Our Books for Baby project for SSNAP, Oxford Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

There’s nothing more satisfying than getting lost in a book, wanting to read just one more page.

It all started when I was young.

My dad would make up stories and tell us of epic adventures as we fell asleep in bed. I had to read to my dad every night, some good books some TERRIBLE. (Clara you will never have to read ‘Watership Down’ at the age of 12). In the age of dial up internet social media was limited to Bebo and MySpace. The only way to lose yourself in another world of idealism, escapism, and adventure, was to read.

Books are powerful – they help you learn, grow, and communicate in ways no other medium allows.

Let’s get reading to our babies.

Books for baby – a project with SSNAP

This is a project I am SO excited about.

We have teamed up with the charity SSNAP (Support for Sick Newborns and their Parents) at the Oxford Neonatal Care Unit for a project VERY close to my heart.

We want to provide reading facilities that will encourage parents to read to their sick newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. (It’s important for baby brain development, but most importantly family bonding in a high stress environment.)

We’ll be providing a bookcase filled with books for all members of the family to read to baby.

We need your help to fill this bookcase!

Get involved

We have selected a large number of books we believe are suitable: they’re either fun, full of rhyme, or extra special given the circumstances they’ll be read in. The books are priced from just £1.99 but every book is equally important to us and the NICU families.

We’ve created an Amazon Wish List to make it easy for anyone to get involved.

  1. View the list here and choose the book you’d like to donate.
  2. Add the book to your shopping basket and check out.
  3. Choose to have the book delivered directly to us via the Gift Registry address shown, or you can choose another address of your choice if you’d prefer to receive it in person first.
  4. Once paid, leave a comment below or get in touch on Instagram to let us know which book you’ve chosen!

Why is this important?

It’s never too early to start reading to a child. But forget ‘normal’ circumstances for a moment.

With your very sick premature baby in front of you, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is which Mr Men or Little Miss character you’ll want to introduce them to first.

What do you do? You could just sit there and look at them, but your thoughts undoubtedly runaway. You might look at them and think I don’t actually know you yet? This wasn’t what was supposed to happen, where is that post birth hormone fuelled daze of love and cuddles and cups of tea?

More often than not you can’t hold baby. Most are nil by mouth so you can’t feed baby.

So how do you bond with baby? With this little person in front of you who is part you, but part belonging to the hospital? You’ve lost your role partly as primary care giver, knowing nothing about the medical complications in front of you other than what you’ve managed to digest from the ward rounds so far.

If you were to talk to baby what would you say? Would you feel comfortable talking through the portholes of the incubator as your little one sleeps on, surrounded by other babies, medical staff, and beeping machines?

But hang on, you could read to baby. Tell them how much you love them via two well known bunny rabbits whose story has gone as far as the moon and back. You could tell them about the little owl babies who worried when they woke to find mummy gone, but it’s okay she always comes back. Nobody will look at you strangely (they wouldn’t anyway!), but it’s reassuringly ‘normal’.

It’s a time where only you and baby matter. It’s time for your baby to hear you, feel that you’re near, it’s time for you to feel like a parent again.

16 thoughts on “Our Books for Baby project for SSNAP, Oxford Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

  1. Such a wonderful idea! I bought Peepo, one of my faves. Sent with loads of love to you all, especially our brave and brilliant little Clara. xx


  2. Speaking as a Mum who spent many hours just gazing at my beautiful, premature baby, this is a fantastic idea!! My daughter is now a beautiful, healthy 27 yr old. (Ellie Freeman who went to school with you, apparently!) I have bought The Lion who wanted to love, Dogs don’t do ballet, You’re here for a reason and I Wish You More.
    I hope many people get pleasure from them. 😊


    1. I’m so glad you think other parents would benefit from this idea. Thank you so much for your generosity. And hello to Ellie!


  3. Brilliant idea, we’ve ordered Please Mrs Butler, Burglar Bill and Funny Bones . Absolute classics . Love Rosheen and Delphi. Xx


  4. What a lovely idea…I so loved reading to my children, I hope they enjoy Commotion in the Ocean, Rumble in the Jungle and Rhyming Rabbits with my love and Blessings to you all xx


  5. Such a great idea🤗 I have ordered Harry the Happy Mouse – Princess Smartypants and Peppa’s Vegetable Garden. Love you x. Sue (mum-in-law)


  6. Hi Acacia, I just ordered “Little Master Shakespeare” for your fantastic Books for Baby project. You’re amazing, by the way!


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