It’s never too early for baby to hit the books! Create a home library by adding old and new favorite books to your baby shower registry.
Anytime is a wonderful time to start developing your baby’s love of reading. With thousands of options to choose from, you can revisit your own old favorites or build a library full of new discoveries.
Why Is It Important to Read to Your Baby?
When you read to your baby, you’re not just teaching them that reading is a valuable experience. You’re showing them:
- New words and experiences
- Knowledge basics, like colors, letters, and numbers
- What it means to communicate with others
Even if your baby’s too young to focus on the words and pictures, they’re still learning and engaging.
When Should You Start Reading to Your Baby?
You can start building this great habit anytime. In fact, experts say that a baby in the womb starts to respond to sounds as early as 25 weeks. This means you can feel free to grab your favorite baby books and start reading aloud. You’ll find out which ones you like best, and your baby will get to know the sound of your voice.
How Should You Choose Books for Your Baby?
The best books for babies have the following features:
- Short and easy to read
- Fun pictures
- Contrasting colors and shapes
- Sturdy construction, particularly for older babies and toddlers
It’s best to have a selection of books to choose from. There are plenty of attractive options to coordinate with a baby girl, baby boy, or gender neutral nursery design. And baby books make an excellent, price-friendly baby shower gift to include on your registry, especially if you’re planning for baby number two and already have the basics.
So, let’s look at some baby books!
Newborns don’t know much except what they see up close and feel. Everywhere Babies introduces the idea of being a baby and how babies fit into the world. The Wonderful Things You Will Be includes enjoyable rhymes that show baby what parents see and all the wondrous things they can do in life. Thinking of something a little more traditional? Guess How Much I Love You features a soft look and classic design with a story of a parent and child playing a game of love.
Why your baby will love these books: These engaging designs and rhythmic language will draw baby’s attention from the beginning.
There are a few classic books you’ll want to have on your shelf. These options have broad appeal, which means they will be a fun, familiar read at preschool or a grandparent’s house too. The Very Hungry Caterpillar takes babies on a micro adventure through many foods they might love, with an important message hidden within. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? encourages babies to see nature in an unexpected way. Want something for the baby who’s always begging for more? Green Eggs and Ham is 65 pages, which provides for longer entertainment with each silly page.
Why your baby will love these books: These classics are favorites for a reason, which means they’ll help baby develop common interests with peers and adults.
Black and White
Experts say that black and white are the first colors babies can see. These studies in contrast are quick to attract the eye, which makes them great as first books. Black White shows black images on white and white images on black, to help baby distinguish shapes and designs. How to Be a Cat keeps colors simple but uses the contrast to tell a story about common household pets. For something in-between, Hello, Baby Animals includes an introduction to a variety of animals with a high-contrast design.
Why your baby will love these books: Newborns get distracted quickly, but these books are built to hold their attention from the early days.
Once baby is a few months old, all that work developing better vision pays off with an eruption of color in the world. Learning colors is crucial for baby’s language development, and these books will help. You Are Light uses a combination of die-cut circles to show baby the different nature-related colors of various parts of their world. Pantone: Colors teaches baby about all the hues and shades within a single color group. Want a kid-centric color story? Harold and the Purple Crayon is a classic that’s sure to delight.
Why your baby will love these books: Babies are drawn to bold designs, and these books won’t disappoint.
In order to be able to build words, babies have to begin by recognizing letters. Flora Forager ABC teaches babies to associate letters with things they know, like Z for zebra. Eating the Alphabet does the same for luscious foods, with letters in capital and lowercase format for toddlers and preschoolers. Looking for something your baby can really dig into? TouchThinkLearn: ABC includes a sensory experience that babies will enjoy from start to finish.
Why your baby will love these books: They’re so fun and easy to repeat, babies and toddlers will pick up information quickly.
Learning to count is something every baby and toddler will do in order to measure their world. 5 Wild Numbers takes the number most babies learn first from their own fingers and toes and adds fun depictions to help them understand what the number is and how to draw it. Bright Baby Touch & Feel Numbers focuses on great photography, with a little texture for extra learning. For something simpler, TouchThinkLearn: Numbers adds cutouts for baby’s fingers but keeps each page easy to identify.
Why your baby will love these books: Repetition is good for retention, and your baby can enjoy these short books over and over again.
Touch and Feel
Babies need to develop all their senses, including touch. Since you can’t go out and grab a zebra, these books are the next best thing. Pat the Bunny gives plenty of surface for baby to feel with every finger. Touch and Explore Farm includes a farm adventure that introduces baby to all the senses in agriculture. For a quick read, Baby Touch and Feel Animals features great photography and a fun texture in a bite-sized book.
Why your baby will love these books: Older babies can’t keep their hands off the book that’s being read, and these options make it easy to let them grab.
Tummy time is an important part of gross motor development for babies, but they don’t always enjoy it. Books meant specifically for tummy time help baby pass the time in a contented way. TummyTime: Happy Baby unfolds, so baby gets two books in one. TummyTime: Animal Parade shows brightly colored animals on one side, with bold contrasts on the other. For a book that does double-duty, the Koala Infant Tummy-Time Soft Crinkle Activity Book is a toy built-in with a book, including a mirror and a teether.
Why your baby will love these books: They stand upright, so baby can both look at the images and grab them.
Reading to baby before bedtime can build better sleep habits, as well as a love of reading. Goodnight Moon takes children on a bedroom journey, to say goodnight to all the things in their little world. Goodnight Songs features lovely songs from the same great author, accompanied by beautiful artwork. For something a little less traditional, The Going-to-Bed Book is a silly romp through the standard rituals.
Why your baby will love these books: Settling for sleep can be a source of stress for babies and toddlers. These books establish a calm and loving routine.
Raising a bilingual child starts with the first days. The more you can read to them in both languages, the more natural their verbal development can be. Little Concepts: ABC Spanish takes the classic alphabet book and teaches children the Spanish word for the animals they love. The Little Chickies/Los Pollitos book includes fun flaps with pop-up replies to accompany a story in both English and Spanish. For something that will last through young childhood, Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses tells a story that’s easy for babies to enjoy and for early readers to begin to read.
Why your baby will love these books: Learning more than one language feels seamless with these bright and cheery books.
Find Something You Like?
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