After a lot of hunting online, I chose Lamaze’s Peek-A-Boo Forest as my newborn’s first book. The quality of the illustrations, the story and the material used in the cloth book did not disappoint at all.
> Cloth book, safe for baby to play with and chew on
> Machine washable (not sure if you’re supposed to, but I certainly did a couple of times)
> Beautiful illustrations
> The “Peek-a-boo” flaps are made out of crinkly material that make a sound at touch
> Generally better quality than other cloth books
> Pop up Own on the front page is fun for baby to touch (and chew)
There are NO cons, this book checks all the boxes.
Available for around $10 – $15, check it out at:
Note: While writing this review I came across a few more Lamaze cloth books that my sleep-deprived brain missed earlier! I’ve just ordered them and will review once I receive ’em: Lamaze Captain Calamari’s Treasure Hunt and Lamaze Olly Oinker Goes to The Park Soft Book.
Full review of Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Forest Baby Cloth Book
“Read to your baby,” they say. And boy did I comply!
The age recommendation for Peek-A-Boo Forest is 6 months and above, but I started reading to my baby at two months. I’d hold him in my lap and turn the pages one by one, reading out the rhymes and uncovering the flaps to reveal the animals hiding within. Of course he didn’t understand a thing. But the bright colours and the pages kept him engaged.
I finished reading the book in 2 minutes and wasn’t quite sure what to do next. Then noticed how my mother-in-law was reading it. “Look, here’s a moon, and there’s a lady bug, and the sky is blue…” she described what baby was seeing, introducing him to more words and giving him more time to absorb each page. Soon, she was able to tell us which pattern he liked most. Very cool.
Over the course of the next few months, my son would play with the book by trying to rip it apart, essentially. He has chewed every page and spat up on it a couple of times. (The book has survived a few rounds in the washing machine just fine, with just one thread coming lose). He sprouted teeth quite young at 5 months, so it was a bit difficult to “read” to him, when all he wanted to do was eat the book. Thankfully, it’s a soft book and not a hard cover! As his motor skills improved, he was even able to grab different pages and different flaps.
We didn’t think anything of it until, just shy of 6 months, we took him to the bookstore to look at baby book covers. He reached out for some books, and managed to turn the cover to reveal one of the inside pages. The little raptor had learned how to intentionally turn pages! Insane.
And that’s when the concept of reading to babies young really clicked for me. Babies are being introduced to activities like turning pages, seeing letters and words, hearing new words… basically understanding the general concept of “reading.” Fast forward to 6 months and a few days… he actually lets us read to him now before putting his books in his mouth. Page-turning is still hit or miss, but it’s something we actively make him practice now.
Grab some books (both soft and hard), with few words and relatively simple designs, and introduce them to your baby. You’ll have fun and you’ll be so proud when he picks up the really important skill of reading in a time when most babies are hooked to shiny screens.