March is National Reading Month! In honor of this, I am sharing some of my favorite children's books for preemies.
There is no denying the joy of reading. Reading can be an important activity to aid in bonding with your hospitalized baby, and also provides some pretty amazing benefits for your child. Research suggests that story time promotes brain development, reduces stress, and starts building the skills needed to talk and eventually read.
Reading to my preemies was one of the things that I enjoyed most while my twins were in the NICU. It made me feel like a “normal” parent and I could block out all the noise and imagine that I sitting in my children’s nursery reading to them instead of a hospital. It helped me forget about the stress, if at least temporarily. While there are certainly many lovely children’s books available, reading a book about a preemie, to a preemie is a special experience. Here are a few of my favorites to begin building a library for your littlest bundle of joy.
Lily’s Hope- by Jennifer Driscoll and Lily Driscoll
This children's book follows the experiences of Lilian Hope and her little brother, Aidan Patrick, both born prematurely. "Hope means wishing for good things to happen," Lily says, as she realizes hope has followed her since the day she was born. Lily and Aidan share hope in their non-profit organization, Lily's Hope Foundation, that supports families with premature babies.
Once Upon a Preemie- by Jenné Johns
This short inspirational book is written for parents whose children were born prematurely, and had a NICU stay. The book is a bedside companion to support any parent who faces the roller coaster ride of nurturing a preemie baby in the hospital until they go home. Once Upon A Preemie offers encouraging messages of hope, faith, and love.
Peanut- by Lindsay Nolan
"Little baby, I understand that life never goes exactly as planned, and that something so little can be something so grand." This is a story for small but mighty preemie babies. It's a story about love.
Go Preemies- by AP Male
Go Preemies! was written for preemies of all ages as a fun, inspirational and educational guide that highlights the world-changing accomplishments that preemies have achieved, and can achieve, despite the challenges of their preterm birth. Written and illustrated by two adult preemies.
Soon- by Jessica Watson
"Soon" takes the reader on a hopeful journey, honoring the fighting spirit of a preemie along the way. Beautiful, realistic illustrations give a glimpse into the NICU world without overwhelming young children with too many tubes and wires. Families will treasure time spent turning the pages of "Soon" together and smiling with pride at how far they have come.
I Was a Preemie Just Like You- by Ali Dunn
I Was a Preemie Just Like You is a sweet children's book that shows preemies what they went through, and that they are not alone. Colorful geometric illustrations and rhyming text reimagine the NICU experience as an amazing adventure. This book is perfect for preemies of any age but was developed specifically for toddlers as an introduction to their own premature start.
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