September 7, 2019

Our Baby Library, a Modern Rug to Ease My Joints + The Newborn Arrival Gift Idea I'm Adopting

Today's post is in partnership with Rugs USA.

My stepdaughter, a special education teacher specializing in reading & writing, recently told us that reading to a baby is one of the best gifts you can give a child. She'd made the remark after hearing we'd read to Etta every night while I was pregnant. We'd done it because we'd heard that babies can hear your voice in utero and may even recognize a familiar book once born. We liked the idea of her knowing our voices and having a book we could read early on that may feel familiar. Turns out, there are a whole host of other benefits to reading in infancy as well!

I have great memories of being read to and exploring books on my own as a small child. A few childhood favorites come to mind like The Little Red HenThe Best NestThe Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. When I was pregnant, I imagined it would be easy reading to a baby, but it actually took me about 6 weeks before I figured out how to do it. At first, I fumbled with how to hold the book so she could see the pictures and I could read the words, but one day it clicked when I laid down on the carpet at her level and held the book above us so we could both see the same thing. Ever since it's a favorite activity. I love watching her eyes widen with the turn of each page and hearing her coo back as I read the words.

I also naively never realized how physical having a new baby would be. I've spent more time sitting, kneeling or outright stretched out on the floor than I ever imagined. Thankfully, a plush carpet gives these "older mom" joints some cushion. The one in Etta's nursery is from Rugs USA — the pattern is traditional but the weave is muted, giving it a more modern feel that fits in with the style of our home & decor.

I'd originally put a few books on our baby registry but was pleasantly surprised at how many friends and family sent books as an arrival gift once Etta was born. It was such a neat way to see what my other parent friends are reading their children and old favorites the same. It's a tradition I plan to adopt as a gift idea for the new little ones arriving in my life moving forward. Also! Can't say enough good things about board books. If you're considering what format to buy for a new parent or small child, I'm 100% converted to board books after having a baby.

We've used our books as interchangeable decor on Etta's nursery shelves and keep a small bin of books within reach on the floor to curl up with. Below I've rounded up a complete list of what's in our own growing library and a shortlist of classics many of you have recommended we add

Our Library:

Fun to Read Aloud:

ANYTHING by Nancy Tillman and Emma Dodd — friends of mine sent me books by each just after Etta was born and I immediately bought more in the series'. These books read to the child from the parents' perspective and have a way of articulating the unbounded love and acceptance one feels for their children. These are the few we have, but I want them all:

Recommendations + Classics:

What else are you reading and loving with your littles? Find more pics of Etta's nursery with a complete source list here.

Today's post is in collaboration with Rugs USA, a leader in the rug industry with a commitment to quality at affordable pricing — and a whole host of designs to choose from be it modern, traditional or somewhere in-between. The images in today's post were captured by our talented friend and photographer, Ali Williamson of Alisandra Photography.

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