Studies show it’s never too early to start reading the best children’s books to infants. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that reading baby books out loud to your kids starting from birth strengthens your parent-child bond and gets your baby started on important language and literacy skills. And in truth, it doesn’t matter what you read to your babies: Just hearing any words will get them the foundations for a later vocabulary, and it’s the lap-sitting, not the book choice, that makes for good bonding time. You could read your to-do list for the week, and it wouldn’t matter to a baby.
But it does matter to you, because reading a to-do list isn’t that much fun. And instead there’s a world of fantastic baby books with wonderful illustrations, innovative interactive features, ingenious wordplay and great read-aloud rhythms, all available at your fingertips. You might even get to learn a thing or two about quantum physics while you’re it. Add the best baby books to your child’s home library, and get ready for snuggly story time. (Bonus: They also make for great baby gifts.)
Goodnight Moon has had such a weird history, from being banned by the New York Public Library to the strange story about what happened to the book’s rights after author Margaret Wise Brown’s death. So it really speaks to the magic of the book that the simple story of a house winding down for the night is still so loved today.
In 2019, The Very Hungry Caterpillar celebrated its 50th anniversary — and it’s easy to see why it’s endured, since it combines so many things that babies love: counting, cute animals and food. You can pair this classic with the recent Sleep Tight with the Very Hungry Caterpillar for all-day fun.
This adorable rhyming book shows a toddler spending a fun day with their two moms. There’s also Daddy, Papa, and Me, about a family with two dads.
Author Mo Willems began his career as a writer and animator on Sesame Street, and is most famous for his beloved Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie and Pigeon series. Until your baby is old enough for those, there’s Welcome, which explains to babies some of the many wondrous things to look forward to in life, like music and cats.
This book is about a little bear who finds out he needs hearing aids, and how he has to adjust after receiving them. The book won a prestigious 2021 Ezra Jack Keats honor for its writing.