Few things in life are more precious than the time spent reading to your child. The memories that come from reading together can last a lifetime.
Studies indicate that reading to your baby, beginning when it’s in the womb, can result in benefits throughout your child's lifetime. Hearing your voice helps the baby develop language skills more quickly than babies who don’t have this experience.
With so many great children's books on the market, I wanted to provide a list of the top 25 best baby books. I hope it motivates you to take on the wonderful experience of reading with your child.
Many parents have questions about reading to their child. I thought I'd start with some frequently asked questions.
Researchers say it is never too early to start reading to your child. Babies can pick up on rhythms and tones while still in the womb.
At early ages, it is more about tonality, rhythm and intimacy with your child. Until your child is ready for age-level material, you could try Shakespearian sonnets, passages from the Bible, or excerpts from other literary classics.
Board books are specially designed for little ones to make it easy for them to turn the pages and hard for them to tear. Publishers make the covers and pages from thick cardboard.
Books that you and your child both enjoy reading make the best books for babies. Typically, if you enjoy reading the book, your child will respond in kind.
Attention spans develop over time, and every child is a little different. If your baby entirely lacks interest, try livening up your act a bit with silliness in the form of crazy character voices and wildly exaggerated facial expressions. Ham it up; your baby will eventually catch on that you have not gone bonkers, but you are having fun and join in the hilarity.
Publishers classify baby books based on how they are made, their subject matter or their type of content. Here are some of the most common categories:
Babies can derive many benefits from being read to regularly. Here are a few ways in which reading to your child can be beneficial.
Mental development is greatly accelerated in young children that are read to by an adult regularly. Each time you read memory books to your baby, you are stimulating his or her brain.
Emotional development in children improves with regular reading time. Researchers have shown that the time you spend reading to your baby can result in the child being more emotionally balanced.
Sensory improvement happens more rapidly in babies that are read to by an adult. Hearing you read and seeing the pictures in books will help exercise all of your baby’s senses.
Developing language skills typically happens more quickly in children who are read to by an adult from an early age. Hearing the repetition of words helps children grasp the concept of verbal expression.
Preparedness for school is more apparent in children that have been read to since infancy. With a firm grasp on language skills, these children can usually expect to excel in the school environment.
Selecting books for your baby can be a rewarding experience. Many times, finding the right types of books for your child requires a bit of trial and error to see what the baby prefers.
Generally speaking, board or cloth books are an excellent choice for a baby's first book to play with and explore. Keep paper pages and sharp-cornered covers out of reach for a while.
Babies love books that contain high-contrast pictures, photos or illustrations of human faces, rhyming verses and comforting stories. Remember to pick out books that you enjoy reading.
With a staggering number of baby book publishers out there, I wanted to give you a quick overview of some of the most popular brands of baby books.
DK Publishing leads the market with innovative book types and storylines. The “Touch and Feel” series of books provides terrific sensory experiences for young fingers.
Scholastic Corporation is known for book fairs hosted in schools across the country. This company focuses on helping children develop early reading skills and school readiness.
With 40 years’ experience in publishing children's books, UK-based Usborne Books continues bringing critically-acclaimed products to consumers. Its website allows parents to search their immense catalog by age or subject matter.
Teaching babies about holidays is a snap with American publisher Simon & Schuster's expansive catalog of holiday-specific books. You can trust this long-time publisher for quality books.
This brand hosts a network of almost 250 independent publishers. Each publisher under its giant umbrella enjoys creative and editorial freedom, which allows for a broader perspective in the books published.
I've tried to mix up my list of the 25 best baby books with some classics and some new titles. I've included baby books for boys, baby books for girls and some that a baby can practice reading in the crib alone. The list is not exhaustive, but I feel it represents a good selection of books for you to begin the incredible adventure of reading with your baby.
Good Night, Stinky Face is part of the Stinky Face series. These entertaining books let children know their parents will always love them no matter what.
The charming First 100 Words uses photography to illustrate a list of baby's first 100 spoken words. Later, your little one can learn to read the words.
Babies in the Forest encourages little ones to explore under flaps that reveal hidden objects and animals. The thick construction gives you peace of mind.
Get ready to get your “muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle” on as you find your way through the ageless Fox in Socks. All of Dr. Seuss’s work is genius.
The childhood experiences presented in Little Poems for Tiny Ears will delight your little one and make you chuckle. The easy-to-read verses are charming and fun.
The classic story of Gerald in Giraffes Can't Dance is now available in a beautiful board book. A new generation of young readers and listeners can enjoy the tale of uncovering inner greatness.
The timeless classic Are You My Mother? is a perennial bestseller that follows a baby chick through the barnyard in search of his mother. This funny, easily read story will have you laughing as much as your little one.
ABC's for Boys is a fun book for boys featuring everything they naturally love—airplanes, dump trucks, etc. — presented in a format that helps them learn the alphabet.
The classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon will help your little one relax. It’s an all-time favorite of parents and babies.
I've included this classic from 1964, The Bike Lesson, because no list of top baby books would be complete without a shout out to the Berenstain clan. With authorship now taken over by son Mike, the “Berenstain Bears” continues to provide laughter and lessons to this day.
Sam-I-Am drives the main character crazy in Green Eggs & Ham until the unnamed cat finally agrees to try some of the unusual food. Be sure to pretend to eat the green eggs and ham and say, “yu-uum!”
Love is universal. The new edition of Guess How Much I Love You comes as a board book so babies can enjoy its classic illustrations anytime.
It is hard to beat the classic tale of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for interactive fun in a children's board book. The creative style of the book itself is a delight.
Everyone needs to feel appreciated, and Welcome Little One will remind your baby how much he or she is appreciated by you. The heartwarming verses and charming illustrations make it a timeless classic.
The rhyme, repetition, and beautiful illustrations in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? will create lasting images in your child's imagination. The book publishers have released this 25th-anniversary edition.
Little Green Frog will build your baby's curiosity with flaps that hide surprises in the swamp. Language and motor skills benefit from this favorite title.
The board book Goodnight Gorilla features the antics of a sneaky gorilla in the zoo at bedtime. The short phrases make it an easy read.
When you learn the hilarious rhymes in Moo, Baa, La La La!, you may find yourself reciting them throughout the day. Babies will love the smile it brings to their face as much as the book’s whimsical phrasing.
The premiere of the Spot series is Where's Spot? The new edition of this iconic classic features a re-colored cover that babies will enjoy.
This book expresses the hopes parents have for their children. The Wonderful Things You Will Be captivates and motivates both parents and children of all ages.
Babies can't ever get enough love, and My Mom Loves Me! gives them an extra dose just before bedtime. The soothing verses and tender illustrations help get the point across.
The Touch and Feel Sound Book, Noisy Farm, lets the baby get a sensory-rich tour of the barnyard. This book encourages the baby to explore the world and discover the unknown.
If you’re anything like I am, reading Someday will require some tissue to get through. Fortunately, all of the tears are of hope, joy and the immense love a mother has for her child.
Ten Tiny Toes is a great read anytime you need a cute, fun and comfortable book. The happy vibes will help put you and your baby in a good mood.
The Pokey Little Puppy is one of the most popular children's books of all time. Its endurance is due to a timeless tale told with beautiful illustrations and verse.
Some of these items may help you keep your baby's books in good shape and easily accessible.
Bookcases for children include ones that hold books with soft fabric to reduce the risk of injuries. They sit low to the ground and make it easy for your baby to access books.
Keeping a baby's toys stored neatly will help them to last longer. Storing toys and books in a separate area is a good practice to get into early on to that can help promote order and instill the discipline to care for possessions. You may also check our review for some bath toy organizers here.
Backpack-style diaper bags allow you to carry your baby's favorite books along on day trips or more extended stays. Books are heavy, so a backpack can make things easier.
Whatever book you end up reading to your little one, remember to treasure each moment of intimacy that reading together provides. Rest assured that the time you spend reading together now will benefit your baby in the long run. The bonding and learning experienced during reading are irreplaceable. Cherish these times with your baby because one day, you blink, and they're all grown up.