Books for every milestone

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From potty training to a death in the family, there's a book for that - and Rachel Tompkins has read the lot...

Forget all those guide books that are aimed at teaching you how to be a parent, and invest in these children’s books instead. Because there really is one for every milestone in your child’s life…

How to Brush Your Teeth With Snappy Croc, by Jane Clarke and Georgie Birkett

If you’re fed up with wrestling a slippery toddler while singing ‘This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth…’ and ending up looking like a bird did a minty poo all over your black top, this book could be the answer. Sadly, it wasn’t quite that simple in our house, but it’s worth a try!

Pirate Pete’s Potty, by Andrea Pinnington

This book encourages children to ‘press the button, hear the cheer!’ They won’t be the only ones cheering when aforementioned child manages to successfully land ‘one’ in the loo. We read this book to my now 4-year-old when he was potty training and he loved it. (Considerably more than he loved me following him around with a potty and asking him if he needed a wee every ten seconds).

There’s a House inside my Mummy, by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban

**BE-CAREFUL CLAXON: Don’t read this book if you’re feeling hormonal/sleep-deprived/having problems conceiving a second child, as it’s guaranteed to have you in tears. **

This book helps to explain to children what’s happening when mummy’s pregnant. It tackles everything from tiredness;

‘Often she falls fast asleep

Before she’s got undressed.’

To morning sickness;

‘Sometimes Mummy feels so sick

I don’t know what to do,’

Perhaps it was just me being over-sensitive due to the fact that conceiving both of my children hadn’t been easy, but the way this book is written really does bring a lump to the throat.

It’s almost enough to romanticise your whole pregnancy... well, if it wasn’t for vomming up your croissant every morning, walking like John Wayne, and needing to pee every five minutes.

Lulu Loves Nursery, by Camilla Reid and Ailie Busby

Whether you bound away from that first nursery drop-off like an excited gazelle, or shuffle home sobbing into your tissue, it’s definitely a milestone of a day. There’s usually tears from someone that first morning, but this book puts a positive spin on your little one’s new adventure. And remember, it won’t be long before the only tears are when nursery’s closed for bank holiday (from Mum that is!)

Grandpa, by John Burningham

I challenge any parent to read this book and refrain from weeping.

A touching narrative about the special bond between a little girl and her grandpa. They play dolls together, eat imaginary ice cream and reminisce about when Grandpa was a boy. Until the final page when the little girl is illustrated sitting on her own, looking sadly at Grandpa’s empty green chair. (Think I’ve got something in my eye).

Subtle enough to be enjoyed by young children, this book also helps to gently raise the issue of grandparents dying.

Pirate Pete My Big Boy Bed, by Amanda Li

According to the Amazon blurb, this book ‘describes the excitement of moving from a cot to a new big bed….and finally Pirate Pete discovering what it’s like to sleep all night in a big bed of his own’.

By ‘excitement’ they obviously mean ‘sheer terror’ or ‘utter trepidation’. Because now, your child is no longer contained at night by those trusted cot bars, he/she is free to roam as they please, free to roll out onto the floor, to creep surreptitiously into your bed in the dead of night, ensuring you never sleep undisturbed again. And that is why the ‘excitement’ of parenting really does never end!

@RachTompkins @mushmums