Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baby's first books

As far back as I can remember I have always loved reading. I believe it started with my love for stories, I enjoyed being transported on the journey of the characters in the story and would always beg my parents and siblings to tell me one more story.  Learning how to read was such a fun experience for me because it gave me the freedom to discover all the wonderful stories just waiting for me in all those books; I no longer had to wait for someone else to tell me a story.  For this reason I just couldn't wait to introduce Baby S to the wonderful world of books.
Long before she was born I started looking at all the baby book options, but never could decide which ones to start with. I wanted to get her a baby bible but its been a bit hard to find one I really like,  that is also age appropriate, so I'm still working on that.  By the time she turned 3 months, I started getting impatient with my indecision and decided to take the plunge and purchase her first two books. She loved them both from the first day I showed them to her and I plan to buy lots more for her as she grows. I try not to overwhelm with too many toys or books at a time though, I really believe in quality over quantity in this regard. I chose to start with cloth books because I thought they would be easier for the baby to hold and play with and also easier to clean. I also worried that the board books might be too heavy and hard for her when she was only 3 months old and that she might hit herself in the head with them or bite chunks out of the pages.

[1] Peek-a-boo forest by Lamaze

Of the two books we have, I can cautiously say that this is my favorite.
  • This book holds up great in the wash. It has been washed several times and even put in the dryer and still looks brand new.
  • The peek-a-boo flaps have the crinkle fabric that babies love
  • The lines rhyme and this catches baby's attention and improves their listening ability.
  • The colors are bright and vibrant
  • The book has a satin handle on the spine to make it easy to carry
  • The owl on the front cover has a raised plush face which baby loves to touch and play with.
  • The fabric is too soft so the book is very floppy and doesn't keep its shape. This makes it hard for a baby to turn the pages themselves without the book just turning into a floppy mess of fabric
  • Aside from the crinkle peek-a-boo flaps and the owl on the front cover, there are no other textures in the book.
  • The crinkle pages can be noisy so you can't use these in a quiet place, and the noise stimulates the baby too much so if she is sleepy I can't use this book because it wakes her up and gets her too excited.
  • The book appears to be hand stitched and on some pages, the words have been partially cut off by being stitched into the edge of the page.

[2] Fuzzy bee and friends by Roger Priddy


I had heard stellar reviews about this book and the author so I was a bit disappointed by certain aspects of it. Maybe my expectations were too high?
  • Unlike the Lamaze book, this book maintains it's shape. Even though it is make of cloth, each page is lined with the crinkle fabric, so it isn't soft and floppy. This makes it easier to hold and to turn the pages.
  • Each page features different fabrics that have been sewn on which is good for developing baby's sensory skills.
  • This book also has rhyming lines to improve their listening ability.
  • There is a Velcro flap to keep the book shut for easy storage.
  • Bright fun colors*
  • The reason why I put the asterisk on the point above is because, although the book does have bright colors, those colors don't last long. As soon as I received the book, I put it in the laundry with Seventh Generation which is known to be a gentle detergent. When I got the book out of the washing machine it was totally faded out like it had been washed 100 times or more! The manufacturer recommends "surface cleaning" only, I guess by wiping, but how is that going to effectively clean the book? In case the manufacturer isn't aware, children like to put things in their mouth even at 12 months ( which is the recommended age for this book) So there is no way I would give this book to my child after its been hanging in a store or sitting in a warehouse without washing it first. To suggest otherwise is just bizarre in my opinion. Plus what happens when it gets dirty of it baby drools on it, throws up on it or spills food on it, should I still just wipe it clean?   
  • The fast fading fabric also worries me that the ink or dye used to color the book isn't fast and for that reason I don't feel comfortable letting her put any part of the book in her mouth, which means I can't leave the book alone with her because that is always the first thing she  tries to do
  • The stitching is really low quality, and most of it starting unravelling within the first week. The wings of most of the insects are partially falling off. Again this means I can't leave the book with my baby unattended because as she gets older and stronger she will be able to pull the wings right off the book and probably attempt to eat them.

Overall I prefer the Lamaze book and plan to buy a few more of that brand, see my top ten list here.



  1. great pros and cons outlined. I do like how bright the second is but shame to hear that it cant be laundered with the color staying just as bold.