Baby showers are a wonderful way to welcome a new baby into the world. More than fun games and delicious treats, baby showers are also the perfect occasion to gift parents-to-be with something special for their bundle of joy. Books can be the perfect present, especially those geared towards new parents who are still building their baby book library. With that in mind, here are the seven best books for baby showers.
Best Books for Baby Showers
(Best classic — $)
Why it’s great: With fun rhymes and familiar illustrations, this book riffs on the Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Written with expectant parents and their new babies in mind, the simple phrases and adapted content are geared not just towards young children, but babies in utero too! The author’s thoughtful introduction touches on the benefits of reading to children even before they’re born to help little ones learn to recognize their parents’ voices.
Keep in mind: This is not the original Dr. Seuss book but a modified version by a different author.
Good for: Gifting to a casual acquaintance as this book is a popular classic and inexpensive.
(Best for first-time parents — $$$)
Why it’s great: You often hear parents complain that babies should come with a user’s manual. Thankfully, this book, written by a pediatrician and his son, seeks to fill the gap. Filled with step-by-step instructions and diagrams that are both helpful and funny, this book provides a plethora of useful intel for new parents. Addressing all the frequently asked questions about babies, this book covers everything from swaddling to feeding to sleep training, and beyond.
Keep in mind: Some readers say this book is better bought as a novelty gift rather than an informational parenting guide.
Good for: Nervous parents-to-be who don’t have a lot of experience with kids or parenting.
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: A great gift for expectant parents, this book follows the story of a baby elephant born to loving parents. Featuring bright colors and rhyming text, this book celebrates love and families, making it a perfect choice for a baby shower gift. Suitable for boys and girls, this board book is designed for kids ages 0-3 and is easy for little hands to hold on their own. This book also includes space to write a heartfelt message to the parents-to-be as well as pages for parents to record birth details about their child.
Keep in mind: Some customers report this book is smaller than they expected.
Good for: Anyone! This book is gender-neutral, affordable, and adorable.
(Best illustrations — $$)
Why it’s great: A New York Times Bestseller, as well as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon, this book is popular among parents and kids alike. Featuring gorgeous illustrations and inspiring, lyrical language, this book is a gift families will cherish for years to come. An ode to parental love in rhyming text, this book’s heartfelt message will resonate with new parents, making it the perfect gift for a baby shower.
Keep in mind: This book is a little advanced for babies to understand, but new parents will love its message and can keep it on hand to share with their little one as they grow.
Good for: Parents with an eye for aesthetics as this book’s illustrations are especially gorgeous.
(Best for second-time parents — $$$)
Why it’s great: This keepsake gift features a charming and cheerful story about a baby elephant exploring the world. Perfect for parents who already have young kids, this book includes a second story geared towards an older sibling to ensure they don’t feel forgotten as they prepare to welcome their sibling into the world. This high-quality hardcover book is designed to be given as a gift and provides space in the front to record a thoughtful message to the parents-to-be.
Keep in mind: Some customers say they wish this book had more space to record birth details about their newborn.
Good for: Parents with older children as this book can be enjoyed by the whole family together.
(Most creative — $$)
Why it’s great: This journal is designed for moms looking to record daily details and brief thoughts related to their journey through motherhood. Organized as a memory book, this diary is sure to become a treasured keepsake as it’s filled in. Each page provides space for parents to fill in the year and a special note about the date. Designed to be quick, easy, and fun, this book will capture five years of memories for mom and baby.
Keep in mind: Some customers report there’s not a lot of writing space allotted for each day.
Good for: Creative parents-to-be who will enjoy recording details of their baby’s daily life in a journal.
(Best for parents with a sense of humor — $$$)
Why it’s great: Praised by the New Yorker, the New York Times, and NPR, this is a picture book to be enjoyed by parents rather than children. A hilarious commentary on modern day parenting, this book is a perfect gift for parents-to-be who have a boisterous sense of humor. Readers praise this book for being honest, relatable, heartwarming, and hilarious.
Keep in mind: This book is designed for parents, not children and features profanity.
Good for: Parents-to-be who will appreciate a funny, if slightly profane, joke.
FAQs about books for baby showers
1. What type of book is best to gift at a baby shower?
The best books to gift to friends and family members who are expecting are those that they’ll be able to enjoy with their little one or that will make their parenting journey easier and more fun. For creative parents-to-be, a journal with writing prompts and exercises could be a thoughtful choice. First-time parents might appreciate a parenting book that offers wisdom and guidance related to raising a child. When in doubt, a picture book with beautiful illustrations or a funny story is sure to be a hit.
2. How much money should I spend on a baby shower gift?
This depends entirely on your personal budget and your relationship to the parents-to-be. Books are a great gift to give because they are typically very inexpensive. If you want to spend more money on your baby shower gift, you can always purchase a handful of titles. Books can also serve as a great addition to another gift you may be purchasing as they’re a low-cost way to add a personalized touch to your gift. Reading to children is an important and universal activity, so any new parent is sure to appreciate a little help launching their baby’s library collection.
3. Is it okay to buy a gift that’s not on the registry?
Parents-to-be often put together baby registries to let friends and family know what baby items they still need. It’s also a useful way to avoid receiving duplicate gifts. That being said, any gift is always appreciated whether it’s included on a registry or not. While some parents may include books on their registry, others may not. Purchasing an off-registry book is usually a safe bet because it’s a gift that’s sure to be put to good use, regardless of whether or not it was requested.
4. What if the parents-to-be already have the book I give them?
It can be tricky to know what parents have already bought for their little one, or what someone else might gift them. To avoid any disappointment, it’s best to include a gift receipt with your gift so that the recipient can return or exchange it if necessary.
5. Are gifts required at a baby shower?
Gifts should never be explicitly required, but baby shower etiquette suggests it’s best to show up with something for the parents-to-be, however small. If you’re not particularly close with the guests of honor, or if you’re worried about spending too much money, gifting a book can be the perfect solution as they’re thoughtful without being expensive, and universally appreciated.
Choosing a gift for new parents can be a tough task. Following a registry is helpful but can also feel boring and impersonal. Gifting books, whether as a stand-alone gift, bundle, or in addition to other gifts, is a great way to personalize your present and allows for a chance to show the parents-to-be how well you know them and how much you love them. Any parent will love getting a book that provides room to record important dates and details related to their little one. Parents with a sense of humor will enjoy the parenting books written specifically to be given as a novelty gift at a baby shower. You can never go wrong with a picture book either, especially those that feature bright illustrations and charming storylines.