For our first baby, it was "On the Day You Were Born" by Debra Frasier. I ordered it a week before my baby arrived. It has simple, figurative illustrations but loving text about how monumental the birth of a new soul into the world is. Our copy wasn't a board book, so over the years it has taken a beating, but I hope to give that copy to our daughter when she is grown.
For our son, my second child, I wasn't able to choose anything until he was really here. You worry you don't know how to love someone as much as your first baby, but that was gone once I met him. He is so beautiful and kind, and he was as a baby, and even other nurses came into his hospital room just to watch him. My love for him was no less fierce and expanded my heart just as much. I wanted to make sure he knew that, so I chose "I Love You As Much..." by Laura Krauss Melmed. It has gorgeous illustrations and is very close to nature in how it runs through texts of animal mothers and babies, and it was perfect for him.
For our youngest, I also chose the book after she arrived, trying to sum up the feelings of being able to have her in our lives and love her and watch her grow. "Little You" by Richard Van Camp was our winner. It's something she still asks for now and then. Super easy text with stylized illustrations gives you a primal feeling of the privilege it is to be a parent. It's just beautiful. And wild enough to fit our new little girl.
Even when all the baby books are long outgrown here, I will save these three for them. Because it tells them, better than we could with everyday words, how much they mean to us. How wonderous each one of them made our lives.
Did you pick a special first book for your child?