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Reading to Babies: The 30 Best Baby Books and Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a new parent, congratulations! You’re in for one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. One of the best things you can do for your baby is to read to them. Not only does reading help develop their language and cognitive skills, but it also helps foster a lifelong love of books and most importantly, an intimate bond between you and the baby. In this blog post, we will recommend the 30 best baby books, provide some tips on how to get started reading to your little one, and introduce acceptable reading levels for babies month by month.

Here are Our Picks of the 30 Best Baby Books for 0-12 Months Old.

There are thousands of baby books on the market, so it can be overwhelming to try and choose the right ones. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of 30 of the best baby books, grouped by age range: 

1, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

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This popular children’s book is a great choice for babies. It features a simple story about a caterpillar who eats and grows until he becomes a butterfly. The illustrations are colorful and engaging, and the text is easy for kids to follow. We recommend this one as it is knowledgeable and encouraging.

2, Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

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This is a classic touch-and-feel book that’s perfect for young babies. It features simple illustrations and text, along with a variety of textures for children to explore. Before a baby begins to speak, he needs to hear a lot of vocabulary and sentences. This book can give you inspiration on how to talk to a baby.

3, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

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This is a bedtime favorite that’s perfect for calming down before sleep. The soothing story and gentle rhythm make it perfect for a bedtime routine. 

4, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

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This is a sweet story about a mother rabbit and a baby rabbit who express their love for each other. The illustrations are beautiful and the text is simple. The conversation between the two rabbits is warm and touching.

5, Brown Bear Brwon Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr./Eric Carle

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This is another classic children’s book that features bright and colorful illustrations. The text is simple and easy for kids to follow. It’s a great choice for introducing new words about animals and concepts of colors to babies.

6, Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

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This is a lift-the-flap book that’s perfect for babies who are just starting to explore. It features a simple story and easy-to-lift flaps. The book is playable and tells a simple description of the location.

7, Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell

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This is another lift-the-flap book that’s perfect for babies. It features a zoo full of animals, and each one is hiding behind a flap. The illustrations are fun and colorful, and the text is easy for kids to follow.

8, I Am a Bunny  by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry 

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This sweet story follows a bunny as he goes through the different seasons. Your baby will discover the wonders of each season with the bunny brought to life by the charming illustration. The text is simple and repetitive, easy for the baby to understand.

9, Peek-a Who? by Nina Laden

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It is a fun lift-the-flap book that’s perfect for babies. It features different animals, and each one is hiding behind a flap. The illustrations are colorful and whimsical, and the text is easy for kids to follow.

10, I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth and Tim Warnes

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This is a touching story about a mother’s love for her child. The text is simple but poignant, and the illustrations are stunning. It expresses love from parents to a baby in such beautiful language that it is worth reading again and again.

11, Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz

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This is another fun lift-the-flap book by Karen Katz. It features different parts of the body, and each one is hiding behind a flap. The illustrations are colorful and whimsical. You can ask questions like “Where is baby’s belly?” to have more interactivity with your baby.

12, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

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This is a classic children’s book that features whimsical illustrations and clever rhymes. The Cat in the Hat is a mischievous cat who loves to play tricks on his friend, the dog. It’s perfect for teaching kids about opposites, and simple adjectives. It’s for advanced baby readers as it has longer sentences and more vocabulary.

13, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

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This classic children’s book is a great choice for babies. It features a simple story about different kinds of fish. It’s perfect for teaching kids about counting and colors. The illustrations are bright and interesting, and it’s perfect for babies who are just starting to read.

14, The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky

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This is a classic children’s book that features a simple story about a bus full of people. There is also a popular baby song adapted from this book. You can not only read but sing along with your baby.

15, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila Mcgraw

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This is a classic baby book that tells unconditional love from parents for a child. This classic makes a great sentimental story for bedtime or any time. To generously express your love to your baby will make you and your baby more intimate.

16, The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

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This is a sweet and inspiring story about parents’ dreams of what children will someday grow to be. Every kid is unique and this book celebrates that. This book encourages confidence, respect, acceptance, and dreams. The illustrations are gorgeous and the text is simple but lyrical. 

17, Bright Baby Touch & Feel by Roger Priddy

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This is a fun and educational book about farm animals. It features colorful pictures of baby animals, rhyming text to read aloud, and touch and feel textures. It’s perfect for baby’s first exploration of the world around them.

18, First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

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This is a great book for babies who are just starting to learn words. It features 100 simple words, and each one is illustrated with a colorful picture. The text is easy for kids to follow, and it’s perfect for teaching babies their first words.

19, The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

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This is a fun and whimsical book about bedtime. It features a joyful, silly group of animals, and each one has its quirky bedtime routine. They watch the sun go down, take a bath, find pajamas, brush their teeth, do exercises up on deck, and finally say good night. It can help to create consistency in your baby’s bedtime rountine.

20, Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton

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This is a fun and whimsical book about farm animals. It features different sounds that animals make in the silly stories. and encourage the baby’s early speech sounds. It encourages early speech or sound-making of babies. 

21, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

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This is a classic children’s book that features a simple story about a family going on a bear hunt. You can join a father and his four young children as they cross a grass field, wade through a deep, cold river, struggle through swampy mud… Life is but a journey and we are always together. 

20, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Annie Kubler

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This is a fun and educational book about the human body. It features bright and colorful illustrations, and the text is simple and easy for kids to follow.

21, All the World  by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee

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This is a beautiful book about the world and all of its inhabitants. It features stunning illustrations of people all over the globe. The text is meaningful and poetic, and it’s perfect for teaching kids to learn about the world. Your baby might not be able to understand it but he or she can still enjoy the rhythm of the text.

22, Look, Look!  by Peter Linenthal

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This is a fun and an educational book filled with high-contrast black-and-white patterns — ideal for newborns since the high contrast is easy for their developing eyes to distinguish. The illustrations are paired with a few descriptive words in red type that describe the pictures. This baby book is a great focusing tool to make tummy time more pleasant.

23, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and Lois Ehlert

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This is a fun and educational book about the alphabet from A-Z. It features bright and colorful illustrations, and the text is simple and easy for kids to follow.

24, Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky

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This is a beautiful and important book about being anti-racist. It features illustrations of babies of all colors, and the text is simple but powerful. It’s perfect for teaching kids to be accepting and tolerant of others. The language might be a bit more advanced than other baby books. 

25, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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This is a classic children’s book that features a simple story about a boy who goes to a land of monsters. It has helped readers everywhere celebrate the fact that we all have a little wildness inside of us. The book has inspired movies, operas, and even birthday party themes for a long. It’s a story full of imagination. 

26, 8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie and Lizzy Doyle

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This is A delightfully fun, fact-filled planetary tale. It features eight planets, and each one is illustrated with a colorful picture. The text is easy for kids to follow, and it’s perfect for teaching babies about the solar system.

27, Corduroy by Don Freeman

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This is a classic children’s book that features a simple story about a bear who wants to find out one of his missing buttons. We can follow Corduroy on his adventure through the department store late at night searching for his button and learning the meaning of friendship.

28, Press Here by Herve Tullet

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This is a fun and interactive book that features different colors and shapes. It is perfect for babies who are just starting to learn about colors and shapes. Babies are encouraged to press on the book, turn it upside down, shake it, and more to make things happen on the pages. 

29, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

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This is a fun and educational storybook about construction vehicles. Even big, tough trucks need to rest, and your little one will drift to sleep after listening to this fun rhyming story. Plus, babies can enjoy seeing the different kinds of machines represented in the illustrations, including cement mixers, dump trucks, and bulldozers. 

30, Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

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This is a fun and educational book about features a giraffe, who struggles to fit in at the annual Jungle Dance because the other animals say he can’t dance. But by the end of the story, he learns a valuable lesson in self-confidence and the delights of being different which resonates with both your babies and you.

Why do We Need to Read to Baby?

The benefits of reading to babies are vast and well-documented. Some of the most notable advantages include:

Helping with language development – Reading exposes children to new words and sounds, which helps them learn how to speak more effectively. As stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics children who are read during infancy and preschool years have better language skills.

Encouraging cognitive development – By hearing stories and looking at pictures, babies learn to make connections, understand concepts, and develop problem-solving skills.

Fostering a love of reading – Reading to babies at an early age instills in them a love for books and a desire to learn. This is perhaps the most important benefit of all, as it sets the stage for success in school and beyond.

Fostering an intimate bond between you and the baby – Having your baby sitting on your lap and reading to them on a daily routine helps create a lasting memory. It’s a calm and relaxing activity that you can both enjoy together. 

When Should We Start Reading to Baby?

Experts generally agree that you should start reading to your baby as soon as possible, preferably from birth. There is no wrong time or age to start, but it’s important to keep in mind that babies develop at different rates and some may be ready for more complex stories than others. The most important thing is to read frequently and make it a fun part of your daily routine. 

How do We Read to Baby?

Here are some tips on how to get started reading to your baby:

• Choose books that are appropriate for your child’s age. If you looking for books for very young babies, board books with large pictures and few words will be ideal. 

• Start with a nice tone. Read in a calm and soothing tone and clear and gentle voice. 

• Make it interactive. Point to the pictures as you read and encourage your baby to look at them too. You can also ask questions about the story. Be careful with your baby’s reaction and do not rush through the book.

• Read stories that rhyme. Babies enjoy the rhythm and repetition of nursery rhymes. Not only are they fun to read, but they also help with language development.

• Let your baby choose the book. As your child gets older, let them pick out the books they want you to read. This will help foster a love of reading from an early age.

Reading Guideline for Parents Month by Month

Newborns(0-3 Months): A baby in the newborn stage spends most of the time sleeping and eating meanwhile growing rapidly, adjusting to the new environment outside of the womb. Their eyesight are are also developing. In this stage, we can use board books with high-contrast colors such as red, black, and white to help them develop early visual tracking skills. 

4-6Months: Babies at this stage will become more interactive and easily captivated by bright and vibrant colors. They are eager to explore the world by touching and putting in mouth things within their reach. During this stage, you could introduce indestructible board books with 1-2 words or pictures per page and sensory books with textures they can play with.

7-9 Months: During this stage, your baby will be more mobile and show more interest in reading with you. It is a great time to begin introducing simple concepts with picture books that teach animals, colors, parts of the human body, etc. At this age, your baby may not be able to sit still for very long or respond to you, which is okay as they are still absorbing all the new knowledge like a sponge.

10-12 Months: By the time getting to their first birthday, they will understand over 50 words and pronounciate several sounds with meanings. They can reach for books by themselves now and turn the pages with help. This is the age to bring some teaching books like an alphabet book or some longer stories with more than a few words.

1 – 2 years old: Most children develop their cognition and language tremendously in the second year of their lives. There is no wonder that someday they suddenly begin to talk to you. Right now they can know the names of books, identify them by the picture on the cover and have a favorite book and request it to be read often. They can answer simple questions with a few words, name familiar items and pictures, and finish the last word of their familiar sentences. You can introduce longer storybooks and second languages if you can speak more than one.

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Daisy Zhu

Hi everyone, this is Daisy Zhu, a young working mother with a 3-year-old girl, a former senior product testing authority employee, and founder of lazymommyclub.com.

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