he’s supposed to be going to sleep) and screams bloody murder when she doesn’t come back up right away. Good book for opening conversations about patience, anxiety, and nighttime fears! Ten years later, I can still recite it from memory. Also check out a recent rap version by Ludacris on YouTube.” ― Elizabeth Washburn Galbraith

Wish by Matthew Cordell. I know far too many couples who have struggled to get pregnant or who have lost babies. This is a beautiful book that outlines that struggle and the wish of the parents to have their family grow.” ― Kayla Stremel

Welcome, Baby by Barbara Reid. As a new mom wanting to read a book to her newborn it was perfect. The length was great for a newborn and infant, and it is dead-on without being over the top sappy about how it is to welcome a baby into your world.” ― Behnaz Somji

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson. A really intricate story about travel, and family, and beauty, and awe, and carving your own path, and how even small things and people can make a big impact on the world and those they love, but it’s so accessible to even small kids, and so beautifully written. Sometimes I read it just for myself.” ― Meghan Hart Arbuckle

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Perfect length, great story. Cute silly bits, a perfect message of inclusion and acceptance. And opens up a conversation about how to deal with embarrassment, as well as modeling non-bullying behavior perfectly.” ― Stefany Brianne Stevenson Hess


Hush Little Keiki by Kim Vukovich. Lovely Hawaiian version of the classic lullaby, but so much more beautiful. I love finding books with local relevance; this has been my favorite.” ― Erica Hanley

Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman. Two parallel stories happening, one about a little boy and his faith in his grandfather; the other follows a little mouse family who lives underneath the floors of the little boy. My daughter made me read it, night after night, and 10 years later I’m rereading it with my youngest.” ― Tara Dean

“The ‘Lil’ Libros’ collection [by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein]! If you haven’t looked them up, I recommend you do. They are amazing bilingual board books with amazing illustrations.” ― Karina Wong

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. He just wants to smell the roses, be happy, and be himself.” ― Stephanie Tapia

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone is my favorite to give because it speaks directly to kids and involves them in the story. It really makes them giggle, too.” ― Kristin Miller

“One of the ‘BabyLit’ primer board books (Pride & Prejudice for counting, Sherlock Holmes for sounds, etc.). They’re sturdy, colorful, fun, and introduce the classics!” ― Mellissa Miller

 “I like Older Than The Stars by Karen C. Fox. It’s a great way to introduce scientific literacy at a young age.” ― Victoria Simms

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. It’s creative, fun, and can be enjoyed at any stage of life.” ― Amber McGaw

Responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.



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