We get that your baby is a few years from reading on their own. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start reading to them. Steering clear of the library isn’t the way to go here. As it turns out, the early years are the perfect time to lay the foundations of literacy, building a lifelong love of books. If you’re all about your little one someday majoring in English Lit (or you just want them to grow up rocking the whole reading thing), check out these baby-friendly options.
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle ($4): You know and love this one from way back. Chances are that this children’s classic was a constant story-time fave when you were a tot. Not only do babies love, love, love the cute little caterpillar, but toddlers and preschoolers are into this book too. That means it will grow with your child and they’ll read it for years to come.
2. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd ($9): This one is a serious classic. Your parents (or maybe even grandparents) could have read this back in the day. Even though it was originally published 70 years ago, Goodnight Moon is timeless and totally transcends the generations.
3. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt ($10): Again, this one is from a ways back… way, way back. This book was originally published in 1940, but it’s still completely entertaining kiddos right now. The touch-and-feel angle of the book turns it into more than just a simple read. It’s a sensory experience as well!
4. Mama Loves You So by Terry Pierce and Simone Shin ($8): As part of the “New Books for Newborns” series, this is specifically designed for babies. It has lullaby-like text and sweet, calming illustrations. It’s also all about mom and her love for baby. And your little one is totally into hearing about that — at least that’s what you’re guessing.
5. Quantum Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie ($10): Yep, really: It’s physics for babies. But in a sweet tongue-in-cheek way. If you just can’t wait for your baby to start STEM, this is the ticket.
6. Look, Look! by Peter Linenthal ($7): If your baby’s toys are pretty much all patterned and black and white, this book takes the idea onto the printed page. It’s simple, has bold illustrations, and is perfect for the littlest of readers.
7. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle ($4): The colorful, collage-y art of this board book will grab baby’s attention. Your little one will enjoy the animals galore, and, of course, the simple text.
8. Press Here by Hervé Tullet ($16): As your baby moves toward the toddler years, this interactive book will become a staple. It lets baby get hands-on and participate in the book-reading process. And that’s what will help your little one fall in love with the printed page.
9. No Biggy! by Elycia Rubin ($18): This book is all about having a positive outlook and provides a great lesson for kids and adults alike: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life will give you little obstacles, and sometimes, the best thing to do is just to say, “No Biggy!”
10. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein ($18): Your baby might not exactly understand the story just yet. But you’ll totally get into the nostalgia of reading it. And bonus, it grows with your kiddo — meaning that you can read it together now and in a few years down the line.
Tweet us your go-to favorite baby books @BritandCo.
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.