Bookstart Baby: What families need to know

Make the most of Bookstart Baby, with key messages and things to keep in mind when giving the pack.

Next: Delivering Bookstart Baby through the first year and Bookstart rhyme sheets

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Download the latest Bookstart Baby gifting guidance for practitioners

Baby being shown books at a children's centre

Bookstart Baby packs are free for all babies in their first year. The earlier they are given, the better, so that families won’t miss out

BookTrust need your help to support families to enjoy reading as soon as possible and to get the most out of Bookstart Baby, so here are some things you can say and do when giving it to parents.

'It has been a good starting point for many to have fun and learning how to read and play with their children.' Bookstart Baby gifter

1. Let the family know why they’ve received the pack and why books, stories and rhymes are important.

  • This is a gift to keep from BookTrust, a charity that wants to get every child reading
  • Reading is a great opportunity, for you, grandparents and siblings to bond and have fun with your baby
  • It’s never too early to start reading with your baby. They’ve loved the sound of your voice even before birth
  • Creating a daily reading habit, like a bedtime story, and reading the same books regularly will help your baby feel secure
  • Reading and rhymes are great for your baby’s development; boosting their brain, language and social development

2. Show the family what’s in the pack and read a book to the baby.

  • Show the book to the baby – parents love to see their positive reaction
  • If possible, read the book to the baby, have fun with it to show parents their baby will just love to hear their voice and look at the pictures
  • If not, let the family know how they can read with their baby in a way that suits them

3. Let the family know about other local service that could help them further, such as libraries and Rhymetimes.