The first year of a new baby’s life is filled with many magical moments…and just as many diaper rashes and loads of laundry. But if you value a calm nighttime routine or easy and enriching day time entertainment, then you are going to want to arm yourself with a slew of sweet, funny, and educational best baby books to read to your little one on repeat. Thinking beyond popular television and movie characters is key if you want to help your mini reach some milestones without wanting to throw yourself off a bridge in the process.
From classics that have stood the test of time to new books on the block that will have you laughing out loud, there are a number of great baby books to buy that will become an important part of moving their development along. Look for page turners that encourage interaction, playful voices, and dazzle them with colors or textures. Sure, they don’t totally understand what you’re saying, but trust and believe they know a terrible read when they hear it. Score these wonderful books for babies and infants and you’ll be one pat on the back closer to feeling like a pro parent.
Best Interactive Book
Filled with furry bits and reflective mirrors, this childhood classic will carry your tiny one right from tummy time to toddlerhood. Teach your baby a little bit about what a full day feels like, complete with dinner-time essentials and a break down of activities. Then watch as they fondle each page in amazement.
Best Lift the Flap Book
This board book is anything but boring if you’re good at animal noises (and honestly, you should be pretty good at animal noises by now) and will charm your baby for years. Babies will love the surprise appearances by furry friends and parents will enjoy watching the shock on their faces as you lift each flap.
Best Classic Story Retold
Who needs to get into all the details of some of our most beloved stories when you can read this cliff notes-inspired short tale distilled just for babies? Hit all the high points of the festive story in this colorful and beautifully illustrated story.
Best Book That Will Make You Cry
There won’t be a dry eye in the bedroom when you read this touching and inspiring book about how much you love your little stranger. Sure, the hand-drawn illustrations are imaginative and sweet, but really the message that your love will never end is enough to make even the toughest parent shed a tear.
Best Pet-Friendly Book
If you don’t already have a pet in addition to your baby, your life is about to be filled with a lot of suggestions to get one — but this book will put a stop to impractical suggestions because, who really can afford to keep a dinosaur in the house? The adorable story will enchant your little guy or girl and the message will help parents shy away from committing to an additional member of the family — for a little while.
Best Relatable Adventure Book
With a bookshelf full of pirate tales and mystical moments, sometimes it’s refreshing to read a little story about an elephant taxi driver (Tuski) who has to schlep everybody around without so much as a thank you — sound familiar? Teach colors, animals, and objects along the way in this harrowing story, even when it all falls apart for our protagonist.
Best Off-Beat Story Line
Technically, this book is for early readers, but you are going to want to get a jump start with this hilarious story of disgruntled livestock. Babies adore the many animal sounds you’ll be forced to make in between fits of laughter.
Best Bedtime Book
Alright, so this one might just be for the parents, but it is essential on our list. The title says it all and you will be saying it plenty once parenthood gets underway if it hasn’t already.
Best Nighttime Routine Book
This must-have book will be given to you by someone at some point and for good reason. The simple, lulling pictures and calming story of a quiet room are all poised to make saying goodnight a breeze. You’ll be “whispering hush” for ages.
Best Colorful Book
Yes, Eric Carle made this list twice, what of it!? Consider this exciting story essential to helping young ones spot colors as they hone their spatial skills. Also, who hasn’t worked their way through life one bite at a time?
Best Black and White Contrast Book
Not all heroes wear capes and not all books need words. Designed for babies ranging from six weeks to six months, this high-contrast board book will have your mini mesmerized with swirling shapes and geometric patterns. Think of this as a must-have for tummy time entertainment.
Check out our selection of the best baby books so you can read in the new year in style.