Did you know researchers have found baby’s brains develop as people read aloud to them?  Of course you did, you’re a modern mom, and minus the specifics, you already knew that reading to your little one is important. That’s probably why many first-time moms are opting for the trendy book-themed baby shower where guests are asked to bring a book instead of a card.


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Although a fun idea, there are issues with this theme that should be brought to your attention, so you can make the most of your shower experience.

To do so, there are some pitfalls of the popular book-themed baby shower idea worth identifying, so you can make your best efforts to avoid them.  I mean, come on, your child’s future entrance into an ivy league university is at stake here!

Pitfall #1: Trouble Following Directions

We’ve heard “follow the directions” many times in school.  So annoying, right?  But really, who actually reads directions…Not all of your baby shower guests, that’s for sure! So, what’s the deal?

We sent a cute saying with our invites that went like this:


What these instructions say to me is that instead of buying a card, I should purchase a book, and, just like I would sign a card and write a cute note, I should do that in the book I bring…. But, more often than not, that didn’t end up happening.


I concluded that there are several reasons your guests will have issues following along with this new trend.

  1. Your guests are not modern. Some of your older guests are used to buying cards, so you’ll end up with both!  They kind of just don’t get it…
  2. Some guests are afraid to write in the books! I wish more had written in the books, as they make great keepsakes for you and your baby!
  3. Your guests do not live in town or cannot attend the shower and will have to order directly from your registry to have it sent to your house. This issue leaves them unable to write a quick note.

How can you avoid this book-themed baby shower pitfall?

It seems that you need to be more direct with your guests.  It’s also helpful to explain why you want them to write in the book. Here’s an example of a longer anecdote you could include on shower invites to help them understand:


Pitfall #2: Price Points on Shower Gifts Are Difficult for Guests

As a shower attendee, you typically have an idea of how much you want to spend.  Birthday cards cost around $3.99… but most books you want usually cost more than that! As a result, guests may end up spending a smaller amount on gifts you really need from your registry, so they can purchase the book you want.

How can you avoid this book-themed baby shower pitfall, for your guest’s sake?

Make sure you have books at all different price points on your registry and include a lot of tiny board books that are cheap and can be found at discount stores such as Homegoods and TJ Maxx.

Pitfall #3: Registering for You Rather Than Baby

Before I started picking out items my baby would absolutely need, I went crazy picking out books for him!

It’s fun to go down memory lane and add books to your registry you remember from your childhood.  But, that’s the problem, you actually remember these books, which means they are probably for an older child, NOT an infant!

After all was said and done, I realized I received so many wonderful books like “Blueberries for Sal” and “Cat in the Hat” but no books that were appropriate for a newborn to really see and explore.


Get board books that are easy for your new baby to see and explore.

Even though I’m trying to raise the next Einstein, he’s got to slobber all overboard books first!  Not to mention, anytime I try to read a book longer than 6 pages with more than 10 words per page, my baby loses attention FAST.

How to avoid this book-themed baby shower pitfall?

Don’t register for your feelings of nostalgia, register for your baby!  Add age-appropriate books that you can read with your baby within those first few months.

Babies love books that are black and white, with simple illustrations, and one to two words per page.  Although some of the books leave you wondering how much acid the authors and illustrators dropped when writing, they are much better suited for your newborn.

Here are two of my baby’s favorite books to get your baby book registry started:

1. Look at the Animals

2. Look, Look!

Both written by Peter Linenthal… Man, do I have some questions for this guy!


Black and whiteboard books are must for a book themed baby shower.

Avoiding Book-Themed Baby Shower Pitfalls in a Nutshell

Given the value and importance of reading to your child, a book-themed baby shower is a great way to build your baby’s library while collecting keepsakes for the future.  Providing your guests with implicit directions, selecting books at different price points, and avoiding too many big kid books will help you make the most of your baby shower experience!

Want some more help with how to make the most of your baby shower? Check out this post here.

Share this article with soon to be mamas who are planning a shower, so their babies can be brainiacs too!

Need baby registry help? You’ve got to check out my FREE printable Baby Registry Checklist for the Modern Mom. This list has everything today’s mom would ever want or need to be prepared for life with baby. Get it below!