Baby’s First books: The 17 Best Books for Newborns and Infants
There are so many books for newborns on the market that it can get a little confusing. Our list of baby’s first books is a condensed look at the books on the market to help you build your child’s first library.
The books for infants below were chosen to reflect the reading you’ll want to do for your baby’s first few months. Primarily, you’ll be using these stories at bedtime, during tummy time, or to enhance their eyesight and stimulate their senses.
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When should you start reading books to a newborn?
Immediately! Start reading to your baby the second they come out, or even while they are still in your belly. Newborns learn vocal cues by listening to you speak.
What books are good for newborns?
For newborns and infants, it’s important to expose them to high-contrast books to help develop eyesight. It’s also a good idea to read to them during tummy time to encourage them to lift their heads.
Baby’s First Books for Bedtime
A newborn’s bedtime routine should start right away! Read the same bedtime books every night at the same time to signal to your little one that it’s bedtime and not just time for a snooze.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
In this classic of modern children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day. This is one of the most popular bedtime stories for babies ever written.
Time for Bed by Mem Fox
Rhyming, animals, and the sweet words in this book make it the perfect companion before bed. I loved setting up a routine that let my kids know that bedtime was coming.
We would take a bath, put on lotion and snuggle up to read a story. I made sure that my voice was quiet and soothing. Even if you have a brand new baby, incorporating a book into your nightly routine is a wonderful way to end the day.
I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth
This charming bedtime story is perfect for our list of books for infants. It’s all about a mama bear explaining how much she loves her baby all throughout the day, before tucking her child in for bed. It’s a modern classic.
If Animals Kissed Good Night by Ann Whitford Paul
This is an adorable bedtime story for babies. Even though your little one may not understand all the words, the adorable pictures of animals kissing good night are too cute and your baby will love the sounds of your voice as well as the rhymes.
Baby’s First Books About Love
Prop your baby up facing you as you read these love books for infants to them. They will learn about emotion from the sound of your voice and enjoy watching your face move as you talk. After all, your face is a newborn’s first glimpse into the world.
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
An amazing story about two male penguins adopting a penguin. Adorable text and photos will expose your child to this unique and true story while also teaching a lesson that there are many different kinds of families.
What a cuddly way to teach a child that love is love.
Love You Head to Toe by Ashley Barron
This is an adorable post filled with rhymes and describing love. With each amazing illustration, the book takes a picture of a baby and turns it into an animal. This is a perfect pick in books for newborns!
In this book, babies splash like ducklings, stretch like cats and so much more.
Hug by Jez Alborough
Jackie’s family loves this story! A little monkey is looking for a hug and asking all his little animal friends! When reading this book, ask your little one for a hug every time the monkey does.
Black and White Books for Newborns
Did you know that newborns can only see in black and white? These high-contrast books help them to develop their eyesight right from birth.
Baby, Boo! by Beth Hardwood
My husband loved to read this to our little one over and over again. It’s peekaboo in a board book. There are black and white photos of other babies, then the baby goes missing and a mirror appears for your child to find themselves. The giggles this book produced from kids were the best!
LOOK LOOK! by Peter Linenthal
The simple text mixed with Black and White high contrast photos also makes this a great book to read off the bat. My boys use to point and stare at each image as I repeated over and over again what they were seeing.
I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy
This black-and-white board book is perfect for newborns since they can only see black and white initially. Make it interactive by following the tasks talked about in the book – tickling, hugging, and kissing!
Interactive Books for Infants
The senses we take for granted are new for your infant. The books below have flaps to grip and different textures to explore. Lightly guide their fingers and help them interact with the interactive books below. Eventually, they will learn to reach for the books themselves.
Five Little Monkeys by Cottage Door Press
This adorable finger puppet book is interactive fun that has a lot of repetition. As children get older, they may start babbling along while you read.
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
This book was an absolute favorite in our house. The descriptions of the animals are so funny, the flaps are fun and the story is so cute. As kids get older, they realize how silly it is to write to the zoo for a pet.
Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book) by Dorothy Kunhardt
This touch-and-feel book is perfect for little ones to feel the soft bunny and look in the mirror. It’s such a cute classic that basically launched interactive board books for babies and spawned a million spoof books!
Where is Baby’s Belly Button by Karen Katz
Sweet pictures and lift-the-flaps make interactive fun in this adorable board book. You can look at the pictures and then play with your baby. “Where is your belly button?”
Classic Books for Newborns
The classic books for newborns below are perfect to keep your infant’s attention during tummy time. Place the books in front of them while your read to encourage them to lift their head.
Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli
Each page in this book is cut into the shape of a letter with chunky pages that are easy to turn. This huge board book is amazing to hold and a definite favorite.
It’s also the first in a series featuring countablock, dinoblock, and 12 more!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr.
Brown Bear teaches about colors and animals. The repetitive pattern is addictive. There are so many activities that can be done with this great book for toddlers. However, the colors and pictures are perfect for even the littlest reader.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
There are so many things about this classic book that I love. Not only can you talk about days of the week, food, and counting, you can follow the caterpillar on his journey to becoming a butterfly. When it comes to books for infants, this one is tops.
Did you find any books for infants and newborns to add to your home library? For more first books for baby, check out the posts below.
Essential Tips for Reading to Baby
This post explores ways to interact with your newborn to encourage language skills in everyday life. It also explores the importance of reading to newborns and includes a list of books for the baby’s first year.
Each book also comes with an explanation of how the books can be used to promote reading readiness skills with your baby.
9 Best Books for Baby Girls: A First Library Collection
Check out these charming girly books for infants.
7 Great Baby Books for Boys to Read as They Grow
These are the perfect books for infant boys.
7 Gender-Neutral Baby Books for Families to Cherish Forever
We love the stories on this list for babies of any gender!