Bookstart Baby Pack - Northern Ireland

Get tips on how to gift the Bookstart Baby Pack

It is now recognised that reading to and sharing books with babies helps develop emotional bonding. There is no doubt that the Bookstart packs continue to be useful for health visitors in their work with families as part of the ‘Healthy Child, Healthy Future’ programme in Northern Ireland.

Angela McLernon, Chief Nursing Officer, Northern Ireland   

Who's the pack for and when is it gifted?

The pack is for babies in Northern Ireland. Packs are gifted by health visitors at health checks in a baby's first year.

Find out what's inside the Bookstart Baby Pack

What's the best way to gift these packs?

When presenting a family with the gift of a Bookstart pack, it's essential to:


  • Give a high quality, warm and encouraging message about the joy and benefits of sharing books
  • Show the contents of the pack
  • Invite them to join the library
  • Let them know about any local events, such as rhymetimes, or relevant family learning opportunities.


Have you tried role modelling?


Gifting the Bookstart baby packFor those parents who struggle to read with their baby we have found role modelling very successful.

We use our nursery nurses to go into the home and work with parents, getting everything out of the bag, talking about how to use it all and encouraging them to go to the library and not to worry if books get damaged because they can be replaced.

The gifting of the Bookstart bag, I feel, is crucial to parents using books early.

Alison Higley: Quality Improvement and Performance Lead, Derbyshire County PCT

Find out more

Gift to the gold standard (PDF)