Newborn packs: Black and white booklets

BookTrust offer free Bookstart Newborn packs to introduce families to reading as early as possible.

  • What is the Newborn pack?
  • Who gives the packs to families?
  • What is in the pack?
  • Tips for giving Newborn packs
'[Parents] like the message that they have all they need for their child, that they don't need special toys/lots of money and can make use of parental voice.' Practitioner on giving Newborn packs

Newborn packs black-and-white bookletsWhat is the Bookstart Newborn pack?

The Bookstart Newborn pack contains a black-and-white booklet for babies in England and Wales. High contrast images can really engage newborn babies when their eyesight is still developing, so these can be used to encourage and support shared reading.

The Bookstart Newborn pack is available for all babies in their first 8 weeks, however some local authorities target their gifting at the families who would benefit from them the most.

Who gives the packs to families?

The Bookstart Newborn pack is given by early years or health professionals who work with families with newborn babies. This is often midwives, health visitors and registrars, though distribution differs in each local area.

The Bookstart Coordinator in each local authority allocates and distributes the packs to the delivery partners. If you are interested in giving newborn packs, please note that there is a limited supply. Email [email protected] to find your local Bookstart Coordinator.

What is in the pack?

  • A congratulations card, which introduces families to their Bookstart journey
  • A booklet of black-and-white images and tips for reading
  • The card and booklet are given in an envelope, in which extra information (e.g. leaflets about local rhymetimes) can be inserted

Please note: in Wales, only the black-and-white booklet is given.

Mum and newborn reading

Tips for giving Newborn packs

BookTrust needs your help to support families to enjoy reading as early as possible, so here are some things you can say to parents when giving the new-born pack:

  • Cuddle up with your baby and look out for their reaction to different pages
  • Keep sharing the booklet so they start to recognise the images
  • Don’t worry if your baby tires easily when looking at the booklet