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75 Fantastic Books to Read Aloud to NICU Babies


75 Fantastic Books to Read Aloud to NICU Babies


Bonding in the NICU is a struggle, but one easy way to connect, particularly when you can't be holding your little one for any reason, is to read aloud to him or her. Babies know their parents voices, so hearing you reading will comfort and connect you both.

Are you worried you'll sound foolish or weird reading to your little baby in the NICU? Believe me - don't worry about it! There are a million weirder things that go on in the NICU every day -  reading to your baby is not one of them.

Why is it a good idea for NICU parents to read to their babies while still in the NICU?

  • Your baby knows your voice, so this is something ONLY you can do.

  • It's a beautiful thing to do for your baby on days when you can't hold your baby

  • It makes a nice ritual, a tradition, to read the same book every time you visit

  • You can record yourself reading a whole bunch of books and leave the recorder for the nurses to play to your baby when you're not there

These are my personal favorites - it was REALLY difficult to limit it to 75! They are easy to read, have inspiring messages, address wonderful subjects, and are just plain fun.  Every one of these books can be purchased on, and a collection of 5-10 would make an incredible gift to any NICU family! Enjoy!

Baby Love

Love is You & Me.
By Monica Sheehan
Mama, Do You Love Me?
By Barbara M. Joosse
On the Day You Were Born
By Debra Frasier
Guess How Much I Love You
By Sam McBratney
Hug Time
By Patrick McDonnell
Awesome Book of Love!, An
By Dallas Clayton
I Love You, Stinky Face
By Lisa Mccourt
Love You Forever
By Robert Munsch
On the Night You Were Born
By Nancy Tillman
Papa, Do You Love Me?
By Barbara M. Joosse, Barbara Lavallee
I Love You Through And Through
By Bernadette Rossetti Shustak
By Todd Parr

Perfect for Preemies

The North Star
By Peter H. Reynolds
You Be You
By Linda Kranz


Stories for Siblings

The Very Tiny Baby
By Sylvie Kantorovitz
My Sister is a Preemie
By Joseph Vitterito
My Brother is a Preemie
By Joseph Vitterito
There's Going to Be a Baby
By John Burningham
Mama's Milk
By Michael Elsohn Ross

Fun to Read Rhyming Books

Adoption & Gay Parenting

And Tango Makes Three
By Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell
Mommy, Mama, and Me
By Lesléa Newman

Spirituality & Religious

Bedtime Stories

Goodnight Moon
By Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd
Good Night, Gorilla
By Peggy Rathmann
Close Your Eyes
By Kate Banks

Inspiring and Hopeful Stories

The Kissing Hand
By Audrey Penn
Me . . . Jane
By Patrick McDonnell
What I Be
By Michael Franti
By Leo Lionni
The Gift of Nothing
By Patrick McDonnell
Giraffes Can't Dance
By Giles Andreae
Plant a Kiss
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal
On My Way To A Happy Life
By Deepak Chopra, Kristina Tracy
How to Catch a Star
By Oliver Jeffers
I Really Love You, Ava
By Amberly Kristen Clowe
Grandpa Green
By Lane Smith

Last but not least... introduce baby to poetry!

Did you read aloud to your baby in the NICU? What books would YOU recommend?