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10 Least Annoying Children’s Books to Give New Parents

A pint-sized piece of literary gold is a wonderful gift to give parents to celebrate their new treasure. It’s more thoughtful than a stuffed giraffe and easier than bulky toys or monogrammed crib sheets. 

But let’s be honest: half the books written for babies are ticking time bombs for parents. How do you set the stage for this child’s intellectual future while taking mom and dad’s sanity into consideration? Here’s a list of the 10 best baby books that will help instill good values without driving parents mad by the 100th read:

The Pout Pout Fish” 

by Deborah Diesen, Illustrated by Dan Hanna

The Pout Pout Fish is a lovably illustrated, Eeyore-like character who goes around spreading “dreary-wearies all over the place.” The book is full of beautiful vocabulary, fun-to-read quips, and a helpful lesson about how to be in control of your emotions. And it might just remind the occasionally overwhelmed parents that dreary-wearies are not their destiny, either.

Tugga Tugga Tugboat” 

by Kevin Lewis, Illustrated by Daniel Kirk

This aquatic adventure has just the right amount of sing-songiness without the tiring repetition. The familiar melody will help make bath time soothing for babies and a splashing fun time for toddlers. It takes children on a toot-tootin tugboat’s journey as they learn that things are not always as they appear.

My Truck is Stuck!” 

by Kevin Lewis, Illustrated by Daniel Kirk

Another book by the author and illustrator of “Tugga Tugga Tugboat,” but impossible to leave off this list. A wonderfully written tale of a truck getting stuck in muck with adorable illustrations that show the helping hands who come along to try to free it. The writing is spunky enough to entertain the littlest ones and, as they grow, they will find the humor in the illustrated plot twists involving feisty gophers.

The Lorax

by Dr. Seuss

Even the beloved Dr. Seuss has some classics that will have parents cringing by the time their baby can crawl. “The Lorax” isn’t one of them. This refreshing tale about taking care of our world will have even the most hardened mom or dad taking a second look at their environment through the eyes of their own little next-generation. If parents can conjure up an awesome Lorax voice during story time (I prefer a thick Brooklyn accent) this story will likely become a lifetime favorite of their munchkin, as well.

Llama Llama Red Pajama” 

by Anna Dewdney

You really can’t go wrong with any of the books in the Llama Llama collection. “Red Pajama” is entertaining for parents to read as they get to imitate all of Baby Llama’s dramatic wailing and whining for mama at bedtime, while still reassuring their tot that mama will always be nearby.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, Illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Save this one for the rhythmically inclined parents. “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” has a fast-paced, upbeat flow that babies love to listen to. This book will follow the child through toddler-dom as they go from loving the cadence to effortlessly learning their letters – big and small.


by Bruce Degan

Jam in Berryland! Poetic, silly, whimsical prose that really brings out the child in the adult reading it. This book translates across all ages and will end up being a tried and true in any household. Parents giggle along with their kids as they read rhymes that are fun to say, sing, read as fast as you can, dance and clap along to… the possibilities are endless. The value of this book is in the lighthearted, joyful simplicity of a boy, a bear, and a canoe full of blueberries.

Hippos Go Berserk

 by Sandra Boynton

There’s nothing like basic arithmetic to bore anyone over the age of 10. Sandra Boynton manages to make a numbers-focused book geared toward the youngest of readers that parents are certain to love as much as their child. One lonely hippo creates a chain of events that leads to a huge party full of hippos going berserk. What could be more entertaining?

The Giving Tree” 

by Shel Silverstein

This classic story about unconditional love is a foolproof gift that every parent will remember reading as a child themselves and take pride in reading to their own little one. With its simple language and heartbreaking sentiment, parents can’t help but appreciate this book’s value.

Go, Dog. Go!” 

by P.D. Eastman

Don’t write the simplicity of this book off as a snoozer for adults. Stop, Go. Over, Under. This book has enough quirks to keep grown-ups entertained as their little one discovers opposites, colors, sizes, and silly interactions for the first time. It also promises to be one of the first books a child reads on his or her own. What book could be less insanity-inducing than the one you don’t even have to read?

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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.

Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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