There’s something really nice about sitting in a rocking chair with your little one and reading to him or her a baby book. Cuddling up with your newborn or toddler with a good board book is one of those things that just fill your heart with warmth and happiness. More than that, it’s actually good for your baby’s development.
Whether you are purchasing books for your baby or for a baby shower, here are some ideas.
Best Baby Books
First off you need to buy the actual physical book (no ebooks allowed) because the real benefit of Pat the Bunny is that it’s a touch and feel book. You literally pat the bunny. Read Brightly says if you’re looking for a special occasion, this is an egg-cellent book to give for Easter.
Undefining Motherhood calls Where’s Spot? one of the best books for baby and I have to agree. First off, it’s Spot. You most likely read a book featuring Spot when you were a kid and now it’s time to pass that love for the brown dog onto your little one. Second, I have yet to meet a baby that doesn’t love the peek-a-boo style of this book.
This one hits The Tot’s top 10 list. Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? is written by Bill Martin and illustrated by Eric Carle of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame. The pictures are gorgeous, which is good because this entire book is designed to teach your children about colors.
There are plenty of Dr. Seuss classics that could have made the list, but I chose this one because it has a great message. What’s better than teaching kids that they don’t know what they like until they try it?
I also like the rhythm. There’s a cadence to Green Eggs and Ham that not many books can duplicate. It’s almost like you’re singing to your baby.
Katie at Bloom and Bundle gives probably the best reason to add The Pout-Pout Fish to your bookshelf because it makes her boys laugh. The Pout-Pout Fish knows he’s a grump and he spreads it around the sea, but he’s happy being him until he meets his match.
The site AV Club says not only is Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are a book for your little one, but it’s also a book for you. According to the site, Where the Wild Things Are “…reminds us that even during [your child’s] wild stage, they’re always wanting to return home to where they know they are loved and there’s a warm dinner waiting for them.”
I love We’re Going on a Bear Hunt because it’s filled with sounds. There are swishes and splotches and squelches. It’s great!
This one makes Good Housekeeping’s top 20 list and it’s made a lot of other lists too. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann doesn’t have a lot of words, but the visuals are incredibly stimulating and you can make your own words to go along with it.
Author Sandra Boynton has a ton of books that kids just love. Many best-of lists just choose a book by her and then move on. I chose Pajama Time! because it was my daughter’s favorite book when she was a baby.
The site Good Reads probably sums up the reason you should buy Madeline the best: “Madeline is one of the best-loved characters in children’s literature…The combination of a spirited heroine, timelessly appealing art, cheerful humor, and rhythmic text makes Madeline a perennial favorite with children of all ages.”
The Scholastic website says Olivia is a book that’s perfect for high-energy children because “Olivia is about a bold, imaginative, and endlessly curious little pig who can turn almost any situation into a grand adventure.” Seems like a perfect gift for the little girl who can be anything she dreams of being.
Books for Baby Shower
Call these classic baby shower books if you will. These are books that will tug at your heartstrings either because of their message or just your memory of what the book meant to you as a child.
Spirituality and Practice calls Guess How Much I Love You “A beguiling children’s picture book about the love between a father and son.”
Goodnight Moon tends to top all of the best baby books list and the critics are not wrong. According to Mother.ly, Goodnight Moon is “…beloved by generations for its quiet prose and simple beauty.”
This is another one that you’re going to find on every nursery bookshelf and for good reason. The pictures are beautifully drawn and kids love it. According to Mama Natural, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is, “A classic by the master of children’s stories.”
This is one of those books that will bring a tear to your eye, so have a tissue handy the first time you read it.
Personalized Baby Books
Sometimes the best gift for a little one is a book that puts him or her inside the story. Personalized baby books let your little one go on his or her own adventure.
This one can also be The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name, but the story is essentially the same. Wonderbly makes a lot of personalized books, but this one is a worldwide bestseller.
You can find The Little Boy Who Lost His Name here on Amazon.
If you’re looking for The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name, you can find it here on Amazon.
The Huffington Post recommends The Wondrous World Of because it uses the letters of your child’s name to tell the story.
According to The Huffington Post, “…the letters show the child what makes them so special and unique. This story has a version for both boys and girls, and there’s even a special page where you can leave a message for the child.
I added this one because I think an adoption story is a great way to tell your little one that he or she was always meant to be a part of your family.
The blog Toot’s Mom is Tired says Toot loves My Very Own Pirate Tale because it spells out his name. Not only that, but it teaches kids all about the sea animals featured in the book.
Free Baby Books
When it comes to baby books, free is always a great word to hear. There are a few organizations out there are all about inspiring the love of reading within children.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Imagination Library has donated more than 100 million books to kids. The program mails free books to kids from birth to the age of five. All you have to do is live within a participating community within the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland.
The PJ Library is specifically created for Jewish families, so there’s a limited group that this one will work for. However, if you’re thinking about teaching your children about the Jewish faith, you can receive “free, award-winning books that celebrate Jewish values and culture to families with children 6 months through 8 years old.”
Some major cities have what are called book banks. They’re basically a city-wide book exchange where families and libraries donate books. People can stop by and drop off books of their own or pick some up.
Check online to see if your city has a book bank.
Don’t forget to go to your library regularly. There is no reason to keep buying books when you can swap them out each week for a new copy.
Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Baby
According to Psychology Today, “Reading to babies as young as six months of age leads to stronger vocabularies and better early literacy skills four years later, just as the children are getting ready to go to school.”
Pediatricians say that even though babies can’t read yet, they’re still learning. Reading is just like talking to your baby. And the more you talk to your baby, the more he or she learns.
In other words, reading to your baby helps set him or her up for the future.