A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do.
A first-person narration details the eponymous basics of a baby’s routine, while brightly colored pencil-and-gouache illustrations expand on the text to depict a family’s loving care of their eating, sleeping, pooping baby narrator. Although they aren’t named in the text, characters who appear to be the parents and one set of grandparents cuddle, bottle-feed, sniff, and hand off the baby in opening pages. A small dog in the illustrations (who bears a striking resemblance to Tad Hills’ Rocket) acts as a stand-in of sorts for a jealous big sibling and adds some visual interest and gentle humor to the spreads as it reacts with some wariness to the baby’s activities. Over time, the baby grows bigger and older and sprouts more blond hair and begins to “cut back… / on the sleep.” One spread, set in what looks like a playgroup, incorporates some diversity by including a few people whose skin tones and hair textures make them appear to be people of color. Otherwise the baby and everyone else all appear white. The closing of the book culminates with the addition of the word “LOVE” to the titular phrase, which highlights that the dog has come around to accepting the baby’s presence in the family.
Eat, sleep, poop, read. (Picture book. 2-4)