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The Best Baby Books

Aron M/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated March 2022

Reading to your baby has many benefits, from stimulating early brain development to fostering a love of learning. If you're looking for some good books to read with your baby, check out our top picks.

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  Best with Music Best Touch-and-Feel Book Best for Bath Time Best Pop-Up Book Best for Stimulation
Baby Shark Animal Songs Sound Book
Priddy Books
Bright Baby Touch & Feel Baby Animals
Baby Bath Books Pack of 8
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
beiens Touch and Feel Crinkle Cloth Books
Our SummaryMusic is an excellent learning tool for babies. This book plays the ever-popular Baby Shark song along with eight other sing-along and read-along songs!Encourage your little one to learn about animals and develop their senses with this durable board book.This collection of colorful bath time books is waterproof and easy to dry.Delight your baby at every turn of the page with this fun pop-up animal book.Stimulate your baby's brain and vision with this fabric book for ages 0 to 12 months old.
ProsNine songs, buttons encourage fine motor development, child-friendly construction, batteries and on/off switch included.Interactive, textured animals with rhyming descriptions, durable construction, cute.Waterproof, fade-resistant, nontoxic, vibrant colors, fun crinkly sound, set of eight books.Rhyming story with surprise, pop-up characters, encourages literacy and motor skills, durable construction.Activity book, high contrast colors for visual development, crinkle pages and textures encourage motor skills, durable and nontoxic.
ConsBaby Shark song can get tiring for adults.Smaller and less realistic than some expected.Some terminology may be unusual or overly complicated.Pop-ups can tear.No words, may want to remove a button.
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The Best Baby Books

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

Start your little one’s love of reading books at a young age! 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.

Buying Guide for Baby Books

young african-american man reading book story to baby girl

Why buy baby books?

It’s no secret that reading books to your baby builds early vocabulary and cognitive development. Although your baby won’t comprehend what you read during early infancy, you’re still positively affecting their reading readiness and overall growth. Another plus is the value of the time you’ll spend cuddling and allowing your baby to hear your voice and language.

What should you look for in a baby book?

  • Subject: There are baby books for a variety of topics, from animals to numbers to sounds, letters, vehicles, bugs—you name it. Sometimes you can buy sets of books about one overarching theme or a variety of different topics.
  • Size: Some books are smaller for traveling and tossing in the diaper bag to keep your little one entertained on the go. Others are 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 the book is nontoxic.
  • 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 grabbing by little (and sometimes slobbery) hands. Some books will be more durable than others, such as board books or ones with plastic or cloth pages.

What types of books do babies often enjoy?

This frequently varies with age. Many newborns appreciate books with touchable or shiny illustrations or textures embedded in the pages. Books with bright, happy faces of adults or children are also excellent choices. In terms of content, babies often enjoy stories that have songs, rhyming words, or words and phrases that are repeated or alliterative.

Our Picks for the Best Baby Books

Best with Music

Pinkfong Baby Shark Animal Songs Sound Book

Music is an excellent learning tool for babies. This book plays the ever-popular Baby Shark song along with eight other sing-along and read-along songs!

Pros: Does your baby love the Baby Shark song? We’re assuming the answer is a resounding yes! Well, the good news (at least for your baby) is that this sing-along book features the beloved song in its entirety at the push of a button. And you can feel good about playing this song without having to add more screen time to your child’s day. When it’s time for a break from Baby Shark, there are eight other songs your child is sure to enjoy, too. The vibrant drawings encourage your baby to touch for fine motor skill development, and the pages are made of child-friendly thick board paper with rounded edges. Batteries are included, and there is an on/off power switch.

Cons: Like many parents and child care providers, you may find yourself exasperated at hearing the Baby Shark song multiple times a day. But remember there are eight other songs to mix it up with, and your baby is sure to enjoy them all!

Bottom Line: You can probably expect your child to be fully engaged while learning, singing, and eventually, reading with this book. The material is designed for small hands, so it’s durable with soft buttons and easy edges. The Baby Shark song has been known to be tiring for adults, but there are other songs to offset the monotony.


Best for Touch Sensory

Bright Baby Touch & Feel Baby Animals Board Book By Roger Priddy

Encourage your little one to learn about animals and develop their senses with this durable board book.

Pros: This interactive book allows your baby to touch and feel various colorful, furry, and feathered creatures while developing early literacy and vocabulary skills. The content gives details about each baby animal in rhyming format for a sweet and memorable way to learn about animal characteristics. The book itself is durable, with thick paperboard pages and rounded edges.

Cons: The textured fur on each animal feels similar, so it may not be as realistic as some parents would like. The book itself is smaller in size than some people expected.

Bottom Line: Delight your baby with the colors and touchable textures in this sweet animal book. Along with developing early literacy skills, your child can learn about five adorable baby animals with this durable, child-friendly, interactive book.


Best for Bath Time

Toyk Baby Bath Books Pack of 8

This collection of colorful bath time books is waterproof and easy to dry.

Pros: You can’t get much more durable than waterproof! These books are made with fade-resistant, high-quality fabric that is safe for your child during bathtime or anytime. The colors are vibrant to keep babies’ attention, and the front and back pages produce a crinkly sound to encourage handling for motor skills. As a set of eight books, it’s a good value that your baby won’t soon tire of.

Cons: Parents have noticed some unusual and complicated references and descriptions, such as labeling a shape using the adjective “trapezoidal” instead of the noun “trapezoid” or using “electronic keyboard” instead of “piano.” 

Bottom Line: This set of books is a good value for parents looking for durable, colorful bathtime books for their children. Some of the pictures may require a bit of extra explaining due to the terminology, but this set should keep your baby engaged with the vivid images and child-friendly construction.


Best Pop-Up Book

DK Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals

Delight your baby at every turn of the page with this fun pop-up animal book.

Pros: Young children have enjoyed pop-up books for about as long as they’ve been around, and this one has quite a bit to offer. Your child will follow along as you read the rhyming story, and they’ll get a peek-a-boo surprise as they learn who is behind each flap. The engaging text and hands-on experience can help your early learner with language development while they’re thrilled to see colorful pop-up animals friends. The board book construction is excellent for little hands to interact with.

Cons: The pop-ups can be torn pretty easily.

Bottom Line: Your child can learn while having a blast with the pop-up animal surprises behind each flap in this adorable baby book.


Best for Stimulation

beiens Touch and Feel Crinkle Cloth Books

Stimulate your baby's brain and vision with this fabric book for ages 0 to 12 months old.

Pros: This book of activities focuses on high contrast colors to support babies’ visual development and stimulation over the first few months of life. The various colors and textures grab the attention of little ones as young as a couple of weeks old, causing them to focus on the book visually and cognitively. A baby-safe mirror allows babies to see their facial features. The washable cloth pages make a crinkle sound that babies love, and the material is nontoxic and durable.

Cons: There are no words with this book, only activities, so you’d need to choose another book to work on early literacy skills. Also, a red plastic button is sewn on one of the book’s pages that some parents have considered hazardous and chose to remove.

Bottom Line: Stimulate your baby’s vision and focus with this soft cloth activity book. Although there is no text, infants benefit significantly from the high contrast colors and the sound of the crinkle paper.

Final Thoughts

Reading books aids babies’ growth and development in many ways. You’re not only teaching your baby new sounds and words, but you’re also instilling a love of books and a desire to read. Reading also introduces them to letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and rhymes. Take full advantage of these benefits and more with one of our picks for the best baby books.

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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