Nothing compares to a nice bedtime story for a child, no matter the age group or family background. It is perhaps for this reason that baby books are so popular nowadays and why they quickly become more and more widespread every year. A good baby book will not only relax and calm your baby but also help them develop healthy cognitive functions if you do it regularly. If the book has pretty pictures that you can show the child ever so often, then it’s even better.
Now, if you do decide to get ourselves some baby books to help with your parenting needs, you need to understand that you will be using these books not just in the evening but throughout the day as well. In fact, you will make good use of them every single time your baby needs to be calmed down or put to rest. With that in mind, let us take a look at the ten best baby books the market has to offer right now so that we may get a better understanding of what’s out there.
Best Baby Books – Reviews
10Babies in the Forest Chunky Lift-a-Flap Board Book
Babies in the Forest Chunky Lift-a-Flap Board Book is a fun-filled, creative book that welcomes your child to the world of forest animals. Featuring colorful foxes, deer, beavers, and bears, this book comes with simple text that helps with language development. Lifting of the flaps help with your child’s fine motor skills and grasping of objects. Uniquely designed for tiny soft hands, it comes with 6 sturdy flaps that are resistant to damage and include special surprise treats under each flap. Ideal for newborn babies to 5-year-old children, this book helps children in preschool and kindergarten as well.
9I Love You, Daddy
I Love You, Daddy is an exciting adventure book that illustrates the special bond between a father and his children. Crafted with a hardcover with high-quality pages, this book features vibrant colored images and text that makes reading time even more enjoyable. Written by Jillian Harker and illustrated by Kristina Stephenson, this fun storybook is ideal for kids between 2 to 4 years of age and is perfect for preschoolers. Not only does it enhance your child’s reading abilities, but it also gives you the chance to spend quality time with your toddler.
8Welcome Little One
Filled with an array of creative, colorful and lively illustrations, Welcome Little One by Sandra Magsamen features sing-song text that is sincere and warm. Deepening the bond between parents and their child, this book allows parents to celebrate new beginnings and love. Made from high-quality materials and thick paper, this book is highly recommended and is the number 1 bestseller in the United States today. The book includes playful images along with blank spaces for you to enter your child’s information, photographs and more that you can cherish when they grow older.
7Melissa & Doug Children’s Book
Designed to nurture and develop the minds and hearts of children, Melissa & Doug Children’s Book is a fun and exciting board book that includes 20 pages of interactive buttons to press and pop. Featuring the happy ‘Old Mac Donald’s Farm’ theme, this book comes with a read and sing along that helps your child count down from 10 cows to 1 rooster. Intended to enhance your child’s fine motor skills, language foundation, and counting abilities, the book comes with special dots that create different clicking and popping sounds, making your reading session fun and creative.
6Baby Touch and Feel: Animals
Encouraging quick and easy learning, Baby Touch and Feel: Animals by DK is a high-quality board book that is crafted and filled with soft fluffy animals and creatures. This touch and feel book helps your baby to explore while using their fingers, also enhancing their motor skills. Not only does your child get exposed to adorable kittens, bunnies and penguins, it also helps in growing your child’s language foundation. Ideal for young readers, this book comes with real-life images of animals that are textured to give your child that life-like feel. It also helps with animal recognition along with animal sounds from an early age.
5Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Forest, Fun Interactive Baby Book
Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Forest, Fun Interactive Baby Book is a soft covered flap book that is packed with sing-along rhymes and fun stories. Thanks to its soft, padded flaps, it helps enhance your child’s hand-eye coordination along with developing fine motor skills. Featuring 6 vibrant colored pages filled with bright characters and patterns, it also helps with visual enhancement and growth. Crafted with high-quality fabric pages, this book is both durable and reliable.
4Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Perfect for reading aloud to your children, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle is a well-known classic. The story revolves around a bunch of exciting animals including a frog, a purple cat, a dashing blue horse, and a soft cute duck. Designed with a range of collages with colorful images and singsong text, this board book includes rhyme and repetition that is loved by toddlers. Made from thick paper that is high quality and durable, this book is ideal for kids between the ages of 2 to 5 years.
3Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book
Introducing an interactive book that is filled with zoo animals, Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book is a premium-quality board book that is one among the bestselling children’s books of its kind. Including fun and exciting surprises under each flap, the book allows your child to discover and explore different types of animals from the zoo. Featuring vibrant colors and bold illustrations, it includes simple text with repetitive phrases along with touch-and-feel textures for an enhanced learning experience.
2The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Featuring vibrant illustrations with simple text, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, is a classic baby book that includes die cuts and colorful images. The book includes a hungry caterpillar that eats his way through each page of the story until the end when he is fat and full. In addition to this, the author has introduced each page as a day of the week, allowing your child to easily learn the days of the week while enjoying the story of a ravenous caterpillar. Filled with fun and ideal for children who love butterflies, this storybook will definitely bring a smile to your child’s face at the end.
1First 100 Words
Intended for children between the age of 1 and 3 years, this book of ‘First 100 Words’ is perfect for preschoolers. Including a variety of vibrant, colorful pictures and first words, this board book will help your child learn quickly. With over 100 colored images to look at, the book comes with 100 first words that are simple and easy to grasp. Made from high-quality, thick board, the book comes with a soft padded cover that is gentle and easy to hold.
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Finding The Right Baby Book
Even though most baby books are reasonably well written and packed with plenty of interesting illustrations, some are definitely better than others on account of the colors, fonts, and of course, subject matter. What you want to do is to take the time and figure out what type of book would work best with your baby and whether not you should see such a purchase as a short-term investment. Not just that but the book should also be sturdy enough to withstand its fair share of abuse considering that it occasionally be handled by the baby as well. That said, here is what you need to consider when getting yourself a baby book for the first time.
A decent baby book should feature plenty of colorful and interesting pictures for your baby to look at. If the illustrations are of high quality, chances are that your baby will pay more attention to your reading, thus helping him/her develop a finer understanding of routine, empathy, and better eyesight as well. If you can, look around for books that have pictures that resemble your baby’s favorite toys or animals for obvious reasons.
Another thing to consider is whether the book deals with an interesting subject matter to draw the attention of your baby in the first place. It seems that in this regard, books dealing with stories regarding animals are by far the most popular and understandably so. Then again, an interesting topic will also help when reading the story for a second or third time, leading you to eventually learn the story by heart so that you may then relay it to the baby by heart.
Bearing in mind that baby books are sometimes handled by babies as well as adults, you’re going to have to find one that’s designed to withstand a lot of abuse before showing any signs of damage. Fortunately enough, many of the popular baby books are built to be rather sturdy and durable. It isn’t that uncommon for these types of books to feature plastic covers and thicker pages. In fact, some of these books even have all their pages wrapped up in plastic for good measure.
Why Should I Read To My Baby?
If your baby is capable of formulating complex sounds of any kind, you should definitely consider reading them not only bedtime stories but any text that they might find interesting. Past the grunting stage, babies are starting to develop the cognitive functions that would later be required to learn speech. During this time, you want to introduce them to books and what they represent, while establishing a bonding routine that both the baby and the parents can enjoy.
- Developing Routine – As we said, bedtime storytime isn’t only about the story itself but also about the bonding and the routine. Even though the baby may be too young to understand what exactly is being read to them, they will definitely respond positively to practice itself if it’s done regularly. Over time, it will develop into a soothing ritual that both the parents and the baby will look forward to, especially if new books are introduced ever so often.
- Learning How To Talk – The act of reading out loud to your baby will help the little one develop the capacity to make up words themselves. While in the beginning, the baby will settle on just hearing you talk, you will notice over time that they will start to join in. The process will, of course, involve a lot of incoherent noises, but then again, this is more or less what you want from the baby in the first place. As a matter of fact, it is scientifically proven that reading to a baby can help them pick up rhythm, tones, and inflections, which are all precursors to developing actual speech.
- Improving Eyesight – We already talked about the importance of illustrations in a baby book, well it isn’t just the pictures that have a positive effect on the baby but the words as well. By providing your baby with shapes and patterns to focus their eyes on, you are helping them develop the capacity to focus. This will help the child later on when they begin to form logical associations of their own, especially when playing around with puzzles or complex toys.
- Boosting Imagination – The whimsical nature of baby book stories is guaranteed to help the baby develop a rich imagination over time. Although some people believe that this depends on the parents’ storytelling skills, studies show that this isn’t exactly the case. In fact, the sheer concept of dealing with a relatable yet fictitious subject is enough to aid the baby in boosting their imagination levels. Over time, you will notice that they will begin to pick up on certain words and cue laughter or sadness when hearing you say certain phrases.
- Developing Empathy – Storytelling also serves as an empathy booster for babies and young children in general. Interestingly enough, several studies were made on the subject and they all show that children who were introduced to stories at a very young age are overall more empathetic than children who were not. This may have something to do with the fact that the stories require the child to associate with the characters in the stories, which in turn has a major effect on developing empathetic mechanisms that will serve the child later on.
- Expanding Their Understanding – Once the baby is old enough to respond by nodding or making specific noises when prompted, you can begin to ask them questions regarding the story you are reading to them. This way, you can actually maintain a simplistic yet highly useful conversation with the baby, even if it’s in a limited fashion. As soon as the baby showcases any emotions towards the characters in the story, you can proceed by asking them about the characters and their motivations. You will most likely not get a coherent answer, but this is more about the conversation itself and the bonding it involves.