First questions first. Why a collection of books about breastfeeding? Why should it matter?
Well, just like everyone else, we like to see ourselves and families like ours represented in media. We love finding children’s books that show babies and toddlers being nourished at the breast, just like my own babies were, but it can be challenging to find those representations of breastfeeding dyads, particularly when it comes to full-term breastfeeding.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of 30 children’s books that celebrate and normalize breastfeeding from infancy through to preschool age, featuring diverse babies and families of all ages, types, and ethnicities.
Read more: 11 Toddler Books About Weaning
Click on any book cover to see it on Amazon.
Heads up: Due to the number of book cover images and in order to keep your page load time reasonable, I’ve split this list into 2 parts. Use the arrows at the bottom of the page to navigate.
1. Who in the World Likes to Nurse? by Cristie Henry
A sturdy, glossy 7″ board book featuring mamas from all over the world nursing their infants, toddlers and both, nursing a single child, twins or tandem, indoors and outdoors, as well as land mammals and sea mammals, nursing their young while sitting up, lying down, standing up, and even upside down. 16 pages of full color hand painted illustrations accompanied by sweet, simple rhyming text.
Cristie started working on this project back when her now 12-year-old-son was a toddler. At the time, his favorite things were animals, babies, books and nursing! As most of his friends weaned while they were still nursing, Cristie found herself struggling to feel comfortable with their path and following their inclination to keep going as long as they wanted to. She wanted to normalize and contextualize breastfeeding for both of them. This was the impetus for creating a book for kids and moms celebrating the universality of mamas and mammals nursing their young all over the world in all different ways.
We have our own copy of this lovely board book, and I can safely say this should be on every nursing dyad’s book list. It’s the perfect size for tiny hands to carry around, and Cristie’s beautiful illustrations of nurturing at the breast will make this a favourite at bedtime, nap time, and nursing time! Check out more of Cristie’s artwork on her site Mythomenial.
2. What Does Baby Want? by Tupera Tupera
When baby is hungry, neither his teddy bear, his ball, nor even his shiny tambourine will soothe him. This tribute to the nursing baby – and even more so, to the breastfeeding mother – will read as conventional to babies and toddlers but as taboo-busting to parents. Celebrate the natural magic of growing a baby with this simply worded, expertly illustrated, and shockingly honest shaped board book. Perfect for nursing babies, older siblings, and expectant parents.
3. A Nursing Love Poem by Michelle Neyland
“When you entered the light from the dark, my dear, You laid down on my chest and stayed oh so near.” Capturing universal moments from birth to toddlerhood, this sweet rhyming children’s book is a love poem from a mother to her nursing child. This sturdy, gorgeously-illustrated board book is a delight for parents to read together with their little ones and to celebrate the gift of breastfeeding.
Celebrating the warm and loving bond between mammal mamas and their babies, this lushly illustrated, lyrical book shows little ones doing what comes naturally: nursing. A perfect choice for cuddling up with a breast-feeding child or the older sibling who wonders how the new baby gets fed. A tender look at humans and animals breast-feeding in their natural habitats. Promotes infant health and attachment parenting. A thoughtful, supportive gift for new and soon-to-be moms. Fascinating nursing facts included: Kangaroo milk is pink! Calf elephants may nurse up to 5 years! (Bilingual English/Spanish version here.)
5. I Like to Nurse: A Breastfed Toddler Story by Vanessa Brundidge
I Like to Nurse beautifully portrays a three year old boy who is still breastfeeding. This story is not intended to encourage weaning. Instead, it illustrates extended nursing in a relaxed, reassuring, positive light, and gives toddlers and older children (who are still breastfeeding) a character they can relate to.
6. Mama’s Milkies by Stephanie Craft (softcover)
Mama’s Milkies is a beautifully illustrated book, written about a full term breastfeeding child. Follow a toddler through the day, through waking and playing, reading, singing and finally drifting off to sleep, knowing, all the while, that mommy still has milkies. The illustrator has painted a gender neutral child so that both boys and girls can relate to the child in the pictures.
7. Milky Moments by Ellie Stoneley
Delightfully illustrated scenes are complemented by lyrical rhyming text which gently draws the reader into the lives of the families depicted. The hand-painted illustrations are set in a variety of locations including a playgroup, a shopping trip, parks, hospital and at home. The children’s ages range from newborn to 5 years old, baby and child breastfeeding positioning is accurate and realistic, and the love and attention to detail in the book were inspired by the guiding principles of the La Leche League and the author’s own personal experience.
8. Sharing Boo Boo by Amanda Rogers (softcover)
More women today are having children at a later age, resulting in a smaller age gap between siblings. Additionally, more women are embracing Attachment Parenting, as well as the most recent WHO recommendations on breastfeeding until at least the age of two, and beyond. Consequently, tandem nursing a toddler and a newborn is becoming more and more common. Despite the plethora of books available to help prepare a child for the arrival of a new baby, there are no resources to prepare this growing group of toddlers to share “boo boo” with their new brother or sister. Sharing Boo Boo is the first book of its kind to help prepare your nursing toddler for a tandem nursing relationship with his or her new sibling.
9. Mummy’s Milk Is Made of Love by Jen Gabler
This delightful book walks a young child through the love-filled journey of natural-term breastfeeding. Designed to be read by either parent, it features touching images of some of the marvels of a mother’s milk as it nourishes both body and soul. The tender, rhyming prose adds another layer of beauty, and the combination of word and image is both stunning and stirring. Cuddle up and read this book together, and share in the love of Mummy’s Milk.
10. The Mystery of the Breast by Victoria de Aboititz
When a little girl’s baby brother is born, she begins to investigate the “mystery of the breast” as she sees her mother breastfeed the new arrival. This beautifully illustrated book reminds children and adults alike of the special bond between mother and baby, and is especially suited to be read with older siblings of breastfed babies.
The Best Gifts is the story of Sara and the important moments in her life. It starts with her birth and concludes when she welcomes her own baby. On each occasion, friends and family bring gifts to celebrate. In the end, though, the most cherished gifts are the ones that cannot be purchased. The first cherished gift Sara receives is her mother’s milk and the story comes full circle when she gives that same gift to her own baby.
This stunning collaboration between a children’s librarian and an NBA-player-turned-watercolor-artist introduces readers to a collection of baby animals doing what comes naturally―nursing. The luminous illustrations and lyrical, bilingual text give children a glimpse into the worlds of 13 different mammal babies. Compelling childhood facts broaden the reader’s knowledge about each species. Facts include: newborn bats consume their own weight in milk every day, and polar bear cubs are so small that they fit between the toes on their mama’s paw. (Bilingual English/Spanish version here.)
“When you came out of my tummy, the first thing you looked for was my breast.” This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the powerful bond shared between a mother and her newborn baby.
Mummy Makes Milk introduces a little boy called Archie as he waits for his mummy and new baby sister to come home from hospital. Imagine his surprise when Mummy sits down and feeds the baby with her breasts! Archie is full of questions, as most little children are when they first see a baby being breastfed. As Archie’s mummy finds answers to all his questions, we join them on their first day at home as a family of four and are given a glimpse into their heart-warming home life through Hilda’s beautiful and distinctive illustrations.
Mommy Feeds Baby is a wonderful new children’s book that normalizes breastfeeding. The breastfed children and families vary in age and ethnicity. Illustrations display infants to toddlers, dyads to tandem, families and siblings – all involved in the celebration of breastfeeding. This hardback book contains remarkable illustrations that have been digitally enhanced and animated in order to captivate young audiences. The repetitious, easy-to-read phrase, confirms what many individuals wish to convey, and has children chanting, “Mommy feeds Baby.” A book on such a personal topic would not be complete without a page reserved for the reader’s own photograph. The last page in the book has been dedicated for moms to document their own breastfeeding experience. This space allows moms to incorporate themselves into the story by recording their favorite breastfeeding memory and inserting a personal photograph.
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