“Have you set up the nursery?”

That is all anyone asked me for the last few weeks of my pregnancy along with “Haven’t you had that baby yet?”

If you got it all together, good on ya. If you haven’t, don’t sweat it too much, babies really don’t need a lot when they first come along so it’s up to you when you get all their stuff together. Some people like to get it out of the way so it’s not another looming to-do job when you’re shuffling around with a newborn, and others feel it’s bad luck to count your chickens before they’ve hatched. I think it’s fine either way.

Whether you’re all set up or still haven’t bought a onesie, I thought it might be a good time to talk about books no matter what stage you’re at.

Books are one of my favourite things to give (and to get) when it comes to a baby gift. I think we all know the benefits of reading, bonding, better communication and speech skills, blah, blah, blah, but nothing beats a book that’s good. And by good I mean doesn’t make you want to burn it on the front lawn because it’s a repetitive vomit of colour that will slowly drive you insane and that’s where recommendations from other parents go a long way.

My friend, Carolyn, had her kids pick out the books for my son when he was born and they were such a huge hit with him. I wouldn’t have picked those books in a million years so it was so nice to get the inside scoop on what really rocks the baby set.

Here’s a registry on Baby List that is completely devoted to books. These are the ones that have stood the test of time in my eyes and I’ll keep adding to it as I find other great reads along the way.

Nursery and books aside, I also wanted to alert you to some “treats” that come along with giving birth in Happily Ever After Giving Birth – 10 Things They Don’t Tell You and get your ducks in the row with Exit Care.

As for the little literary genius you’re carrying, he or she has beefed up to somewhere around the six-pound mark (add a pound of butter to that bag of sugar you’ve been carrying around) and is pretty much ready to roll any time he or she decides it’s show time.

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