10 Best Books for Babies

It’s undeniable that reading to babies (newborns, even) isn’t only a bonding activity, but a developmental activity. They’re watching and learning and absorbing, far sooner than you may think.

While the classic children’s books are wonderful to have on your baby’s bookshelf, there are certain books especially geared for those first months. Here are my favorite books for babies:

  • B is for Bear by Roger Priddy

    B is for Bear by Roger Priddy

    This was my son’s absolute favorite board book — so much so that we had to buy a second copy after the book’s binding deteriorated. (That’s how much we read it.) It has big photos, bold colors, textured pages, and even a mirror. Not to mention a catchy rhyme that you’ll still remember by heart three years later (ahem).

    Buy from Amazon.

  • Baby Faces by DK Publishing

    Baby Faces by DK Publishing

    There’s something about fellow baby faces that mesmerize little ones — and it’s a great way to start learning about emotions.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton

    Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton

    What is it about babies and their belly buttons? Sandra Boynton is a popular baby-book author, but this board book tops the list.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • Deer Zoo by Rod Campbell

    Deer Zoo by Rod Campbell

    If there’s anything that rivals Baby’s love for belly buttons and baby faces, it’s animals. Start practicing your baby’s animal-sound vocabulary with this lift-the-flap book that will be read well into the toddler years.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • Who's That Baby? by Susan Amerikaner

    Who's That Baby? by Susan Amerikaner

    A mirrored baby book — without a doubt — belongs on every baby’s bookshelf.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

    First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

    Any Roger Priddy book is guaranteed to be a first favorite, and this book in particular is exceptionally popular with the crawling crowd.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

    Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

    You know it, I know it, our babies all recognize it — no one can escape this classic baby book. There’s something soothing and inexplicably alluring about Goodnight Moon to even the youngest infants.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

    Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

    A classic touch-and-feel book that’s sold millions of copies. If you’re looking to buy only one baby book, this one is sure to be well loved.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury

    Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury

    Repetition, counting, and multicultural illustrations makes it perfect for babies — but a sweet story, linking families all over the world with one adorable common denominator, makes it a favorite for parents as well.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • White On Black by Tana Hoban

    White On Black by Tana Hoban

    Because baby’s developing eyes need strong contrasting colors, a black-and-white book with bold, chunky graphics is ideal for newborns.

    Buy from Amazon.

And here are some tips I learned from my experience:

1. It’s not your baby’s fault that he accidentally rips pages in a spastic, excited frenzy — which is why you should stick to board books in the beginning. Board books can be wiped clean from caked-on food, and have pages that are easier for tiny hands to turn.

2. Complex pop-up books with flimsy moving parts will get ripped. Save those on the shelf.

3. Any book with texture, mirrors, and bold contrasting colors is a good choice.

4. Books don’t have to only be a bedtime thing. You’ll soon find that certain books are better for playtime (interactive, exciting, etc.), while others are more suited for soothing.

5. Read as soon as you can and as much as you can. There’s not much more satisfying than a preschooler/little kid/big kid/teenager who loves to read.

Got a bigger baby? Take a look at the best books for toddlers.

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