The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Perhaps you are looking for a gift for a friend who just had a baby, or you are exploring the world of baby books for your own baby; this best baby book guide for buying your first baby books will provide you with a lot of inspiration.

Why should I read to my baby?

Reading has many positive effects on your baby’s development. It is never too early to start reading! Reading helps your baby to recognise sounds & emotions and, of course, it supports their language development as they absorb new words and rhythm. Not only their language, listening and memory skills expand, but also their visual recognition of shapes and colours. With the help of all of the different learning opportunities that books provide, your baby is encouraged to explore and question the world which also helps with their social development, emotional understanding and thinking skills. For little ones, reading is all about creating a habit. The sooner you start a daily Storytime session or bedtime reading routine, the more likely it is that you and your little one are going to continue this routine later in life. Reading books together creates a daily special moment between parents and their kids!

Must-Have Baby Books: 0-12 months

Black & White Books

What are Black & White Books for babies? Black & White Baby Books are easier to see for babies. They usually have bold illustrations with strong contrasts, clear patterns, and very little text. They are simply the best baby books for newborns!

1. Baby Touch: My First Book

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Baby Touch: My First Book is a gorgeous black and white cloth book that will captivate your baby! Its soft crinkle pages and large black and white images with strong contrasts grab your little one’s attention. A great first sensory book & a lovely baby shower gift!

2. Bedtime

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

The beautifully illustrated black (blue) & white book ‘Bedtime‘ by Mel Four introduces first bedtime-related words to your baby through simple but effective illustrations and vocabulary. A short & sweet black & white book for very young babies.

Rag Books / Cloth Books for Babies

What are Rag Books? A rag book or cloth book is an ideal pick for babies. Cloth books do not only provide fantastic visual & sensory stimulation through strong images and (sometimes) mirrors but often also make a fun crinkly sound. Babies explore these books with their hands & mouth, which is why cloth books are often exceptionally durable and soft. Most of them also can be washed!

3. Night, Night, Peter Rabbit

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

You will keep this gorgeous Peter Rabbit themed cloth book forever! Night, Night, Peter Rabbit is a cosy rag book that displays Beatrix Potter’s famous characters, such as Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Flopsy Bunny! It has the ideal size for your baby’s hands and is super soft. There are a few words on every page and some of the pages rustle. A lovely first cloth book that comes in a cute box.

4. Baby’s Very First Cloth Book: Faces

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

This little gem combines everything babies like: A mirror, black and white images as well as soft & easy to hold cloth pages. Baby’s Very First Faces could become your baby’s favourite toy! The mirror will put a big smile on your baby’s face and, if this cloth book gets a bit dirty, you can simply wash it in the washing machine. It’s a gorgeous sensory and visual gift for a baby!

5. Baby Touch Ears : A touch-and-feel cloth book

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Another great book in the Ladybird’s Baby Touch series is Baby Touch Ears. This book is fantastic for exploring different colours and textures. Babies will love pulling and playing with the soft ears! Also available: Baby Touch: Tails.

6. Jane Foster’s Animals Cloth Book

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

The beautifully illustrated cloth book Jane Foster’s Animals teaches many important animal words such as cat, dog or fish! Its size is perfect for little hands; the crinkle-effect and vibrant colours will definitely grab your baby’s attention.

Playbooks for Babies

What are Touch & Feel Playbooks? Touch & Feel Playbooks help your baby to discover interesting textures, sounds and colours. These books especially support their motor skills.

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Touch and Feel Playbook

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

The Hungry Caterpillar Touch and Feel Playbook is a wonderful introduction to the world of Eric Carle’s magical and colourful illustrations. Your baby will be very interested in the different, beautiful images and various textures.

8. Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Playbook

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Fiona Watt has created countless wonderful baby books. The eye-catching Baby’s very first Touchy-feely Playbook offers little ones a lot of fun elements to explore. The different textures, holes, lines and bright illustrations give you and your baby much to discover and to talk about!

9. That’s not my unicorn…

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

That’s not my unicorn... is just one of the many Touchy-Feely Books that are absolutely perfect for babies and toddlers. What makes them so popular? The simple text, bold and happy illustrations as well as the touchy feel elements are always a hit with the little ones.

10.Baby’s Very First touchy-feely Musical Playbook

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Baby’s very first touchy-feely Musical Playbook is the ideal first musical book for your baby. Its colourful musical touchy-feely elements and sturdy pages will delight your little one!

11. Baby Touch: Fairy Tales

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Baby Touch: Fairy Tales is a classic large playbook. It is bright, cute and sturdy; the tabs on the side will make it easier for babies to open the pages. This book is a wonderful way of introducing the world of fairy tales to your baby!

Lift-the-Flap & Slide Books

What are Lift-The-Flap & Slide Books? Lift-the-flap Baby Books are sturdy board books with flaps on each page or on every other page. Lift-the-flap stories and texts are especially popular amongst babies and toddlers. Likewise, slide books (with slide mechanics instead of flaps) invite babies to explore shapes and colours. These sort of books delight babies with bold colours and shapes; they also often hide a little surprise on every page.

12. I thought I saw a… dinosaur!

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

This book is sure to bring a smile to your baby’s face! I thought I saw a dinosaur! has a gorgeous vintage look; on every double page there is a dinosaur that is easily revealed by your baby or toddler with the moving parts. Your baby will have hide-and-seek fun with this durable gem of a book.

13. My First Gruffalo: Who Lives Here?

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Introduce your baby to the Gruffalo story with My First Gruffalo: Who Lives Here? This chunky board book is ideal for little hands. The sturdy flaps and vibrant illustrations will be fun to explore. A fantastic companion to The Gruffalo!

14. Baby’s Very First Slide and See Zoo

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Glorious bold colours, movable elements and Zoo animals invite to some sensory play. Baby’s very first Slide And See Zoo is a lovely board book for curious babies. The zoo animals are bright, colourful and inviting! Another great book in this series by Usborne.

16. Where’s Mr Polar Bear?

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Where’s Mr Polar Bear? by Ingela Arrhenius has a gorgeous vintage feel. Lift the flaps on every page in your search for Mr Polar Bear. The little mirror at the end of the book will be a great surprise!

15. Spot’s Lift-the-Flap Peekaboo

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

The Spot books with their simple and delightful illustrations by Eric Hill are absolutely fantastic for curious little babies. In this little fun book called Spot’s lift-the-flap Peekaboo Spot is hiding; can your baby spot him? Spot is our favourite dog!

17. Can you see Little Elephant?

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Can you see Little Elephant? is a magic changing picture book of a different kind! Pull the tabs and the pictures change. This is the perfect book for older babies & toddlers. There is so much to explore on every page!

18. Baby’s Very First Tractor Book

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Baby’s very first Tractor Book definitely stands out! This tractor-shaped board book with movable wheels will keep your little tractor fan entertained for hours.

19. Frog At The Farm

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Brand-new and hilariously funny is this wonderful, bright board book for little hands. The movable eyes will cause giggles. Frog at the Farm is the perfect introduction to first farm words. Also available: Tiger at the Beach.

Finger Wiggle Books

What are Finger Wiggle Books? Finger Wiggle Books are the new best baby books on the book market. They are a huge hit! Babies will laugh at the funny images and finger wiggly actions.

20. Little Baby’s Busy Day: A Finger Wiggle Book

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

A lovely fun finger wiggle book, beautifully illustrated by Nick Sharratt. In this series you will also find: Little Wild Animals: A Finger Wiggle Book & Little Farm Animals: A Finger Wiggle Book.

Buggy Books for Babies

What are Buggy Books? Buggy Books are great distractions on a busy day out; Your baby can play with these little books when you are on the move. Usually tied to a car seat or buggy, Buggy Books are sure to entertain your little ones. Perfect for exploring pictures, colours and shapes.

21. Dinosaur Roar Buggy Buddy

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Do you have a little dinosaur fan at home? Dinosaur Roar! Buggy Book is a lovely, little Dinosaur Roar! version that will entertain busy babies.

22.We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Buggy Book

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a fantastic book, especially for slightly older children. But with this little buggy baby book version your baby can get a first glimpse of this wonderful classic children’s picture book. Of course, it contains many wonderful illustrations by Helen Oxenbury!

Finger Puppet Books for Babies

What are Finger Puppet Play Books? Finger Puppet Books for Babies & Toddlers feature a finger puppet that is attached to the book. Finger Puppet Books provide a wonderful opportunity to explore a story in a new, fun and engaging way!

23. Peter Rabbit Let’s Cuddle

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Babies will want to cuddle this cute Peter Rabbit puppet in the Let’s Cuddle Play Book that features a little rhyming text. What an adorable book for a baby!

24. My First Gruffalo: Gruffalo Puppet Book

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

The Gruffalo Puppet Book is another cute Finger Puppet Book with one of the most famous book characters: The Gruffalo! The soft & cuddly puppet combined with a fun & interactive story will be an excellent read for babies and toddlers.

Classic Baby Books

What are Classic Baby Books? The following classic baby books have been around for many years and should be on every baby’s and toddler’s bookshelf! Take a look at the classic best baby books in this baby book guide:

25. Peepo! by Allan & Janet Ahlberg

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Peepo! is such a heart-warming classic. It always makes a fantastic gift for first time parents. Look through the peephole & follow the baby through the day.

26. I Love You to the Moon And Back by Amelia Hepworth

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

I love you to the Moon and Back is an enchanting picture book for babies, toddlers & young children. It is not as old as Peepo! but definitely exactly as delightful. A reassuring and heart-warming read about love!

27. Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a classic tale & an absolute must-have! The detailed illustrations & fun story about mischievous Peter Rabbit have delighted generations of children.

28. Goodnight Moon

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Margaret Wise Brown’s wonderful classic Goodnight Moon from the 1940s has stood the test of time! The gentle words and images make this book to the perfect baby bedtime read. Say goodnight to all of the interesting objects in bunny’s room; your baby will love it.

29. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The 29 Best Baby Books for a Baby’s First Year

Eric Carle’s classic ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ has been sold over 50 million times around the world. The colourful illustrations by Eric Carle, the holes and the beautiful story about a very hungry caterpillar make this to one of the best baby books in the world.

Other Gift Idea: A Baby Book Subscription

Can’t decide what book to buy? Perhaps then a Baby Book Subscription is the right choice. We pick the books for the little recipient! The first book delivery includes an extra lovely gift for your baby, a bookmark, a cute bookworm certificate and a letter! The monthly book subscription parcels are beautifully gift-wrapped and delivered to your door. Our childhood development experts only pick the best baby books for your recipient.

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