Baby & Toddler
Picture Books That Make the Sweetest Gifts for New Moms
by Jennifer Garry
While tiny, adorable outfits and plush blankets are always fun to purchase when a loved one has a baby, one of my go-to gifts for baby showers is a book. And let’s face it, when you buy a book for a brand-new mom, the gift is as much for them as it is for the little human they just brought into the world.
These heartwarming picture books grow with the baby while gently validating all of the emotions that come with being a new mom, making them the perfect gift for baby showers, Mother’s Day, or any day.
Filled with beautiful illustrations of multicultural characters, this book tackles the subject of love in moving, lyrical prose. It all starts with a brand-new baby: “In the beginning there is light and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed, and the sound of their voices is love.” Slow and reassuring, the book goes on to explore the ways that love can be found in joy as well as in darkness, pulling at readers’ heart strings with language that exudes the love each of its characters experience.
Hand to Hold
There can be such comfort in holding someone’s hand. Based on the lyrics of her beloved lullaby, JJ Heller brings that comfort to life in this heartwarming picture book. I love the beautiful illustrations of this book that showcases the adventures — both big and small — that await a child as they grow, with the comfort of a parent always there to offer love and support.
To the Moon and Back for You
Every new mom is so grateful for their new baby, but when the journey to conceive comes with its own struggles, that gratitude can be overwhelming. This beautiful book shows families on their path to find their miracle babies, and that no matter the challenges, hope will always win.
Here We Are
Packed with layers of wonder for all different ages and stages, Oliver Jeffers’ Here We Are is the book I wish I’d owned as a wide-eyed, nervous new mother. Inspired by the birth of Jeffers' own son, the book is a guide to living on planet Earth — and being a good human while there. A wonderful read to calm the feeling of not knowing where to begin, the book’s message is simple: yes, the Earth is huge and filled with people of all different shapes, colors, sizes, and abilities. But in the end, we’re not that different, and we’re all in it together. It’s a message as comforting to children as it is to new parents.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Destined to become a classic baby shower gift, this sweet, rhyming book is filled with the hopes and dreams parents have for their children. Unconditional love and wonder drips from the pages as the author imagines the countless things a new baby can grow to do. With a diverse cast of characters and an emphasis on kindness and acceptance, it’s a beautiful depiction of the love a parent has for their child.
Bunny Roo, I Love You
With charming illustrations that have a classic feel and simple text that’s suited for all ages, this book is sure to become a well-worn favorite. Featuring a cast of momma animals nurturing their babies, we later learn that the baby at the center of the story is a human baby whose mom does everything she can to care for her child. Heartwarming and tender, this story is the perfect first book to read to a baby.
I Love Mommy Every Day
I Love Mommy Every Day is a fun and playful book that showcases the beautiful bond between mother and child. Adorable vignettes and light-hearted text combine to offer a sweet reminder to celebrate a mother's love, generosity, and kindness all year long.
That’s Me Loving You
Touching on the enormity of a parent’s love and reassuring children that they can always find evidence of it, this darling, rhythmic book is perfect for reading during long nights rocking baby to sleep. It will become a quick favorite, and one that moms turn to during life’s big changes — when baby heads off to daycare or preschool or kindergarten — its quiet reassurance soothing for mom and baby alike.
Love Makes a Family
This vibrant book celebrates all different kinds of families and the special thing that makes a family: love. Whether yours includes two moms, two dads, one of each or just one parent, this book revels in the many ways families show their love for each other. Colorful, inclusive, and bursting with love, it’s a great read for every type of family.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021.