8 Books Your Baby Will Love

Read, read, read to your baby.  That seems to be the prevailing advice right now, right?  But it can be hard to read to a young infant.  How do you keep her attention?  What if she’s not interested?  I remember feeling like a bad mom because I couldn’t get Bugaboo to read baby books with me for the first eight months of life.  But then she started showing an interest in books, and now she sits and looks at the pictures on her own!  She will point out pictures for me to name, or we will read together when she cuddles on my lap.

Getting a young infant’s attention with books can be hard.  There are certain types of books that will be more fun for your baby than others.  Here is a list of eight books perfect for your baby.

Activity Books

An activity book like a Crinkle Cloth book or Little Zonkey is a combination toy and book.  These baby books are made of soft cloth and have few pages and almost no plot to speak of.  Each page has a little activity that will engage your infant.  Bugaboo loved the crinkly cloud on the second page of her Zonkey book.  There was also a mirror inside and a rattle.  I put activity books into Bugaboo’s toy boxes to function more as toys than as books, but they still help her learn the concepts of turning pages and looking at the pictures.

Age range: 0-6 months

Indestructible Books

Perhaps the most genius invention of the 21st Century was Indestructible Books for babies.  These baby books are made of a cloth type fiber that is also glazed over.  The pages feel more like paper pages than a board book, but you cannot rip them.  They can be tugged, chewed, spit up on, twisted, you name it, and they won’t tear.  Even better, if they get dirty you can throw them in the washing machine!  Or just wipe them off.  You can leave baby alone with the books without worry about her eating pages or destroying an expensive investment.  The three set pictured above features some good books to get baby interested in reading.

Age range: 3+ months

Flap Books

What baby doesn’t love a lift the flap book?  Right now, some of Bugaboo’s favorite books are lift the flap.  Our local library gives us a set of baby books when we sign up with a new baby.  One of the books was a Spot lift the flap book.  I figure if the professional readers think lift the flaps are fun for babies, there’s something going on there.  Fisher price also offers some lift the flaps for older toddlers that are large and have tons of flaps per page!  Bugaboo also likes Pout Pout fish – which is a series, like Spot.  The hide and seek Pout Pout fish book also comes with cutaway pages that are fun for her to grab.

Right now Bugaboo’s all time favorite book is Barnyard Baby from the Baby Seasons series.  These books have much larger flaps that are easy for Bugaboo to turn.  In addition, they are made with bright colors.  They feature a cute little baby girl frolicking around in the fall.  The words can easily be read in a fun, sing-song voice.  Bugaboo likes to look at the pictures because they feature a baby doing everyday things that she can understand.  I like to look at the pictures and think about fun activities that Bugaboo and I can do.

Age: 9+ months

Song Books

Another great book idea for your baby is any book that takes a well known song or rhyme and puts pictures to it.  For instance, Sing and Smile Stories is a series of baby books based on popular children’s songs, such as Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald, and so on.  Jeffrey Burton has a series of “Itsy Bitsy” board books.  They are themed for various holidays (The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, The Itsy Bitsy Bunny), and the words can be sung to the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  Since I don’t care for spiders, it’s nice to have some alternate words to sing to that song!

Tip: look for half priced board books at your local stores after each holiday has passed!

When reading a song book, you can sing the song you know, read the words out loud without singing, or point at the pictures and talk about them.  I have found, though, that Bugaboo really tends to listen and perk up when we sing the songs.  She will ask to hear the song “again and again.”

Beneficial Repetition

Another type of book your baby may enjoy is a book based on a popular nursery rhyme or game.  For instance, Bugaboo loves Pat-a-Cake.  This book starts off with the familiar, “Pat-a-cake Pat-a-cake!” and then goes on to describe the children patting different objects.  It’s a fun book for Bugaboo because she recognizes the rhyme at the beginning and begins to clap.  One day I hope to assemble all the objects mentioned in the book and read through it with her, letting her pat each one in turn.

The great thing about using songs and rhyme books to keep baby’s attention is that you are more likely to say or sing the same thing each time you open the book.  Babies love repetition and the familiar!  We love Nursery Rhymes for this reason.  Find out more about your favorite Nursery Rhymes here.

Age: 6+ months

Animal Books

Some of the first words your baby will learn will be animal sounds.  I was surprised when Bugaboo went quickly from patting her leg to sign “dog” to giving little “woof woofs” when she saw our dog, Maggie.  Next came “Moo” “Grrr” and “Roar.”  So I went to the library and loaded up on as many books about animals I could get.  Whenever there is an animal in the book, I make the sound the animal makes.  I have had to get creative sometimes – what sound does a bunny make?  What about a caterpillar?  In addition to using the animal sound, teach your baby the sign for each animal.  These types of baby books are delightful because you can see how quickly your baby learns and absorbs everything she finds.  The great thing about animal books, too, is that you can start to introduce animals in real life to your baby!  Take her to the zoo or a farm to help her learn what the animals are like in real life.

Age: 9+ months

Book Blocks

We have a lot of fun with the Book Blocks.  If you aren’t familiar with these, they are 12 itty bitty board books that are stored in a little cardboard case with a handle.  Each book only has five pages.  The books themselves are great, because they teach only simple concepts: one word per page.  In addition, Bugaboo has a lot of fun taking the books out of the block and putting them back in.  I enjoy taking the books and playing with them like they really were blocks.  I stack them up, and Bugaboo knocks them down.

As with all baby books, watch out that your young, teething baby doesn’t chew these up.  Due to their smaller size and accessibility, I accidentally let Bugaboo gnaw through a few.  Oh well – that’s why they include 12!

Age Range: 4-12 months

Bedtime Routine Books

One of the most consistent pieces of advice I have received as a new mom has been, “Start a bedtime routine.”  A bedtime routine can be simple or complex, but I always love the idea of including a few baby books in our bedtime routines.  Perhaps that’s why so many baby books are designed around bedtime concepts.  We all know the popularity of Goodnight Moon.  However, there are thousands of bedtime books to choose from.  Many board books at this age end with a soothing nighttime scene, making almost anything appropriate for bedtime.

Bugaboo and I discovered Ten Little Night Stars, and it is our favorite for a few reasons.  First of all, it encourages counting.  It taught Bugaboo the word “star.”  The main characters are animals, so we can discuss the sounds they make.  Also, it has beautiful, soothing pictures, drawn in pastels that I find to be calming.  They almost take you into this fantasy childhood world, similar to Disney movies and parks.  The best part is that each page describes a part of a bedtime routine.  You could easily implement the same steps for your bedtime routine outlined in the book: take a bath, brush your teeth, read a book, pick a toy, etc.  It’s great to first go through the routine and them emphasize it with the book you read.

Age: 10+ months

 

Play a Sound Books

Finally, Bugaboo just loves books that make sounds!  She loves music in general, but a little noise coming out of her book catches her attention.  When she was very little, musical baby books were some of the few she would “read” because she enjoyed hearing the sound effects.  We have a Frosty the Snowman book that made her bounce with joy and dance.  And now she loves to point out snowmen in other books.

Age: 4+ months

So there you have it – some great book ideas for your infant!  As your child grows, there will be more books available to her than she can read in a lifetime!  These are ideas to get her started loving reading.  Snuggling up and reading books with your baby in your lap is part of what makes these the good old days!

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