As a mother and a NICU nurse, I've read tons of books - children's books, fiction, non-fiction, you name it. I love books! Particularly great children's books. Maybe you do too?
Often parents of preemies feel frustrated that the bookstores don't carry any books that relate to prematurity. Don't fret - there really are some incredible books out there, you just won't find them lining the shelves of most booksellers. But they are out there, and I'd love to share my favorites with you.
Whether you're looking for the perfect book to read to a sibling of a brand new NICU baby, or if you're looking for the perfect books to read to your preemie young or old, these are the top children's books on prematurity, in my opinion.
(And if you're a reader like I am, when you're done here, you should check out my 75 favorite read-aloud books for NICU babies!)
Go Preemies by A.P. Male is a wonderful book with captivating illustrations, highlighting some of history's most notable preemies. Nothing gives kids a sense of pride and importance like knowing they have something in common with famous & important people like this!
What's so sweet about this is that every page reminds the reader that these fantastic and famous people in the book were all "preemies ... just like you!"
This book is particularly special because not only is it written by a preemie, but it is illustrated by one too!
The Moment you were Born by Sandra M. Lane and Brenda S. Miles is a gentle and comforting read-aloud book that's perfect for kids up to ~3 years old. It is ideal to be read aloud to your baby while still in the NICU, because it's a parent's voice sharing words of encouragement and hope for a bright future to come. Every NICU should have a copy to allow parents to read it to their babies!
Prince Preemie, by the late Jewel Kats, is a fairly new book to the world of children's books about prematurity, and it's a gem! It's a classic children's book, starring beautifully illustrated felt puppies who are confronted with the premature birth of a very special prince. Kids and parents alike will love it!
Waiting for Baby by Jennifer Bracci is a sweet illustrated book written by a NICU nurse to help siblings gain a better understanding of what it's like to visit a baby in the NICU.
Inside are great suggestions for some empowering activities young siblings to do in order to start bonding with their new baby, as they wait for their new baby to come home.
Evan Early is another fine read-aloud children's book for siblings with a baby sister or brother in the NICU. In this story, an older sister discovers a sweet way to mark the time as she anticipates the day her new brother will come home.
It's a well-written book ,with a creative twist on how to help parents and siblings deal with the emotional burden of waiting for baby to come home.
This short & sweet read-aloud book is written by Lindsay Nolan, herself a preemie mom. It's filled with simple rhyming, and comforting words, and beautiful illustrations.
I think this is another perfect book for reading while babies are still in the NICU, but it's also great for the months and years after a preemie heads home.
Good Things Come in Small Packages is a delightfully empowering children's book that encourages kids to see their prematurity in a most positive light. With sweet illustrations and an uplifting message, it's sure to delight any child who was born early. And what's even better is that a portion of the sales of this book are donated to the March of Dimes.
I love The Very Tiny Baby for it's honest and open approach to understanding what siblings experience. It very simply tells the tale of a little boy who is worried and unsure about becoming a brother, particularly when that brother is a preemie.
It's a great read-aloud book for parents to share with younger NICU siblings. The illustrations are fantastic!
These gentle books are a great way to help young siblings understand the NICU. They're great read-aloud books with sweet rhymes, and it's unique in that it offers two versions of the book, depending on the sex of the preemie, which is so fun!
Any young NICU sibling will surely enjoy the pride of seeing a book about their baby brother or sister.
This faith-based children's book was written by a mother who wants to give hope and comfort to preemie parents everywhere. "Once Upon a Preemie is a short inspirational book that is written for parents whose children were born prematurely, and had a NICU stay. The book is a bed side 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."
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