How to Choose Books for Your Baby

mum and son toddler reading

As your baby's cognitive and intellectual skills develop, introducing them to new books regularly can be a great way to help them understand new words and concepts. But it’s not always easy to know how to choose the best books for your little one. Here are some top choices and what to look for in books that are perfect for baby development.

Sturdy and Chewable Books

Your little one will likely love exploring the world with their mouth, so it's a good idea to opt for books that can withstand a little gumming! Look for board books made from thick, durable materials that can endure those tiny teeth. 

Books Featuring Everyday Objects

At this age, babies are increasingly interested in the world around them. Choose books that include familiar objects from their daily life, such as household items, animals, and everyday activities. Babies especially love faces, so books featuring large cartoon people or animals with clear eyes and faces are a great choice. This helps them connect words to the things they encounter regularly, enhancing their understanding of language and their surroundings.

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Bright Colours, Sounds, and Textures

Babies are drawn to vibrant colours and intriguing textures. Until your baby is three months old they can’t see a huge range of colours, so the contrast in black and white books can be great for them. But once they’re over three months old they can see a wider spectrum of colours. Opt for books with bold, eye-catching illustrations that capture their attention. Red, purple and orange are great choices to go for. Books with other elements like textured pages or flaps to lift can provide a multi-sensory experience that keeps your baby engaged for longer.

Interactive Baby Books

Books with interactive features, such as buttons that produce sounds or flaps to lift, can be especially interesting for babies at this age. These books stimulate their auditory and visual senses and encourage fine motor skills as they try to manipulate the book's components.

Touch is a powerful sense for babies, and your little one can actually imagine what something looks like just by feeling it. They also love mirrors, which is why you’ll find a lot of mirrors at the end of baby books. The movement of the mirror, the way it catches the light, and the ability to see their own face as well as yours will be great to capture their attention.

Rhyming and Repetition

Babies love the rhythm and predictability of rhyming words and repetitive phrases even before they can speak themselves. Choose books with simple rhymes and repeated phrases to help your baby anticipate what comes next in the story. This familiarity can make reading time even more enjoyable for both of you.

Remember that the goal is to make reading a fun experience for your little one, not to make it perfectly through the book from start to finish. Don't worry if they seem more interested in chewing the book than reading it or are eager to flip to the last page; it's all part of their exploration!

Head here for our best books for toddlers!

Or, if you’re still expecting, here are 12 books you need to read while pregnant.

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