Are you expecting parents gearing up for the baby’s grand arrival into your lives?
Are you really busy doing up the baby’s room, babyproofing your place by rearranging bits and furniture around the house, buying toys and clothes for the newest member of your family?
Well, I suggest you add some books for babies to the mix as well! Yeah! You read that right.
Reading books to babies not only enhances the bonding with the parents but also promotes brain development. Plus, if you pick the right books for them according to their age, they will start enjoying books and chances are that they will develop a keen interest in reading books for life.
As your newborn goes from being an infant to a toddler, reading books for babies to him will improve his vocabulary, communication skills, social development, imagination, and thinking skills.
We started reading to ours when he was barely 3 months old and he grew up thinking that books are just as fun as any of his toys!
We would read to him for a few minutes every day…at bedtime or during a meal or at bath time and even in the car!
Initially, it was a little tough to keep him from chewing on the books but very soon he started loving listening to stories and wouldn’t let us stop at just one book!
The reading practice continues even now in our family when he’s turned 6, the only difference being that it is him who reads to us now, proficiently!
We have read just so much in these last 5 years that I feel I’ve become kind of a pro at selecting the best books for babies of all ages!
Here, I am sharing my comprehensive list of 30 books (mostly purchased by us, some received as gifts and some I heard good reviews about from friends) which I believe are the best reads for the age group 0-1 year.
P.S. Based on my personal experience I’d love to share a very useful tip with all the parents before I get down to the list…please ensure you do not read to your baby in a dull or flat manner. You must make the reading sound expressive, enthusiastic, fun, and of course, loaded with lots of silly, over-the-top expressions
Best Books for Babies (0 to 1 Year old)
A board book full of contrasting black and white pictures and some text in stark red color for you to read aloud. Very appealing for babies in the age group of 0-6 months.
Special to me because it brings back memories of how my son would squeal in excitement to see this book each time I read it to him (in the silliest manner possible) and also because it was the first book in his little library.
With bright, colorful, and real-life pictures of animals and birds, this book is sure to catch your little one’s attention.
The book contains colorful images of farm animals, pets, and even birds with the name written underneath every picture. Very fun and apt for getting babies familiar with the names of animals and birds.
This is an ‘indestructible book‘ which means it cannot be damaged, made dirty, or ripped. Absolutely non-toxic and baby-proofed, these books can withstand drool, water, food spills and can also be washed.
If books always somehow find a way to get into your baby’s mouth, this one’s definitely for you! Your enthusiastic, little one can try all that he can but he ain’t winning against this one!
BABY FACES, just as the name suggests, has big pictures of faces with different expressions like happy, sad, hungry, etc, something that babies really enjoy looking at!
The book talks about the different moods of a baby. Are you happy? Hurray! Are you sad? Boohoo! It’s pretty portable and lightweight but the best part…It’s a series so you and yours can carry on the adventure!
When it comes to picture books for babies, I am a big fan of Karen Katz. (You’ll figure that out by the end of this article!)
Excellent book with incredibly cute pictures. As much as my little one tried but the flaps were way too sturdy for him to tear off!
This interactive book offers a great fun way to teach babies the body parts. I’ve also given this out as a gift quite a few times and it’s always been a hit.
Where is the baby’s hair? Under her hat. Where are the baby’s feet? Behind the cat.
The big and bright illustrations had my baby hooked to this book for a long, long time. His giggles, each time we read it, were an added bonus!
Another pretty good lift-the-flap book. It is about a Mumma dog searching the whole house trying to find its pup but keeps finding other animals instead! Finally, she finds her pup, Spot, inside the basket.
It was hilariously cute how each time when we read this book to our son, he would have this really curious but worried kind of an expression all through while lifting the flaps and trying to find the pup, but the minute he’d lift the last flap and see Spot he’d have the biggest ever smile on his face!
Definitely a must-have for a baby’s library.
This classic bestseller was one of my son’s favorite for a long time..until almost he turned 2!
It’s about a little bunny saying goodnight to every object around himself in the room before going to sleep.
The colors in the book get dimmer with each page to signify that nighttime is approaching. The ultimate, going-to-bed book!
This soft-to-touch book is full of bright colors and attractive images. Each color has been described with 4 objects. Colorful and soft…What else does a baby want!
This book, with its adorable rhyming text and images, teaches your baby the body parts. There are eyes, ears, mouth, and nose and a love that grows and grows!
Watch your little one’s face brighten up as you hold this book in your hands.
The bunnies on the cover page are good enough to get your baby interested in the book already!
The ANIMALS version, with real-life pictures of animals, teaches babies the names of the animals and the sounds they make.
These books are small and padded with bright, engaging images. Each page talks about a different animal and is textured, just perfect for your curious little ones to touch and explore.
Baby Touch and Feel Books are fantastic for sensory learning and also for developing fine motor skills.
There are quite a few baby touch and feel books for you to choose from like BABY TOUCH AND FEEL -COLORS & SHAPES and BABY TOUCH AND FEEL – FIRST WORDS etc but ANIMALS was my baby’s favorite.
Quite the essential book for your infant. It’s a small picture book with colorful images of food items, animals, toys, and objects around the house. Perfectly designed to keep your baby engaged and happy for hours!
There’s no doubt that my son learned most of his earliest words with the help of this book. A must-have for every baby library.
This one is the silliest and the cutest book from my collection! I remember my little one squealing with laughter each time I read this one out to him…This book would just totally bring out the ‘silly’ in me and how!
It’s a hilarious book that teaches babies animal sounds with a cute, little rhyme, in the most fun way and I really feel that every baby library should have it.
At one point, reading aloud this book became the most integral part of our storybook sessions!
With amazing illustrations and rhyming text, this book talks about the love between dads and babies and all the fun activities they do together. Like camping, gardening or just hanging out at home.
Edie Evans has written ‘I LOVE YOU, MOMMY‘ too, so you can check that out as well.
In my case, I just owned the ‘daddy’ version and my little one absolutely enjoyed his dad reading this aloud to him, and of course, vice-versa. It definitely is a good read-aloud book for all the dads out there!
Another adorable bedtime book. Silly and cute. It’s about an ark full of animals preparing to go to bed. They take a bath, find their pajamas, brush their teeth, and exercise!
The elephant goes skipping, the moose is trying to lift weights and the little piggy is doing headstands! My little one absolutely loved this book!
Another silly one that you must have in your child’s library! It’s about a Mr. Brown who can imitate all sorts of sounds i.e. he can moo like a cow, buzz like a bee.
He can also imitate the sounds of eggs frying or a hippo chewing gum!
Watch your little one giggle away in glory…But don’t forget to be at your funniest best while you read aloud this classic to him!
With charming illustrations and rhyming text, this book is about the never-ending love between a parent and a child. I started reading this to my son when he was almost 1 but continued reading it on and off way well into his toddlerhood as it has some calming quality about it.
A classic by Dr. Seuss, who, with his books, has inspired generations of young readers, possibly you too!
One of the most influential children’s authors, Dr. Seuss is known for his wordplay, rhyme, and simplicity.
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish is a nice way to introduce numbers and colors to your little one. Exciting pictures and inviting rhythm are sure to keep the babies hooked.
I got this one as a gift and started reading it to my baby when he was almost 1. It’s about a little hare and his dad expressing their love for each other.
The illustrations are very cute, the text is short, sweet and repetitive, and absolutely relatable.
Another lovely bedtime book. It’s about this cute brother-sister duo getting ready for bed, like brushing their teeth, taking bath, getting dressed, reading a storybook, and finally dozing off.
With catchy illustrations and rhyming text, this book was a big hit with me and my little one.
Plus, it also pretty much helped my little one understanding the concept of having a ‘bedtime routine‘ …something that he happily follows even until today.
Leslie Patricelli’s series of baby books revolve around the same character, a cheeky little bald baby, who’s too funny and adorable to handle!
I mean I really hope this character never grows up and continues to entertain generations after generations with his hilarious antics!
BABY HAPPY, BABY SAD is about this baby getting happy or sad in different situations. Like he’s happy when he’s holding an ice cream but sad when it falls, happy to have a red balloon but sad when it flies away into the sky.
With the over-the-top facial expressions of this baby, the illustrations are extremely amusing. I remember I would keep alternating my expressions with a smile and a frown while reading this and my little guy would mimic me in the cutest way possible!
I’m so in love with this series that I could not hold myself back from including another book from it! In YUMMY YUCKY, the same, popular, beloved baby character is seen acting out a set of opposites in a very dramatic fashion.
Soap, crayons, sand, coffee…Yucky! Mommies cookies, blueberries, sandwiches…Yummy! I loved reading this book to my little one as each time when the baby in the book put some wrong object into his mouth, mine would make the cutest possible ‘startled’ expression ever! Was just hilarious!
This book is all about what babies should eat and shouldn’t eat. And the images in the book sure do have some major toddler appeal. Actually, I totally love them too!
Other books in this series by Leslie Patricelli (using the same, beloved baby character)
NIGHTY-NIGHT: The most humorous bedtime book in my little one’s library!
POTTY: Helps babies get mentally prepared for their potty training!
TICKLE: Super silly and encourages baby-parent interaction as you read along while pretending to be the ‘tickle monster!
This one has stood the test of time! I started reading this book to my baby when he was close to being 1, but it continued being one of his favorites for quite a long time…Like well into his toddlerhood!
Each page in this book shows the picture of an animal like a big frog, a purple cat, or a handsome blue horse and then what these animals can see.
Big, bold, bright images. Amazing little board book, one that my infant was totally addicted to!
A nice storybook that I started reading to my little one when he was almost 1. It’s about a giraffe who wishes to dance but has all the other animals laughing at him as he just cannot dance. But, by the end of the story, he becomes a good dancer, thanks to the encouraging words he hears from a cricket.
And now, the same animals that once laughed at him, are asking him how he learned to dance so well! Well-written with lovely illustrations. A good, little story about confidence!
This book explains that you will love your baby no matter what. You will love them just as much when they are sick or when they are angry, wild or sad or crying or yelling or even when they are being silly!
I feel that’s quite an important message to get across to them and this book does that perfectly.
This lift-the-flaps book is about a baby who visits the zoo because he wants to see a tiger. He keeps finding different animals, but, the tiger!
Finally, the baby is happy to find the tiger hiding in the tall grass. Lovely illustrations and repetitive text will keep your little one hooked and entertained. And you will have a great time watching his face light up each time he lifts the flap and finds that tiger!
I must say this book was pretty helpful in bailing me out of those frightening ‘cranky baby’ situations several times over! Phew!
This book is about 3 toddlers named Little Guy, Little Pumpkin, and Little Bird. The grown-ups in the house (parents and grandma) are showering them with love and affection by swinging them round and round and kissing them before finally putting them to bed.
But these babies can’t seem to have enough of this fun and keep asking for more and more. Just like the ‘little guy’ in my life would keep tugging at me to read this book more and more times!
With cute illustrations and repetitive text, this book has what it takes to bring a smile onto your baby’s face.
I could never have enough of kissing my little dude and this book helped me with my mission!!
The book talks about a baby who’s sleepy and is crying. Each family member tries to soothe her by planting kisses.
It starts with 10 kisses on the baby’s toes and finally, after one big kiss on her forehead, the baby falls asleep. It’s such a cute way to get your little ones to learn about body parts as well as numbers.
This book is adorable and very fun to read aloud! It’s about a baby and her mom going out one afternoon and using different modes of transport….a bus, a boat, a train, etc.
My little one has been fascinated with all forms of transport for as long as I can remember so it wasn’t surprising that he fell head-over-heels in love with this book from the minute he laid his eyes on it.
This one is a classic. And a gem! It’s an extremely fun, lift-the-flaps board book with a simple yet lovely storyline.
It’s about a child who writes to the zoo to send him a pet. The zoo keeps sending animals one after the other but every animal is either too big or too heavy or too small! Will this family ever find the perfect pet?
This sturdy, sweet and simple book exceeded my expectations in keeping my little one happy and engaged!
This incredibly cute board book is just the best way to teach your little one about body parts. Bright and colorful illustrations ensure the baby stays hooked!
30. HOW DOES BABY FEEL by KAREN KATZ
So here I go again talking about yet another masterpiece by Karen Katz. This adorable lift-the-flap book is called How Does Baby Feel. It talks about all the emotions that babies feel.
Happy, hungry, sleepy, sad, etc. The illustrations are incredibly cute and my baby somehow always gravitated towards this book for a long, long time!!
Babies love listening to their mother’s voices and that provides them immense warmth and comfort.
So how about all you mommies just pick up that book, snuggle in with your baby, and get started?