The Best Baby Books for Encouraging Little Readers

Happy sweet baby boy reading books sitting on the floor at home
Aron M/Shutterstock

Starting your little one’s love of reading books at a young age is more and more popular, and for good reason! Studies have shown that babies recognize our voices and are receptive to what we say even as early as in the womb. So why not start reading as early as possible and give our kids a love of books? We’ve put together the best baby books to not only promote brain development and bonding but also to help your kids learn to love reading. Here are some of our favorites.

Purchasing Baby Books

What baby book will best for your little one? Start by considering these few points:

  • Subject: There are baby books for various topics, from animals and numbers to sounds to vehicles.
  • Size: Some books will be smaller for traveling and tossing in the diaper bag to keep your little one entertained on the go. Others will be larger and great for bedtime stories or leaving in the nursery.
  • Material: You want the book to be safe for your little one (especially if they might end up chewing on it), so make sure there are no chemicals in the ink or print to keep your little one safe if they chew on it.
  • Durability: Baby books are sure to become a favorite, so it’s a good idea to choose a book that can stand up to constant use. Some books will be more durable than others (such as board books or ones with plastic or cloth pages).

Best for Bedtime: If Animals Kissed Good Night by Ann Whitford

illustrated elephant and baby on cover of book

This sweet little board book has cute illustrations (done by David Walker) and allows your little one to discover a number of animals, including their names, body parts, and sounds. This sweet book illustrates the unique way the animal kingdom would show their love before bedtime and might even have your little one seeing some similarities with how they say goodnight!

Best for Bedtime

If Animals Kissed Good Night

Send your little ones off to sleep with a cute book rhyming how other animals might say goodnight.

Best for Counting: Baby, Let’s Count! by Ekaterina Trukhan

inside image of counting book with illustrated characters

Designed to be chew-proof, rip-proof, nontoxic, and 100% washable, this book (which is part of a multi-million-copy series) allows little ones to find the numbers and say the rhyme with fun illustrations all the way up to 10! This book is printed on lightweight paper-like material that babies cannot chew through or rip, uses only no-toxic parts, can be drooled on without any issues, and can even be thrown in the dishwasher (yes, seriously!).

Best for Counting

Best Cloth: My First Soft Book by teytoy

displayed cloth books with colorful pictures

Coming in a six-pack with fun colors and illustrations that will take your little one through numbers, sea world, fruit, vehicles, animal world, and vegetables, each book is made of cotton cloth with neat stitching and has a convenient travel handle to make these books easy to take anywhere. There are textures on some pages to further engage your little one, and each book is machine washable to be ready for playtime.

Best Boxed Set: My First Library by Wonder House Books

colorful box of 10 baby learning books

Ten board books with bright images are ready to introduce your little one to basic concepts and everyday objects like ABCs, numbers, farm animals and pets, colors, wild animals, and birds, to shapes, fruits, vegetables, and transport. Each image is well-researched and offers accurate labels (in English) to help your little one build vocabulary. Printed on thick board paper and designed to fit small hands, these books are durable and allow for free and easy play while learning.

Best Boxed Set

My First Library : Boxset of 10 Board Books for Kids

Introduce your little one to a range of images and well-researched topics on durable board books.

Best with Sound: DITTY BIRD Baby Sound Book

Ditty Bird Children's Songs book cover with illustrated bus and animals

Simply push the buttons on each page to listen to fun songs sung by kids! Batteries are included, so these books are ready for playtime, and the batteries can be replaced when needed for even more fun. The receiver of multiple awards, these books help build language and pre-literacy skills to strengthen love for storytime and reading. Colorful pictures encourage your little one to sing along and read each story.

Best Touch and Feel: Bright Baby Touch and Feel Baby Animals by Roger Priddy

baby animals book with a gray rabbit with a fur patch on the cover

Encourage your little one to learn about animals and develop their senses in this durable board book. Colorful pictures and rhyming text make this little book interactive and fun while building reading skills and vocabulary.

Best Touch and Feel

Bright Baby Touch & Feel Baby Animals (Bright Baby Touch and Feel)

Soft animal 'fur' and fun rhymes help get your little one excited for reading.

Alesha Billie Alesha Billie
Alesha Billie is a momma to three kiddos (unless we count the furry ones) who has been writing and researching for over 15 years. After a start as a romance ghostwriter, she's written countless full-length novels in addition to articles, blog posts, advertorials, memoirs, and eBooks. Read Full Bio »

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